Hi everyone, I’d like to introduce the DFWcomposites CL-35 to the community. It is a composite deck and ABS enclosure solution that I developed as the owner of a composites manufacturing company to solve many of the problems that I, and I think many of us, have encountered while building e-skates.
Intent: create a deck + enclosure solution that is purpose built for the DIY e-skate community.
- Designed for e-skating : An extra wide 10” deck for extended cruising, half inch of concave for accurate control, a touch of flex to minimize fatigue and maximize comfort, and a profile that accommodates the largest wheels without bite.
- Structure : Cored composite construction allows for the lightest deck possible while still maintaining excellent vibration dampening characteristics with a bit of flex for the best possible ride.
- Appearance : A beautiful, mirror gloss carbon fiber cosmetic layer that is attractive, durable, and customizable, with a sleek and stealthy enclosure hidden below secured with painted fasteners for a splash of color.
- Advanced Technology : The deck is a cored carbon fiber and fiberglass part made using the vacuum infusion process, one of the most advanced ways to create a composite component. Trimming is performed using water jet cutting for extreme dimensional accuracy and a consistent trim quality.
- Seamless enclosure : a spacious enclosure that is formed to mate perfectly to the deck, creating a tight seal with no hassle while still being able to accommodate a dual drive 12s4p + BMS setup.
Dimensions and specifications:
- 34.5” long x 10” wide deck (87x25 cm)
- 28.5” wheel base (71 cm; truck inside bolt to inside bolt distance)
- 21” long x 5.9” wide x 1.25” tall enclosure (53x15x3.2 cm)
- 3 lbs. total system weight (1.36 kg)
Pricing: 15 unit initial group buy @ 250USD + shipping per set. Regular pricing @ 300USD after initial 15. 10USD CONUS shipping, 50USD international + AK/HI, customs and duties are responsibility of buyer. Initial group buy pricing is currently on website; once initial 15 are spoken for regular pricing will be displayed.
Set includes: composite deck, enclosure, fasteners, and hexagonal grip tape (not applied). Default deck comes with “classic” 2x2 carbon fiber. The “spread tow” cosmetic carbon weaves are available as an upgrade; please see website.
Group buy will ship by mid-January. We’re aiming to have the parts ready by late-December, but we’ve been having issues with our water jet cutter delivering on deadlines + with the holidays we’re just going to bake in an extra 2 weeks so we don’t miss expectations. We’re an experienced composites manufacturing company so we’re definitely up for the task.
Appearance: The deck is produced using a proprietary infusion process – a double sided gloss closed mold - that allows for a mirror gloss on both outer surfaces. In house manufacturing means that we can offer unique carbon weave styles so that you can customize your board to your tastes.
Design: Multiple design iterations led to a board shape that maximizes wheel clearance and can easily accommodate large pneumatic wheels without biting. 0.5” (12.7mm) of concave provides for a comfortable foot hold that allows for easy and accurate weight transfer for better carving. The deck’s wide platform allows for better control at any speed and help minimizes wobbling at high speed.
Flex: Current composite e-skate boards “feel like riding steel I-beams” as they are very thick due to their electronics enclosure being integrated into the deck, leading to extreme stiffness thanks to part geometry. The CL-35’s external enclosure allows the deck to be the appropriate thickness so that it can flex just enough to provide a comfortable ride with a bit of pop, while still being stiff enough to allow for a monolithic battery build and peace of mind that he board will maintain stability at speed without succumbing to speed wobbles.
Enclosure: The enclosure is shaped to perfectly mate up to the deck so that a tight seal can be created. The product includes the necessary fasteners to attach it the deck. (The fasteners come in a variety of colors as well for extra customization opportunities.) The enclosure is a two part design so that you can choose your own length. Enclosure is large enough to accommodate 20700 batteries in 12s4p + charge only BMS + 2 FOCBOX.
Manufacturing Process: The deck is a vacuum infused, cored composite part made from a mixture of carbon fiber and fiberglass with epoxy resin used as the plastic matrix – this is essentially as high quality of a composite part as you can get and would be right at home on a fighter jet. Vacuum infusion is one of the most technically challenging methods of composite manufacturing but we chose to use it as it allows for the best fiber volume fraction (strength) + part cosmetics. To round out the ‘at home in aerospace’ nature of the part, we use waterjet cutting for final trimming. For an interesting (and kind of funny!) commentary at what the infusion process can entail, check out @patrocks thread on his infusion experiments/woes here. (Pat, if you’re reading this, to commemorate your achievements and struggles with your build I’d love to offer you a discount if you end up buying one of these – just shoot me a PM!) I think many knowledgeable observers such as @patrocks or @mastercho will be surprised that we are able to sell this type of product at this low of a price point.
Solution : You may have noticed that I called this product a “solution” earlier, so let me explain that… During my builds I encountered a handful of obstacles and annoyances that are a result of us DIYers repurposing analog skateboard decks into a task that they were never designed for. Here are some of those examples and my approach to solving them.
Enclosure mating was one of the major pain points that I personally encountered during my builds and was part of the impetus for the product: on more than one occasion I bought an enclosure from a 3rd party that was supposedly custom made for my chosen deck, only to find out that I still had to sit there for an hour with a heat gun and clamps to get it to come even close to having a proper seal. I’d then still end up with a warped and ugly plastic piece that was smaller on the inside than I was originally expecting. I also found that enclosures are usually too thin: on paper they can accommodate a flat battery, but in reality, once you add in wire runs, foam padding, etc. things start to become very cramped, and they leave absolutely no space for any flex without the deck impacting the battery. This part is meant to be more than just a pretty and comfortable carbon fiber deck: it’s meant to make one of the more annoying aspects of this hobby much less painful.
Part clearance of all types was another issue. The split nature of the CL-35’s enclosure means that you can custom select its length to make it ‘just right’ for your build by trimming the rear piece. This allows for inside mount motors if desired, or a maximum size enclosure with outside mount motors if needed. The deck profile allows for no wheel bite and no spacers required even when mounting 107’s to Calibers.
The weight of boards starts to become a hassle with some of the larger builds, and saving every pound possible is always welcome. With this setup, it should be possible to assemble a powerful single motor build using a 12s1p LiPo setup that comes in at right around 12 lbs but still offers the fun, range, and flexibility of a larger cruiser board.
- Rider weight limit of 225 lbs. (102 kg). If you are heavier please let me know and we can have a custom made version of the board built for you.
- Boards that are photographed have had their edges painted solid black. Shipped boards will have their internal composite structure exposed. This can be easily painted over if you desire.
- Boutique builders: Get in touch! I’d love to offer custom collaborations + volume discounts.