2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Splitboards

How do we cram a season’s worth of splitboarding into Board Test Week? It’s an admittedly imperfect science, a chemistry of constant tinkering. Start with 40 out-of-town gearheads and Colorado rippers; acquire promising decks ranging from untested shapes to previous favorites; then shred—on the notoriously steep Crested Butte Mountain Resort, with world-renowned Irwin Guides, from a cat at Monarch Mountain and finally on a two-day strike mission to the Lost Wonder Hut.

And this year, through the battle-worn haze of dislocated shoulders, a flu outbreak, a handful of hangovers and several mercilessly battered boards, testers soldiered on to find the best in splitboard gear—and these four splits, one boot and one binding won out over the rest.

Want to see in-depth tester feedback on these products? Buy a copy of the 2018 Gear Guide, packed with reviews of all the Editors’ Choice winners, plus more than 200 other must-have skis, splitboards, boots, bindings, apparel and accessories.


Never Summer Swift

$1,000 – neversummer.com | LENGTHS: 157, 162, 167 | WEIGHT: 7.7 lbs. (157)

Bottom Line: “If you don’t like this snowboard, snowboarding probably isn’t for you.” —John Lauer

Jones Women’s Solution

$899 jonessnowboards.com | LENGTHS: 148, 152, 156 | WEIGHT: 6.3 lbs. (152)

Bottom Line: “The Solution is the best-selling splitboard for a reason: it’s a straightforward, reliable, lightweight Swiss Army Knife.”

Available on Amazon

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Weston Backwoods

$899 westonsnowboards.com | LENGTHS: 152, 157, 163 | WEIGHT: 6.3 lbs. (157)

Bottom Line: “If you splitboard for fun as opposed to survival, go with the Backwoods.”

Venture Storm

$899 – venturesnowboards.com | LENGTHS: 157, 161, 162, 166, 171 | WEIGHT: 7.4 lbs. (157)

Bottom Line: “A stiff and responsive freeride shape to be trusted on the uphill and the down.”

K2 Aspect

$480 – k2snowboarding.com | SIZES: 7-13 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 5.4 lbs.

Bottom Line: “The Aspect, our testers’ boot of choice, works in any and all conditions.”

Spark R&D Surge

$415 – sparkrandd.com | SIZES: Men’s S-L, Women’s XS/S, M/L | WEIGHT: 3.1 lbs. (med)

Bottom Line: “There’s simply no better option when uphill utility and downhill performance are considered equal.”

Available on Amazon

Buy Now »


Comments

  1. Hey,

    Did you pick a boot of choice for women? If not, why not? If so, what is it?

    Thanks

    • Tyler Cohen says:

      Hi Kathy,

      We didn’t choose a women’s-specific, splitboard-specific boot because we’ve honestly yet to see one come to market. Board Test Director Drew Zieff is a little hesitant to make that claim, however, because, he says, there might be some tiny brand somewhere making these super-niche boots.

      “In the meantime,” he says, “we’d recommend the Tourist—one of the more comfortable and softer touring boots tested—for female splitters who are anywhere from beginner to advanced and just in it for a good time; or the K2 Aspect, which is stiffer, more responsive and has a burlier build and a more aggressive outsole for anyone pushing it on technical terrain.” The other option he mentions is a women’s-specific hardboot setup.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thirty-two, hardly a “tiny brand somewhere making these super-niche boots,” is making the Jones MTB boot for the ladies this year. I would definitely consider it a splitboard specific boot, considering it has a walk-mode and a heel-welt for crampon use. Not sure on why this was not included, considering Thirty-two is one of the largest boot manufacturers. Check them out here: http://www.thirtytwo.com/us/boots/womens/jones-mtb-women-s-8205000153.html?dwvar_8205000153_color=387#start=1

      Happy Skinning!

      • Nice mention! I just got the ThirtyTwo TM2 XLT which, while not split specific, is a badass boot for back and front country. Stoked that a few of these brands are making quality gear for women.

      • Thanks for pointing this out. I just bought a pair of the thirty-two Jones mtb boots and was disappointed to see no mention of women’s split specific boots in this editor‘s choice list. And most of the boards tested are sized for larger people. I concur on the women’s Jones Solution split – I’ve been riding this for a couple seasons and it’s amazing.

    • I just got the thirty-two Jones mtb boots. They are super stiff and getting the liners heat molded is essential. Grippy vibram soles, tons of drive, particularly on my toe side edge. Not cheap boots but if I get 2 or 3 seasons out of them (40+ days/season) I will be happy. Only thing lacking is heating integrated into the liners…

      Previous boots were Burton Supremes. Those are considered a stiff boot but my new boots are waaaaay stiffer.

  2. The Backwoods is so sick! I got one last season for lines in the ten mile and gore here in CO. I love it. It slays powder, super nimble in the trees, and is super responsive. Even kills it in spring couliors with the little tail. Highly recommend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  3. REED YOUNGBAR says:

    The K2 aspect is great. It’s comfortable, durable and the liners are easy to take in and out!. However, If you have any heel drag the Mountaineers sole is totally unforgiving, its sharp , long and grabby as its supposed to be, but sucks for riding..My size 11 is considerably longer than a 32 boot or DC boot. If I was set on using this boot only I would consider finding a wider board to accommodate the heel drag

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