Go further with our Splitboards
Splitboards are what they sound like – a snowboard that’s been split in two equal parts down the middle from the tip right to the tail. Attach a set of climbing skins to the bottom of each half and you can use them like touring skis to skin up to the top of the hill or long distances cross country where there’s no lift access.
How to get started
They come with a simple system of clips that allow you to separate or attach the two halves together in just a few seconds. You’ll need a special binding system that allows you to attach to the board in walk-mode, like a set of touring skis, or standing sideways on the board in a traditional snowboard stance. Once you’ve got the hang of it, there’s a whole world of awesomeness to explore.
How they work
For splitboards to work like touring skis, each half has a straight inside edge where the board is split down the centre. That’s so when you’re using them as skis, each half will give you the edge control a skier would have when traversing icy slopes. Use them right and you’ll exploit the same efficient motion that touring skiers use, without the added weight of having to carry a board separately on your back during those steep uphill climbs.
Once you get to the top, the two halves of the split are clipped back together, and the bindings are turned back to their traditional positions. After you’ve done it a few times, positioning the bindings should only take a couple of minutes, even while you’re wearing gloves.
How they ride
Most splits are built in the spirit of freeride boards. This makes them mostly on the longer, stiffer and floatier end of the spectrum with pronounced directional constructions. There are also some splitboards that are meant for freestyle in the backcountry, so if that’s your thing, make sure to hunt one down.
Many splitboards are just a split equivalent of another board in the brand’s range, so if you want to know how they’ll ride, check out the splitboard’s regular brother or sister.
Despite the extra tech involved in a splitboard, their weight is usually kept as low as possible to make the climbs less painful!
Still not sure what to buy?
Getting into splitboarding and making sure you’ve got all the right gear is a big investment. It’s well worth it, but you need to get it right.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for in a board, check out our Snowboard Buyer’s Guide for the lowdown on what to look for, then check out our Size Guide to make sure you pick up the right length.
As with any off-piste activity, you’ll need to pick up a shovel, probe and transceiver, and know how to use them. Check out our avalanche safety gear guide for more on that.
We're here to help
We’ve got many keen tourers and splitboarders here at Freeze HQ, so if you have any questions or want to speak to anyone, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.