In previous issues we’ve shown how to modify snowboarding equipment to jib better, and many of you were excited. However, some readers told us (usually around 4:20 p.m.) they don’t like the park, they like the powder.
We couldn’t agree more–there’s nothing better than riding fresh powder. And how can you enjoy the powder more? On a swallowtail, of course! So, if you don’t already own a swallowtail and don’t have the money to go buy one, here are some helpful tips on how to turn your existing board into a swallowtail. Keep in mind these alterations are permanent and will obviously void any existing warranty your board might have.
1. Gather your safety goggles, a permanent marker, a drill with 3/8 drill bit, a saw with a blade capable of cutting metal, a Dremel tool with sanding attachments or sandpaper, a stone grinder or hand file, and common sense.
2. Borrow a swallowtail from someone and trace an outline of its tail onto the tail of your board. If you don’t have access to one, you’re going to have to draw a swallowtail pattern yourself, which is basically a triangle. First, measure about twelve inches from the very tip of the tail toward the middle of the board, mark that point. Measure the width of the board at your mark and at the board’s center, cross your mark with another mark to form a X (having the center point of the X indicating the precise point). Measure three inches from the very tip of the tail toward the tip of the board and make a mark. Measure the width of the board at that mark and at the center, cross it with another mark to form a V (having the bottom point of the V indicating the precise point.) Then at the V, draw a line completely across the width of the board. From the V measure on the line two inches to the right and to the left, mark one point A and the other B. Now, draw a straight line from the X through the V to the tip of the tail. At this time your lines should form a T shape. From the A mark, draw a line to the tail parallel with the line you drew threw the X and V. Repeat from the B mark to the tail. Now you’ll form a triangle by drawing a straight line from the A mark to the X. Repeat from the B mark to the X.
3. Drill a hole in the center of the X mark, or if you traced a board, at the tip of the triangle.
4. Using a Sawzall or a jigsaw, cut along the line you drew from the tail to the A mark then continue cutting while following the line from the A mark, to the hole you drilled. Repeat the cut along the line you drew from the tail to the B mark, then continue cutting, following the line from the B mark to the drilled hole. Here’s a tip: Use a C clamp instead of a friend’s hand to hold the board together while cutting. This will help lessen vibrations and will prevent the loss of limbs if the saw kicks while your cutting.
5. Use a Dremel tool to straighten and smooth out the cuts you made. If you don’t have a Dremel tool, you can simply use sandpaper and elbow grease.
6. If the board has steel edges around the tail, use a bench grinder or a hand file to make them flush with the rest of the board.
7. Go shred the rad white winter wave!