After 4 years in Tavascan, we were forced to change the location of our annual test a few days before the set date. Tavascan La Pleta del Prat Mountain Resort suffered the down side of the persistent snowstorms that hit the Pyrenees during February 2015, when part of their facilities were damaged by a fat avalanche triggered by the resorts snow patrol to avoid accidents. From Splitboardmag.com, we would like to thank Baqueira-Beret and Camping Prado Verde for the warm welcome and for their help in the making of this test.
After the preceding snowstorms, we were blessed with high pressures, allowing us to enjoy fresh powder runs during the first two days. We decide to set camp at Peülla, in Bonaigua, the easternmost area of the resort, with a wide choice of sidecountry runs and a relaxed atmosphere. We felt lucky to be able to base the test in one of our favorite parts of Baqueira-Beret.
Once more, we chose to capture the riders’ first impressions and evaluations of the different criteria right on the terrain, in order to transmit you the most reliable opinion of the testers. We would like to give special thanks to the brands which made it possible:
In addition to this, we wish to thank our “resident” riders: Pau Gómez, UIAGM guide at Dablam Esports, Javi Barro from Gaiur Compañía de Snowboard and Elena González de Murillo, and also Marion Velten and Félix Pons. Last but not least, thank you to the Playground.tv crew for capturing and transmitting through their footage what went on during those 4 days at Val d’Aran.
The Morning Glory features the same as last year’s model. The Amplid Morning Glory is above all a very well balanced board. It behaves really well in all sorts of terrain and despite its classic powder board shape, it’s a very reactive and maneuverable board. The long inverted camber in the nose provides great floatability on deep snow and traditional camber on the tail, that provides precision and control when we need it. A solid board, it’s equally stable and agile but it’s on open terrain, deep snow, high speed and wide turns where we feel more comfortable. A good option for riders who charge on all kind of deep snow.
Amplid has left every single one of our testers in awe, once again. It’s not only the lightest splitboard in the market, but also one of the most versatile boards we have ridden. Despite its carbon construction, the flex as well as the torsion feel very natural, unlike other carbon boards where the stiffness of the board is the most remarkable feature. We all liked this, because we think torsion is one of the aspects that needs to be improved the most on carbon splitboards. Nevertheless, it feels super stable when carving from edge to edge at great speed. It feels ultra light to skin up with and it performs really well on all kinds of terrain and snow. Definitely the lightest and most versatile board in this year’s test.
The Amplid Creamer is a board for everything. A true all-mountain board to play around the whole mountain. It’s a really stable board when you’re looking for speed and wide turns, but it also performs really well on sketchy terrain, where the stiff tail gives us the security and control we need to press hard on our edges. The S-Rocker keeps us afloat on deep powder days. It’s quite a stiff board but both the flex and the pop make it a very comfortable board.
A freeride specific board, to ride down fast lines on deep snow. Excellent floatability thanks to the Skim Rocker. Flat rocker between bindings and on the nose and tail. It takes a while to get used to it when you first ride it on groomed slopes due to the Dual Sidewaves, as they round the turn forcing you to change edges on wide turns, but it still performs really well on hard pack. Carbon fiber adds stability at high speed, but also stiffness, so we thinks it lacks a bit of torsion and pop. A super fun board to make the most of powder days.
If you’ve been in the snowboard planet for a while, you won’t be surprised to see that Burton Snowboards has included one of their flagship boards in their catalog. The legendary Custom, a timeless icon, is also one of the most versatiles splitboards in the market, starting next Fall. Playful and adaptable, the Custom can handle anything on every type of terrain and snow conditions, thanks to the stability provided by its directional twin shape and traditional camber. A winning bet for any rider willing to take their splitboarding to the next level.
This woman specific model from Burton snowboards is a super comfortable, fun board thanks to its directional shape and good flex/ torsion ratio. Hard core rippers might miss a bit of edge control when riding down aggressively from edge to edge, probably because 150cm can feel a bit short -and it’s the only available length. Excellent floatability on powder; the S-Rocker makes it a perfect track opener as well as a surprisingly stable, poppy board. An extremely reliable and fun all around splitboard, perfect to keep adding feet to your vertical drop records or simply to enjoy a cool day on the mountain.
We were impressed by the versatility and reactiveness of this board in all types of terrain. A splitboard that feels comfortable from the first turn and is very easy to get used to. It gives you all the stability, precision, control and all the response you need to ride groomers. Good floatability on powder thanks to the rocker profile. Directional shape, medium flex and torsion, and good pop. A balanced board, fun to ride. A very good option for riders who look for a versatile board to ride the whole mountain.
The Furberg created a buzz during the test. Everyone would have enjoyed riding it longer to get the most of its ground-breaking technology. At first, it feels a bit weird on the groomers while riding it aggressively, although the wide sidecut radio makes it stable and solid. On the other hand, it showed an excellent performance on deep snow, with great floatability thanks to its rocker and reverse sidecut; it also feels really easy from edge to edge when it’s deep. We all wished we’d had the chance to ride it a few more days.
The girls also wished they had more time to ride the innovating technology of the Furberg, because like the model for men, you need time to get to understand how this board works. On the slope, the first impression is that you need to reset your riding technique to adapt it to its bizarre shape, because it doesn’t react to the usual turning technique like a normal sidecut board. It demands a centered stance all the time. But when we ride it on powder, it becomes a lively, fast and fun board to ride.
A very solid, well finished board at first glimpse, the generous rocker on the nose and two flat sections on the tail and nose provide great floatability. The Gara RAnger allows you to think big. Perfect to shred wide turns and charge the mountain at high speed. We loved the tail, which allows you to initiate the turn quickly and is perfect to pivot safely while turning on sketchy terrain, thus making it an excellent option if big mountains are your playground of choice. The light traditional camber and wide sidecut keep it stable when you press hard on it. It’s a stiff board and it’ll require all the power your legs can give out to make the most of it.
A really versatile splitboard, designed for any all around splitboarder’s daily routine. Stiffness and strength are all Gara Splitboards main characteristics, thanks to their carbon strips. We would have liked a smoother flex and torsion to make it more versatile and comfortable when the terrain or our riding style is not so demanding. The Classic offers excellent performance and stability both on mixed snow conditions and aggro groomed snow carving, as well as an excellent floatability on deep powder.
The Jones Carbon Solution is certainly designed for big mountain splitboarding. A very stiff and reactive board from nose to tail. Perfect for big lines at high speed, for sketchy, technical terrain where falling down is not an option, and we require all the precision and control a board can possibly provide. That’s the type of terrain where we can make the most of this splitboard. It feels super stable at high speed, even when we run into different types of snow, The blunt nose adds to its floatability. A board for advanced level riders looking at riding engaged terrain.
What else could we say about this splitboard. Our girls’ favourite without the hint of a doubt. With the women’s Solution, they know they go out there with the perfect board under their feet. It performs really well, with just the perfect flex, torsion and pop. It’s quick from edge to edge, and totally reliable for solid all terrain charging. The blunt nose helps to stay afloat, and Magne-Traction guarantees a safe ascent when the terrain requires so. A true All-Mountain board for girls who know what they want from their craft.
With the Explorer, Jones Snowboards comes closer to riders who are initiating into splitboarding. But let’s face it, even though we are dealing with a splitboard that could suit anyone, it carries Jones’ signature. We found it very comfortable, both regarding its torsion and flex; it is not too demanding and it provides excellent performance in all types of terrain. The blunt nose translates into excellent float; a good board for riders who are looking to step up their backcountry riding skills.
A True Twin shape to enable you to display all your tricks in the backcountry. The perfect option for riders who see the mountain as an endless snowpark, plus all the benefits of carbon construction. It goes really fast from edge to edge, it’s stiff, reactive and super light. Like all carbon construction boards, you know it’ll require all your power to make the most of it, but we guess, if you’re considering it as an option, you already know what you’re getting into. Hybrid rocker on the tail and nose, to land airs on deep snow and traditional camber for better precision at executing your tricks.
The BC XTC from Prior is a high performance splitboard for all sorts of terrain and snow conditions. A very solid board, stiff and reactive as a whole due to its carbon construction, precise and stable at thigh speed thanks to the directional shape and traditional camber. The rocker at the nose and tail guarantees excellent floatability despite a not too generous nose width. A perfect board for daily use, without having to worry about the different terrain you’ll come across. Moreover, the XTC Carbon construction makes it one of the lightest board in the market. A true All-Mountain board.
With a softer flex than the BC XTC, the Prior Brandywine is a most versatile board for girls who charge in the backcountry. Directional shape, traditional camber and rocker at the tail and the nose to make your riding easier in all kind of terrain and snow conditions. It is easy to initiate the turn and it keeps very stable at high speed. The XTC Carbon construction provides extra strength, stiffness and control, but it requires strong legs to make the most of its flex and torsion, if you don’t want to bite the dust. On the other hand, you’ll get all the control and lightness you need while skinning up.
A comfortable, predictable and simple board for all of you who take the first steps on a splitboard. When you’re starting, it is advisable to rely on equipment that makes things easy and gives you a margin for error. It works well in all sorts of uncompromised terrain. A fun and comfy splitboard for pow or corn days, when you’re legs need a break after a long ascent. Medium flex and torsion for a smooth easy riding.
Stemming from the Basque Country, here come Summit Splitboards. The girls agreed that it is a very predictable board, easy to get used to. It rides well on every type of terrain, it carves well on groomed snow and floats correctly on powder. The flex and torsion are in the middle of the scale but it lacks a bit of pop. In all, it’s an understated splitboard, easy to ride, for girls who are looking for their first splitboarding experience to start working smoothly on their backcountry touring skills.
The first thing that caught our attention is the new wooden core. The Zelix’s concept is based on versatility, and this is enhanced by the new construction, that also makes it lighter and more progressive. A splitboard that performs well in all kinds of terrain, for riders who like to ride on the center of the board. Excellent floatability on deep snow; it’s stable, reactive and fast on hardpack. A super fun and versatile splitboard to make the most of your riding all over the mountain. Medium flex and torsion, plus an excellent pop. The 260mm wide waist, means riders who don’t half big fee will take longer to go from edge to edges.
A classic directional shape for a specific deep powder board. Flat camber and a generous rocker on the nose are a winning combination for great floatability. As much as we love traditional camber boards on freeride boards, we are positively surprised by its performance on hard snow. You won’t miss any of the control and precision you need when conditions demand them. Its floatability and the quick edge to edge reaction, make this board a powder shredding machine. A very comfortable flex, torsion and good pop. Stable, solid, fast and lighter than previous years thanks to the new wood core.
Despite being a stiff board, forcing us to give all we had from the first run, it is nevertheless very versatile. With stiff flex and torsion, it is a very reactive board, with an excellent pop, solid, stable at high speed, and it behaves really well on mixed variable snow, on powder or carving on groomers. The Rocker Camber demands a centered stance, pressing hard on it to remain on the rails. Despite not being fans of double camber on classic freeriding boards, we really liked its performance on hard snow. For solid, spotless chargers.
Another versatile and fun board we had the chance to test. Despite its flat/micro camber it performs really well when you require edge grip at high speed. It feels really fast and fluid from edge to edge, but it’s on soft snow and deep powder when it feels most at home. Medium flex and torsion for a super fun, smooth riding, and excellent pop. A board that could suit all types of riders, from beginners to advanced riders willing to enjoy the mountain without too much commitment.
A splitboard you can split in 4 parts by Salomon Snowboards, designed to make the most of the ascent. Although it does feel extremely light and easy skinning up, the down side is that all these different parts add weight, resulting in a heavy board. It took us a while to get used to the torsion and the flex at the beginning, we didn’t feel too comfortable going from edge to edge until we started to ride faster, charging harder. That’s when we started to feel good on it, when it showed its solid and stable character.
This board was one of the big surprises of the test, and one of the most polyvalent boards you’ll find in the market next season. Easy to steer, we felt really comfortable riding from the very moment we strapped ourselves. Despite the waist width and the 163cm length, it feels very easy and fun to ride. Quick from edge to edge, the flex and the torsion would make you think you’re riding your solid board. Traditional camber provides all the precision and stability you need when you’re charging. The perfect splitboard for any type of rider, on any kind of terrain and snow conditions.