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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:57 am 
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Location: Salida, Flagstaff
It's always nice to ride before buying, but not many folks enjoy that luxury. The key is understanding (1) how board's design attributes will work together and translate into ride qualities, and (2) how those ride qualities fit your riding level, style and terrain. Of course, understanding these things takes time; if unsure, the best thing to do is seek the advice of others, as you've done.

From a performance standpoint, I think any of the boards mentioned above will work well for you. But there's another important issue to consider: durability. Splitboards get abused, and if you're dropping a grand or so on one, you want it to last. It's also a safety issue: a damaged board deep in the backcountry can leave you without a functional over-snow travel tool. Solid construction matters.

Of those listed, Venture and I think Chimera and Trapper are super-bomber. Donek and Prior, and likely the new Voile (previously Sentury), bomber. Riders reported production and durability problems with Jones last season; I don't know if those have been remedied, but I think it's worth researching before pulling the trigger. I can't speak to the worthiness of Arbor's construction or back-country durability.

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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Location: Stoketopia, CA
I have a Venture Helix twin tip that is a couple years old. I really love it. It's a twin tip and has a really solid feel, it's got bomber construction, and it's just a super fun ride in almost all conditions. The only time that I feel a little unconfident on it is on icy steep chunder. I think the rocker makes the effective edge a little washy.

I think something like the Voile Artison with rocker in the nose and tail, with camber under foot with a twin tip that's directional would be a similar ride, that would not have the same issues on the icy stuff. The idea of a directional twin tip is kind of mind blowing, I really want to ride one of these sometime. I might even consider buying one, since they put a decent graphic on it.

I used to have a Prior Backcountry with traditional camber and Prior makes an indestructible board that has a really solid feel. That was a great board in all conditions.

I haven't been on any of the Chimera boards, but I was able to check a few of them out at the Echo split party and they have some really cool features. They have edges on just part of the inside for skinning and they are really light. My Venture is pretty heavy.

I know alot of people who have Jones boards and none of them have had any issues with them that I've heard of.

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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
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Location: Colorado
Regarding ltr/Buffy's report on the Helix, and that it lacks a little bit in terms of edge hold on the steeps:
I can definitely report that the (also rockered) Venture Storm does not share this tendency. I was actually concerned about the rocker possibly affecting edge negatively in exactly the way she reports, but after many steep descents with the Storm, including some quite icy ones, I have total confidence in its edge hold.

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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:20 am 
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Location: Durango, CO
I will mimic what Barrows said but about the Zephyr. I have never had a problem with edge hold, and I've been on some crappy, icy 45 degree slopes, especially last year. :nononno: This year will be all powder, so I'm not concerned :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:26 am 
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summersgone wrote:
I will mimic what Barrows said but about the Zephyr. I have never had a problem with edge hold, and I've been on some crappy, icy 45 degree slopes, especially last year. :nononno: This year will be all powder, so I'm not concerned :wink:


+1 :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:43 am 
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summersgone wrote:
I will mimic what Barrows said but about the Zephyr. I have never had a problem with edge hold, and I've been on some crappy, icy 45 degree slopes, especially last year. :nononno: This year will be all powder, so I'm not concerned :wink:


2nded. The Zephyr is my go to for any steep descent. Very 'grabby' feel, and very stable at high speed. I've never ridden a board this stable, especially at high speed.

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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:22 am
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Location: Bratislava, Slovakia, Europe
+1 for Solution and Storm

from what you typed we have common taste for the splitboards
I could test Solution, Storm and also by you mentioned K2

Solution is stiffer and less forgiving board than the Venture, but holds better edge on ice, maybe also the mellow magnetraction plays a role. Venture Storm is a bit softer and more like an allround bigmountain splitboard for every condition.
These two were my favourites from the bunch of splitboards I could testride: Voile Mojo, Venture Zephyr, Prior Khyber, Never Summer Summit, K2, Jones Solution, Burton Freebird, Venture Storm, Venture Odin

And don't be afraid of the length, the Venture Storm I rode was 171 and normally I ride 164 (my freeride solid board) and with the extra 7cm there wasn't much difference after few laps I got with Storm I did not feel the extra lenght at all.

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... Times change so now the stoke is on Tesla system and Afterburner bindings and K2 Ultrasplit...


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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:58 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA
I'm adding another one to the list: Gnu Billy Goat.

I was out doing some splitboard recon today and was introduced to the Billy Goat by one of the shop guys (who is a splitter, so I trusted his opinions). It's such a beautiful board and it seems pretty bomber. It also got great reviews in this year's Backcountry Magazine gear guide. I'm definitely giving it some serious thought...


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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Location: Tacoma,WA
I really wanted the T.Rice 64 but got a great deal on the venture. The more I ride it the more I like it. Its going to be so fun in the deep stuff.

The only thing I would worry about the mervin boards is the lack of front edge. Splits take some abuse skinning, and while I've ridden nothing but mervin for years and love them, they almost all get libs disease (some sort of issue on the nose or tail.)

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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:18 am 
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Posts: 333
It wasn't to long ago that we would have been discussing just a couple of production boards. Now we've got quite a selection to choose from :D All though it could be argued we're still only looking a few companies that make variations on the tried and true designs. (Furburg, Venture, Fawcett, Donek)


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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:00 am
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I'll throw in my two cents. I started on a Volie Mojo. It was cheap, and was fine for a starter board but it doesn't ride well at all. Stiff in the middle and doesn't float well. Honestly the worst ride I've ever experienced. Then I bought a Prior Khyber Spoon Nose and I loved it! It was the best pow board I had been on. Then I demoed the Chimera Unicorn Chaser at Mt Baker Splitfest last year and I loved it! Sickest pow board I've riden. Floats well and it's super light. I'm gonna sell my Prior Khyber 157 so I can buy the Chimera. I'm 5'6 130 and for me 157 is plenty big enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Posts: 46
My 1st splitboard was 6-7 years ago with a voilé swallowtail 178... I was pretty happy to ditch my snowshoes but the board sucked everywhere except on mellow, deep powder terrain - the difference between my resort board and this one was huge - I felt like crap most of the time with the voilé.

I then bought a voilé mojo RX with light rails, it was a huge improvement but the board was far from being a great board, it was not that stable and too soft for me. At least with this one I could go to most places I go with my solid board - I just didn't feel safe enough to go over some exposed terrain or icy couloirs.

Then came the board I'm currently using: The Jones Solution, with Spark Burners bindings. Finally, a board that is stiff enough for me! Frankly, marketing bullshit aside, this board rules, it's a great all mountain board and I no longer feel scared having a splitboard over exposed/icy terrain (well I do feel scared; as much as with my solid board :)).

I guess there are other great alternatives out there, my advice is to avoid older boards and older bindings systems - though boards & bindings made in the past 2 years should be ok.


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 Post subject: Re: Jones Solution, Voile Artisan, Arbor Abacus, Venture, or...?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:42 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Seattle, WA
Well, I pulled the trigger on a Gnu Billy Goat 162 last weekend. It was a board I wasn't originally considering, but after talking to the shop guy (a fellow splitter) and doing some research, it sounded really good. It seems plenty stiff and feels like a really solid board. I was going back and forth between the 159 and the 162, and I was a bit concerned about going big, but I think it's going to work well for me. I lined it up w/ my 10 year old Voile Split 59 (a 159) and it's actually the same size. I guess they measure their boards differently. I'm excited to start riding this thing soon. Hopefully it won't toss me around too much!

Thanks for your input, guys. I really appreciate it.


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