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 Post subject: Feedback from 1st Trip & some questions.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:43 am
Posts: 16
Hello all,

So I thought after reading many of your reports on here, I’d write my own 1st Splitboard trip overview & experience – and post some questions / issues I found, in the hope some of you would have some suggestions.

Have ben snowboarding for the past 17 years and been lucky enough to do several seasons in Europe, as well as extensive trips in the other years. Recently me and some old friends decided to ‘up’ the annual gents trip and head to our friends place in Algana for a long weekend back country – with a guide. Those who don’t know Alagna, it’s in the MonteRosa region of the Italian Alps, and is known by the nickname – ‘Freeride Paradise’. 1 lift up, numerous lines down – or more lines deeper in.

Bought some kit for this – and also given that I am off for another week in Chamonix shortly – but experienced my 1st SB issues almost straight away.

Was able to opt for the Karakoram SL bindings and went for the Unity Dominion; 1st problem became apparent because the mounting inserts on the board were spaced about 5mm further apart, so the binding plates wouldn’t connect correctly.. after much to-ing & froing (Russ at Karakoram you are a legend) I ended up sending the Unity back and chasing across Europe for a Jones wide-board. Got the Solution sent from France… but it got damaged by the couriers, so it had to go back… more hassles…. Anyhow, the replacement was sent out, and it arrived 2 days before we left. Again some calls & photos to the Karakoram guys and I had everything fitted and all set.

Trip was awesome – skiing was a bliss, transitions quick & easy, snow amazing, rappelling down cliffs to valleys blew the mind, the whole 4 days rocked.

And here are my kit observations, and any feedback & suggestions are welcome.

The Board:

- The board (Split Solution 163 wide) rode like a dream off piste on the pow, I couldn’t have known it was a split, there was no telling or strange sensations.. it was stiff, responsive and handled everything thrown at it.

On the Piste (or groomers) the only thing I noticed was:

- The internal edges did have a small gap in-between them after a while, this meant these edges were not flush at times and you noticed it on hard-pack when it appeared to ‘bite’.
- The K-clips started the day ‘tight’, but would loosen – I ended up having to put a strip of duct tape around the loop, to tighten them up.

The Bindings:

- Stiff, efficient, and felt totally secure in all modes.
- Touring Mode: During touring the transitions were a doddle, no problems at all with ice, small parts, or anything – worked effortlessly. My skiing buddies were amazed at the kit as they all thought I’d have some problems, none at all. Heel lockdown worked a treat and made traversing ‘reasonably’ more bearable (I am never going to like traversing)… although it still felt really ‘loose’ when actually skiing downhill on some short downhill sections…
- Riding mode: here’s where I had 1 issue throughout the trip. Due to you being unable to slide the bindings across the board to make micro adjustments to heel / toe overhang I was constantly aware that on hard-pack / groomers the heel was overhanging more than I’d like, this resulted in me catching the heel a number of times and losing the heel edge on turns. Only happened on the piste, but was enough of an issue to make me v careful when I put heel turns in on the slopes. Karakoram have said that my bindings may be too big.. but I have the L / XL bindings and a UK size 11 boot. Will see about swopping out the heel cups for the next size down although worried this might simply move the problem from the heels to the toes…

Think that’s about it – will make some adjustments for next week in Cham, and see how that goes.. but anyone has any suggestions for any of the above problems.. please let know!

Also… Stateside you seen to have a bunch of ‘Split-fests’… anyone know of anything similar in Europe.. would be all over that!

Thanks all,

A


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback from 1st Trip & some questions.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:08 am
Posts: 122
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sound like a relatively painless first trip out. :D

If you've got photos, you could put a post on the trip report forum. I certainly enjoy reading everyones trip reports.

Quote:
The K-clips started the day ‘tight’, but would loosen – I ended up having to put a strip of duct tape around the loop, to tighten them up.


I assume you're talking about when you're touring and they "flop" around, I do the same, just a bit of duct tape.


Quote:
Heel lockdown worked a treat and made traversing ‘reasonably’ more bearable (I am never going to like traversing)… although it still felt really ‘loose’ when actually skiing downhill on some short downhill sections


I've only just got the lockdowns and they are great (I can't lock one side down with my boot in, grrrrr :nononno: ) for traversing etc, just be aware they aren't designed to take the load of a full downhill turn, so don't get too carried away with your "split skiing"!


Quote:
Riding mode: here’s where I had 1 issue throughout the trip. Due to you being unable to slide the bindings across the board to make micro adjustments to heel / toe overhang I was constantly aware that on hard-pack / groomers the heel was overhanging more than I’d like, this resulted in me catching the heel a number of times


I can't help with that specific problem, but it's worth spending time making lots of micro adjustments with the binding to get it to connect snugly to the board the first few times you head out, otherwise you will get recurring problems. It's certainly frustrating, but worth the time investment as once you have it dialled in, there's really no need for much fiddling after that.

Also, I've had problems with screws working their way loose over time (carry spares in the BC + appropriate tool), so it's worth torque-ing those bad boys up particularly in the beginning as your board/bindings are getting worn in.

I can recommend the karakoram split crampons (other brands won't be compatible), for icy conditions, you might only use them rarely and it might only be for a few steps, but they might be extremely critical steps! :wink: . Sounds like you are happy getting slightly "technical", so I'm sure you can see the benefit.

I'm no expert, also relatively new to splitting - just my :twocents:


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback from 1st Trip & some questions.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:27 pm
Posts: 596
Location: Rainier Beach
Lex76 wrote:
- Riding mode: here’s where I had 1 issue throughout the trip. Due to you being unable to slide the bindings across the board to make micro adjustments to heel / toe overhang I was constantly aware that on hard-pack / groomers the heel was overhanging more than I’d like, this resulted in me catching the heel a number of times and losing the heel edge on turns.


Dudes with big feet always get the shaft. For some reason I lose my edge more with heel overhang than toe overhang, so I alwasy set up my bindings with a bit more toe overhang. Hopefully the new pucks / channel boards solve some of this in the future, as they are very micro-adjustable.

You might also try to find some boots with a shorter length. I know lots of splitters like Burton boots and they are supposedly a bit shorter.

This is a huge problem for some people, as you REALLY don't want to lose your edge on a icy steep backcountry slope. It's not always powder out there... :D

Lex76 wrote:
Also… Stateside you seen to have a bunch of ‘Split-fests’… anyone know of anything similar in Europe.. would be all over that!


No local splitfest? Start one! That's what we did in Oregon... Although I know there are a few in Europe. Check the 'Events' thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback from 1st Trip & some questions.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:43 pm
Posts: 8
Did anyone come up with a solution for the heel overhang issue?

I ended up doing a mostly in-bounds day at Whistler this week, and everything was ok in deep powder until the ski-out on groomers when the massive heel overhang caused me to butt slide out a bunch of times.

I've got L bindings and 10.5 boots... so the sizes should be right. The heel stay is in the forward holes, so as good as that adjustment will allow (which is only like 0.5 cm anyways).


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback from 1st Trip & some questions.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:22 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Sydney, Australia
I have just recently had my first splitboard experience in the BC and it was an absolute blast. I am pretty fit, a skier and snowboarder of over 30 years experience and this certainly helped...I think the real difference though was having two very good teachers. Nick and Dave knew the skills well and could explain and translate this to me so I was able to easily pick up on what I needed to do. If they ever read this post, cheers guys, you made my day!!

Before buying my gear I did a good amount of research. I ended up with a 162wide Never Summer SL with Voile hardware and Spark Burner LT bindings. I worked the set up as well as possible to minimise heel drag and it seems to have worked...no issues even on the hard pack...I also have size 10.5 Burton boots and yes they have a smaller 'footprint', if you will pardon the pun...to date I have not felt the issue of the two halves separating but have heard anecdotally of this being an issue. I had looked at the Karakoram clips but read from a number of blogs that the clips can pull the board too closely together and cause the two sides to go into a slight V. Also read that the clips can be broken in skin mode because they do not retract. I stress that this is not from personal experience, many other bloggers rave about how good Karakoram equipment is...

So far my one day of backcountry experience has been totally hassle free...long may this continue...Murphy's Law however is probably thinking that my calling this out loud is justification for a lightning bolt further down the track...will let you know! :D

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Simon
Never Summer SL 162W
Spark Burner LT


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback from 1st Trip & some questions.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:26 pm
Posts: 60
Surferbikerboy wrote:
.to date I have not felt the issue of the two halves separating but have heard anecdotally of this being an issue. I had looked at the Karakoram clips but read from a number of blogs that the clips can pull the board too closely together and cause the two sides to go into a slight V. Also read that the clips can be broken in skin mode because they do not retract. I stress that this is not from personal experience, many other bloggers rave about how good Karakoram equipment is... :D


I had posted in another thread how on how me updating to the clips on my Burton S series has given me issues with separation of the board halves. On my Burton spliff there are no issues, but perhaps that is because of the board length. I'm still trying to figure out if I can fix it or I'll have to go back to my hooks.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback from 1st Trip & some questions.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:22 am
Posts: 255
Location: The Kootenays
Lex76 wrote:
Also… Stateside you seen to have a bunch of ‘Split-fests’… anyone know of anything similar in Europe.. would be all over that!


Check out "Climb the Mountain" in Austria.
http://www.climb-the-mountain.com/
This year it's the weekend of the 15/16th of March.
Was there in 2008 and had a great time.

Gary

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skis are for walkin', boards are for ridin'...


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