If you’re a snowboarder looking to take on backcountry terrain, then this might just be the gear you’ve been looking for. But what exactly is a splitboard, and how does it work? In this blog post, we’ll explain what is splitboard snowboard, explore its history, and provide a detailed breakdown of how it functions.
To put it simply, a splitboard is a snowboard that can be split into two halves for uphill travel. Think of it as a snowboard with the functionality of a touring ski. Invented in the early 1990s, splitboarding was initially an adaptation of snowboarding for backcountry enthusiasts who wanted to venture off-piste. Splitboarding allowed them to hike up remote mountains and then, using the splitboard, snowboard down untouched terrain.
How does a splitboard function?
By unscrewing a series of clips, the board can be separated into two halves, allowing for uphill travel. The two halves are connected by a binding that can swivel on a hinge, allowing for increased mobility. When you reach the top of your climb, the two halves are reconnected, and the board is ready to be snowboarded down the mountain.
When it comes to selecting a splitboard, there are several factors to consider. The first is size. Unlike regular snowboards, which are chosen based on your weight and skill level, splitboards are selected based on your intended use and the terrain you plan to ride.
A shorter splitboard is generally better for maneuverability in tight or technical terrain, while a longer board will provide more stability at high speeds. It’s also important to consider the board’s flex, stiffness, and shape, as these will all impact your ride.
One of the biggest benefits of splitboarding is the opportunity to explore more remote, untouched terrain. This freedom comes with added risks, however, and it’s crucial to take safety precautions when heading into the backcountry.
Proper avalanche training, gear, and knowledge are essential for any . It’s also important to check weather and snow conditions, plan a route, and notify a responsible party of your intentions before heading out.
Read What Snowboards are Made Of?
Tips For First-Time Splitboarding
Here we’ll cover some tips and advice for first-time splitboarders.
Before Your First Trip
One of the most important things to do before you head out on your first splitboarding trip is to make sure you have the appropriate gear. Splitboarding requires specialized equipment, including a splitboard, splitboard bindings, climbing skins, and avalanche safety gear. It’s important to invest in quality gear that fits your body and ability level.
For avalanche safety gear, make sure you have a beacon, shovel, and probe, and know how to use them. It’s also a good idea to take a safety course to learn essential backcountry safety skills.
Splitboarding requires hiking uphill to access the backcountry terrain. To make the ascent easier, you’ll need to learn proper climbing techniques. One technique is to use a “skin track,” which is a trail created by attaching climbing skins to the bottom of your splitboard.
You should also practice different stances, such as the herringbone and kick turn, to help you climb more efficiently. It’s important to pace yourself and take breaks as needed to avoid exhaustion.
The thrill of splitboarding comes from the descent, but it requires a different set of skills than traditional snowboarding. On a splitboard, you’ll need to ride through a variety of snow conditions, including powder and variable terrain.
It’s important to maintain a balanced and centered stance and use your edges to navigate the terrain. You should also practice turning in different conditions to build your confidence and comfort level.
Watch for Avalanche Risk
One of the biggest risks of backcountry splitboarding is the potential for avalanches. It’s essential to always be aware of the weather and snow conditions and know how to assess the avalanche risk. This includes reading the avalanche advisory and identifying potential hazards such as steep slopes, cornices, and wind-loaded areas. You should also practice safe decision-making and always err on the side of caution when it comes to avalanche risk.
Go with Experienced Riders
If you’re new to splitboarding, it’s a good idea to go with experienced riders who can provide guidance and support. Riding with someone who has experience in the backcountry can help you learn the skills and techniques you need to have a successful trip. It’s also important to communicate with your group and make sure everyone knows the plan for the day.
Splitboarding offers snowboarders a unique, thrilling way to explore the backcountry. By being able to hike uphill and then snowboard down, splitboarding opens up a new world of terrain, away from crowded ski resorts and groomed trails.
However, it’s important to remember that splitboarding comes with added risks, and safety should always be the top priority. By taking proper precautions and investing in the necessary gear and training, splitboarding can be a safe and rewarding activity for anyone looking to take their snowboarding to the next level.
FAQ’s related to What is a splitboard snowboard
Here are some FAQ’s related to What is a splitboard snowboard
What is a splitboard?
A splitboard snowboard is a specially designed snowboard that can be separated into two halves to serve as skis, allowing snowboarders to move uphill with ease. Once reached the summit, they’re reassembled to be ridden like a regular snowboard downhill. The splitboard typically comes with a specialized assortment of bindings, skins, and crampons for efficient uphill travel.
Who would benefit most from splitboarding?
Splitboarding is tailor-made for experienced snowboarders or cross-country skiers seeking to open up new possibilities in the backcountry. It’s a suitable option for those with a love for snowboarding and a passion for exploration.
What Skills are necessary to Splitboard?
While experience with snowboarding helps, splitboarding requires extra skills, including backcountry navigation, survival, snowpack evaluation, and avalanche mitigation skills. It’s also recommended that splitboarding newbies partake in avalanche courses, study the terrain and weather to avoid encountering risky snow conditions.
How do splitboards compare to other snowboard types?
Splitboards are heavier, wider, and stiffer than regular snowboards because they include bindings to attach to skis’ split parts. They’re also typically more expensive than traditional snowboards. However, splitboards are the only snowboard type where you can travel uphill without the need for additional equipment.
How to Maintain your Splitboard?
Proper maintenance is key to ensuring your splitboard is ready for any and all adventures in the backcountry. The board should be stored dry and waxed regularly to ensure optimal glide performance and to prevent moisture damage. The bindings and skins should be checked for loose parts and clean before storage. It’s also wise to keep the board in a cool, dry place for long-term storage.