What is a splitboard?

Delve into what is a splitboard, how it works, and what to consider when choosing a splitboard for your next adventure.

If you're an avid snowboarder seeking to venture into uncharted backcountry terrain, you might have come across the term "splitboard" in your search for the ultimate adventure tool. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into what is a splitboard, how it works, and what to consider when choosing a splitboard for your next adventure.

A backcountry snowboard

A splitboard is a hybrid between a snowboard and a pair of skis. It is a revolutionary piece of equipment designed to facilitate both uphill ascents and exhilarating downhill descents in snow-covered, remote landscapes. This enables snowboarders to access backcountry areas typically only reachable by skiers and has transformed the way enthusiasts approach snowboarding. Snowboarders - take solace in the fact that you no longer are required to switch over to skiing if you want to go into the backcountry!


Splitboard sizing

Similar to how you would select a traditional snowboard, you should start by ensuring that the length, width and binding size are appropriate for your height and weight. For more information on this, see our article on what size snowboard should I get?

Splitboard bindings

The next step is to understand the differences in the types of splitboard bindings and hard boots vs soft boots.

  • Karakoram bindings: These bindings utilize a special patented clip system, that resembles that of ski bindings. Many folks like these bindings on their splitboard because they are easier to get on and off, and are very secure on the board. You can check out their website to see how their system works.

  • Spark bindings: These are similar to the Karakorum, however they utilize a “puck” system, where the bindings slide on and off two pucks when mounted as a snowboard, and clip into a toe-latch when mounted as skis to go uphill. You can check out their website to see how the system works.

Both of Karakorum and Spark bindings have traditional binding straps, so strapping in is the same as on a normal snowboard and you can use just about any snowboard boot with them. The only difference is their mounting style, which really depends on personal preference which system you feel more comfortable using.

  • Voile bindings: Voile on the other hand uses a similar system as Spark, but they also offer hard boot bindings. The difference is that hard boots allow you to splitboard with ski boots, clipping in similarly to how you would clip in to ski bindings with a toe and heel clip. Though this might seem weird and uncomfortable, the added support from ski boots makes it easier and lighter to hike uphill, and offers more stability when descending, especially in rough, steep and variable terrain. Many folks prefer the hard boot set-up as it offers slightly more efficiency and security up on big mountains.

Give splitboarding a try - you won't regret it!

Regardless of the system you choose, splitboarding is a great way to experience the mountains from a whole new perspective. And new binding technologies mean that splitboards are more capable than ever. It’s worth watching a youtube video or two to see how these systems work in the field and help you practice at home before taking the splitboard up to the mountain. And if you're interested in a cheaper option to making the expensive up front investment required to purchase a splitboard, consider renting a splitboard from the GeerGarage community!