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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.”

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 at Outdoor Gear Exchange

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  1. Hey,

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


    • 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!

  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. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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