Brand new here, this is my inaugural post although I've lurked for a bit to try to get some information. I splitboarded twice last year using borrowed gear and really liked it. My friend was riding a Voile 166 so that's what I used, but now I'm looking to get my own setup.
Kind of questions about length and type of board I should get. Here's the information I know people need to maybe give me some direction:
1. Riding type: powder. That's all. Backcountry powder. I don't ride steep couloirs, and I sure as hell don't ride them in the spring. Mostly wide open, not too good in the trees. Wide open powder faces primarily.
2. Area: Utah mostly (SLC area) but a bit in Idaho as well (Grand Targhee). Really mostly Utah.
3. Inbounds I ride an old 156 that is beat to hell. Never had the money before now to replace it and now I don't think it's worth it. It's short for me, but I've grown accustomed to it. Not sure how I'll adjust to a longer board, but this one is quite short. Pretty turny and shifty, which I kind of like but I know I need longer for deep powder.
4. I'm 158 pounds, 6'0.
5. Not too concerned about extra flotation for overnight trips or carrying a pack. I may carry a pack sometimes, up to ~25 pounds maximum (a guesstimate I just calculated).
I've been looking at a 175 Voile but I'm concerned I won't be able to make the transition from riding 156 inbounds to 175 in the backcountry? Is this something I should be super concerned about? Thanks.
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:11 pm Posts: 122 Location: Los Angeles, CA
For what you're talking about, a swallowtail makes a lot of sense... (~172-178cm)
Either that or a tapered board like the Khyber (165cm-170cm probably). All backcountry powder, all the time. The Khyber would be more versatile, the swallowtail is a faster ride in deep powder. Your call.
If the transition from a resort board is your concern, the Khyber (and boards like it) probably makes the most sense. YMMV. I`ve only ever tried a Fish, but I`m told that the tapered designs all ride longer than their length, cause of the built in float from the taper and consequent nose lift. The Fish is turny and a bit odd but obviously a bit more versatile than a swallowtail
The Voile design is a good powder ride (flexy and a tiny bit tapered) but the two more specialized board shapes offer a little more benefit for mostly powder riding, so if they are within your budget you might want to consider them. Otherwise get used to whipping a bigger board around and making bigger turns, heh. My friend Art is 5`4`and 125lbs. and used to ride a 185 in Colorado so I figure if he can boss a big stick around, so can you.
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:50 am Posts: 7 Location: Boulder
I was in the same boat as you a few weeks ago. So many choices and none of them are cheap! After lurking this board and asking a couple of questions about splits I ended up with the voile 178 swallowtail. Like you I don't ride in the spring (mtn biking and climbing season for me!) and I don't ride super steep very often.
I live out in CO and if I am in the backcountry I am in powder. I ride a 165 inbounds and was worried about the length and different style of the swallowtail. Took it out last week for a hut trip and it is amazing!! I haven't ridden it alot but the thing really performs in powder and wind crust, and I can still throw it around when riding the luge track back to the car. When I was deciding I even called Voile and talked to a guy that rides the swallotail, they were super helpfull. Just my two cents, I think you will be pleased with whatever you get. I mean a splitboard, powder how could you not have a great time.
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 4938 Location: California
Good advice provided by the others. I was gonna recommend the Khyber 165 or the Voile Swallowtail 178. Both will be great powder boards. The swallow will probably have an advantage in the really deep stuff but the Khyber will be slightly more versatile in other conditions.
The 178ST was made for the conditions you describe, and any Swallow will smoke any other board in pow. Especially 5%-10% density Wasatch/Teton snow. I'm 165lbs and have no problems with the length. In fact I'm hunting down the 195ST. Consider Dack who posted previously. He's probably 125lbs and 5'5", and he shreds on the 178. The extra length will be a bit of adjustment, but here in the Wasatch it's all about float on the pow days, and the ST offers rapid edge to edge transitions in soft conditions. If you wanted to mix it up in the firm, then check out a tapered shape.
I picked up a 175 Voile, so I think it was a good choice based on the stuff talked about here. Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm looking forward to another snow storm here soon--what's with the warm weather? I went running in shorts and a t-shirt today and it's christmas eve.