In a world-first application of high performance composite material technology, a collaborative team from the University of Canberra (UC), the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA) and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) will produce new snowboard cross bindings that aim to transform the sector.
The proposal for this project has been endorsed by the AIS 2015 Competitive Innovation Fund and will involve leading UCRISE researchers Dr Eddi Pianca and Dr Stephen Trathen, both from the UC Faculty of Arts and Design.
Together, they will continue their innovative work in designing advanced snowboard bindings resistant to breaking, which was begun by creating a customised binding for snowboard cross Olympian and world champion Alex Pullin for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Bindings used by elite snowboard cross athletes in competitions are highly susceptible to breakage due to the enormous stresses placed on them, and this can jeopardise a medal-winning performance, as well as posing an injury risk. Failures on current commercial bindings can occur after just one run, whereas the Alex Pullin binding has not failed in training or competitive settings.
The new bindings will use high performance composite (HPC) materials such as Carbon fibre and Kevlar and will cater to the requirements of all Australian team members from OWIA, hopefully leading to an increased medal count at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea.
Ben Wordsworth, National Head Coach (Snowboard), OWIA.
Dr Eddi Pianca, UCRISE, University of Canberra: primary project collaborator for design and construction
Dr Stephen Trathen, UCRISE, University of Canberra: secondary project collaborator for design and construction
Mr Bill Shelley, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra
Dr Dale Chapman, Assisting sports scientist to OWIA Snowboarding program
John Marsden, Primary sports scientist for OWIA Snowboarding program