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!

2010 splitboard preview

It’s that time of the year again – SIA, demo days, etc. – where the manufacturers are starting to whore show next year’s gear to shops and influentials.  Back in the archaic pre-internet days of 1993 you had to actually work for a shop or go to Bachelor if you wanted to catch a glimpse of the new schwag, but fortunately Tim Berners-Lee and Al Gore were snowboarders (skiers, you’ve been neglected lately and I apologize, your time is coming soon) and decided that Bachelor was too far of a drive and thus took it upon themselves to invent the internet to facilitate ease of gear ogling.  Note that some companies are still *burton cough cough* caught off-guard when their catalogs get scanned and hit the internet.  Do you like tapes or C&Ds?

Anyways, that was a long-winded (unfunny thanks to a few glasses of wine – yeah, I know, usually I’m a beer guy but need to cut back on the midweek brewskis since Fairtex is sadly closed this week) intro to this peek at next year’s splitboards.  The big trend from the frontcountry is making its way to the backcountry and more manufacturers are adding rocker to their factory splits after some initial hesitation that it would make for harder skinning.

Sadly the rumors that have been swirling for a few years now of a Mervin “Banana split” factory splitboard are apparently false according to a conversation I had with Temple a few weeks back – said he even had to split his Billy Goat on his own. They really need to make this board if for nothing for their marketing department.

First up is the oddball of the splitboard world, the Atomic Poacher.  I say oddball as everyone else (well…Burton) gave up trying to circumvent Voile’s patents with their proprietary systems back in 2004 or so, than out of nowhere last year Atomic dropped a new system on the world.  The only information I could find on this board is slightly suspect as I had to run it through the Google translation service and got the below

One of the great sensations of this season has been the freeride Poacher table, that for the coming winter has been improved, with a very aesthetic line with the respect that we have to feel for the natural environment where we develop our sport. To highlight the semi camber reversed to give the boards of some major benefits in the practice of freestyle without losing benefits in driving. A technology that is present in the tables Axum, Banger and Pivot, which has been christened the Pop Rocker.

After reading that I’m not sure if the board has been changed or not, but I do know the new topsheet with it’s Thomas Campbell-esque patchwork look is a substantial improvement from the ’09 model.

2010 Atomic Poacher

2010 Atomic Poacher

Next up is the Prior AMF which I covered yesterday but will throw the image up again as the splitboarding world doesn’t move quite as fast as the regular shredsled world. With the Prior boards keep in mind they can be made to order, you get to choose your topsheet and your base graphic, think NikeID meets the snowboard world, just without the annoying child labor guilt trip when you walk through Berkeley.

If you can’t find them at your local shop (and odds are you won’t) you can grab them online at REI.

2010 Prior AMF

2010 Prior AMF

Burton is bringing their V-rocker to many more boards in their line for 2010, but the S-series is not one of those boards. New topsheet/base colors are the extent of the new offerings from the big B. Not that the S-series is a bad board, but I’m hoping we see a bit more out of them in 2011. I mean c’mon, they make eleventy million dollars a year and make movies promoting the ‘backcountry’ (read: catered heli trips to untracked pow…”but we had to suffer, we went three days without internet access”) experience but just change the graphics every year on the same board? I’ve got much love for the big B, as my quiver can attest to, but it bugs me to see them not using their position as dominant brand and market leader to invest in progressing an amazing (albeit nichey) part of snowboarding. /steps off soapbox

Of all the splits odds are this is the one your local shop will have. If not you can find it here, here, and here.

Burton S-series

Burton S-series

Venture, a company most are unfamiliar with out of Silverton, Colorado run one helluva operation, always keeping on eye on minimizing their environmental impact – in fact their entire operation has been wind powered since 2004! That’s the kind of thing we need to see the big guys step up to as well and I applaud Venture for the steps they’ve taken.

For 2010 Venture will be making all of their boards available as splits, two of which are rockered, one of which is cambered, and the last you’ll have a choice as to whether you want rocker or camber. The only pic I’ve seen of any of the 2010 splits is below. If you’ve never seen a Venture snowboard you’re missing out, these things are BEAUTIFUL.

According to their site these will be available online at, but Venture said they are still manfacturing the product so their online retailers don’t have it listed yet. I’d keep checking back.

2010 Venture split

2010 Venture split

Last up, at least as far as this post is concerned (there may be a part 2….) is the 2010 offerings by Voile. From what I’ve heard the Mojos (the blue/green/red boards in the background – I think they are going for an earth/wind/fire theme) are unchanged. However, take a look at the wood board board in the middle. ONE NINETY FIVE. Looks like Yao Ming finally has a park board.

Odds are good you’ll find the Voiles at your local snowboard or backcountry ski shop. If not you can grab ’em online at REI and,

2010 Voile splitboards

2010 Voile splitboards

Anyways, I’m out of wine and thus done writing for the night. I stole a lot of these photos (well, I’m hosting them so it doesn’t ring up his bandwidth costs) from Chris Gallardo’s site, so make sure you check out his site because he’s a nice guy and really helping to lead the push for manufacturers to stop ignoring the splitboard market.

Prior introduces new AMF splitboard

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.

Choose your topsheet, choose your base

Choose your topsheet, choose your base

Canuckistan pride

Canuckistan pride (btw, we've got your precious Cup)

Prior AMF specs

Prior AMF specs

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!