I've transferred my on-paper thoughts to an actual design on AutoCAD. I hope to finalize the design soon, but there are a few concerns....
The first, main concern is accurately predicting the deflection of both the aluminum struts and the acrylic. I have explored the math on the issue, but it starts to look a lot more like an estimate when complicated shapes are involved. The moment of inertia of the acrylic (shown in white) is troublesome to calculate by hand. All of this makes me feel that a Solidworks file should be made for the design, so that I can do some actual modeling for different loads.
The second concern is the differences in flexibility between the wood handle portion of the board and the acrylic. While they are connected by the aluminum struts, I am concerned that when the board flexes under its load the acrylic will flex substantially more than the wood, resulting in strain on the struts and a possible uneven surface between the joint of the wood and acrylic on the top surface of the board.
The simple solution should just be to omit the wood, as it is purely aesthetic, however one of the reasons I wanted to incorporate the wood was to create an intriguing material contrast between the man-made materials of acrylic and aluminum and the natural texture of the wood. I have enough acrylic stock to make two versions of the board, one with the wooden handles (shown in purple), and one that is entirely acrylic.
My final predicament is the grip on the board. I had intended on creating a gripped surface by using the etching function of the lasercamm, but I an concerned that this may not suffice. I hope to etch a test surface and see how well it grips compared to the conventional adhesive grip used on other boards. I want to ensure that the grip does not interfere with the aesthetic of the board, as an appealing final product has been one of my goals since I started this project.
While these are all great considerations, I am tempted to simply make the board and skip to testing. The more I think about it, the more I see that my reservations of what might go wrong will only increase, and they will only delay me starting construction. There will always be uncertainty as to whether the design will come to complete fruition as I have envisioned, so perhaps the best approach is to simply produce the board and see what happens!