Five years ago I bought my first splitboard, a Jones Solution. It was Jones Snowboards’ first year in business and the boards were being built in Tunisia- by the same OM that builds Yes snowboards, as well as their own brand. Today Jones Snowboards are made in GST plant in Austria and the line has expanded a lot from that first year. The Solution continues to be the board most identified with the Jones brand even though it has changed a bit from 2010 and definitely for the better.
The 2015 Solution is a lot lighter than the earlier models. I picked up my original Solution in one hand and this year’s in the other and the difference is extremely noticeable. I can’t help but think how much energy and effort this will save on those longer and steeper tours. In order to accomplish this weight savings Jones made some changes to the core and the top sheet.
The “Ultra-Core” uses strips of hardwood (stringers) placed in a lot different patterns that make the board torsionally stiffer (think of it as twisting instead of bending). And it saves weight by otherwise reducing the amount of wood needed to stiffen the board. In addition, the Solution has a new top sheet that has a light matte finish instead of the heavy gloss finish from previous years. All in all, you have a splitboard that weighs a little over 6 pounds.
The newer Jones Solution has more of a lively and snappy feel to it due the placement carbon stringers within the fiberglass overlay. The carbon stringers work in conjunction with hard wood stringers to give the board a more even and natural flex. This also gives the board much needed pop for launching off of natural features especially in deeper snow where you’re not afforded the convenience of a perfectly manicured take off. The base has been upgraded to a sintered 9900 base, which is a really high-end performance material that allows you to go faster and turn more smoothly.
The Solution is also available in 166 for this year.
In 2013, Jones came out with the Carbon Solution. The Carbon Solution has a carbon top sheet and is even lighter than the regular Solution but just as responsive. Both the regular and carbon Solution are rated an 8 on a scale of 10 in stiffness, although it may less stiff depending on the size of the board and your weight. The carbon top sheet is overlaid with a synthetic film that makes it highly resistant to impact damage and contributes to the board’s lightness. This is a great board for those long treks where the lesser weight will really be noticeable.
Although the Women’s Solution is not new for 2015 it also has lightened up over the previous years- 3/4 of a pound lighter. And that’s a very noticeable amount especially when you’re hoofing it up mountains. It has the same core, base, top sheet, and shape profile as the men’s, but it comes in smaller sizes to accommodate women’s lighter weight and smaller shoe size.
What’s stayed the same…
Even though the Solution has gotten lighter and adopted some higher-grade performance materials and more advanced construction, it still retains the same camber/rocker profile as in 2010. And for good reason! The Solution has a progressive side cut that gradually blends into the board’s contact points making it great for big, smooth turns. It has a 1.5 inch setback and rockered nose so it floats exceptionally well in powder and turns with ease. The blunt nose keeps the board from plowing and piling the snow up in the front, and that means you go faster and keep your speed up when you need it most. And lastly, the camber between the feet in conjunction with inner and outer edge mellow magnetraction offers optimal edge hold in firm conditions as well as gives the board added pop and springiness.
The Solution is perfectly adapted to backcountry riding. It will get you up the mountain faster than any other way (non-motorized) and it will allow you to negotiate some of the sketchiest terrain you will find out beyond the lift lines. It is a fast and durable board made for aggressive riding in natural terrain, and really that’s why we get out there, right?