Behind the scenes of “Every Third Thursday” with Signal Snowboard’s founder Dave Lee

Comments by Kelli Lynn Hargrove/

Season 4 of “Every Third Thursday” has officially begun, with the premiere episode taking snowboarding to new depths— literally. The boys over at Signal Snowboard wondered whether or not oceanic pressure could function as a pneumatic press, and so naturally they created a board and proceeded to sink it 100 feet below the surface of New Zealand’s Milford Sound. Every episode of ETT centers on testing crazy new snowboard creations— the concept of a glass board, for example, was undertaken in Season 3, and apparently this season calls for a snowboard fit for shredding sand dunes.

davelee-inpost1 Dave Lee, getting prepped to sink a snowboard

We sat down with Signal Snowboard founder Dave Lee to ask him a few questions regarding the past, present, and future of both Signal Snowboards and “Every Third Thursday” to find out just what awesome experiments we have to look forward to in Season 4.

Give me a bit of background on Every Third Thursday— how did the series get its start?
The original thought behind it was to share the factory and process. We would give people a tour of our factory or build a board with a friend and they would always leave the factory so excited and wanting to share this experience. So, that gave us the thought to build interesting boards once a month as a web series. We wanted to constantly learn from this process as well, so that’s where all the crazy ideas stem from; what can we learn, what materials can we use, and how far can we push an idea out there.

Of all of the ETT episodes, which is your favorite, and why?
The Adaptive Snowboard is still my personal favorite. I had a pretty serious back injury from snowboarding in ‘98 and the thought of creating a snowboard that can allows shredders with spinal cord injuries to get back out there makes me really happy. We are still working on the final concept actually.

What is the season 4 premiere episode all about?
Under Pressure is all about the challenge of building a snowboard without a pneumatic press and using the atmospheric pressure of the ocean to squeeze and form the materials together. Think about it, if you can do this, anyone can build a snowboard with a deep enough body of water without a major piece of factory equipment.

davelee-inpost3 Just casually sinking a snowboard

What inspired you to undertake an experiment like this?

This inspiration came from an avid ETT watcher’s email. He’s a professional diver who grew up snowboarding. While he’s been guiding and discovering the underwater seas, he realized the pressure under the ocean might just work to press a snowboard together.

If the oceanic pressure is indeed enough to take the place of a pneumatic press, would this process ever be a viable option for making snowboards?
Why not? I’m not sure if it’s a viable option, but it definitely is an option. If you want to make a snowboard for yourself and don’t own a factory, it’s a fun way to experiment with ideas.

Looking ahead into season 4, what are some other plans you have in the works? What can viewers look forward to seeing?
We are working on a desert ride, breaking a world record, and we’ll be building another very clear board, although it won’t be made of glass.

Of all the awesome creations that have come out of ETT— the glass board, for example— which would you choose as the most interesting?
The glass board was really interesting and such a cool process with a material you just wouldn’t expect to see as a snowboard. After that build we now know we can make a stronger version that would hold up, but this was bringing a dream to reality and we saw this more as rideable art.

davelee-inpost2 Putting oceanic pressure to the test

With a host of snowboarding edits now being filmed in places like Dubai, what is your opinion of snowboarding in the desert?
My opinion is that it’s fun to take a personal passion like snowboarding and take it with you on other adventures. The desert is on our radar as well, but not in hopes of creating a new sport, rather to enjoy the feeling of trying something new. Where it goes from there, it’s hard to say.

We’ve heard through the grapevine that there may be a world-record breaking attempt in the works— what can you tell me about that? Any spoilers?
We have to try and break a world record! It will either be the longest snowboard in the world or the fastest. We’ll see when we start preparing.

Signal Snowboards is one company that continues to manufacture its boards in the US— what is the reasoning behind this decision?
We love to build things – it’s that simple. It’s also very important to us that our boards come from us. That’s why we pour every part of who we are into the final product.