Is Bamboo really that flexible & strong?

We love it when the skateboard and surfboard manufacturers use our bamboo boards.


They really test the limits of bamboo with their products. What they do with the boards (controlled falling down a slippery mountainside???) is hardcore. If the components of their boards are inferior, things get real messy real quick.

It is for this reason they have to push the envelope and use the best materials available. And, as more and more manufacturers are discovering, bamboo has what it takes + its eco-friendly.

In this post we look at a snowboard manufacturer who uses bamboo in their custom snowboard designs.

Looking at the snowboard, bamboo does not even enter your mind (click on the picture to have a closer look).

But then these guys take the board for a test ride and discover some amazing things;

The first thing they discovered was how flexible the board is – Dave had this to say:

The flex was unreal, like borderline retard-soft. The first time I popped in to a tail press it scared me because I just wasn’t expecting to go full-on wheelie on an all-mountain board with so little effort. This deck is quite flexible for an “all mountain” board but it would ride stiffer when you wanted it to, thanks to bamboo in the core

And this is is what Leo had to say:

Oh baby did this thing flex.  I love bamboo for this very reason.  If you want to flex it, it will definitely flex for you.

Of course they had to push the limits and this photo is the result.

Marhar flex test - the bamboo can bend

Ok, so bamboo is flexible, but then what about keeping it’s shape? Well, this is Leo’s take on that:

However, it always wants to spring back into its original form.  This means that bamboo laced/core boards ride stiffer than they flex.  Overall, the Marhar Throwdown rides like a mid-stiff board, yet flexes like a softer butter stick.

And he sums it up like this:

Another area where bamboo excels.  Remember my statement about bamboo wanting to snap back into shape?  Well, this property translates into ollie power.  The thing I noticed about bamboo is that it doesn’t necessarily pop you to the moon, but it does provide a very consistent and ultra smooth snap.  The moon thing comes from the carbon stringers.  Bamboo + Carbon Stringers = Sliced Bread.


Bamboo… I wish more boards had them especially in this price range.

You can find the whole post here … 2012 Marhar Throwdown Snowboard Review

So what does all this mean to you? After all snowboards aren’t all that popular in sunny South Africa.

Bamboo has a higher tensile strength than cold pressed steel. That means that if you took a flat piece of steel rod + a same size piece of bamboo and pressed down in the middle with the edges suspended, the steel rod will buckle before the bamboo breaks.


Overhead bamboo walkwayOverhead bamboo walkway - close up

With this detail in mind, you can use bamboo boards for overhead walkways and be sure that it’s got what it takes due to it’s incredible flexibility.

If you want to steam a bamboo panel to some fancy shape for a design you are working on – no problem. How about cladding a wavy shape, you can get pretty creative.

So I encourage you, use your creativity and put bamboo boards & bamboo panels to the test.


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About Oriental Bamboo Team

We only deal in Solid Bamboo Timber Products - boards, counter tops, plywood panels and doors - nothing else.
Through extensive manufacturing research and experience, we specify our products at our factories to perform well in our diverse African climatic zones.
Being solid bamboo pioneers in Southern Africa, we have worked with users in all facets of timber application over the years.
We are driven to understand our customers specific requirements. As a result of these relationships with our varied clients, we have accumulated a lot of experience in using solid bamboo products wherever one would traditionally use timber.
This blog documents a few of our experiences and comments on various aspects of solid bamboo timber as used in various applications.
Cape Town based Oriental Bamboo is a bulk bamboo timber supplier of "specified for Southern Africa": bamboo boards, bamboo plywood panels, solid and hollow core bamboo doors via a network of timber merchants in South Africa and sub Saharan Africa.

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