The 08/09 season will probably go down as a pivotal season for splitboarding. Between a cover shot on Transworld (Josh Dirksen’s homemade Salomon split on the January cover), the release of My Own Two Feet – a video dedicated entirely to splitting and the Sparks R&D bindings gaining market traction and helping to move splits away from Voile’s circa-1995/bindings 1/2″ off the board technology and receiving an Editor’s Choice award from Backcountry Magazine at the same time.
Prior, the handcrafted and made to order snowboard and ski company out of Whistler, looks to help continue splitboarding’s rise by bringing newer resort technologies into the BC and are introducing the Prior All Mountain Freestyle (AMF) – “The world’s first ever directional twin hybrid rockered splitboard” – a twin shaped split with directional flex pattern and setback stance. Official marketing speak, tech specs, and quick picture below. FYI I find the term ‘the white room’ to be almost as annoying as people who ask about ‘surfing into the funnel’. Almost.
The Prior All-Mountain Freestyle (AMF) Split allows riders to look at the backcountry with fresh eyes and creativity. With the AMF Split riders can access the backcountry and rip the line of their choice in either direction utilizing the natural terrain features to perform tricks and spins…and/or simply explore the white room (yah)!
Tech speaking the 2010 AMF Split is a twin shape with a slightly directional flex and insert setbacks (1.3cm) so that riders can bump their bindings back a little to rip strong side in the powder if they choose. A relatively deep sidecut provides added agility in the trees and chutes. The key element to this new board’s versatility, the rockered tip and tail combined with subtle camber under the waist of the board, is what we like to call the hybrid rocker.
Our hybrid rocker allows the board to turn on a dime and transition effortlessly from edge-to-edge. Incredibly, effective edge length is the same as a regular cambered board allowing the rider to sufficient edge hold on icy and hard pack conditions. Having rocker at the tip and tail provides increased powder float when riding regular or switch. We’ve kept the rockered zone relatively stiff for a stable, predictable ride….go big with confidence!
Best for – Progressive snowboard riding in the backcountry. Launch big airs, land switch, rip powder strong side or switch.
Rider type – Self-propelled snowboarders who want the freedom of riding a rockered, twin tip shape in untracked powder whenever and wherever they want.
I’ve yet to ride a Prior, sadly, as they are a bit out of my price range, but all indications is that they are a sweet ride. The only negative I’ve heard is that they seem to be a bit less durable than your average board.
Odds are your local shop doesn’t carry Prior and you’ll have to order online. The only place I’ve seen the Prior AMF for sale online thus far is REI. If you pick one up ping me with your feedback on the board as it looks like a fun one!