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More about Splitboards

ROCKER OR CAMBER – WHO ARE THEY AND WHAT DO THEY DO TO MY SPLITBOARD?

This is all about the construction of your splitboard, as known from regular snowboards or skis:

Camber means that contact points with the snow are in the back and front of the board, while the mid area stays above the ground as long as there is no pressure on it. When putting weight on, it will bend and contact the snow along the entire edge. This is how most boards are built and leads to stability in all conditions.

Rocker is the opposite. These boards are more playful and the rocker gives you additional float in powder. The rocker can be positioned in the middle, which is called a full rocker, or it can also be a tip & tail or just a tip rocker. Whatever suits you best!

Hybrid constructions are becoming more and more popular. As the name already tells, these boards combine rocker and camber, leading to great stability of the edges when going uphill and at the same time great float when boarding back down.

Another important factor in choosing your splitboard is its shape. Freestyle boarders will choose twin-shapes, making a playground out of the powder – and the longer the board, the more float. The freeride shape has a directional shape and a stronger flex. This gives more control and stability in rough conditions – as, unfortunately, we don’t always get great powder every day and you will often face harsh snow. Now to our women: Ladies’s shapes are boards designed specifically for women. They are adapted to the female body: generally thinner, a bit shorter, weighing less and being softer.

SPLITBOARD EQUIPMENT – BECAUSE THE BOARD IS NOT ALL YOU NEED

Along with the board, you also need a binding that fits you well and the interface going along with it. Interface refers to the connection between board and binding – without it, you just can't go splitboarding! Leading bindings manufacturers are Spark R&D and Karakoram. Both build both bindings and interfaces, making them of very robust, light-weight material. Easily, you can switch between hike and ride mode. For Spark bindings, you further need so-called pucks to switch modes. Then there are heel lockers, which fix your heel during the ascent, which makes it possible to skate like on skis with your board during flat parts. But be careful: even with a heel locker, the binding is not built to ski down!

In harsh, icy conditions, crampons are of great advantage. Due to their large width, splitboards are mostly not as stiff as skis. Meaning, if the ground is very icy, you might lose grip. This is when crampons, which are mounted by the bindings, come in play.

Next up: The splitboard boot. Generally, you could easily do your tour with a regular snowboard boot, however, splitboard ones do have some advantages that are crucial. The boot is stiffer, which is needed in the ascent and when traversing, when a certain degree of stability is needed. Furthermore, does the sole give you more grip because it has a better profile and its stiffness allows ascents without your board in extremely steep or rocky conditions.

Another important piece of gear are your poles. When ascending, you need telescope poles. These can then be shortened and put into your backpack when heading back down.

Last but certainly not least: splitboard skins. Without these, you might as well stay home. Climbing skins are made of either mohair or synthetic materials. Most splitboards have pre-cut skins, that fit them perfectly. But there are also skins to cut yourself – to make them fit your board.

Most brands also offer complete splitboard sets. Here, bindings and skins are included in the package – making it cheaper in total!

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR SPLITBOARD TOUR

As always – safety first! Before heading into the backcountry, going splitboarding, you need to get yourself proper avalanche safety equipment. Next to avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel, you also might want an avalanche backpack, a helmet and a back protector. Furthermore, alpine know-how is crucial! For this, we at Sport Conrad do regular events with trainings and presentations – because you can never be well enough prepared!