The snow is falling and the mountains are being blanketed in white goodness. And that means the opportunities for splitboarding are growing fast. And for me that means it’s time to hop off the couch, tune up my tried and true Jones splitboard and head out to trailhead. What, you say? You don’t have a splitboard or even know what a splitboard is? No problem, we’ll get you up to speed on that easy enough.
For now, let me just say that splitboarding is the most affordable and fun way to snowboard if you like getting up and close and personal to the lines you ride. You don’t need lift tickets and you don’t need to battle the crowds. It will also get you into shape like nothing else you’ve ever tried. Moreover, splitboarding is the most efficient way to travel in the backcountry under your own power. It allows you to access untouched powder in mountain areas that most people do not even know exist. It is a great way to shred, save money and get that outdoor experience no ski area could even come close to matching.
There are two ways to get yourself a splitboard. One way is to cut your existing snowboard in half and down the middle on a table saw or a skill saw. In which case you will also need to drill our addition inserts and clip holes as well as seal the exposed inside edges. This way takes quite a bit of handiwork and if you mess it up then your mistakes are usually irreversible.
The second way to acquire a splitboard is to simply buy one off the rack at your local shop (if they sell them). Most major snowboard brands have one, maybe two, splitboard models in their lineup. A lot of these models are mere afterthoughts within the larger ‘lift service’ production snowboards that they manufacture.
There are, however, a growing number of companies that concentrate a great amount of their resources, and research and development operations on their splitboard production. Jones Snowboards is one of these companies. They actually built their business model off of the splitboard concept. This came about as founder, Jeremy Jones, realized the potential of using splitboards to access remote areas where helicopters and snowmobiles could not go. Splitboarding also produces no carbon emissions unlike mechanized backcountry travel. As such, splitboarding is a major symbol for Jones’ environmental organization Protect Our Winters (POW).
The Jones Solution is the company’s premiere splitboard and there are a number of features associated with this model that make it stand out. The first feature is magnatraction, which is basically a series of mellow and elongated contact points run along the outer edges of the board. This gives the board edge hold in icy conditions- something you’ll appreciate when hung out on snow-sheered steeps. The Solution also has magnatraction on the inside edges which help you hold your line when side-hilling and is unique to the Jones splitboards.
The Solution also has a blunt nose which increases its surface area helping it float in deep snow. It has a slightly narrower tail which also gives it some lift in powder but not so much that you can’t ride switch comfortably. More importantly, the board has a rocker profile which begins at the inserts and follows through the nose and tail. There is traditional camber between the bindings for increased turning stability and extra pop. The Solution has a setback sidecut making it a directional board that performs exceptionally well when charging backcountry lines.
Spliboarding is about exploration and choosing the best line out of many that lie at your fingertips once you get out into the wilderness. It’s about getting creative with all that nature has to offer. Buttering off of natural hips and trail berms, charging through chutes and down wide-open faces, whizzing through endless tree glades, blasting off of pillows, and a million other things you’ll never get to do on the ski hill. This is what makes the backcountry so incomparably exhilarating. This is why you should try splitboarding.
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