How Splitboards Work

Several snowboarders find the allure of the backcountry and its untamed, pristine terrain enticing. But the experience precisely depends on the type of sport. Actually, the most exciting item in skiing and snowboarding is hardly these useless snow bikes, but rather the far more fascinating splitboards.

Splitboards are generally snowboards split or chopped down the center to create a set of quite unusual-looking skis! What’s the significance of the skis? Since you frequently need to ski upwards to get the ideal snow to slide down, how splitboards works is a treat. When contrasted to winter boots, the split “skis” allow you to flip over the bindings, apply gripping skins, and simply slide uphill in the snow. It makes uphill touring effortless.

OK, I’m being deceitful. There is a lot you need to put in.

What’s a Splitboard, and Why Should You Use It?

Imagine a regular snowboard that’s been cut precisely at the center to form separate half-snowboards. The split parts are then used individually in uphill tours. Splitboards use metal edges on all sides and skins to improve the grip while touring.

Most of us love splitboarding because it allows you to reach untracked powder in the backcountry and experience the solitude of the slopes without the hustle and commotion of commercial ski snowfields.

Additionally, as bizarre as it may sound, uphill rides are essential for traveling since they are contemplative, sociable, and terrific exercise.

How Does Slitboarding Work?

Disconnect the bindings off the splitboard

Slide the bindings off the board rearwards and off the binding plates by removing the retaining pin first. That should give you a snowboard without bindings, ready to be divided in half.

When splitting the snowboard, detach both the nose clip and tail clip. This should make the boards come off each other. The long center edge must be situated exteriorly on your ski’s edge with the two planks to provide more excellent traction.

Then proceed to attach the bindings to the skis 

Place each binding in an uphill position on the ski and secure the toe tip using retaining pins. While walking, the heel may move up or down. And the ramps beneath the bindings can assist when it gets steeper.

Now you have to pull the climbing skins in separate directions. Since the adhesive on the skin might be powerful, you’ll have to be very aggressive. Attach the edge of the skin to the split board’s nose. Also, ensure you position each skin properly on the boards and compress down hard, especially towards the tip.

Get some poles

At this point, you have to be on two skis at your disposal to ascend the peak. Also, a pair of poles is necessary before you go. Ascertain that they are adjusted as per your height and prepare your backpack for the ascent. Also, you’ll soon warm up, so it’s better to prepare in advance than to sweat on the spot, and that means you have to get rid of heavy clothes.

Your gear is now ready for the untracked powder. But before the takeoff, you must return to the downhill setting. In that case, you have first to detach and bag up the skins. Next, take the bindings off the uphill positions, reassemble the boards, and fit the bindings to the downhill plates.

How Do You Join Splitboards?

When preparing to go to the top, you set your splitboards in a manner in which they are braced for the uphill movement. However, the same setting is not applicable when going downwards.

You have to transition from forward-facing to the classic sideways snowboard posture. Again, before you start, try to pick a somewhat flat location that allows for limited freedom of movement and put on a thick jacket to avoid becoming chilly. Then, proceed as follows.

Disconnect the bindings

Undo every binding off the skis’ toe joints. If your splitboard binding system involves popping off fasteners or releasing pedal clamps, you will have to unclamp the pedal. If your binding system uses a pin, you will need to pull it out. Also, this is the window to fine-tune a forward lean on the highbacks to go downhill.

Detach the skins from

The climbing skins are detached by unclipping the tail clipping from the ski and pulling the skin off the ski. You have to fold them and bag them up. Do the same with the other side.

Consequently, you must exercise caution with the splitboard skis with the undressed skins due to the propensity to slip. When securing the skis, you have to turn them upside down and push them into the snow.

Merge the boards to make a snowboard

Joining the two boards might be challenging at first. Nonetheless, with experience, it becomes an effortless procedure. Start by arranging the boards to allow the flat metal sides of each board to intersect at the center.

You may need to offset both boards slightly to make one somewhat higher by two inches than the other for most skis. Afterward, slide both boards together so that the line and clips on both the tail and the tip engage.

Ensure that the skis are aligned and appropriately secured by clips.

If required, attach the latches to the center of the board. Also, double-check to ensure the ski is flush and correctly oriented. If there were difficulties in engaging the clips or locks, or if the boards never merged adequately, you must detach them and repeat the process.

Replace the bindings

Slip every binding onto the binding system. While doing this, ensure the right and left bindings are appropriately aligned with the ratchets on the exterior. Afterward, lock them in place with fasteners provided by the binding system.

Inspect the set-up

Before strapping in and sliding downhill, briefly inspect the board to ensure it is correctly constructed and braced up for a ride. The inspection should see that all latches and clips are used accordingly, the mode is transitioned to downhill, and the left and right bindings are adequately secured.

How Do You Prepare for Splitboarding?

Fitness

If you are preparing for splitboarding, fitness is not to be overlooked. It is, in fact, the first thing you need to consider when planning for the trip. If you are not fit, you will not only be miserable, but you will also be highly susceptible to injuries. There is no need to risk harm while hiking in the backcountry, especially if you aren’t in shape.

Further, cardiovascular health and endurance are required for such lengthy ascents. However, you will need to undertake some power, balancing, and flexibility exercises to guarantee ease of downhill movement and the ability to tackle uphill kicks physically.

Weather

Like with any backcountry excursion, you should have a clear sense of the weather conditions and how they will be throughout your adventure.

You have to be on the lookout for any weather patterns and how they can affect your backcountry experience. If there’s going to be a lot of sun, you might want to change your packing slip. Bring some extra clothing and a hot drink if it’s going to be windy or snowy. In the case of bad weather, don’t be afraid to cancel your tour.

Avalanche warning

In the backcountry, you are advised to splitboard with a guide. In the days preceding your excursion, guides continually evaluate the snowpack, temperature, and avalanche threats.

Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to do this by yourself right away. Additionally, it helps one have a complete grasp of how snowy conditions are and the long-term hazards that tag along with them.

Route selection

Similarly, the guide will also have a secure and appropriately selected route chosen for you. But, you have to be aware of the path that your guide wants you to take.

It really is crucial for two purposes: it teaches you how to plan a trip and enhances navigating. Again, it gives you a clear picture of the location and, in case something happens to your guide, you can easily notify the rescuers in place.

What are the Limitations of Splitboarding?

  • Because split boards are larger, they don’t fit into many skier-set skin trails. It is thus inconvenient for steep cross-country courses in packed snow. Regrettably, the foot is generally up-slope, just over a set skin trail, while the other is below, which is a real annoyance. Secondly, there is a side effect from the curved edge of the splitboard skins’. It just won’t grip the sides of a mountain like a conventional ski will. It’s somewhat short and has lots of side cuts.
  • Despite their lightweight, splitboards are heavier than an average ski. I’m not saying they are heavier either. They aren’t much heavier than an all-around ski touring set, and the best boards and bindings could be lighter. When heading downhill, the only noticeable variation is the additional weight of a splitboard. Splitboards do not even ride or flex any better as they’re separated, although other versions may likely be stiffer since they are commonly used in colossal mountain terrain. As a result, stiffness is required for both uphill and descending use. There are outliers, but the mass and shape of splitboards make them less suitable for gaming or freeriding than conventional boards.

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About the author 

Roger

Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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