We’ve entered the Golden Age of Splitboards. What’s that mean? Splitboards are as innovative as ever, with brands introducing more than 60 boards this season. But game-changing technology has gone beyond the decks. This year, we tested a completely new binding system from K2 and the most impressive binding to date from Spark R&D.
Here’s just a teaser of this year’s Editors’ Choice winning snowboards and bindings. To see the full reviews, and those of 20 more boards and accessories, check out the 2014 Gear Guide.
$799 – BURTON.COM
SIZES (cm): 159, 163
+ “Nearly unlimited stance options. Ride it more centered or set it back and experience effortless pow riding.”
– “Purely cosmetic, but the black topsheet was a little more scuffed than I expected after a couple days of splitting.”
= An innovative split and precision freerider for all conditions.
$935 – CHIMERASNOWBOARDS.COM
SIZES (cm): 153, 160, 165
WEIGHT: 7 lbs. 3 oz. (160)
+ “A high-energy board that is great for fast riding. Stiffer flex creates a solid stomping platform. ”
– “The upper-level flex means it needs speed to really shine. ”
= A versatile split with short yet sharp teeth on the uphill, and provided an energetic, powerful ride.
GNU B-PRO SPLIT
$850 – GNU.COM
SIZES (cm): 152, 155
WEIGHT: 6 lbs. 11 oz. (152)
+ “All-mountain backcountry dominator! Handles steeps, tight trees, open meadows and crud with ease.”
– “It took a run or two in spring conditions to get used to the Magne-Traction edges.”
= Last year this was the top women’s split. This year the reviews were filled with enough high praise to earn the B-Pro a second consecutive Editors’ Choice Award.
$849 – JONESSNOWBOARDS.COM
SIZES (cm): 154, 158, 161, 163W, 164, 168W
WEIGHT: 7 lbs. 6 oz. (161)
+ “Lightweight, but charges like a brick shithouse down the fall line. Great for steeps and variable terrain.”
– “I would’ve liked just a little more tail to save me from backseat landings and for more stability at speed.”
= A seasoned freerider that gets better with age.
K2 NORTHERN LITE
$700 (Kit – $950) – K2SNOWBOARDING.COM
SIZES (cm): 152
WEIGHT: 6 lbs. 2 oz. (152)
+ “Great tip-to-tail flex for popping off rollers or dropping ledges into soft snow. And a brilliant skin interface; the best one out there for sure.”
– “A bit too stiff torsionally for my liking.”
= A lightweight, surfy women’s split with a finely-tuned skin system.
NEVER SUMMER PROSPECTOR
$1,000 – NEVERSUMMER.COM
SIZES (cm): 160, 164, 161X, 167X
WEIGHT: 7 lbs. 10 oz. (164)
+ “Simply the best split I’ve ridden. Feels like a solid board; rides like a dream in all conditions.”
– “The topsheet collected snow when skinning in spring conditions.”
= As one tester concluded, “Never Summer nailed it with this all-mountain split.”
$899-1,099 – PRIORSNOW.COM
SIZES (cm): 166, 172
WEIGHT: 6 lbs. 15 oz. (166, XTC)
+ “Absolutely destroys pow. So stable at speed it’s almost too easy. Punch down pillow fields and drop depth-charge heelsiders at will—one of the best pow boards I’ve ever ridden.”
– “Big nose was unwieldy in icy trees and on tight traverses.”
= A prolific pow stick that won’t let you down no matter how deep it gets.
$895 – VENTURESNOWBOARDS.COM
SIZES (cm): 149, 153, 154, 158, 159, 162, 163, 164, 167, 168
WEIGHT: 7 lbs. 8 oz. (158)
+ “All-mountain badass. Stomps landings, even on the heel or toe edge. Quick and smooth. Great float for a twin.”
– “Strong enough for a man, yet not enough torsional flex for (most) women. Smaller sizes need to soften up.”
= A powerful directional twin that’s playful in mellow terrain and steps it up in the steeps.
SPARK R&D TESLA BINDINGS
AFTERBURNER – $415
SIZES: small, medium, large
WEIGHT/PAIR: 3 lbs. 8 oz. (medium)
MAGNETO – $385
SIZES: small, medium, large
WEIGHT/PAIR: 3 lbs. 4 oz. (medium)
+ “Ten out of 10.”
– Accessing the short riser first requires engaging the longer riser.
= “The most innovative change in splitboarding since the first Spark binding.”