Exel, a Bavarian sportsequipment maker, used an aliphatic variant of a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to put dramatic designs on several versions of its Volkl snowboards. Conventional films ordinarily used to apply colorful graphics to snowboard surfaces need an additional UV coating to prevent the graphics from yellowing after long exposures to the sun. But good UV stability of the Desmopan TPU from Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh, Pa. ( bayermaterialscience.com), completely eliminates a relatively costly coating step, says Bayer spokesperson Jens Ufermann.

Additionally, the TPU is an ideal material for decorating snowboards, says Ufermann. It remains flexible and is extremely impact and abrasion-resistant at low temperatures encountered while boarders traverse icy moguls, plow through deep snow, and carve their way down icy escarpments.

The print quality of Desmopan TPU comes from the material's good transparency. Colorful graphics are normally printed in mirror image on the inside film surface before they are applied to the snowboard surfaces.

The print quality of Desmopan TPU comes from the material's good transparency. Colorful graphics are normally printed in mirror image on the inside film surface before they are applied to the snowboard surfaces.