Faculty Advisor

Sullivan, John M.


Runaway snowboards pose a very hazardous threat to skiers, snowboarders, and all other patrons of ski resorts. The goal of this project was to design, prototype, and test an automatic safety snowboard brake which activates and deactivates automatically, and remains functional when the board is not in use. The project team researched existing patents and designs for both ski and snowboard brakes, analytically designed a spring loaded piston -- cylinder brake mechanism and a four bar driving mechanism, performed finite element stress analysis on the critical components, selected the material, created a rapid prototype, and tested the functionality of the brake under a variety of realistic conditions. These methods yielded a successful, fully functional automatic snowboard safety brake.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering