New location, new splitboards for winter 2016 and our annual First Impression Splitboard Test. It's time again for a preview. We had been out to test the latest splitboarding gear on snow. Our video interviews will give you more details about the stuff.
The new location of Shops First Try in Alpbach is top. Thanks to the variety of snowboard, freeride and touring opportunities we could test the new splitboards 2015-2016 even better than the years before. That means, every splitboard in our First Impression Test was tested on a short tour in challenging terrain in terms of it's ascent qualities, as well as on the descent in the backcountry and on the slopes. So we can get more impressions of the "overall performance". Apart from this, we compare the new boards with those of the previous season.
The test conditions were perfect, from icy slopes to 30cm of fresh pow.
Splitboard News 15-16:
The most important at the beginning. Our first shots, but keep on reading because the article is packed from the beginning till the end with information about the latest splitboard relevant stuff and pictures of the new material 15-16.
What is new? Völkl Xsight Split, Amplid Creamer Split, Rossignol XV 164W, Nitro Doppelganger, Jones Aviator, Burton Custom Split, Deeluxe XVe Boot
What had been optimized? Rome Whiteroom, Powderoom, Double Agent, Jones Explorer, Jones Discovery, Jones Solution
What is equal campared to 14-15? Völkl Untrac, Goodboards Legends, K2 Panoramic, K2 Ultrasplit, K2 Nothern Lite
Völkl Snowboards Xsight Split:
The Völkl Xsight is the Split Brother of the Alright, the 14-15 launched "Freeride Fun Board" with amazing "alround" performance.
Topsheet Design Völkl Xsight Split 15-16
Base Design Völkl Xsight Split 15-16:
Drops, butters and roosters – make the backcountry your playground with the Xsight! Thanks to the combination of Freeride Hybid Shape and Tapered Nose the splitboard version of the Alright is super playful: The shorter effective edge makes the board very agile and more fun to ride. The specific nose construction, with its square shape, not only floats in the powder but also cuts effortlessly through crust or wind-blown snow. At the same time, the Premium Carbon beam and the softer flex allow easy handling. On the climb and in icy traverses you can always count on the camber between the bindings, which provides perfect grip. The custom-fit Vacuum Base Skins can be mounted and taken off blindfolded, even in strong wind and bad weather. When not needed, you can glue them together without using a separating foil. Despite the easy handling: Respect the nature and your limits.
More Splitboard novelties from Völkl Snowboards? Watch the video
It is good In the ascent even if it has a reduced edge, the camber between the feet gives enough support to feel safe even in challenging traverses. It cleanly pulls uphill and the kickturns are easy to do, thanks to the great balance.
In the descent you can do everything you imagine. Buttering a few meters, slahing Pow with no effort, carve on the edges, surf on the rear foot,... Yeah, as the description, it is a great fun split with lots of different usage possibilities.
Feeled Flex Tail 5 / Nose 4 (1=ultra soft/ 10 ultra hard)
The Völkl Xsight was tested with the Deeluxe XV Boot and the SP Split Tech Bindung
Amplid Miligram Split:
The Amplid Miligram is the reincarnation of the Carbon Lab Split. It reaches the next level in Splitboard Touring, a completely new feeling. Peter Bauer himself explains his board. Watch now!
Despite carbon construction it can be ridden surfy. For a carbon Splitboard it is rather soft but extremely stable on the edge. It carves perfectly, is very much alive and and pops you out of the turn, increasing your speed. It's great fun to drive this high tech Split,
On the climb: You feel the low weight. The Camber with Early Rise Rocker makes it staying up even in deep powder and on hard crossings you are on the way like on rails (obviously not totally comparable with skis).
Feeled Flex: 6 (1=ultra soft/ 10 ultra hard)
We tested the Miligram with Spark Afterburner and XV Deeluxe boots.
Amplid Creamer Split:
The little brother of the Miligram is called Creamer Split. It is also tuned up for Splitboard Touring and Allmountain Riding.
The carve properties of the board are nearly as good as the Creamer's. At high speed it gives you a sense of security, nothing swings off. The board just feels good. One realizes the higher weight compared to the Miligram. We are in a normal split board weight category again. The Flex is very balanced, not too hard and not too soft. The edge grip is excellent. The performance in the Powder convinces. Maneuverability in conjunction with float properties despite Camber construction between the feet.
On the climb: Very stable, even at windpressed traverses. It comes out of deep snow nicely and the camber pushes you a little bit at every step you do.
Feeled Flex 6-7,
The Creamer Split was tested with Spark AfterBurner and Deeluxe XV Boots.
Jones Snowboards Aviator Splitboard:
The new Aviator splitboard is the Swiss Army knife of the Jones split quiver. Steeps, pow, corn, backcountry booter sessions - no shred task is too much to ask of this full-camber directional twin splitboard. Prepare for edge hold and acceleration unlike any split you’ve ever ridden thanks to the Aviator’s 3D Power Camber profile. 3D Power Camber is an innovative positive camber profile that offers the insane edge response of camber without the usual hang-ups. The board profile crosses over into the third dimension as the base is beveled up at the edges from the contact points of the camber to the ends of the board. The 3D base beveling releases the edges where they like to hook which balances the pop and directional stability of camber with a looser, less-catchy feel. Like all Jones splitboards, the Aviator also features inner and outer edge mellow Magne-traction for added grip on those icy spring morning tours. The mountain graphic on the Aviator Split was adapted from a series of watercolor paintings by Lake Tahoe artist Chris Crossen.
Details of the Aviator and the further Jones Splitboard range for winter 2016, take a look at our video
The Jones Aviator Split is for expert splitboarders with strong legs. If you have the power you can do what you like. It carves precisely on the edge and pops you out with even more speed. It is very maneuvrable and also comes up in pow.
On the climb: It is very stable and accurate on the edge, also supported by the slight Magnet Traction. You pull up your lines even in steep terrain up to the summit.
Feeled Flex 8 (1=ultra weich / 10 ultra hart)
The Jones Aviator Splitboard was tested with Karakoram Prime and the Deeluxe XV Boot.
Burton Snowboards Fish Split 156cm:
Designing the Burton Fish Split, the developers had been on the search for the ultimate Splitboard. It is made for "First Lines in deep Powder". Short, wide and a double swallow tail. Due to that, it sinks at the tail and floats easily at the tip. It gives you a unique feeling when you ride it. The Channel System makes your stands adjustment very easy.
Rob showed us the new Custom and the fish. Sneek a peek, too and keep on reading below about our first try on snow.
On the descent, the Burton Fish Split is very agile, in powder it greatly floats up despite the short length (156cm). On the slopes or hard snow, it requires some familarization, but then you can also carve it in short turns and unexpectedly the edge grip is good. Of course it's best for the deep days in steep channels or in the woods.
Kickturns are easy on the ascent, the edge grips even under hard conditions and you can feel the Flat Camber technology.
Feeled Flex: 5-6
The Burton Fish Splitboard was tested with the new Burton Hitchhiker and the Deeluxe XV Boot.
Rossignol Splitboard 164w 15-16:
Rossignol comes up with a new length of the XV Mag Tek Split 164W. It's 6mm wider and allows big-foot riders to know the true promise of the Xavier De Le Rue Pro Model. We couldn't feel any changes to the well known ascent- and descent qualities, still TOP. The design is unchanged but there is now a new binding available from the french camp. Rossignol has teamed up with Plum and the XV Split is now also offered as a set with the Plum / Rossignol binding. Check out the video presentation of the XV and PLUM Binding.
As already known, the Rossignol XV Split is designed for speed and high performance. However, compared to other splitboards in this performance category, less power is needed to ride it well. The tail is slightly softer than the nose, so it can be wonderfully moved over the nose and be surfed over the tail.
At the ascent, the greater width is not noticeable, thanks to the Magnet Traction it pull straight forward and keeps excellent on the edge even in harsh conditions. It is beautifully balanced, which makes kickturns easy. If it's becoming deep, the XV comes out.
Feeled Flex Nose 7 / Tail 6
It had been tested with Plum Bindings and Deeluxe XV Boots.
Amplid Splitboard Designs 15-16:
Amplid Morning Split:
The new Amplid Morning Split got a much more discreet design. It's a powder board with a long nose and a slight fishtail. Nevertheless, this fishtail packs a punch and you get good pressure to the snow. Compared to last season, not much else changed.
On the climb it works flawlessly. The camber between the feet and up into the tail gives solid edge hold even in tough conditions. Despite the Early Rise Rockers it has a good forward pull in combination with the camber and is also flows up excellent in deep snow.
On the way down, it's really fun, whether wind pressed or rough snow, with the Morning split you glide over everything what's in your way in the backcountry. So you have excellent control when needed. The wide nose gives you massive flotation in powder and you can easily ride it over the front foot with out the danger to dip. The fishtail gives even more lift and you can surf the board also with the back foot. I have tested it with a lot of setback, thereby the long and relatively soft nose by nature starts fluttering a bit at high speeds on the slopes, but the board itself remains stable. The Morningstar Split can be properly "shredded" and be cruised relaxed. Thanks to the incredible maneuverability, it is ideal for steep terrain, tree runs or narrow couloires.
Feeled flex Tail 6 / Nose 4 (1=ultra soft / 10 ultra hard)
The Amplid Morning Split was tested with the Spark Magneto and the Deeluxe XV Boot
Rome Splitboards 15-16
Rome has redesigned their splitboard quiver and improved a few things. Here you ge the new artworks of season 2015-16 and a short overview about the optimization.
Take a closer look to these Rome SDS splitboards in the video presentation
Rome Whiteroom Split: It is a very light Hybrid Split with Rockered Nose and Camber down to the tail. The Camber got bigger, the board a bit harder and the new "Hot Rods" improve the hiking performance and the general response of the board. The Rome Whiteroom is one of our favorised splitboards for the upcoming season.
The improvements increased the performance further. The design convinced us not entirely.
Feeled Flex: 7
The Rome Whiteroom Split was tested with SP Split Tech and the Deeluxe XV Boot
Rome Whiteroom Topsheet 15-16:
Rome Whiteroom Split Base:
Rome Powderoom Split also with "Hot Rods":
The Powder Room is the already known girls split from Rome. In the third year, the design has changed but the technology is proven and remains the same. The Powder S Camber brings good float and the camber underfoot the required stability and grip on the edges. The Powder Room travels with you through untouched terrain while you enjoy the outdoors and can forget the gym. From sensitive turns in the light stuff, until fat runs in challenging terrain, you can do anything your heart desires with the Powder Room.
Rome Powderoom Design 15-16:
Rome Powderoom Base Design 15-16:
Rome Double Agent Split / Hot Rods integriert: The Rome Double Agent 154 is a very freestyle oriented Splitboard. It is excellent for that style of riding. Even when the length is short it has an amazing grip ascending and descending. The harder Flex makes it easy to stick even big airs with style and control.
Improvements increased performance!
Feeled Flex: 6
The Rome Double Agent was tested with the SP Split Tech and the Deeluxe XV Boot.
Rome Double Agent Split Design 15-16:
Rome Double Agent Base 15-16:
Update 10.03.2015: Pogo Splitboards
Pogo Manana Split 169:
The Pogo Manana Split is the ultimate Allmountain Powder Freestyle Fun Weapon, customized to your needs it can be your perfect Spltboard.
The Pogo Manan Split is quite soft (but you can choose the flex you want) With under 3 kg at a length of 169 cm it is very light, also due to the short inside edge. ascending with the Manana Split is great, the long effective edge gives lots of stability and also the short edge at the hillside wile splitting gives enough pressure to the snow that you are save even on challenging crossings. The weight adjustment is top and the tip comes out very well doing the kick-turns. As known from Pogo the Manana carves like hell and stays above in deep powder. Also on the slopes and at the kicker line it is good fun to ride.
All in all it is a great Splitboard that you should keep in mind if you are looking for something special, you can design it your way or take the standard design. Also Flexadjustment to your weight is possible.
Tested with Deeluxe XV and Spark R&D Magneto in 30 cm fresh Powder, tracked Powder, Windblown Snow and Icy Slopes.
Feeled Flex: 5
Pogo Wingergun Split 173:
An uncomparable Powdermachine. The Designs are customizable and it comes with hardwear (Hooks and Clips)
The Pogo Wingergun Split is an amazing Fun-Split in deep Powder. Ascending the edgegrip is good, thanks to the narrow shape and it`s length. At the descent the Pogo Wingergun Split 173 is extremely manoevrable and floats like a surfboard. It gives you un uncomparale surfy feel while riding in the backcountry. On the slopes the edgehold is like the edgehold of a wingergun, not comparable to the Manana Split, but for it`s area of use the Wingergun Split is great.
Tested with Deeluxe XV and Spark R&D Magneto in 30 cm fresh Powder, tracked Powder, Windblown Snow and icy Slopes
Feeled Flex: 6
Update 10.03.2015: Elan Strider 163
The Elan Strider 163 is the second Splitboard built by Elan after the Waverider. It is a good alround Split with quite a quite hard Flex:
The Elan Strider is usable for Powder, carving and Backcountry Freestyle.
With it`s very hard Flex you need a certain level of Riding-Skills to get most out of it. It is bombproof while carving, floats in powder and tracks everything which comes in it`s way, no matter if windpressed or tracked Snow. Ascending it is stable and well adjusted regarding the bracket mounts.
Tested with Deeluxe XV and Spark R&D Magneto in 30 cm fresh Powder, tracked Powder, Windblown Snow and icy Slopes
Feeled Flex: 7-8
Update 10.03.2015: Plum Talps
The Talps Split from Plum is a marriage between a Race Ski and a Splitboard, we have tested it and here you get what we experienced.
The Plum Talps is incredible at the ascent, the position of the brackets is top, it comes out of deep snow easily and the kickturns just flow. Also the edgegrip is better than other splitboards at the market. Regarding the riding performance you have to get used to it. The radius of 20 meters is big, so you ride it fast or you surf it smoothly almost without using the edges. When you need the edges in steep or hard terrain and you give the required pressure, the edge is there and you are at full control. Due to the special tail, it sinks in deep powder and the nose comes up. The Talps doesn`t have Clips at nose and Tail, just the WOM Hooks, which in combination with the Plum Binding give enough stability to the complete setup.
All in all it is an ascent optimized Splitboard, reduced to the needs of challenging Touring.
Tested with Deeluxe XV and Plum Feyan in 30 cm fresh Powder, tracked Powder, Windblown Snow and icy Slopes.
Feeled Flex: 7
Nitro Splitboard Doppelganger 15-16:
The Nitro Doppelganger got a shape reduced to the most important for splitboarding. This unique shape promises increased edge control at the descent as well as at the ascent due to the Hike Pods. Great float at the descent due to the early rise rocker. The Camber gives Pop and makes it very vivd. Same as Völkl, Nitro developed a new solution for the base and is brand number two with a nice "undrilled base". More info as soon as possible. Meanwhile check the presentation video
Nitro Doppelganger Split Topsheet 15-16:
Nitro Doppelganger Split Base 15-16:
First Impression update 2. May 2015:
The Doppelgänger is really good at the ascent, the Hike Pods give aditional stability on the way up and the long rockered nose combined with the tail, makes it float even in the deepest conditions. If you are touring in an already formed skin track the ski-like nose avoids hang-ups and makes the way up easy.
On the way down the Doppelgänger gives you lots of stability and fun at the same time. Exact Carving combined with great float makes it a very versatil splitboard if you don`t want to go for backcountry freestyle.
All in all it is a very versatile board with enhanced uphill performance and lots of fun to ride in deep powder and challenging conditions and terrain.
Tested with Deeluxe XV and Spark Surge in 30 cm fresh Powder, tracked Powder, Windblown Snow and icy Slopes.
Feeled Flex: 6-7
Venture Storm 15-16:
First Impression update 2. May 2015:
The Venture Storm is amazingly good at the ascent for beeing a flat rocker Splitboard.
On the way down you have all the advantages of a rocker Splitboard, like great float and good surfing fun. When challenging conditions are comming up, the adjustment of the Venture Storm is all right and you can rely perfectly on the edgegrip. You can just ride through all kinds of crust enjoying your way down at the maximum.
The all in all adjustment and performance of the Venture Storm is amazing. Pure joy in pow and good fun in everything you will find at the downhill. As it is sustainably built at Venture in Silverton you can feel it's soul while splitboarding!
Tested with Deeluxe XV and Spark Surge in 10- 40 cm fresh Powder, tracked Powder, Windblown Snow and icy Slopes.
Feeled Flex: 6
Lib Tech Splitboard Designs 15-16:
Lib Tech just changed the designs, the boards keep the same.
Gnu Splitboard Designs 15-16:
Gnu also kept everything the same, as you know the beast got awarded with the "Splitboarding Editors Selection".
K2 Splitboard Designs 2015-16:
K2 revised their splitboard models and come up with new artworks.
Burton Snowboards Splitboard Line winter 2015-2016:
New is the Fish Split and the Custom Split. See the video for more.
Jones Snowboards Splitboard Designs 2015-16:
Jones changed the skin adjustments at all his boards. Inspired by the touring ski, he found a good solution to fix his skins at the boards.
Explorer and Solution got slightly modified in the shape, check out the video
Never Summer Splitboard Design 15-16:
Design change at Never Summer:
More designs will follow.
Deeluxe backcountry Serie 15-16:
Deeluxe has optimized it`s whole backcountry boot range. They reduced the sole length about 10mm, due to the extraction of the backvelt (semi automatic crampons adjustment) out of the sole, implementing it into the highback of the boot. This is a great development for bigger footed riders and snowboard mountaineers. They added the Boa Lacing and improved their usual lacing with some protectors.
The new XV Extreme, has some cool features like the hike mode. Similar to the highjack of some splitboard bindings you can loose a strap of the boot, getting a negative angle. This improves the performance on the way up and makes gliding easier.
All the boots got the new Vibram Ice Track sole to further improve grip. Take a closer look here
Update 10.03.2015 Deeluxe Boot:
We had the chance to test one of the new Deeluxe Splitboard Boots, the sole got around 1-1.5cm shorter and you get better contact to the board.
A completely new feeling, much more feeling for the Board and still an excellent grippy sole. The Boa System pushes your heel down into the boot and the power transmission is significantly elevated. Regarding comfort and ridingfeel I just can say WOW. More infos when we get allowance to write more about it.
Smith Splitboard Touring Equipment 15-16:
This year we have also tested helmets and goggles and want to present a great touring combination for splitboarding.
It is the Smith Vantage combined with the I/ON7 Goggles.
Till now, honestly we always said that, the combination of touring and helmet just makes sense if you do really challenging stuff. This try out just changed our minds. The Smith Vantage Helmet is excellently ventilated, super light and robust. It feels if you would not wear a helmet. The Goggles stayed clear even wearing them combined with the helmet on the hike up to the summit.
If you are looking for Comfort, Protection and clear sight, check out this combination!
For the Videos, check out our youtube channel. More pictures are in our gallery.