ISPO – 2013-2014 New Gear
ISPO Munich is the most important outdoor sports tradeshow in Europe, where all the brands show their new equipment for the next season. It was the third year that splitboardmag was going there to bring all the info back about the new stuff. Being there only confirmed what we already knew, the splitboard revolution is here. Almost all of the snowboarding brands will offer at least one splitboard in their line, more and better options for bindings, new systems, and a whole lot of new equipment designed for splitboarders and backcountry enthusiasts. During three days we walked around the show, talked to uncountable people, took infinite pictures and tasted quite a bit of delicious German beer, besides getting loads of energy from the people to keep doing what we are doing.
Salomon presents The Dirksen Collection, named after Josh Dirksen. The collection will include three splitboards, the well-known Sick Stick in 166 cm, the Rancho 160 and the Derby 147. All the them will come with Karakoram clips and custom fit Salomon skins.
Having Xavier De Le Rue in their team we were wondering how long it would take to Rossignol to offer a splitboard, and finally they are doing it. It seems that the new XV split was worth the wait, a real freeride weapon with a only size, 167cm.
Venture Snowboards, in their first visit to ISPO, showed us their new range. The main change will be that the Helix and the Zephyr will merge into a much more versatile new model, the Zelix. Storm, Odin and Euphoria complete the whole line-up offering a board for any kind of riding style.
Jones Snowboards brings to the market the most innovative splitboard with the Ultracraft. A carbon splitboard that claims to be the lightest splitboard out there. In addition, the Hovercraft, with a new bamboo topsheet, the Solution, Women’s Solution and Mountain Twin complete whole splitboard range to offer a splitboard that fits to any kind of riding or terrain.
Video: Jones Snowboards
K2 Snowboarding steps hard into the splitboarding scene offering a whole new system. The Kwicker system is a lightweight step-in system, that along with the Stark boot offer a tight connection to your board, being really easy and fast to click it in and out. The new Ultra-Split offers infinite stance options due to its rail system and a shape designed for riding in powder. Besides this, the Northern Lite will be offered for those women out there willing to go out into the wilderness, as well as they keep the Panoramic splitboard.
Völkl Snowboards will keep offering the eco Cashew split, that has received so many good reviews, now thinking also about the women and small riders as they will be offering a 155cm size to their range.
SplitSticks will continue offering their whole package of splitboard, bindings, skins and crampons in a proof that things are going in the right direction for them.
LIB-TECHNOLOGIES – GNU – ROXY
The three brands from the Mervin group, Lib-technologies, Gnu and Roxy, will keep offering the T:Rice, Billy Goat and B-Pro and the Roxy Banana Smoothie into their extensive line-up in a clear sign that they keep supporting splitboarding.
Burton Snowboards want to keep being a solid option for those looking for a splitboard. The new Landlord, including their Burton Channel System, and the new pucks made in collaboration with Voile will allow you to adjust your stance in a very easy way. The last season’s late-release Anti-Social will continue being the women’s weapon of choice, as well as the Freebird will for the men. Not mentioning the Spliff, with its revolutionary shape, will continue being offered in its line-up.
Rome SDS shows us that they are not following any splitboarding trend, and besides their famous Whiteroom, Double Agent and Powderroom, they add a Swallow tail to the collection achieving a very complete line-up.
The French brand Dupraz will continue offering the D-Tour, a true lightweight powder machine in two different sizes, 5’5’’ and 6’.
ARBOR – GARA – LTB
Arbor will keep offering their acclaimed Abacus, a very versatile splitboard for any kind of terrain.
Gara and LTB, the two czech represents will offer their solid splitboards for next year.
Even though they didn’t attend to ISPO, Trapper Snowboards, the freeride brand based out in Revelstoke, will add to their splitboard collection the Old Goat, a board designed by Scott Newsome, the first snowboarder to pass the Association of Canadian Mountain Lead Guide (ACMG) exams on a splitboard. Conceived for guides and other people who spend a lot of time skiing on their splitboards, it will be available in 166 and 175 cm.
VOILE – UNITY – PRIOR
Voile Splitboards will bring back the V-Tail with to their renewed line-up, as well as Unity and Prior Snowboards will keep offering the same splitboards as their currently offering.
Signal Snowboards continues offering their powder machine called Epic.
Nitro Snowboards will be offering the Thunder splitboard, featuring full camber and a freeride shape.
NEVER SUMMER – GOOD BOARDS
Never Summer will maintain their SL splitboard but change their Summit split for the new Prospector, with a less directional shape.
If you like long boards, Good Boards is your brand. Beautiful wooden topsheets from this Austrian brand- They will be offering cambered boards in 164 cm and 175 cm.
Peter Bauer’s Amplid will feature a new splitboard, the Morning split. Claimed to be one of the lightest splitboards in the market, only 2800 gr, without connection parts. In an only size 163 cm and 26 cm waist width,It will feature Karakoram clips and custom Kohla skins.
Will Ritter from Spark R&D was very pleased to introduce their new system, the Tesla. With the Tesla be prepared to say goodbye to the pins and use an easier and faster system to lock your binding to your board with only clipping a piece in the front of your binding. Your foot is on this piece to make sure the piece will not clip out. While the Edison system had some issues and will never see the light, the Tesla system took the best of the research done for the Edison, with a proven mechanism. The binding itself will include the climbing bars, very easy to reach with the basket of your pole, and that will allow the new crampons, the Sabretooth, to bite the snow even with risers on. These new Sabretooth have been redesigned, as well as the attachment system, making it even faster and more reliable than the Mr. Chomps. For next season we will find the Magneto and the After-Burner including the Tesla system, while they will still maintain their Blaze and Burner system with the traditional pin system, with upgraded straps and buckles in order to improve performance and durability.
Video: Spark R&D
The Kloster brothers, Bryce and Tyler, showed us their Karakoram Splitboard Bindings range. All of their models, including the base of their line-up, the Split30, will include the Ride Stride Forward, a fast and easy way to set the angle of your highbacks for touring and riding. New straps and dual pivot ratchets to improve performance, and some small changes in the heelcup shape making it a bit higher on the sides to improve touring performance. The SL is the lighter version of the Split30 and will be offered with nylon highback and with carbon highback, reducing the weight from less than 800 gr of the Split30 to the 700 gr of the SL. The Air Strap will be offered in the SL line and it’s inspired by the snowshoes strap. This minimalist strap replaces the toe strap and the aim is to reduce the most the weight of the binding, while still maintaining performance and allowing a tighter fit than a regular toe strap. Women should be happy as the Split30 will be offered in the women version, with a lower, narrower and shorter heelcup, in order to achieve a better fit for women’s feet.
Video: Karakoram Splitboard Bindings
SP United is the first snowboard bindings company to jump into the splitboarding market. For next season they will offer a version of their best binding with a sliding plate welded to it to reduce the weight. The binding will be available with their famous Fastec system or with traditional straps, and the main benefit of it is that it will include an specific crampon that is able to be installed on the fly in a very simple way.
Video: SP United
Deeluxe Snowboard boots is so far the only manufacturer in offering a whole backcountry specific boot range. For the next year they get rid of the Spark boot, but they will keep offering the Spark XV, Xavier De le Rue’s promodel. This boot got very good feedback from the users so there will not be any change in the boot. For people looking for a softer flex, they will offer as well the Independent BC, featuring the same Vibram sole than the Spark Xv, but with a softer flex and traditional laces. And the high-end of the line, the Summit, a masterpiece made completely of leather, and with lots of different features to improve your riding, including a Boa system to keep only your ankle locked while the rest of the boot is loose when skinning. The liner has a leather part as well to reduce the possible blisters and keep your foot warm. The three of them come with a Sympatex waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry.
Video: Deeluxe Snowboard boots
The italian manufacturer Fitwell in collaboration with Live Backcountry will keep offering a serious backcountry boot for those riders looking for a stiff and durable boot.
NORTHWAVE – K2 – BURTON
Other brands like Northwave, K2 and Burton Snowboards keep offering differents options of a solid and stiff boot with a sole that gives extra grip for those sketchy hikes, yet the needed stiffness to ride in any kind of conditions.
Víctor Perisé / David Perez