In our splitboard test we have again taken the newest and most important splitboard material of the coming season 2019-20 under our feet. Here are our first impressions from the snow:
In order to do justice to the ever-increasing variety of materials in the splitboard market and to be able to test them even more intensively, we started this year with four test riders. Just like us, our test location, the Shops First Try in Alpbachtal, has been growing continuously. For ten years now, this has been a great opportunity for trade visitors to try out the new products of the coming season on snow.
And we have done this extensively and have riden more and gone even further than the years before to give you a comprehensive insight into the riding and climbing characteristics of the splitboards.
The conditions in the Alpbachtal were great. From fine untracked deep snow with approx. 30 cm up to hard piste everything was there. In the ascent we could test the boards both on blown off areas as well as in deep, sometimes tracked and also untracked powder. The steepness between 25° and 35° was perfect to give us a picture of the performance of the individual splitboard models on classic routes.
But now to the material, what's new - what can this stuff do?
What is new?
- K2 Marauder Splitboard
- Furberg Freeride Splitboard with Seam Sealer Technologie
- Konvoi Kantar
- Amplid Touroperator
- Stranda Shorty 164
- Deeluxe Independent BC Boot with Boa and classic lacing
What had been optimized?
- Union Splitboard Binding
- Arbor Brian Iguchi Pro
- Capita Neo Slasher
- Jones Mindexpander
- K2 Aspect Boot
That is new!
K2 Marauder Splitboard 162:
The K2 Marauder is a classic splitboard for anyone who wants to broaden their horizons in snowboarding. The K2 Marauder is not a special lightweight, but with its channels it has a feature that makes it very easy to adjust the bindings. It also brings a plus in durability. As far as the descent is concerned, it is one of the boards that is immediately fun and with which you are stable on tour. It has a good edge hold even at high speeds and irones over a lot of unevenness. In the powder it has good floating characteristics and also the agility is to be mentioned positively. In the ascent it resembles the Joy Driver and is a worthy successor. The forwardpull is good. It is well balanced and there are no disadvantages when it comes to skinning. Of the K2 splitboards released on the market so far, the Marauder is in our opinion the most powerful and versatile splitboard of this brand.
Furberg Freeride Splitboard 160 - Seam Sealer Tech
Years ago we already talked about the possibility of releasing a splitboard with tongue and groove. Only Furberg dared to tackle this project. After intensive testing over the past four years, the time has come and Furberg says this technology is now ready for the market. As usual we were sceptical about the new Freeride Splitboard with the Seam Sealer Tech.
Furberg has already won our Splitboarding Selection with the Freeride Splitboard, so I don't want to go into the outstanding performance here. But what we were able to experience in terms of riding performance, especially in hard terrain or on a hard slope, is beyond all expectations. For years we have been riding almost exclusively on split boards and the lower torsional stiffness compared to a solid board we considered to be given and unchangeable. The binding manufacturers contributed their part to bring the riding pleasure as close as possible to a solid snowboard and they succeeded well. The Seam Sealer technology sets a new standard. The difference to a Solidboard is only marginal, provocatively said it is imagination if one still feels differences here. Congratulations Furberg for this outstanding innovation!!
Konvoi Kantar Splitboard 169
The new Kantar Splitboard of Konvoi for the season 18-19 will continue unchanged in 19-20, but I would like to mention it here. Already impressed by the Nevado (winner of the Splitboarding Selection), we now had the opportunity to take the Kantar under our feet. With its more classic shape and profile it is more versatile than the powder oriented Nevado Splitboard. Like his brother, it was fun at the first moment. Ohh,... and switch ride and hop going straigt again. With ease these simple maneuvers succeed. The Kantar combines the best of both worlds. Strong in powder and also for playful riding with freestyle moves and tricks. It is also suited for bib backcountry kickers. The relatively long effective edge and the channels in the binding area of the base contribute to a stronger edge hold both on the ascent and the descent. The forward pull is very good, the tension is lively and the balance is top. Splitboarders looking for the ultimate all-rounder will get a 4 course menu - extra grip, stability, durability and fair price, the Konvoi Kantar is highly recommended. It doesn't matter if you prefer freeride splitboarding or high alpine and remote terrain. The history and experience of the shaper also speak for the young brand Konvoi with its mature products.
Amplid TourOperator Splitboard 159
The Amplid Tour Operator Splitboard will replace the proven Creamer in the 19-20 season. With the Touroperator Amplid has created a versatile splitboard. It climbs well, rides playfully and is also suitable for solid freestyle tricks thanks to its "almost" twin shape. The Touroperator has extra durability and can be regarded as a board for everything. Both on the piste and off-pist, it is strong, though not as superior as its light brothers. Nevertheless, it irons over bumps and tracked snow, remains stable even at high speeds and holds the edge. In powder you shift the weight to the back foot and get a lot of lift. In the ascent the higher weight is noticeable compared to a milligram. But it is on a par with other boards of the same weight class. The Touroperator expands the Amplid range with a good splitboard for a wide range of applications at a lower budget.
Stranda Shorty 164 Splitboard
Stranda is also new to the game and already has a splitboard for the big and strong guys on the market. With the 164 Shorty there is now also the possibility for smaller splitboarders to use these special boards. Very soft in the nose, the Stranda Shorty surfs over everything that gets in its way. In the untracked white it floats excellently and is a lot of fun, be it powder or windpress. If you need the edge the camber under your feet and the hard tail gives you very good hold. In the ascent the soft nose is noticeable, the board comes out as well as in the descent. If it's hard you need some practice, but after a short familiarization you will also find the points on the Stranda Shorty where it holds fine on the edges. For the splitboarders who like to do pillow runs, cliffs or other obstacles, the Shorty offers a lot of safety. After small to medium drops or jumps in the terrain (we didn't test big ones) you land super easy and continue confidently. If you have the opportunity, you should definitely try the Shorty.
Deeluxe Independenet BC 2. Gen with laces and boa
Comfortable as always with my foot shape, the new Indenpendent BC boot from Deeluxe impresses with classic lacing, boa and strap. So you are safe no matter what happens. Similarly stiff as the XV, the new Deeluxe Boot also has the Backwelt for the attachment of semi-automatic crampons and the "feel-true" sole. The Boa gives you a strong heel hold and the classic lacing feels good - just like when we were 20 xears old, but with a snap to make tightening easier. We can't say anything about the durability yet, but the shoe makes a solid impression optically and haptically.
That had been optimized!
Union Splitboard Bindung
Following last season's flop, Union has endeavoured to eliminate transmission errors in development.
I am not a friend of Union on the splitboard market, but despite all the prejudices I have to say this year: The binding works!
Tested for two days at freeriding - the riding feeling evoked a WOW effect on my face. Like a snowboard binding. Super firm hold, very good power transmission and still very comfortable. Even in soft to medium hard snow the ascent performance is solid and the pin system, although very polarizing, fulfils its purpose and shows no problems in handling. Nevertheless it is much less comfortable than pinless systems! Last season's shaking was repaired, the pin was successfully stowed away and thanks to the leash there is just a bit of fumbling to put it in and out. The climbing aid is easier to unfold than any other binding and fulfils its purpose, here a big advantage to all the other systems. As far as the ascent under difficult or hard conditions and also the durability is concerned, we cannot say anything about it yet. For someone who wants to start splitboarding or is looking for a binding for everything (compatible with Solidboard), the Union is certainly a cost-effective option. We will report back as soon as possible if it meets the ambitious plans.
Arbor Bryan Iguchi Pro Splitboard 161
The Iguchi Pro Splitboard from Arbor is a board for all conditions. Our test was a lot of fun, it was super surfy and in the moment you need the edge it comes noticeable and gives a secure hold. The surfy felling is granted due to the three-dimensional nose and the edge hold is supported by the Arbor Grip Tech and the Camber. In the ascent it brings the necessary performance to be safe even in steeper terrain. This is also due to the hard flex. Also here, the forward pull and balance fits great. The board is well balanced and pulls nicely forward when hiking. All in all a board with which we would also get involved in ambitious adventures.
Capita Neo Slasher 158
The splitboard from Capita has been slightly optimized. The design has changed, but the characteristics have remained almost unchanged. Stable even on fast descents and easy to land, especially after small to medium jumps. This year the edge hold is slightly reduced, making the board less aggressive and more playful. Compared to last year there was no disadvantage in the ascent performance. The motto here is to put it on and have fun. Even if it is not a lightweight, you can make ambitious tours with the Neo Slasher from Capita. It keeps what Capita promises.
Jones Mind Expander Splitboard
The Jones Mindexpander was further optimized. The rather weak ascent performance of the previous year was improved considerably by the introduction of new carbon stringers. So you can now be more relaxed on steeper terrain, but of course you should always have the crampons ready. In the downhill, especially when it's powdery, the qualities of the Mind Expander come into live. Here, as the name suggests, a completely new, extremely surfy feeling is achieved, which is a lot of fun. The Mind Expander Split is perfect for making short easy climbs near the slopes and surfing the untracked lines, as well as discovering the further backcountry, equipped with crampons. Versatile and ultra playful, the Mindexpander is a good board to have in the quiver.
K2 Aspect Boot
The Infos will come after ISPO, sorry we had been to busy to get everything ready.
Last but not Least
Advenate Avalanche Backpack with integrated respiration system
Take a look at this new avalanche backpack with integrated breathing system. The Advenate is officially available since this season and promises to increase the probability of survival even in case of a complete burial despite airbag (terrain trap!). Also in case of TreeWell accidents the breathing system can be a life saving help. How the backpack works you can watch here in our video. In advance we would like to inform you that the wearing comfort is excellent and that all features required for use with the snowboard / splitboard have been considered. A great concept that could outstrip one or the other of the old-established manufacturers.
Thanks to the makers of the shop First Try
The Shops First Try in Alpbachtal has developed further again this year and attracts more and more shops from the international environment. Meanwhile it was the 10th event and accordingly it was celebrated. With 1100 visitors from 16 countries all records were broken again and the weather was excellent with sunshine and low temperatures. Consequently, the atmosphere was great and the joy about a lot of Happy-Faces was great, both with the organizers and with us.
Again a big thank you to the 40 people who made this event possible and of course to the brands who are now remember to bring their new splitboard models for us. We can heartily recommend this event to all brands as well as shops who want to establish themselves further in the world of snowboarding and strengthen their position.