3 Signs You Should Pick Up a Splitboard
Splitboards are a novel idea, but they are really gaining traction. As the name implies, splitboards are snowboards that can be split down the middle to form a pair of skis. Those skis can't be used for downhill skiing, but they can be used for travelling uphill. Here are three reasons that a splitboard might be the best board for you.
1. You Love Getting into the Backcountry
The main reason for investing in a splitboard is being able to enjoy the backcountry more easily. Snowboards are generally seen as more advantageous than skis for backcountry fun because their additional width makes it easier to navigate deep powder; on the flipside, it's impossible to move uphill at any kind of speed while wearing a board.
This means you'll have to carry extra weight on your back—either the snowboard while you're travelling uphill on snowshoes or the snowshoes when you're boarding back down. This can be annoying, and the additional weight tends to move around as you board, making falls more likely. Additionally, splitboards are usually a little wider underfoot than standard boards, providing more contact with the snow for greater grip. That really makes a difference when you're heading straight down a slope at high speed.
2. You Don't Fancy Skiing
Before the popularisation of splitboards, boarders who didn't like trekking around with snowshoes often found it easier to learn to ski instead. This is still an option, but it isn't always a great one. For starters, you'll be faced with having to go right back to beginner level if you've never skied before. Perhaps more importantly, you'll need to invest in new equipment. Though your cold weather gear can be worn for both activities, you'll need to pick up ski boots and poles, as well as the skis themselves.
3. You Can Afford More than One Snowboard
Splitboards are becoming more and more popular with boarders, but they should still be seen as specialty boards. Because the two pieces are held at the front, back, and middle by clips and bindings, a splitboard does ride a little differently than a standard snowboard. Of course, that difference is far less perceptible when you're riding through the deep powder of the backcountry, but many boarders dislike the way it feels on groomed trails. If you can only afford one board, it might be best to pick up a standard one that has been designed to function equally well across both powder and groomed trail. If you can afford to get two, go ahead and buy both a splitboard and a snowboard made for groomed trails.