If you saw our blog about my first experience “earning my turns” New Year’s Weekend, you
know that I have become a little obsessed with the idea of splitboarding. For those of you who missed it, here is a quick recap. Mark and I made a trip up to Magic Mountain New Year’s
weekend. I had pre-purchased lift tickets in hand and Mark packed his splitboard since they let you hike their trails for free and that weekend followed a 16” snowfall. When we got there, the lifts were down and we both ended up hiking our lines. After that experience I got the backcountry bug. Any of you out there who splitboard or bootpack up a mountain for the fun of it get what I am talking about.
Since then I have been working on my setup-trying to figure out which board to get, what bindings will be best and even which brand of skins I want. Here’s what I have found…it’s not easy! If you are a woman looking for a splitboard, here are some considerations when choosing one. We will tackle bindings, skins and other accessories in a future post. It’s all a little overwhelming.
Here are just some of the considerations for women choosing a splitboard
- Women’s specific splitboard
- Men’s splitboard
- DIY splitboard
- Profile-camber, rocker, hybrid
- Directional or twin
Before deciding on any of these options, you need to consider where you are going to be splitboarding…what type of conditions you will typically be out in, and what type of rider you are. If you are in a coastal region where conditions are usually pretty mixed and can include some heavy snow and ice, you are probably going to have very different needs than if you are in the Wasatch range where snow tends to be fine and light and sometimes several feet deep.
Many of us are not lucky enough to be riding fresh lines of pow all the time and will probably need something that is a little more versatile than a straight out powder board. We may need features like Magne-Traction to hold an edge and some camber might help with stability in sketchy situations. If you are riding big mountains in pow then bless you…you are one of the lucky ones and a nice big, directional, board with rocker could be your best friend!
If you are looking for a women’s splitboard here are some of your options
- Women’s Jones Solution Splitboard – directional camrock hybrid, with mellow Magne-Traction on outside and inside edges
- Gnu B-Pro Splitboard– true twin C2 BTX camber rocker hybrid with Magne-Traction on outside edges
- Roxy Banana Smoothie Splitboard– true twin EC2 BTX elliptical camber rocker hybrid with Magne-Traction on the outside edges
- Voile Artisan Splitboard – directional twin, camber rocker hybrid
- Prior Brandywine, Lupine Twin, and Khyber Splitboards…you can specify your top sheet, length and construction of these if you are inclined to do so. And these cover a range of profiles
- Venture Snowboards – all of their boards are available as splits and they offer different waist sizes to make some of their boards better suited for women. They have models that start at 150cm.
- Chimera snowboards – handmade in the Wasatch mountains, splitboards are all they do. And all reports are that they do them extremely well. Two of their models start at 154cm.
Each year more and more companies are getting in on the action. Most companies offer a men’s split right now. And the number of options for women grows yearly. It would seem that there are enough women’s options available to pick one of those, but some hard charging women prefer a men’s board. For you there are a lot of choices. Women’s boards generally have a narrower waist, are lighter, have more flex relatively speaking, and are specifically designed for women’s bodies and they way women ride.
Another option is DIY… you can take your favorite board and split it yourself or have it professionally done. Sites like sicksplits.com, customsplitboards.com, wreckboards.com offer splitting services.
Many people prefer a longer board for their split. It makes touring more efficient and provides more float in powder and often more blasting power through crud and whatever else you might encounter in the backcountry. A directional board can also help you with this.
If you are more of a freestyle rider, ride switch a lot or just want something a little more playful by splitboard standards, then you probably want to check out the twin options. As with any other board you buy, it’s all about preference.
My solid board is a true-twin with rocker and camber. That is what I am comfortable on and that is what I have fun on. This whole splitboarding thing is brand new to me and while I appreciate that a directional board with a little more camber might be a better option for touring and for the terrain I will be facing, I am apprehensive about it being the best option for my abilities.
Because of this I was leaning toward the B-Pro. It is the same profile as my solid snowboard and the purple unicorns graphic could only help my cause, right? But alas, they are out of stock. On to Plan B…problem is, I don’t know what plan B is yet. Is the Jones Women’s Solution the “solution” for me? Tough call. The only directional board I have ever ridden was on an east coast groomer, not exactly the BC. But that didn’t end so well. Since my bindings are backordered (that’s a future post) I still have some time to figure out the board.
I fear that I am getting caught up in the minutiae of the equipment and have lost sight of the big picture of getting out there, having fun, and getting it done. But, it is a big investment of money, time and energy so naturally we all want to get it right. This isn’t easy…and I haven’t even gotten on the snow yet!