Home Builders #
For home builders who are just making a few boards casually, I highly recommend starting with Blank Slate Skis, which is run by Kelvin Wu of Maiden Skis. Kelvin is one of the original founders of the SkiBuilders.com Forum and an all-around good guy. He supplies small builders with the same high quality materials he uses on his skis.
Next, take a look at snowboardmaterials.com, which has been around longer than any other small supplier and has everything you need to get started.
Small Professional Builders #
For small professional builders, to get cost down you need to buy in quantity. Here are the sources I used at Happy Monkey throughout the years. Hopefully these sources remain available, as it is actually rare to find big businesses willing to sell in small quantities. I’ll try to update this over time as I hear that things change, but I build about a board per year now so I don’t buy supplies that often anymore. If you find a supplier that’s out of date, or have a suggestion of one to add, please let me know!
This list focuses on North American suppliers, because that’s where I am.
Be prepared to order in real quantity, and be prepared to be at the bottom of the priority list. Sourcing material in bulk, and ensuring you have it when you need it will be a test of your long-term logistical skills… leave lots of time to replenish.
- CDW Edge - now owned by Waelzholz, but apparently still making and selling edges in Cleveland, OH.
- Crown Plastics - DuraSurf base material, nose & tail fill, PTEX sidewalls, clear top sheets. Crown is a large supplier, but has been solid when it comes to supplying smaller builders.
- Composites One - fibers, and where I got all of my Vectorply fiberglass.
- Fiberlay - small-quantity fibers, a good place to get bits of carbon and Kevlar.
- Custom Components Group, Inc. - all manner of inserts. This is where I got all of mine.
- Miller Studio - printed top sheets. Vince Miller is awesome to work with. He did all of my printed top sheets before I switched to wood veneer. He’ll help you figure out what you need and you’ll end up with great graphics. Singles or bulk. He also sells bulk top sheet and base material.
- FORREST Technical Coatings - this is who bought QCM’s epoxy formulas when they stopped making epoxy. Call them up, tell them you’re looking for the ski and snowboard specific epoxy QCM used to make and they’ll know what you’re talking about. I used to use QCM product numbers ECA-032 and EMV-049. Forrest still makes the ECA-032 as their FORREST Medium Cure Hardner, and they have EMV-043, which I use now, as their FORREST Epoxy Resin 218S000.
- Michaels Enterprises, Inc. - heat blankets for your press. I got mine here, and they’ve held up for 15 years at this point.
- McMaster-Carr - any part for any machine, tools, shop supplies, etc. I love this place. They have 3D models for all of their machine parts, which you can import directly into your favorite CAD system. Use this when designing new equipment.
- Veneer Supplies - great online supplier of wood veneer. Massive selection, excellent shipping. I’ve gotten a lot from here.
- CAMAX Tool Company, Inc. - inserts, famous for their magnetic capped inserts. I’ve never used them, but lots of people have. They don’t seem to have a website, but they’re in Ft. Morgan, Colorado, and you can google up a phone number.
- Airtech - all things vacuum bagging, including tools.
- Edensaw - wood veneer mecca. You can go to their warehouse in Tacoma and look at the veneer before you buy it. They require you to take whole bundles, and they may not let you take a single bundle from the middle of a log. They often have broken bundles you can buy a few sheets from.
- Compton Lumber - excellent source for core wood, like Poplar, Ash, etc. Good selection and prices. I’ve gotten all of my core wood from them for over a decade.
- Alaskan Copper - great source of metal. I get my mold skins from them.
- Eastside Saw & Sales - router bits, bandsaw blades, sharpening, etc.
- Woodcraft Seattle - standard woodworking store. Rockler is good too, but you’ve gotta have your go-to woodworking store and this is mine.