Snowboard Winch Project

What is it?

The Snowboard winch project originally started as a means to enable my kids to further practice their snowboarding freestyle tricks without having to go to a ski hill. We wanted to be able to practice snowboarding in our own backyard and local park. The problem with that is the flat terrain. We needed a way to gain high speeds in a short distance. Having watched many urban snowboarding and wake-boarding video, I knew that a high speed winch was needed.

I initially build a high speed snowboarding winch using a clone 6.5 hp Honda motor. It worked great. It was able to pull the kids at high speeds and we would even bring it to a local toboggan hill where I could pull the kids up the hill on their sleds.

After a year of use, it clearly became obvious that it could be improved. All high speed winches designs I saw had two major issues that I wanted to address.

  1. The inability to have the same repeatable speed every time as the motor is controlled manually by a throttle.
  2. The requirement of an operator to control the winch.

The first issue made it difficult for practicing and improving snowboarding tricks since we couldn’t dial in the same speed every time. While some times the speed was right, other times it was a little too fast or slow. This was because the operator (me) had a hard time keeping the throttle at the same setting every time.

The second issue also required an operator to control the winch. This meant signaling to rider to ensure they were ready and that anytime someone wanted to use the winch, a minimum of two people needed to be present (rider + operator). It also meant I couldn’t film or photograph the riders from different locations as I was operating the winch. For safety reasons, I also didn’t want my kids close to the winch in the event the chain or rope broke and snapped back at them.

This is where version 2 of the snowboard winch project started.

Snowboard winch project version 2 planned features

  • Rider controls on handle (no separate operator required)
  • Wireless remote with visual and sense indicators
  • User memory settings (repeatable speed control)
  • Bluetooth communication
  • Android App
  • “Chairlift” mode
  • Automatic braking
  • Compact design
  • Easy to transport
  • Manual override
  • Emergency stop switch
  • Speed indicator (KM/h)

Challenges

  • Learn C programing
  • Learn how to program an Android App
  • Learn schematic and PCB design
  • Find reliable electronic suppliers
  • Keep cost to a minimum
  • Keep small size and light weight for one user transport
  • Time

Photos

To come

Hardware

Wireless remote

Main Controller

Schematics

Software

Wireless remote

Main Controller

Android App