Not all vinyl wraps are created equal. Here at BoardStatement, we source only the highest quality cast vinyl wrap films. Other snowboard wrap companies offer inferior 'calendered' vinyls for their low costs. However, these cheap materials deform in the cold and leave residues when removed. We value the art we put on our boards, so we print it on durable, removeable material. Read on to learn more about vinyl types and qualities.
Cast vs. Calendered Vinyl: What's the difference?
Calendered vinyl is melted, extruded, and then rolled into a thick sheet. The manufacturing process is inexpensive, yielding a more affordable material. Calendered vinyl is ideal for short-term, stationary applications, such as windows and signs. However, calendered vinyl shrinks with age and temperature extremes. Under normal circumstances, a calendered wrap job can last anywhere between 1 and 7 years. Under heavy abuse in the cold, this lifetime is greatly reduced, to no more than a season or two. Additionally, calendered vinyls often use strong, difficult to remove adhesives to combat their shrinkage. When removed, calendered vinyls can leave behind residues and even remove surface paint. Due to these limitations, calendered vinyl is never used on vehicles and should never be used on snowboards.
The Vinyl Calendering Process:
Cast vinyl is made by mixing a vinyl polymer with a casting solvent. This mixture is poured into a large sheet and baked, allowing the solvent to evaporate. After drying, the cast vinyl is rolled up and ready for use. Because cast vinyl is never stressed during manufacturing, it undergoes very little shrinkage in its lifetime. Further, cast vinyls are very thin, allowing them to conform very tightly to curves. Cast vinyls usually use long-term, removeable adhesives, making them ideal for valuable application surfaces, such as automobiles. Cast vinyls are the go-to wrap film for vehicles, and are our recommendation for your snowboard.
The Vinyl Casting Process:
Sina Ebnesajjad, Manufacturing of Unoriented Polyvinyl Fluoride Films and Coatings, In Plastics Design Library, Polyvinyl Fluoride
Telling the difference
When selecting a vinyl wrap for your snowboard, it is important to know exactly what material you are wrapping on your board. One major give-away that a company is selling calendered vinyl is the price tag. Calendered vinyls are often 3-5x cheaper than cast vinyls. However, the best way to be sure that you are getting a quality product is to look for "cast vinyl" on the product page. If a company is using cast vinyl, they are doing so at significant cost, and have no reason to hide it. So, if a company does not explicity tell you that they are using cast vinyl, be extremely wary that you may be recieving an inferior calendered material. At BoardStatement, we love to brag that we only sell high quality, cast vinyl!
Overlaminates are a clear protective layer which are applied over printed graphics. Overlaminates prevent scuffing and fading caused by the harsh environment. Glossy overlaminates give your board a shiny finish, allowing the graphics to pop. Like the print material, overlaminates can be calendered or cast. You probably guessed, however, that BoardStatement only uses cast overlaminates. In addition, our overlaminates are UV-stable and water-resistent to ensure that your graphic is protected in bright, wet, cold, and snowy conditions.
Some high quality cast wrap films use air relief channels in the adhesive layer to easy application. As you squeegee the film, air bubbles flow through these channels to the edge of your board, giving you a flat, flawless finish. Every material brand has a different name for this technology. For Avery, it is called "Easy Apply RS". For 3M, it is called "Controltac". No matter the brand, every BoardStatement wrap comes with air relief channels to make application a breeze.
Air Relief Technology
Our favorite materials
Here at BoardStatement we will always tell you exactly what vinyl material you are receiving. These materials are always cast and never calendered. Our printed wrap films use glossy UV-stable, weather-resistant overlaminates to protect your art over time. All of our products use air-release channels to ensure easy, seamless application. The exact material we use will always be listed in an item's product page. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Avery Supreme Wrap Film SW900
- Avery Dennison Color Flow Wrap Film
- 3M Controltac Graphic Film IJ180
- 3M Wrap Film Series 2080