Test 2014-15

Splitboard test 2015. Last February, the Splitboard Magazine staff headed once again to the Pleta del Prat refuge, in Tavascan, on a mission to test a good sample of next season’s splitboards. Five invited riders and 19 boards to try and test in some of the best terrain in the Pyrenees.

Over the past three years, Tavascan High Mountain Resort, located in the heart of the Alt Aneu Natural Park, has been the perfect laboratory to test most of the new splitboards available in the market. During these days, we moved our office to the resort’s ski and snowboard school workshop. We would like to thank once again all the Tavascan staff for their warm welcome and for their help during our stay there.

This year, we decided to stay a bit longer in order to spend as much time as possible on the mountain, making the most of all the gear provided by all the brands who trust us. Once again, we counted on the experience of five independent riders: four professional guides David Pujol, UIAGM guide from Compañía de Guías del Valle de Benasque , Pau Gómez, UIAGM guide from Dablam Esports, Javi Barro and Nelson Domínguez Gaiur Snowboard Company guides and Elena G. de Murillo, Splitboardmag contributor. Thanks to all of them for their commitment and encouragement during these hectic days.

All splitboards were tested on ascent and descent, in all kinds of terrain and snow conditions. The riders were objective at describing the technical aspects to consider, and their only aim was to try to make your decision easier when choosing your next splitboard. Moreover, new for this season, we captured the testers’ first impressions on the terrain, in an attempt to make it more visual and spontaneous.

During the first two days, the conditions went from hard pack in the morning, to spring slush later on the day. This was until Mother Nature stood on our side to treat us with over a meter of fresh dry powder for the remaining days. Last but not least, we would like to give special thanks to all the brands who year after year make our test possible:


Amplid, Arbor, K2, Jones, Lib-Tech, GNU, Prior, Salomon, Venture, Völkl and Spark R&D

Morning Glory | Amplid

amplid morning glory 2015

Size: 163

Weigth: 3,23kg

The first thing that strikes us is a very light board thanks to the carbon strings, perfect for long days on the mountain, despite of what it feels like a very stable and solid board. On the other hand, its generous nose and swallow tail has let us enjoy the rides, allowing us to float on deep powder. Unfortunately, it is only available in 163 cm, with a 260mm waist. We would have liked to test it in a smaller length, and mostly with a narrower waist. Having said that, it’s still one of the most versatile and balanced we have ridden so far.

Scores

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Lab Carbon | Amplid

amplid lab carbon 2015

Size: 157

Weigth: 2,64kg

We found this Amplid one of the most impressive boards on the test. Ultra light, reactive but kind, easy to turn, stable on all kinds of terrain and snow, with a stiff but progressive flex and a considerable torsion for a carbon board. The down part is it feels a bit shaky at high speed, mostly due to its length. We hope Amplid considers making it longer in the future, as most of the staff -except for the female member- would be psyched to test it. The generous rocker provides great floatability riding this 157cm board on deep powder. Skinning up, it feels like a super light and comfortable machine, although it lacks a bit of effective edge, mostly due to the fat rocker on the nose. A true beauty though.

Scores

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Abacus | Arbor

arbor abacus 2015

Size: 158

Weigth: 3,129kg

Arbor’s Rocker System, with inverted camber, is designed more than anything for deep powder days when floating as much as possible is the priority. Despite this, it is surprisingly responsive on most snow conditions, when not much edge pressure is required; not the board for long ascents on hard snow, when we need as much effective edge as possible. For the rest of terrains, it feels easy and fun to ride. A splitboard to enjoy the mountain without getting into compromised lines.

Scores

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Beauty | GNU

gnu beauty 2015

Size: 152

Weigth: 3,08kg

Aggressive, excellent grip both split and as a snowboard -thanks to Magnetraction, it’s a very stiff board, which would require a strong pair of female legs. In our opinion the flex is not progressive enough, it feels too stiff on the nose and that makes it a bit hard to adapt to mixed snow. It turns really well on hard pack and wider turns, but it’s not a very versatile board. It is easy to assemble from split to board, but it’s not for just any chick.

Scores

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Beast | GNU

gnu beast 2015

Size: 161

Weigth: 3,61kg

This is Temple Cummings’ new adventure buddy; its generous rocker and directional shape combined with the DC3 BTX, turn the Beast into a perfect all-mountain splitboard for your missions out there. Camber under the bindings provides all the transmission you need, going both up and down. It feels very responsive and agile board, very comfortable on powder thanks to the rocker in the middle. Hands down one of the most versatile boards available on the market from next fall.

Scores

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Carbon Solution | Jones

Jones carbon solution 2015

Size: 161

Weigth: 3,04kg

A light board, very demanding and narrow, perfect for riders with small feet and aggressive and precise riding. The carbon provides the stiffness, meaning it takes a few rides to get used to it, but it pays off when you need edge control on hard snow, or when you ride lines where a mistake is not an option. On the other hand, we are fans of the blunt nose and its floatability on powder days. If you are a big mountain charger, this is your ultimate weapon.

Scores

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Solution | Jones

Jones solution 2015

Size: 161

Weigth: 3,972kg

We can’t stop praising the Solution. It’s already a classic for us! As usual, this year’s Solution feels solid and stable when pulling big turns at high speed. On the other hand, the stiff and responsive tail is very effective when we bounce from one short turn to the next on a sketchy line. Its narrow specs enable a quick edge to edge and Magne-Traction provides an excellent edge grip while skinning up. A splitboard for demanding riders with polished technical skills!

Scores

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Ultrasplit | K2

k2 ultrasplit 2015

Size: 158-161

Weigth: 3,10kg-3,56kg

K2 maintains last year’s model: a very light splitboard, with a big rocker, which helps to float on powder. It may lack a bit of personality but it’s definitely a good splitboard for all sorts of terrain and snow conditions. We really like the choice of stance adjustment you get with the Split Track, and the custom skins. It’s one of the most versatile splitboards in the market.

Scores

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Skunk Ape | Lib-Tech

lib tech skunk ape low

Size: 169

Weigth: 3,42kg

A splitboard for big riders with big feet, looking for floatability on deep powder. We would have liked to test it in a smaller size, to be able to better evaluate the virtues of Skunk Apes’ wide concept. Nevertheless, we were able to appreciate its all-mountain nature, thanks to lib-Tech’s famous C2 BTX, providing stability both on the nose and the tail, and great floatability. Magne-Traction adds extra precision and control when the edge is needed.

Scores

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Split | Salomon

Salomon split 2015

Size: 156

Weigth: 2,86kg

Like its solid version, the Sick Stick, is a board that feels familiar and comfortable as soon as you strap it on and slide down. Its progressive flex and good torsion adapt really well to all kinds of snow and terrain. It’s extremely easy to turn, it has a good edge grip and turns easily, wide or small turns. It handles speed really well. Skinning up, it seemed quite comfy and it is easy to assemble. The skins work well and are comfortable to put on and off-Love at first ride.

Scores

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Premier | Salomon

salomon premiere

Size: 157

Weigth: 3,53kg

A true statement from Salomon: new for next season us this four piece splitboard. Not a light board due to the assembling system and multiple parts. Despite being surprisingly solid, it is not very practical when changing from split to assembled board. The narrow waist is an advantage when skinning up, making it easy to move and safer on sketchy terrain. Riding down, it feels really precise and comfortable.

Scores

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Untrac | Völkl

Volkl untrac 2015

Size: 155-162

Weigth:  3,21kg-3,56kg

A versatile board, easy to get used to. Suitable for a wide spectrum of riders (female or light male riders) in two different lengths. The 155cm is perfect for small size riders and girls. It floats well on powder and mixed snow. It may lack a bit of character on hardpack and a bit of response at initiating turns, but in all, it is a fun and comfortable board for all sorts of terrain. In our opinion, Völkl has taken a step further regarding last years model, adding traditional camber. The result is a more versatile board, with an extra grip on the effective edge, making it safer on the ascent. Excellent skins and set up system.

Scores

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BC XTC Carbon | Prior

Prior bc carbon 2015

Size: 161

Weigth: 2,83kg

Another pleasant surprise in this test; riding down on this board was the closest it gets to riding a solid board. Light, solid and responsive, it is not only one of the lightest splitboards in the market -2,83 Kg- but also a very solid board in all kinds of terrain. Despite its not too t floats really well on deep snow, although the rocker is not too fat, its well-balanced shape results in great floatability. You appreciate the reduced weight during the ascent, especially when during long days out on the mountain. Another great job from Whistler.

Scores

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AMF Carbon | Prior

Prior amf 2015

Size: 159

Weigth: 2,90kg

A full-carbon twin board, stiff and responsive. It may feel a bit slow at the beginning, not allowing many mistakes until you get used to it, and its 260 mm waist for a 159 cm board make it a bit slow from edge to edge. Skinning up, and mostly during kick turns, you need to make your stride a bit longer to avoid stepping on the other ski. A backcountry freestyle board to take your tricks to another level on powder days.

Scores

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Odin | Venture

venture odin 2015

Size: 164

Weigth: 3,70kg

Johan Oloffson knows exactly what he wants and he has reflected it perfectly on the Odin: a very reactive tail, a wide sidecut and stability at all speeds. A splitboard created for big missions on the mountain, to bring your riding all the way where your imagination takes you. Venture’s solidity and finishes always make a difference, resulting in a destructive weapon for big mountain riders.

Scores

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Zelix | Venture

Venture Zelix 2015

Size: 158

Weigth: 3,70kg

Born from the fusion of the Zephyr and the Helix, the Zelix is all you need to bring your splitboarding to the next level. Like all models coming from Silverton, the first impression you get is outstanding strength, stability and a premium finish. Its directional twin shape, with identic nose and tail, is just perfect for riders who see the whole mountain as their private playground. Also, the slightly set back stance enables effortless floatability. Another board we’d love to add to our quiver!

Scores

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