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 Post subject: Re: How to build a splitboard WITHOUT a Voile splitkit reloaded
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:55 pm
Posts: 14
Well, I finished the board and went testing. It is fully functional both touring and riding mode. Because my friends were already in the mountains testing meant touring for 7 km into a valley and then getting up on one side of it to the hut at the forest line. A total of 600 m in elevation. All done in 3 hours after a night of diving and few hours of work. Even in these conditions the effort I put into climbing on the splitboard felt like maybe a third of the one required for walking and about halfway the one needed to snowshoe with your board on the backpack. Skinning is amazing. It can get you across the snow really fast. You can travel way longer distances and hit a lot of lines in a day.
I epoxied the last holes just before i left so I had to bake them in the car :doobie:
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As you can see the snow builds up all over and doubles the weight of the ski sometimes!
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Unfortunately by the time I got there the snow melted on the surface and formed this really nasty crust that we all hate. This meant more hardcore testing for the board. The next morning the wind was blowing really hard so we couldn’t go for the alpine stuff. So we went for some short lines in the threes. The climbs were easy like I expected. But let’s not kid ourselves. The mountains are not the shop or the living room. If you can switch the board from touring to riding mode in 3 min in the leaving room it will take you at least double in the snow.
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In total I did about 7 transformations of the board. It took anything between 5 and 20 minutes to do. What I have learned:
1. Tip and tails work fine. They are easy to lock and they stay locked during the ride. Didn’t cause any trouble except the skin’s hook goes a little hard past them when I put the skins on or I take them off. I fixed that already making the hole of the skin’s hook larger.
2. The Chinese hooks keep a tight connection between the board halves. But Burton was right. The little V shape is a big pain in the ass when it comes to cleaning the ice build up! Sometimes even after I cleaned them in a matter of seconds the wind would put just enough snow back in there to make the board not close properly.
3. The pucks are working fine but also have big problems with the ice build up. At one transformation I did not have the swiss knife with me so that was the the time it took me 20 minutes to turn the board in riding mode. Big mistake to have left it at the hut. The carbon gets eaten up by the binding’s teeth. I will try to fill those teeth with something to prevent this from happening. Not too much damage was done so far so should be fine.
4. The risers are crap. The little one works but the big one is pushed back by the binding. Must re think the hole thing in the future but for the short term I will do some modifications to get both of them to work for the rest of the season. They were also the carbon parts that suffered the most damage because of the binding constant knocking on the risers edge. I hope that some epoxy would fix the problem and for the next time I will protect the edge with some rubber.
5. The touring brackets seem to be the most successful thing so far. The parts that are mounted on the binding didn’t brake like I feared. The parts that are mounted on the board got loosen a little but I tighten them up again and now they stay in place. I might consider epoxying them to the board. The aluminium will obviously wear out in time but I have in mind some Teflon bushings for them. Sucks I couldn’t find any from the beginning. A 3 hole connection to the board would be preferable but will cut another hole in the board that’s why I’m not ready to dump the 2 hole idea yet.
6. Touring mode. Walking on the icy terrain made me slide on numerous occasions. Also climbed really steep sections zig-zaging through the forest. All this combined with my beginner’s mistakes and with some actual skiing on little downhill sections put a lot of abuse on the brackets. Good thing they are still working!!!
7. Riding mode. The board felt solid even on ice. I don’t expect to have any trouble on powder. I crushed a few times because the crust kept dragging me under it. I felt the board taking a lot of abuse at least on one of the crushes. Even so everything stayed together and actually the board feels just like 3 weeks ago when it was a solid.
8. Skiers tracks don't work for splitboarders unless they are on really fat skies!

No, I did not jump the hut on my splitboard in touring mode!
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The goodies i missed not finishing the split 3 days earlier!
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For the next session I will try different substances on the areas where I need to prevent the snow from sticking. Thin oil was suggested also antifreeze or windshield liquid. Any of you guys tried that or maybe you know something else that works? If I can get the mounting time reduced to half of what it is now I would be very pleased. If not I would still go skinning because it’s totally worth it.
The only real challenge I fear now are really low temperatures. The transformations are best done with your bare hands. Not an option on a -15 Celsius day!

Also I came to the conclusion that carbon is not a very good solution for a splitboard. Not because it’s not strong enough but because the edges of the parts are always in danger of being hit and damaged.
I admit that testing the board 10 km away from the closest accessed road was a bit of a dumb idea. But the split worked and got me back to the car.
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 Post subject: Re: How to build a splitboard WITHOUT a Voile splitkit reloaded
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:09 pm
Posts: 27
Brilliant TR and awesome how you we drying the epoxy in the car on the way to the mountains hahaha.

Does the Bike QR pin screw into the brackets, or you just use it as a pin and tuck it into the binding like on the picture?

Was the ice build up on the pucks so bad you would reconsider this design?

Where are you based. amazing scenery.


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 Post subject: Re: How to build a splitboard WITHOUT a Voile splitkit reloaded
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:55 pm
Posts: 14
Jarno, the bike QR goes in the binding and stays under the boot and doesn't bother when touring. Initially I wanted to keep the nut too but there is no use for that. So i actually cut the part with the thread and had it sharpened a little.
The ice build up differs from day to day. I was snowboarding this weekend again and this time it was hotter and the snow was easy to clean. My interest is to keep riding sick remote locations that nobody else can get to. so yes for the next season i will try to figure out another design and try to avoid this ice build up problem.
I personally believe that the rails and even karakorams are a bit outdated and probably have problems of their own when taken into the backcountry. I read somewhere on this forum that somebody broke the ears of the karakorams in two days of riding. and a lot of others ripped out the rails from the Voile plastic pucks. I wouldn't trust those either. Things should probably go in the direction the Sparks RD went with these new Edison bindings. http://splitboard.com/index.php/featured/news/262-first-look-at-the-new-spark-rad-edison-system-and-20122013-products I have no interest in advertising them but they seem to make sense. But they will also have a lot of ice build up problems. Actually I would like to see a video of someone climbing a mountain and switching from touring to riding mode on top of a peak with the wind blowing and the low temperatures and everything else. They should have no problem with that as they claim to be a rider owned company. A video taken at a fair is almost irrelevant as I learned in the mountains.
Where I am located is amazing I know, that's why it should stay off this forum to keep the place wild and rough with the least visitors possible. :thumpsup:
Tomorrow I go back in and hope for some good snow this time! :drool:


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 Post subject: Re: How to build a splitboard WITHOUT a Voile splitkit reloaded
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:09 pm
Posts: 27
Cool.

The new sparks do look good. Would love to see them in action.

I got the Dremel ready in the garage and a set of bindings to sacrifice, so I should have a first prototype ready soon too.

As for where you are. Its cool to keep it secret. Just tell me which airport i have to show up, you can blindfold me from there if you want... :)


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 Post subject: Re: How to build a splitboard WITHOUT a Voile splitkit reloaded
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:55 pm
Posts: 14
so we went for another hopping the weather conditions will change and some new snow will fall. That did not happen. Then we hopped for the temperature to rise to soften the snow. that happend in the last of 5 days out in the mountains. only for one run :banghead:

Some magnificent couloirs and probably the best pillow lines I've been on lay just outside the hut. and the best think about this is they' re one on top of each other :guinness:
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But everywhere we looked the snow was really hard. Next thing to do was to go up to the highest peak in the mountain range to see if it hides some good snow. But no luck in there either. actually it was worse. Couldn't even see the tracks i made when i descended. :thumbsdown:
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The violet flame is known to struck in this area right on your best run to protect the rider from the various dangers the mountains hide.
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It's hopeless to even think of powder now as it is late march. So the best thing to do for the next trip is to get as much beer as possible up to the hut! No need for food as the barrel is fool there. Set the bar somewhere between the couloirs and the pillows and make the best of the spring snow. :thumpsup:

oh and btw. the split works fine so far. it took a lot of abuse again on the icy slopes but is holding on so far. The ice build up is minimal and easy to remove above 0 Celsius. The hardest part about making the transitions is taking the skins on and off. Not to mention setting the skins apart. if there is a friend close by to lay a hand, no problem. If you have to do it on your own it sucks ass.

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now let's take a look at this motion picture taken early February before splitting to remember how powder snow feels like!


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 Post subject: Re: How to build a splitboard WITHOUT a Voile splitkit reloaded
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:55 pm
Posts: 14
we were like: "Is this a Joke?" because it was first of April and we had 25 cm of fresh over the night and still dumping crazy in the morning. The weather that day was stormy for 30 minutes...
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and sunny for 3 minutes. followed by strong wind and clouds rolling in to bring another storm.
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And the pow was perfect to surf on!
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But all this came with a price. one of the touring brackets broke right after I left the car and this lead to a 6 hour hike to the hut instead of the usual 3 hours of skinning. I feared this will happen an it did.
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It obviously broke because of the 2 holes being so close in the stress area. Also the material I used is not the best alloy out there.
I will cut another two brackets. A little bit longer and thicker in the stress area. I will try to bolt it in a different way to avoid drilling holes in this area.
So this trip I didn't get to use the touring mode. but finally got to ride the board in powder. also jumped a few things and tried to carve really hard to see if I can do something to the splitboard. No problems so far!
The weather man says low temperatures and new storms are heading this way next week. So I'd better get to work! :bananas:


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 Post subject: Re: How to build a splitboard WITHOUT a Voile splitkit reloaded
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:01 am
Posts: 13
Location: Denver area
So how did the edges hold up? Im about to take my DIY to the router table. Planning on using a dremel and do it in the same fashion.
How has it held up?
Did you use any screws?
Awesome design man!

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