Xylan Longboards Light The Way
There is no doubt that the longboard market is creating some truly revolutionary products. From specialized carbon fiber decks to grippy yet fast wheels and sophisticated truck designs, retailers and consumers are constantly hit with new ideas. Some products are instant sensations while others fizzle and vanish into obscurity. In the case of Xylan Longboards, it has taken quite a considerable effort to bring their ideas to fruition. But now things are rolling and people are stopping in their tracks, stunned at what Xylan has brought to the table.
Longtime British Columbia skater Rick Tetz started Xylan Longboards in 2011 as a way to showcase some of the local longboard talent in BC. Pat Montgomery soon came on board as head of sales and team captain. Pat had introduced Rick to longboards when they met 13 years ago. “I was instantly hooked on long-distance pushing, which was much easier on my spine,” Rick says.
They decided to test their first prototype at the 2011 Attack of Danger Bay race. Pat received his prototype Guillotine deck hours before his first World Cup race, which he survived and enjoyed greatly. The response to the Xylan deck was amazing, so the two decided to go forward and promote Xylan Longboards full blast at the AXS/Concrete Wave Longboard Trade Show.
“The feedback was excellent, and I knew that we were onto something,” Rick says. The company now produces six different models that run the gamut from speedboard to freeride to cruiser.
So what exactly has Xylan created? The company is the first to use a material called Xylite, a microprism nanotechnology for full-color amplified reflection. In layman’s terms, this means that Xylite is super-reflective, Rick says – beyond any kind of “glow-in-the-dark” or reflective tape that people have seen before. When Xylite is hit with light, graphics and even photos literally light up to an extraordinary brightness.
Rick is an Internet fiend and is constantly scouring the Web for new ideas. So when he ran across the Xylite technology, which was developed in South Korea, he quickly realized it could be used on longboards in ways that would both enhance their appearance and increase their safety. “I have always been interested in unique products, and there was something about Xylite that really stuck out,” he says. Xylite works by actually amplifying light from any ambient light source and reflecting it in full color, Rick says. To give you a sense of just how powerfully reflective Xylite is, Xylan boards look like they’re filled with LEDs, even though they only reflect the surrounding light. When photographed from a block away the Xylite is actually brighter than the surrounding street lights, Rick says.
Where Xylite truly shines, both literally and figuratively, is when riding at dusk or after dark, when safety is of prime concern. Although there is no light reflecting on the bottom of the board while actually riding a Xylan longboard, riders can use their Xylan board as an indicator that fellow longboarders are in the area. “In our experiments with longboards, we’ve had Pat actually stand with his Xylan board by the side of the road,” says Rick. “It becomes an incredible beacon that quickly and effectively alerts drivers in the area. It is truly reflective tape on steroids!”
Currently Xylite is only available on Xylan Longboards. Rick says he has plans to use the material in other ways, but he was not forthcoming with any details. I pressed further, then was reminded that Rick is an expert in martial arts. “I’d love to tell you,” he said, “but then I’d have to kill you.” AXS