2023 Editors’ Choice: Splitboards, Boots and Bindings

At our first snowboard test in 2005, the array of splits we saw this year would have been unimaginable. Volume-shifted freestyle whips. Fishes and swallowtails with fat, rockered noses and tapered tails. Stiff carvers with ample camber. “A lot of long-sidecut freeride boards and dedicated ‘turning’ boards are making the cut—there’s a real polarization of the quiver happening industry-wide in splitboarding,” one longtime tester and Sierra cat-skiing guide told us. Gone is the need to buy a stiff, burly deck that fits your biggest missions then make it work for everything else. We’re in the Quivercene, an anthropological era of diversification. One downside? The increasing rarity of the all-mountain crusher. “It’s almost like the bell curve is being squashed in the middle and pushed away from the do-it-all boards,” another experienced tester said. A second downside? Cost: More options hasn’t meant cheaper ones. For the budget-conscious, those quiver-killers are out there, if you look hard enough. But riders looking to procure an array of splits that match each and every condition—hippy pow to skinny steeps—finally have the options they’ve always wanted. —The Editors

Weston Ridgeline

westonbackcountry.com  ·  $949  ·  3370g (158)  ·  154, 158, 162,162W, 166W

“A chunder-humping loogie hawked in the face of specialized splits, the Ridgeline is the versatile, blue-collar board your quiver doesn’t want you to meet.” —Drew Zieff

Cardiff Goat Pro Carbon

cardiffsnow.com  ·  $1,350  ·  2840g (158)  ·  150, 154, 156, 158, 162, 166

“Buy this and you can sell the rest of your boards on Craigslist.” —Tom Hallberg

Cardiff Powgoda Pro Carbon

cardiffsnow.com  ·  $1,350  ·  2858g (155)  ·  148, 152, 155, 158, 162

“The Powgoda’s like vanilla ice cream—easy to anticipate, and it goes with everything. A fun and playful quiver of one.” —Anna Weber

Korua Pencil

koruashapes.com  ·  $849  ·  3500g (164)  ·  147, 164

“Eleven out of 10. Perfect magic from Korua. It is so smooth and snappy and confident, with endless energy.” —Mathieu Ros

Weston Revel

westonbackcountry.com  ·  $949  ·  2960g (153)  ·  143, 148, 153

“This board is a head turner—with a flashy design and responsive camber, it’s a soul turner’s dream.” —Anna Weber

Stratos Split

jonessnowboards.com  ·  $950  ·  3000g (156) ·  156, 159, 161W

“This is an approachable and dependable freeride machine built for slaying lines in the mountains. The shape inspires aggressive riding, and Jones doesn’t cut any corners in the construction.” —Chris Cloyd

Spark R&D Arc ST

sparkrandd.com  ·  $429  ·  1256g/pair  ·  sizes: XS-L

“The new design reduces fumbling with risers—just whip out your pole, and wham, bam, thank you, ma’am, your risers are up and you’re in cruise control.” —Drew Zieff

K2 Waive

k2snow.com  ·  $530  ·  2326g/pair  ·  sizes: 5-13

“The Waive is comfortable when touring for hours on end and provides a quality riding experience on the descent you just worked so hard for.” —Drew Zieff

Phantom Slipper HD boot

phantomsnow.com  ·  $850  ·  2300g/pair  ·  sizes: 23-30

“Most snowboarders still think we’re weird for using hardboots, but I barely notice a difference on the descent, and they’re lightyears better on the uphill.” —Tom Hallberg

Phantom M6 binding

phantomsnow.com  ·  $420  ·  860g/pair  ·  sizes: S/M, L/XL

“If this stuff works in space shuttles, it’s probably good enough for my splitboard.” —Tom Hallberg

Get your copy of the 2023 Backcountry Gear Guide featuring 122 reviews of skis, boots, splitboards and bindings with 35 Editors’ Choice awards—in-depth, unbiased analysis of the best gear for any type of skier or rider. Plus, top-tier apparel and accessories to round out your kit.

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