Splitboarding seems to be on an ever increasing growth as of late, maybe in an attempt to catch up with skiing or maybe as it has become a whole new discipline away from its big brother, snowboarding. Whatever the reason is I'm glad it happened. It's now easier then ever for snowboarders to get into the backcountry and find the terrain and snow that makes snowboarding so special, coupled with the modern factory splitboards it no longer feels like your riding two planks of wood held together with screws.
A lot of people in the snowboard world hate on ski brands that now make boards like K2, Salomon and Rossignol. I have never understood this, these are the companies that have pushed our sport to whole new levels thanks to their innovations, knowledge and boffins in the R&D labs. I don't like the whole 'for boarders by boarders' slogan that seems to be attached to a lot of brands, its kind of like people are trying to hold on to snowboardings rebellious uprising in the 80's and 90's. It makes no difference to me if my board was built by a guy who snowboards or skis, the main thing is that they know HOW to build a board and that they are evolving the sport, otherwise we will just get left behind through stubbornness. Of course, it does make a difference if said person is passionate about snowboarding, but to be honest the thing that matters the most is that they are passionate about all snowsports, after all we are doing the same thing, sliding down a hill on a plank of wood..........
Whoops, i seem to have digressed slightly(this will happen a lot) back to splitboards.....
I recently explored some of the Treble Cone side country on my new Never Summer splitboard with Spark R&D bindings, (top tip, don't leave your snowboard jacket that also contains your lift pass at home....)
Never summer have the hybrid camber profile, which means its rocker between the feet and camber underneath the bindings. I am used to a regular camber board for the stability so it was a bit strange dealing with the rocker, especially when in touring mode as the surface area is alot shorter, but it was fine once i got used to it and the performance on the ride down made it all worth while. There was 20cm of fresh, cold, dry snow and it was so much fun to ride on.
The bindings were the real hero here though I've always used normal bindings attached to the voile plate but the Spark R&D burners were incredible. You are a lot closer to the board which helps in performance and feel when skinning, and the bindings really firm up the board when in riding mode....in fact it felt no different to my everyday board.
This goes to show the effect innovation and technology can have on your riding, i felt so much more comfertable and less exposed as i knew i could put all my trust in the equipment i was using.....the mental factor plays a big part in these kind of sports!
Even though we were no more then 20 mins away from the lift, its still that feeling you get that no one else is near you. Its like a state of mind that sends you to a very happy place. We did one run that day, but it was better then a full day of resort riding, Treble Cone is a very special place!
Short edit from this trip is here
More splitboarding to come.......