Splitboarding is fast-growing winter sport and gives snowboarders the ability to “ski” uphill and then snowboard downhill.
Until now, back country snow touring has mostly been the preserve of the skier. With skinned up skis, skiers can ascend and traverse snow-packed mountains. Taking the skins off then allows skiers to come back downhill by their normal whizzing mode.
For snowboarders, it’s always been a bit of a compromise. Walking uphill is aided by “comfier than skiing” boots but the weight and shape of the snowboard has meant that carrying the board is slow and hard-going.
Now there is a snowboard that works as skis for going uphill - and as a snowboard for the descents. The splitboard is actually a snowboard split in half. If you’ve not yet seen one of these products in the flesh it’s worth a trip to a shop just to ogle a bit. It’s a thing of genius!
Take an ordinary snowboard, the designers have split it vertically in half to create something resembling two fat skis. Ski up these fat skis and the snowboarder can leave the busy lifts behind, skiing up pristine faces of untouched snow using manpower alone.
At the top, the "skis" slot back together to form a normal board for the run down. And as any snowboarder can tell you, nothing beats the feeling of floating sideways through deep powder.
Gone are the days when snowboarders can only look on in envy as skiers skin up and ski uphill, because now it’s the turn of the snowboarders to make skiers jealous. As most boarders will claim, snowboarding on powder is a million times better than skiing. Oooh, eeeh, we’re ready for the pelters from skiers!
With thanks to Visuallight on flickr for the header image.