2011-2012 Lib Tech T. Rice splitboard

So the peek at 2011-12 splitboards has been a bit interrupted, apologize for that, ADD kicking in I guess. By now most of these are in your local shop, but for the one guy that lives in Kansas and their local shop doesn’t carry splitboards we’ll press on.

Next up is one that people have been waiting for since whispers were getting out about Rice’s DIY splits during the pre-Deeper release days.

This year’s T. Rice is Lib’s first effort (I don’t consider at releasing a board that you’ve got to drill out yourself at home much of an effort…) at a factory split and she’s looking nice. Lib took the higher end of the Rice models, the Pro Horsepower (all basalt/fiberglass free version of the standard T.Rice – basically a touch lighter), and splitboardified it. You get everything you’d expect from a factory split – inner middle edge and a standard Voile pattern, a bonus with Karakoram board/tip/tail clips – and it’s all wrapped up in a fat metal flake topsheet that looks like it could be on a ride in Dice Magazine (looks sick in real life, looks like crap in the photo below). It’s worth noting that while it has Magne-traction on the outer edges the inner edges do not have MTX the way a Jones Solution does.

The 2011-12 Lib Tech T.Rice splitboard is available in two sizes, a 161.5 and a 164.5, and MSRPs for $969.96. If your local shop doesn’t stock Lib, or sold out of the one split they carried, you can buy it online at evo, snocon, US Outdoor Store and backcountry.com.

Voile Splitboards 2011-2012

Next up in the look at 2011-2012 splitboards are the offerings from Voile. Voile took what I think is a surprising twist and are again only offering one board, but in four different lengths. I find it surprising as a few years back they had a deeper product line, and I know there are old OEM and newer one-off Voile swallowtails out there, I guess they decided the Mojo RX does everything well and there’s not enough demand for the others.  UPDATE:  Voile dropped me a line and they are actually offering two boards this year, the Mojo RX, and the limited release V-Tail (aka swallowtail)

2011-2012 Voile Mojo RX splitboard

The 2011-2012 Voile Mojo RX is the same wide nose/slight taper and setback shape as last year’s Mojo RX with a different topsheet.  Yes, I know their website says ‘New shape, new profile…’ but I reached out to Voile to confirm before pushing this.  However, one thing their website won’t tell you is that the topsheet’s difference is more than just visual.  This year Voile is using a Carbonium topsheet (as does Never Summer), which Voile claims is not only more durable but also less likely to accumulate snow when touring.  The Voile Mojo RX is available in four sizes (154, 161, 166 and 171) and a few configurations – board only (note that their definition of board only isn’t the same as others and actually comes with touring brackets, climbing heels and pucks/gaskets) for $695, board with all hardwear (aka just add bindings and go) and skins for $895, and the Light Rail package which includes everything plus their Light Rail splitboard bindings for $1095.

 

Mojo RX and Light Rail binding

 

Voile knew the world was clamoring for another topo themed splitboard and delivered

 

If your local shop doesn’t carry the Mojo, or is sold out of them, you can pick them up online here, here and here.

2011-2012 Voile V-Tail splitboard

Voile is offering a limited production swallowtail splitboard they are calling the V-Tail.  It’s not currently on their site (yet IS available on REI’s site) and looks like it’s going to be hen’s teeth like the Jones line, so if you want one get ‘er now.  Hoping to get some specs and info on this in a minute, if so will update.

Can’t find Voile at your favorite local retailer?  You can pick them up online here, here and here.

2011-2012 K2 Panoramic splitboard

Next in line at our look at 2011-2012 splitboards is the offering from K2, who is a newcomer to the factory splitboard game. Given the resources K2 has been pouring into their massively expanding backcountry ski line, and the fact that slack and backcountry riding is becoming more mainstream, it should be of no surprise to see K2 not just release a splitboard but also matching skins and other backcountry tools.

2011-2012 K2 Panoramic splitboard
The K2 Panoramic is K2’s first foray into factory splitboards but is far from a half-assed freshman effort, taking home an Editor’s Choice award from Backcountry Magazine. The Panoramic comes equipped with many of their high end technologies, including a strong ‘Bambooyah Blended’ core (which is just partial Bambooyah and doesn’t appear to carry the same 5 year warranty the other Bambooyah boards do) and their Carbon Web, which is essentially a slimmed down, less visually intrusive (sorry marketing department) 2012 version of the old school Zeppelin torsion forks to give you a little extra pop and feel.

 

K2 Carbon Web in their own words

 

The Panoramic is sporting a directional shape with a 1″ setback stance and a slightly wider nose than tail. K2’s All-Terrain Rocker, which is flat between the feet with a medium rise nose and low rise tail. work in tandem with the stance setback and slightest oftaper to help you slay whatever gets thrown your way without being intrusive.

 

*devil horns*

 

One thing you’ll quickly notice on the K2 Panoramic are the integrated tip and tail connectors (aka ‘hey, that board has holes in the front and back’ – think old school K2 Eldorado), which work in tandem with the new K2 skins to keep your skins securely attached to your board (aka no more tails coming loose because your glue is a little old and you’re too lazy to reglue your skins).  I always thought it was odd that Voile never patented some tip/tail holes and connectors as part of their splitboard patent portfolio.

 

Photo courtesy of shayboarder.com, so click the image, check out her site and show her some love! She gets more days on snow than you, fact.

 

Available in four lengths (154, 158, 162 and 168), the Panoramic will be sold in a few configurations. For $599 you’ll get just the deck, which is a nice option if you’ve got newer skins and the Voile kit already. For $899 K2 is selling the whole enchilada – board, skins and Voile kit – which is a screaming deal courtesy of offshore manufacturing and the economies of scale that K2’s production volume allows.

 

 

If your local shop doesn’t carry the K2 Panoramic splitboard you can pick it up online from amazing Seattle retailer evo (and get free shipping) in board only or with hardware and skins.  It’s also available online through backcountry.com.

Prior Splitboards 2011-2012

Up next in the 2011-2012 splitboard looksee are the offerings from Prior. Designed and built in Whistler, Prior takes a slightly different approach from most and sells custom boards direct to the consumer, as well as have a network of dealers so you can touch/feel/fondle locally. If your local shops don’t carry Prior splitboards you can pick them up online at REI.

Prior has two levels of customization. The first is their standard that you can order online – choose a topsheet, base graphic, core layup (a $200 XTC Carbon option in lieu of their standard Quadglass construction) and tune (optional $50 ‘Pro Tune’). But, you can get as wild as you want and unleash your inner control freak on your board with the ability to modify flex, width, taper – hell you can provide your own art for your topsheet and base graphic if you want to pay for it! Pretty insane when you think about it. A list of the price additions you can expect to see are below.

Description C$ surcharge
Custom flex (softer or stiffer) $70
Narrowing waist $70
Widening waist $150
Taper changes $70
Custom templates $200
Single topsheet $300
Custom base $300

Quadglass in their own words

XTC Carbon verbed and nouned for ya

Prior Fissile Splitboard
New to the Prior lineup this year is the Fissile. To me the shape of the Fissile is reminiscent of a good ol’ fashioned snowboard and wouldn’t look out of place with a nose rope, but in this day and age sounds like a quiver board. This is a powder whore’s weapon of choice – huge rockered nose, cambered tail and short radius sidecut – tree slalom to bowl slaying, the Fissile will get ‘er done for you. MSRP of $999, but depending on options can go up from there.

Prior Brandywine Splitboard
Next up is the Brandywine, an all ’rounder with Prior’s Hybrid Rocker construction which puts camber between your feet and rocker on the nose/tail. Prior designed the Brandywine for those smaller in stature (remember, the board doesn’t know your gender). Winner of a Backcountry Magazine Editor’s Choice award for 2012, where they said “If you want to ride harder and faster, this is your board. Quiver of one!” MSRP $899 and up

Prior AMF Splitboard
AMF stands for All Mountain Freestyle, the hybrid rockered/twin shaped BAMF in the Prior linup. Unchanged for 2012 this two-time BC Mag Editor’s Choice winner could be your savior if you’re a backcountry/sidecountry rider with spinjibbonking skills that I sadly lack. MSRP $899 and up

Prior Swallowtail Splitboard
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think swallowtail splitboard? Beardos in earflap hats grinning ear to ear with snow walrus tusks at the bottom of a big, fluffy bowl, obviously. ‘Nuff said. MSRP $999 and up

Prior Backcountry Splitboard
A classic (especially in the old black totem topsheet), the Prior Backcountry utilizes their hybrid rocker construction in a board built to take on whatever the mountain brings. Pow in the AM, crud in the PM? Check. A quiver board for those with a quiver of one. MSRP $899 and up

Prior Khyber Splitboard
A pow focused board with a traditional look to it, on first glance it doesn’t look much difference than the rest of their lineup. The Khyber has a long, fat nose and massive amounts of taper (25mm in the 165 board vs. 4mm in the Backcountry of the same size) to keep you on top of the fluff. MSRP $899 on up

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2011-2012 splitboards, and keep checking back a we’re adding more daily!

Jones Splitboards 2011-2012

So next up in our peek at 2011-2012 splitboard offerings are the offerings by the newer kid on the block, Jones Snowboards.  In case you’ve been living under a rock (or are just new to the sport), Jones was started by self-powered backcountry line slayer Jeremy Jones (note: there are two Jeremy Jones – one the jibbonker you’ve likely seen on the Xgames, one self-powered backcountry line slayer that you may have seen on My Own Two Feet, Deeper, and coming ‘soon’ Further).  Started “to develop the highest performance all-mountain weapons on the market – freeride boards that reflect everything I’ve learned both on the snow and in the factory. Every snowboard we produce will be born of my passion and our designs will mirror the performance demands of my riding matched with the environmental demands of my conscience“, Jeremy chose the highly skilled folks at Nidecker (they don’t get much love here in the US – marketing fail? – but they crank out HIGH END boards) to bring his ideas to life.  Between his experience riding them, and their experience making them, you’re getting a high-quality product.

All of the Jones  splitboards also use ‘mellow Magnetraction’, aka a less hooky version of the kiddie crinkle cut french fry sidecut the folks at Mervin made famous, and like Venture every board Jones makes is available as a solid board or a split and use a FSC certified wood core.

Jones Solution Splitboard

This is the board that had everyone jonesin’ long before it was released last year as it was the first OEM board to hit the market with a few of the features that had been dreamt about for years – outer AND inner magnetraction edges.  After a few early manufacturing issues related to perfecting the inner edge the Jones Solution sold out as fast as it hit stores last year.  Camber between the feet with nose rocker starting midway under front foot.  Conflicting details on the tail rocker, I reached out to them to clarify if it starts midway under rearfoot as shown on the website or is setback as shown in the catalog.  MSRP $799. If your local shop doesn’t carry Jones Snowboards you can pick up the Solution online at evo, a great shop in Seattle, Portland based US Outdoor Store.or a few other shops listed below.

 

 

Jones Solution rocker profile....maybe

Jones Solution splitboard shown with optional big brass balls

 

Jones Hovercraft splitboard

I’ve heard this one described as a magic carpet for snow, this is your snow going Skip Frye keel fish/surfy surf pow slashing G-ride.  With directional rocker (aka camber underfoot and nose rocker only) and a stiffer tail this board won’t leave you flopping like a fish out of water (see what I did there?) when the pow turns to mank down low.  While it comes in a 160 standard board the only size available split is a 156.  MSRP $699

 

Jones Mountain Twin splitboard

Called a “freestyle board with a freeride heart“, the Jones Mountain Twin has a true twin shape with a directional flex pattern.  Using what Jones calls CAMROCK (think a less aggressive Rollie Fingers mustache), the Mountain Twin has camber between the feet and a a rockered nose/tail.  MSRP $749

CAMROLLIE

 

CAMROCK

If your local retailer carries the Jones aline and you even THINK you want one I’d advise buying it if you see one cuz last year these were like hen’s teeth. If they don’t carry them you can get the Solution Splitboard here, here and here and the Mountain Twin here (and I’ll update this post as more online retailers update their sites with winter gear).

Venture Splitboards 2011-2012

It’s that time of year. Turned the heater on this AM for the first time since….March? Reading through the twitters and I see there’s some snow forecast for Utah, a winter storm warning above 8k in the Sierra, and a dusting falling right now at Timberline. At least at my house when I step outside the air has that crisp smell of fall, not quite that winter ‘sting your nostrils’ crispness, with the warm sweetness of decaying leaves that hints at starting to see snow in the hills. Time to kick the summer doldrums dust of this blog and get’er back on track! Over the next few days will highlight the various splitboard offerings for 2011-2012.

If you’ve been paying any sort of attention you know that this year is the year splitboarding goes uber-mainstream, with all the good and bad that comes with soon to follow. Like hipsters and their bands, crusty beardos will undoubtedly bitch about how splitboarding was better when nobody knew about it and gear had to be fabbed at home – and they’ll be part right. Given that snowboarding gets marketed as far more style over substance these days it’s only a matter of time til we see ‘pro model splitboard headphones’ (ya know, to keep out those annoying nature sounds). In the end splitboarding and backcountry touring IS damn fun, but it’s also hard, which makes it self-regulating. The fact that most of the world is inherently lazy will help keep the backcountry experience from falling into the ‘Red Bull helicoptered, hotel lobby douchebaggery’ cliché that seems to swallow every other action sport these days. In the end the silver lining to this ‘little secret’ getting out is that as those consumer dollars come in we should see more innovation, not just in boots, boards and bindings, but in rescue gear as well – and next year we should see some screaming deals on ‘used once’ splitboards and Spark bindings! Anyways, I’m rambling. Let’s start this look at 2011-2012 splitboards off with a peek at the offerings from Venture Snowboards (which is odd for me as I rep the PNW to the fullest, when you cut me I bleed Sonics colors, but as they were the first to respond to my request for information last spring they get the first post!).

If you’re unfamiliar with Venture read their story here, a blurb of which is below.

Venture is a small, independent snowboard manufacturer, nestled in Colorado’s remote San Juan Mountains. Owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Klemens and Lisa Branner, the company is dedicated to handcrafting high performance snowboards and splitboards while minimizing environmental impact.

Between their humble start and environmental ethos (their entire operation has been windpowered since 2004) it’s a company worthy of consideration for your dollars.

Venture Odin Splitboard
First up for 2011-2012 is new to their lineup and the board that is of most interest to me, the Venture Odin. I have fond memories from ~96 or so of the snappy flex pattern on the old Burton Johan (the old blue sparkle topsheet with the smoke pattern on it), and for that reason alone I want to try this board (if anybody wants to trade my S-series or Prior BC for their Odin ping me). Flat between the feet with a rockered nose and tail, the Odin should be a big mountain pow slayer, and was a Backcountry Magazine Editors’ Choice winner for 2012.

“Surfs the fresh and boosts effortless airs over even the smallest features…When the stakes are high, you want the Odin underfoot.” ~ Backcountry Magazine

Venture Storm-R splitboard
Next up is a board that was new in 2010, with slight revisions to the flex for 2011. A Backcountry Magazine Editors’ Choice winner in 2010, the Storm-R was Venture’s first foray into rockered splitboards. A tapered board with a wider, soft nose the Storm-R aims to give you that surfy feeling in pow that first turned you onto snowboarding

 

Nice schnozz

Venture Zephyr-R splitboard
Another one that’s been in their line for two years, the Zephyr is Venture’s do it all quiver killer. “Twice named a Future Snowboarding “Most Valuable Product” and a Backcountry Magazine Editors’ Choice in 2011, this award-winning design is the flagship of the Venture line.” Like all their boards this year the Zephyr is flat between the feet and rockered in the nose and tail.

 

Zephyr close up

 

Venture Helix-R splitboard
The Venture Helix is Venture’s take on a freestyle oriented splitboard. A rockered, true twin tipped shape with the softest flex in their lineup made for those that view the backcountry as their park.

Topsheet detail

All of the Venture splitboard retail for $895 with no hardware or climbing skins. Also note that these photos DO NOT do their boards justice and they have a sick, understated beauty in real-life – check ’em out at your local shop!

In case you’re unfamiliar with Venture here’s a vid