In mid-March, we headed back to the Pyrenees for the annual Splitboard Magazine test, during a season that will go down on the record books as one of the driest and mildest of the last years in our mountain range. Given the circumstances, we decided to move the test to our usual playground in Cerdanya (Easternmost Pyrenees), for this would allow us to be more flexible, making the logistics easier in case we got lucky and the conditions happened to improve.
After a highly promising early season, where a couple of heavy weather fronts covered the mountains with snow at the end of November and beginning of December, we experienced a warm and dry Winter, except for a short cold episode in January. February was one of the worst months we can remember, ever, with extremely high temperatures and hardly any worthy precipitation. March blessed us with a couple of Eastern and Southern fronts, which finally consolidated a solid snow base in the Eastern Pyrenees.
So, here we are again, stoked to offer you some hints about the majority of splitboards to be found on the market this upcoming season. Splitboarding keeps growing year after year, proof of which is the increasing number of splitboards on display in most snowboard brands’ catalogs. The variety of shapes and constructions is also remarkable, aiming to reach every type of rider and riding style: from pow surf boards to real big mountain guns.
One of the outstanding facts in this year’s test is the wide array of light splitboards available, built to optimize uphill performance and to satisfy every weight weeny, like the new Stranda the Descender Fjäderlätt, the Nitro Vertical or the Jones Ultra Stratos. As the most outstanding news this season, Head Snowboards is joining the splitboard market with their VOY model, as is the French sport giant Decathlon with their Dreamscape Splitboard 500. Amplid launches the Freequencer, a splitboard with the same shape as the Milligram aiming to reach a wider spectrum of splitboarders. The most remarkable feature at Jones Snowboards is probably the new Surf Camber in the Mind Expander, a noteworthy change which improves this splitboard’s behavior in variable conditions without losing the surfy character of a shape designed by surf shaper Chris Christenson. Also worth mentioning is Stone Snowboards’s new Legalize, an all-mountain splitboard that rounds the circle of the brand’s vast splitboard catalog. Borealis introduces the new Ramen Express, a board developed for riders aiming to expand their playground beyond their ski resort. We can’t help falling for Korua’s shapes, combining optimal floatability and next level carving equally. Last but not least, Chimera, Yes, Help or K2 aim for versatility and adaptability on the mountain with their all-mountain splitboards such as the Sceptre, the Optisplistic, the Adventure or the Marauder.
When it comes to splitboards for women, there are two distinct options: the Jones Dream Weaver, a splitboard to enjoy all types of terrain and snow conditions at ease, and the Pallas Zeitgeist, a mind blowing board for deep powder days.
Last season we fired up and also launched our first local Splitfest in the Eastern Pyrenees, in Porté-Puymorens mountain resort to be precise, in our very own backyard. All attending riders had the chance to try out all the splitboards included in our test, and the feedback was so positive – both from the public and the brands – that we’d love to make it happen again this season. This is such a great opportunity to get a taste of so many different splitboards, which otherwise would be impossible to test for most splitboarders.
Finally, as we always do, we’d like to give a shout out to all the brands who have trusted us from the very first test we set up over a decade ago, as well as to the new brands joining our line-up for the first time this season.
The first and only magazine dedicated entirely to the splitboarding world, featuring all the information related to mountains, splitboards, bindings, trip reports, interviews, equipment reviews and more.