ISPO 2014. Long live splitboarding

When the end of January arrives, it’s tradeshows time. This year we Europeans were very lucky to have the ISPO 2014 tradeshow before the SIA in the US, so we were a bit spoiled for once to know what’s new for next season before our fellow Americans.

Going to a tradeshow means a lot of talking, losing your voice, sore feet from walking around all day, eating crappy food from the show or not eating at all, but at the same time it means great times, meeting with good friends, interesting chats with the important people from the splitboard industry, get to see where the market is moving to and, since the show is in Munich, drink lots of delicious German beer.

In addition, this year Splitboard Magazine organized the first Splitboard & Beer party, where we rented a mountain cabin in downtown Munich and invited all the splitboarder community with the only purpose of having a great time, chat, drink some beer, play table football and taste some delicious Spanish food, and some schnapps too.

We were extremely happy that people joined us in this get together, and hope everyone had as much fun as we did. There will definitely be more Splitboard & Beer parties in the future.

In addition to that, the Tailgate Alaska booth, the meeting point for the freerider community, organized a clinic about splitboarding where Splitboard Magazine was invited to take part of, along with the most important people from the splitboarding manufacturers. It was great to discuss the present and future of splitboarding with such important people like Will Ritter, Chad Perrin, Klemens Branner and more.

The splitboarder family is growing, the equipment is getting lighter and more efficient and lines that were impossible to imagine to be ridden in the past are being ridden now by motivated splitboarders all over the world. Splitboarding is definitely alive and well, long live splitboarding.

Here’s a recap of the brands that attended the ISPO trade show and the equipment that they will offer for the season 2014-15.

Happy to be the openers of the first splitboard seminar at ISPO!

Karakoram

The Kloster brother’s company was one of the highlights at ISPO as they were presenting the new Prime System. This completely new system uses all the gathered experience from the past years developing splitboarding bindings, and improves it looking for a more efficient and fast change over from riding to touring mode. A big lever under the heelcup replaces the small lever on the side of the binding of the previous Split 30 model, while it also gives a tighter connection to the board with also four contact points.

The heels have been improved too to make them wider and easier to set with the pole, while the new system offers a heel lock too just using the back lever.

Read more about it: Karakoram new prime system

Plum

The French touring brand surprised the splitboarding world by presenting a whole specific system, the Feyan. Made from scratch, the Plum system will rival the most consolidated splitboard bindings on the market with a solid and super light system. Very easy to use even with gloves, a big lever on the side allows you to switch from touring to riding mode. The system is designed so when it’s in riding mode it presses the two halves of the board against each other, making a superior connection. Besides that, the binding will have two choices, standard highback or carbon fiber highback for the weightweenies.

Read more about it: Plum bindings system

Spark R&D

After revolutionize the market last ISPO with the release of the Tesla system, Spark has settled a bit for next year. A heel lock that can be added to the Tesla system very easily and new colorways are the news for next season for the Afterburner and the Magneto. The Blaze and Burner models, using the pin, will remain in the line-up still, being a more unexpensive option for splitboard binding.

Since the AT boots, or hardboots as they’re commonly known, riders’ population is increasing lately, Spark has developed the Dyno DH, using a Tesla baseplate with adaptors to use your AT boots on riding mode, while you need Dynafit toepieces for touring mode.

SP United

For the second season offering the SP split binding, some weight has been shaved off from the baseplate of the binding. The bindings have improved straps for a better performance and they still have the possibility to install crampons on the fly, what makes them a very good choice for riders looking for a solid and reliable binding.

Read our review: SP United splitboard bindings.

Völkl

Völkl Snowboards has great news for the splitboarding market. First off, they introduce the Untrac, based on the previous award-winning model Cashew, but now featuring camber between the bindings to increase touring performance and riding in any kind of snow condition. Pursuing to offer a whole splitboarding package, they offer too a splitboard specific binding in based on the SP United, and revolutionary tailored climbing skins, which don’t have any glue, making them stick better to the base of the board and a longer life.

Read more about it: Völkl snowboards

Venture

Venture Snowboards will keep offering the four models as they’ve been doing until now, but thanks to their new Colorado Core the weight has been shaved while keeping its durability and performance that are known for. Besides that, new logo and designs following natural patterns, always keeping in mind the respect to the environment when building their boards, make the Venture boards a solid and eco-friendly choice.

Read our review: Venture snowboards

Jones

ispo 14 jones backpack

Jones Snowboards is definitely the leader of the splitboard market worldwide. For next year all the models have been lightened down but without losing any of their performance on snow.. In addition, the Mountain Twin splitboard will no longer be on Jones’ line-up, but in exchange the Explorer is added, an entry price splitboard.

New climbing skins are added and the backpack line has been redefined to three models: Deeper (10liters), Further (20liters) and Higher (30liters), this one also with the Snowpulse option.

Read more: Ultracraft wins ipso award

Apo

Snowboard pioneer Regis Roland’s APO is proud to announce the release of a new splitboard into its line-up. Build in Austria with 160cm long, 26cm wide and a blunt nose, this splitboard is an all-round board for any condition but works great especially in powder. To complete the package, Apo has teamed up with Plum to offer an specific splitboard binding based on the Plum interface, but with a back entry system and lighter and more moldable straps.

Arbor - Icelantic - LTB

Arbor has redesigned the Abacus, now featuring a blunt nose and tail to make it even more versatile. Besides that, it’s still one of the lightest boards out there, featuring the Edge grip construction and the Parabolic rocker.

The Gemini from Icelantic will continue the same as last season, only with a new design.

LTB snowboards will keep offering quality handcrafted boards from the heart of Europe.

Rossignol – Gara – Dupraz

After the success of introducing the Xavier De Le Rue pro-model last year, Rossignol will offer new sizes of the board for next season, being available 163 and 157, besides the 167 from the previous year.

The Czech manufacturer Gara boards increase their collection offering a great variety of boards, including also carbon splitboards.

The D-Tour will continue in Dupraz’s line-up for next season without changes

Salomon

We were very excited to see Salomon’s news for next season. After introducing the splitboards in their line-up this season, big news were announced: the Premiere, a 4-pieces splitboard. It follows older designs of a 3-pieces splitboard, but the middle part is cut in half to make it easier to carry in your backpack. Lighter and narrower skis for longer tours, and great performance in the downhill in this 157cm board with a 26cm waist width.

Besides the Premiere, Salomon will offer a standard 2-pieces splitboard, in three different sizes 156, 160 and 163, based on the Sickstick shape, a true powder machine.

Video Salomon: Split Stick

Never Summer – Nitro – Unity

The Prospector keeps being the directional and freeride choice from Never Summer, while the SL is the board for the more freestyle-oriented riders. The Raven is NS’s option for the ladies that are looking for a reliable board with outstanding quality.

The line-up grows to four models in Nitro Snowboards: the Thunderbolt, a light and powerful freeride weapon featuring a full camber construction, theThunder that remains the same as last season, the Nomad and the Volta, a ladies’ version. All of them come with nose and tail clips and chinese hooks designed especifically by Nitro Snowboards.

Unity Snowboards, splitboards handcrafted in Colorado, will keep offering the Dominion, a directional freeride board, and The Whale, a powder board with a huge nose to keep you afloat in the deepest powder.

K2 - Good Boards – Burton

ispo k2 splitboard

K2 Snowboards will not change anything in their line-up, keeping the Ultrasplit and the Northern Lite, as well as the Panoramic. The Kwicker system is still offered to those looking for a full package, and after acquiring BCA they offer safety equipment like shovels, backpacks and more.

Good Boards come from the Alps offering handcrafted high quality boards with the Legends. Great looking wooden finish for those that ride large boards.

The Burton Freebird leaves its place in the Burton’s line-up to the Landlord, while they still keep the Spliff and the Anti-Social for the ladies splitboarders. Besides that, in collaboration with Spark R&D they offer the Hitchhiker, a splitboard specific binding with the Tesla system.

Lib-tech – Gnu – Roxy

Lib-tech introduces more splitboards to its line-up. While keeping the Travis Rice Horsepower C2BTX, now the Skunk Ape is offered too. Featuring the same camber-rocker profile as the Travis Rice, the C2BTX, this splitboard is for the larger riders with large feet looking for powder thanks to its 169cm long and 26’8cm wide, being one of the widest splitboards in the market.

Another new addition is the Wingman splitboard, with the new FD BTX, which thanks to that and its lightness makes it very easy to maneuver in any kind of snow, and with the longer nose will not matter how deep the powder is, it’ll always stay on top of it.

The previous year BillyGoat split from GNU has been changed for the Beast split, featuring the DC3 BTX, an aggressive directional freeride board and Temple Cummins’  weapon of choice to ride the whole mountain.

New to the 14/15 season is the Beauty, with the same features as the Beast but for the ladies that are looking for an aggressive splitboard for their missions.

For the girls looking for a true twin splitboard, Roxy will keep offering the Banana Smoothie EC2 BTX, a medium flex board with a playful freeride feel to leave the lifts behinds and venture into the backcountry.

Smokin – Blackhole – ONE

Smokin’ enter the splitboarding market with the Back to the Woods, a 157cm board with a wide nose conceived for tree riding in the deepest days.

ONE snowboards introduce a new splitboard for next season. Behind ONE snowboards there’s Stuart Knowles, developer of one of the first splitboards in the market for Duotone. A super light carbon board, very versatile with its 157cm, a little swallow tail and a great blunt nose for helping you turn in any kind of terrain.

Italian manufacturer Blackhole doesn’t want to stay behind in the splitboard revolution and will offer a wooden finished splitboard for next season.

Fitwell

The italian manufacturer will keep offering the successful Fitwell Backcountry, featuring the added power strap and improved liner as they have been doing the current season.

Deelux

ispo deeluxe boots

Deeluxe is the only brand offering a whole backcountry line, and for next season the Independent and the Spark Summit will remain the same, while the Spark XV, De Le Rue’s pro-model, has been improved with a better lacing lock, and a flex window to improve the skinning performance. Also the flex has improved, and three different liner choices will be offered.

The following brands did not attend the ISPO tradeshow, however they also offer new equipment for next season.

Voile
The Revelator is the new splitboard offered by the splitboarding pioneers Voile. The Revelator offers a bigger cambered area than the Artisan, while still keeping some rocker in nose and tail, and also the new channel pucks to set your stance easier. In addition to that, the Revelator BC features a traction base pattern for low angle approaches or runs.

G3
After the success of the Black Sheep, G3 will release the G3 Carbon, with the same solid semi-cap construction, but lighter to spend more time in the backcountry.

Prior
Prior Snowboards will keep offering the widest splitboard range in the market, allowing you to personalize your board as much as you want, choosing from the standard wooden core or the super light XTC carbon core.

Ranger
Ranger Splitboard Bindings are walking slowly but firm in the splitboarding market, and the Bossu system keeps being improved to offer probably the best touring efficient binding in the market with its tech toe.

Phantom
Phantom bindings are for sure the most advanced and innovative choice for the splitboarders riding AT boots. For the next season a custom heel riser is offered aswell, but if you want a pair, make sure to pre-order one as they will only be produced in limited numbers.