Splitboarding is the best way to ride beyond a resort‚Äôs boundaries for those snowboarders without the budget or inclination to use a snowmobile or helicopter. Splitboarding uses snowboards which separate into a pair of mountain touring skis. Every splitboard switched from a snowboard stance to a forward-facing, free-heeled touring-ski operation.
Splitboarding is for people that love to ride fresh snow. You can go anywhere, put your splitboard together, skin up and snowboard all day for free. Such a way of riding has been around since 1980s, but several companies manufacturing splitboard models. Some early participants fabricated their own by cutting old snowboards in half.
However, today splitboarding has caught on. Sales of splitboards doubled over the last two winter seasons to nearly $350,000, according to Snowsports Industries of America. The setup isn‚Äôt cheap, or simple, since you need to assemble the elements yourself, the board, mounting kit and bindings, sold separately, start at $1,000; the skins and poles add around $250.
People are getting to the point, that world-class snowboarding is sitting right off the side of the road, and the powder can be ridden nearly every day if you are willing to, of course. It‚Äôs amazing how fast you can travel! You can hiking or snowshoeing in deep snow, making it easier to travel long distances in the nature.
You never have to ride at a ski resort if you don‚Äôt want to, or you can go to a resort, take one lift up and access all that backcountry.
Splitboarding is such an intimate experience, and so much goes into each run. You mix the endorphin high on the way up with the adrenalin on the way down, and you‚Äôve got one of the best feelings in the world.
The Web site splitboard.com is a good source of information on splitboard products and tips for beginners. The real freedom.
Photos by: Justin L’Heureux