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Splitboard Advice

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Location: Denver

Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby WasatchPow » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:59 pm

Thanks for posting, it's great to hear that you are interested in splitboarding. The tribe grows.

Boards:
I've ridden two different Prior Khyber splits (2011, 2012) and a 2013 Jones Solution. I definitely prefer the Jones Solution with respect to weight and riding ability (the descent). The boards were fairly similar for the ascent. The Jones Solution comes with Karakoram splitboard clips, rather than the Voile chinese hooks. The K-clips provide a superior board fit compared to the Voile hooks. The Jones Solution is also better in all-conditions: hard pack, powder, deep powder, spring conditions, unexpected icy spots, and even using as a resort board. The Priors felt very "big" (I wasn't riding an oversized board).

The 2013 K2 Panoramic split is really cheap right now. Something like $350. That's really hard to beat and the reviews are decent. If I were new to splitboarding, I'd get that. Other splitboard companies like Never Summer or Venture may provide a more durable board and protection from inevitable rocks in early and late season conditions, but I don't have any experience on their boards. That opinion is probably more to due Never Summer and Venture marketing than anything else.

Final advice on boards... don't size up too much from your resort board. Many of the splits are camrock or have rocker built in so you don't need to size up because you think you'll be riding 2 feet of powder. if you ride a 160, get at most a 162. 155? 157/158 at most.

Bindings:
For bindings, I use the Spark R&D Burner LT's from 2012. The Burner is stiffer than the Blaze. The LT system is an modestly priced upgrade for a more durable touring pin and risers. I haven't ridden Karakorams, but I hear good things. Price-wise, a set of Spark R&D Blaze bindings ($300) plus the Voile hardware ($150 or less) is cheaper than the base Karakoram bindings (Split30 for $600). The Spark Magneto system looks cool, but it's just getting rid of the pin and maybe saving a hair of weight (about a 10 second time save). Save your money and get the 2013-14 Blaze or Burner.

Skins:
For skins, I use the Voile splitboard skins with Spark R&D tail clips. For a new splitboarder, I'd recommend the Backcountry.com splitboard skins (identical to the G3 alpinist splitboard skins, with tail clips for $135).

Boots:
Just use your current soft snowboard boots. If you have some crazy soft freestyle boots, get a mid-range freeride boot. I always wear the Salomon Synapse.

My advice:
Get the "basics" and save some money for new gear two seasons down the road once you are more knowledgeable about splitboarding and your needs. A less expensive set up with fit all your needs perfectly. Don't get split crampons until spring. All splitboarding gear is more advanced than 4-5 years ago. You don't need the most expensive options.

Recommended Set-up: $892
2012-13 K2 Panoramic split. $357.
http://www.evo.com/outlet/snowboards/k2-panoramic-splitboard-2013.aspx

2013-14 Spark R&D Blaze. $300.
http://www.sparkrandd.com/gear/bindings/blaze/

Voile hardware. $100.
http://www.backcountry.com/voile-universal-splitboard-hardware

Backcountry.com skins. $135.
http://www.backcountry.com/backcountry-backcountry-splitboard-skin

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby dehrlich101 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:27 pm

Anyone used these as an alternative to a split board? I like the idea, my friend has a set up kind of like it and she really enjoys them.

http://mtnapproach.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/mtn-approach-ski-system-2
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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby EatinHardtack » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:32 pm

^^^^ just buy some skis.

At 12lbs that's heavy as hell to haul that setup and a board up a mountain.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby hardtryer » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:59 am

sorry but mountain approach is whack. why carry an EXTRA setup when you can use one set and do both???


the biggest issue to solve is boots- hard or soft- if your a true mountaineer and want to do sketchy stuff like steep couloirs and rock climbing, repelling, an AT boot will probably suit you better, I know that on hard icy couly climbs I wouldn't mind a hard boot to hold my crampons to the boot better. But for the ride down Im all soft boots.

check out CL- there are some crazy good deals on there. Or better yet, take a board you are already used to and cut it and make it a split! save some extra cash and make sure its something your into before dropping an easy grand to get a nice setup.

no lies- splitboarding has changed my life.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby evolve » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:58 pm

I picked up Voile's Split Kit and some Spark R&D's this last weekend, both on sale, and went to work splitting my old Burton X8. The process was a pain in the hole, I learned a lot for next time. But it has also been really rewarding and I'm really happy with how it's turning out. It should be ready to ride by the weekend! I really wanted to check out the Karakoram system and would have preferred a manufactured split, but opted for the cheaper solution for now.

Up until this point I've been a snowshoe guy, rocking some MSR Lightning Ascents (which are bad ass btw), but obviously there are limits and annoyances to the snowshoe thing. I'm excited to give the split setup a go. I hope the benefits of the approach outweigh the poorer board performance (I'm completely OCD about how I like my boards to ride).

X8-Split-1.jpg
Ride!
X8-Split-1.jpg (202.08 KiB) Viewed 647 times


X8-Split-2.jpg
Tour
X8-Split-2.jpg (206.51 KiB) Viewed 647 times

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby jblyth » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:41 pm

I've been wanting to get into splitboarding for some time and got lucky with a great deal at the last REI garage sale. Since the board already has most of the interface, do I only need to get the slider tracks and pins? Seems like it would be a lot cheaper than buying the whole interface kit. I'm planning on using an old pair of resort bindings and either my snowboard boots or mountaineering boots.

If anyone is looking for a partner, hit me up!

Jason

rsz_1rsz_1img_1555.jpg
rsz_1rsz_1img_1555.jpg (43.27 KiB) Viewed 232 times

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby mountaingoat-G » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:11 pm

evolve wrote: ......

Up until this point I've been a snowshoe guy, rocking some MSR Lightning Ascents (which are bad ass btw), but obviously there are limits and annoyances to the snowshoe thing. I'm excited to give the split setup a go. .....



Could you elaborate on what the major drawbacks of snowshoeing are in your experience. Everyone here seems to already know, but those of us who have never tried split-boarding (sorry for this question, probably several steps backward for most here).

I understand it would be hard to traverse or cover flat ground fast as compared to skier or splitboarder, but what are the other main annoyances?

Thanks

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby pbakwin » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:57 pm

jblyth wrote:I've been wanting to get into splitboarding for some time and got lucky with a great deal at the last REI garage sale. Since the board already has most of the interface, do I only need to get the slider tracks and pins? Seems like it would be a lot cheaper than buying the whole interface kit. I'm planning on using an old pair of resort bindings and either my snowboard boots or mountaineering boots.

If anyone is looking for a partner, hit me up!

Jason



Yes, you just need the slider plates and pins, plus bindings to mount to them. But, if you can spare the $ I would recommend getting Spark bindings instead. They work really well, and are going to be more durable than regular bindings (especially old bindings). You don't want critical items to fail in the backcountry. Voile also makes a plate binding that works with plastic boots, many people use AT boots with those. Good set-up if you're doing a lot of mountaineering with this.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby letourneau41 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:38 pm

I currently have the K2 Panoramic and love it. It's a great setup. If you end up getting the Panoramic, make sure and get the board that comes with the kit (Skins and Voile kit) it will save you some $$$. I would like to get some Spark bindings though. Anyone know of a good place to get them on sale?
Every man Dies, but not every man truly lives.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby evolve » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:14 pm

mountaingoat-G wrote:
evolve wrote: ......

Up until this point I've been a snowshoe guy, rocking some MSR Lightning Ascents (which are bad ass btw), but obviously there are limits and annoyances to the snowshoe thing. I'm excited to give the split setup a go. .....


Could you elaborate on what the major drawbacks of snowshoeing are in your experience. Everyone here seems to already know, but those of us who have never tried split-boarding (sorry for this question, probably several steps backward for most here).

I understand it would be hard to traverse or cover flat ground fast as compared to skier or splitboarder, but what are the other main annoyances?

Thanks


I think it probably depends on what kind of terrain you're going after. For most stuff, I've found traveling via split (skis and skins) is way faster than snow shoes, particularly on lower angle terrain / approach type stuff and especially so if there down hill sections. I also found myself at several points this winter switching over to tour mode and skiing out instead of trying to ride knowing there were flat sections I would get stuck on. With snowshoes this is crazy annoying. First time you have to unstrap in the middle of a meadow, sinking up to your chest, you'll understand. At that point you either have to wallow your way out or switch back over to snowshoes. It's a hassle and your skier friends are going to be waiting around for you.

The other annoyance for me was the bulk. I wasn't a big fan of having to strap the snowshoes to the pack when riding. Already have shovel, probe, poles, first aid, water, some snacks, sometimes a burlier jacket or extra goggles, etc... They just felt clunky after awhile in addition to everything else.

That said, for certain types of terrain or riding I think snowshoes / solid board would fare better. Steeper or more mixed approaches I think could be a hassle on skis. Or, if I was going to go after a bigger line or hitting a backcountry booter I'd want my solid board. I did hit a few small kickers with the split to see how it would do. It was fine, but way too squirrely to send anything big.

I've also thought my split could second for long winter approaches to climbs but I haven't tried this yet. Not sure if I would wear my snowboard boots or try to get by with just my climbing boots? I've been considering an actual ski setup for this purpose. Would be interested to hear others' thoughts.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby evolve » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:18 pm

jblyth wrote:I've been wanting to get into splitboarding for some time and got lucky with a great deal at the last REI garage sale. Since the board already has most of the interface, do I only need to get the slider tracks and pins? Seems like it would be a lot cheaper than buying the whole interface kit. I'm planning on using an old pair of resort bindings and either my snowboard boots or mountaineering boots.

If anyone is looking for a partner, hit me up!

Jason

rsz_1rsz_1img_1555.jpg


I have slider tracks and pins you can have. You pay shipping or come on down to the San Juans and pick them up and they are yours.

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Re: Splitboard Advice

Postby mountaingoat-G » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:52 am

Thanks for your response Evolve. I actually used in live in Durango in the '90's and got my backcountry start down there in the San Juans (La Platas, Coal Bank/Molas, a little bit of Red Mountain & US Basin, even Raider Ridge once). Silverton Ski Area didn't exist yet, though.

I had a light pair of snowshoes and modified my pack to carry my board or the snowshoes and collapsible poles. This worked "OK" but not great. I once climbed Grand Turk in hiking boots and switched to my snowboarding boots (even switched socks!) in a snowstorm and that really sucked. I experimented with different set ups and never found the ideal. I actually have not really done any back-country snowboarding since moving away from there, except one descent in First Creek, Berthoud Pass. I always went with a trusted partner (a skier) and he moved away as well. I think this is the most important element to being prepared for backcountry skiing/snowboarding.

If I remember right, he carried his regular alpine boots in a backpack and changed out for the descent as well. We didn't have the $$ to get nice gear, but also the gear wasn't as nice back then. At this point in my life, I don't think I could justify the $$ spent to get a split-board setup unless I hooked up with a good group and forsook the resort scene (which probably would not make my wife happy). I am going to try to revisit the backcountry in limited doses on my own just using my new snowshoes (MSR Lighting Ascent) and regular board and see how bearable it is.
Last edited by mountaingoat-G on Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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