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 Post subject: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 532
Introduction: It's amazing how much has changed within the last two years: from doing anything and everything I could to get a single board, to having the opportunity to test out numerous ones. I wanted to get a feel for the types of boards available and the conditions each one excelled in. I tried to take each board out in all sorts of conditions and I thought I would share my experiences with the rest of you. I was not paid by any company to post this and I tried to keep it as honest as possible. I made sure to keep my reviews objective, so here we go!


Atomic Poacher

Conditions/days: I was able to get out on the Poacher for a week during mid-March 2011 when conditions were epic powder! For seven straight days, I skinned steep faces and took mini laps down wide-open bowls, steep couloirs, and open trees.

Pros: Rides amazingly well; can't beat the price; skins solidly attached to both tips and tails; works with standard bindings at the resort, and it's made of recycled material!

Cons: The transition system can be a pain in harsh environments; the heel riser wouldn't stay extended.

Overall impression: There is no question this board is a great price, and beyond that, it rides like a dream in both powder and groomer conditions. The one downfall is the patented transition system: when transitioning in deep powder conditions it took a long time to switch over. The crampons are vital and must be taken on every tour. You just can't beat 949.00 for board, bindings, skins and crampons! This board is great for someone just getting into splitboarding and wants a full package!


Website: http://www.atomicsnowboarding.com/index1.php#/PRODUCTS-02-01/





Voile Mojo

Conditions/days: Throughout the season I got somewhere between 20 and 30 days on this board, with conditions ranging anywhere from waist-deep blower pow to the high point of the corn season! The board was used in terrain ranging from the mellowest slopes to the sketchiest.

Pros: Great board for slackcountry; extremely lightweight; easy board to get used to; cap construction on edges holds firm; quick edge-to-edge transition.

Cons: Can be a tad bit grabby; doesn't work with Karakoram clips.

Overall impression: This board is great if you have the intent to ride in both the resort and the backcountry. It's super lightweight and is the board of choice when racing up a skin track. I went for over two months without using it, then after two turns I felt I had the board dialed. The Mojo is good choice for someone who is looking to get out in the BC occasionally.


Website: http://www.voile-usa.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=1305&Category_Code=Voile_Splitboards&Product_Count=2


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Lib Tech T-Rice

Conditions/days: This board got around 30 days of use last winter and summer. It was used in both Mt. Rainier and North Cascades National Parks for epic slogs through knee-deep powder, and for prime volcano corn at the end of the season.

Pros: C2 rocker is great in powder; Magne-Traction for extra edge hold; artwork is top-notch; transfers from edge to edge easily and holds in steep corn.

Cons: The rocker can be a pain during approaches with numerous ups and downs; board takes time to get used to if not familiar with Lib Tech boards.

Overall impression: This was my first time on a Lib board, so it took me quite a while to get used to it. Once I got a feel for it, it was insanely fun and felt more like a surfboard! On steep corn snow, it went from edge to edge flawlessly! The only issue was that I couldn't find the sweet spot while skinning on long approaches because of the rocker; if I leaned too far forward or backward on downhill stretches, the board would wash out under me. This board is perfect for anyone who is accustomed to Lib Tech boards and wants a smooth transition...not to mention it could double as artwork on your wall.

Website: http://www.lib-tech.com/snowboards/travis-rice-pro-splits/


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Venture Storm

Conditions/days: I received this board in the beginning of May and took it on some of my longest endeavors. I rode this board in conditions ranging from horrible, bulletproof Bolivian glaciers to three feet of blower in Argentina. This board was exclusively used for filming with Sweetgrass for the Solitaire project. In total I got around 30 days riding the Storm.

Pros: Durable; built for any kind of conditions; once dialed, it likes to charge!

Cons: Heavy; had a small bit of chatter in icy conditions

Overall impression: This thing is a tank and endured numerous slogfests on trips upward of 50 miles in five days, without a single sign of wear and tear! It took a few laps to get used to, but after that it rode like a dream. The Storm is perfect for the rider who likes big lines and is willing to ride in a variety of conditions!

Website: http://www.venturesnowboards.com/index.php?inc=storm_splitboard.html

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Venture Zephyr

Conditions/days: This board was used primarily in powder by numerous other people and myself. I got in at least 20 days of open bowls, couloirs, and treed slopes!

Pros: Durable; great in powder conditions.

Cons: Seemed powder-specific; a tad bit squirrelly in the resort (chopped up snow).

Overall impression: This board rode like a champ in powder and was very quick and agile in tight trees. I introduced a friend to splitboarding with this board, and he was blown away that it rode and felt just like a solid board. The Zephyr is perfect for the person who has a quiver and wants something to slay the bottomless conditions.

Website: http://www.venturesnowboards.com/index.php?inc=zephyr_splitboard.html


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Chimera Mace

Conditions/days: This board was a backup as I traveled in South America; in total I got around six days on it. I used this board in two feet of fresh in Argentina (both resort and BC), as well as on steep Cascadian volcanic ice and corn.

Pros: Lightweight; great shape; original concept.

cons: Potential durability issues (I tested a prototype); softness created "waves" in the skin track.

Overall impression: When I first started skinning on this board, I was blown away by how light it was; I felt like there was nothing on my feet! I dig the unique idea of only putting edges on the inside under the feet, and it's cool to see a small company going after it. This board truly felt like a resort board and I started doing nose rolls and butters on it! The only issue was that it was so soft it created dips in the skin track - to the point that my skier friends asked me to stay off the skin track (once again, this was a prototype). This board is a great freeriding charger for someone who wants a resort-style board in the backcountry.

It should be noted that the flex was custom for that board in order to proto stuff for them, and that the actual 'Mace' board is usually significantly stiffer!

Website: http://chimerasnowboards.com/Models


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K2 Panoramic

Conditions/days: This board was tested for about ten days in conditions ranging from wind-blown powder to firm corn. The majority of descents were lower-angled terrain, with the occasional steep section to get my heart pumping!

Pros: Strong; lightweight; comes with holes in tips/tails for potential sled use; no chattering on steep icy slopes.

Cons: Freestyle-oriented.

Overall impression: K2 spent quite a bit of time developing this board, and it shows. With features like the lightweight bamboo core and tip and tail holes, not only can you ride it but you can rig it as a sled in an emergency. K2 has also developed skins specifically for the board, which hook into those same holes. This board is great for someone who wants to bring freestyle to the BC!

Website: http://k2snowboarding.com/snowboards/k2-panoramic-splitboard

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Feel Free to ask questions and I will try to answer them!

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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:38 pm
Posts: 327
Location: Fairhaven
I have 6 days of riding on my T.Rice split this season so far and I agree with what you've said. It's my first splitboard so I can only really compare it to how a solid board rides. My last several boards have been Libs, a Lando Phoenix, a Jaime Phoenix, a skate banana, and an original Magnetraction so it was easy to get used to the way the T.Rice rides.

I find that the shape of the camber profile forces my technique on firm skin tracks (whether from use or from low snow on summer trails) to be a little awkward. It also seems like the balance point might be a little bit too close to the touring bracket. I'm going to try to remove some of the material from the skins on the nose of the board and hopefully the weight of the skin will change the balance of the board enough to lift the tips a little more.

One of the pros for me was the plastic tip and tail spacer. I was able to cut a hole in each tail so I can use G3 tail clips with BD Ascension STS skins for a secure fit. Wood wouldn't have changed much but plastic made it a little easier.

I can't wait for some more snow and longer days touring around in the Cascades.

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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:52 am 
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Thanks for the input Jason!

Also I would love to see other peoples input on here!

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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:03 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Stockton, CA
Thank you for taking the time to do the write up, with videos, I found them very useful. Do you have any photos illustrating your issues with the Atomic poacher interfaces (tip/tail, bindings, etc) and the Chimera middle edges? Atomic's flash website is horrible for looking at the boards!


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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:21 pm 
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I am in the middle of moving so I have no idea where the Camera is but the Atomic video does show me trying to put it back together in a few feet of blower powder.

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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:15 am
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Location: Los Angeles / Mammoth / June :: CA
Thanks for this breakdown, Kyle! Lately i had been wishing there was some kind of comparison writeup like this.
A few friends are interested in getting into splitboarding this season and are looking for board recommendations. I'm starting to lose track with so many choices in the marketplace now!


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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Location: N. Vancouver <=> Santa Cruz
Great write up, thanks! I want to echo the points on the Venture's durability. I have three splits including an older Venture Divide (predecessor to the Storm). My other 2 boards get progressively more haggard each season, but that Divide is still in as good of shape as the day I bought it, it's crazy! I love that board. And yeah, it feels really solid. I bought KClips for my other two boards but the Divide fits so tight I haven't felt the need to put the KClips on it.
Oh and I caught a viewing of Sweetgrass' Solitaire last night, great flick and great riding. Was that your Venture that almost took out the cat?


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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:54 pm 
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No that wasn't my Venture but it was the same board!

Glad to see that this review is helping people!

I totally dig the Karakorum clips as well!

There are so many products on the market now it really is hard to figure out what is the best board for you!

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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:59 pm 
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Thanks for the writeup, mucho appreciated!

Which board is your favorite 'do it all' board? Especially for those of us who call the Cascades home? Ya know, miles of uphill on singletrack and glacier slogs, followed by downhills encompassing everything from crappy avy debris to blower powder, often in the same run?

The dilemma that I have is that its hard to find a board that feels stable at speed to charge through crusty crap, yet also is light enough for easy skinning and doesn't feel overly dampened.

I currently ride a Mojo Rx so that's what I'm comparing to. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:07 pm 
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I want to keep this review fair to all companies so sadly I can't answer this question!

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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:29 pm 
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Location: Stockton, CA
Kyle Miller wrote:

Voile Mojo
Cons: Can be a tad bit grabby; doesn't work with Karakoram clips.

Just curious, why not? Because of the capped construction?
Kyle Miller wrote:
I am in the middle of moving so I have no idea where the Camera is but the Atomic video does show me trying to put it back together in a few feet of blower powder.

Yeah, I saw that but I was curious to see some more detail whenever you have a chance. I tried searching for photos online, but didn't find any zoomed in shots.
wavy wrote:
I bought KClips for my other two boards but the Divide fits so tight I haven't felt the need to put the KClips on it.

I am getting that feeling on my Neversummer SL splitboard, I may ride it for a while first because it fits really tight. I think that the Karakoram clips would dampen better because they are less flexible keeping the two ski tips together to avoid chattering, but I haven't tested that yet.
Kyle Miller wrote:
I want to keep this review fair to all companies so sadly I can't answer this question!

I thought that your review comments were very objective, without bias - nice job!


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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:34 pm 
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Thanks for this great review! I know you're detailed review of the Burton Freebird, in which you seem to be quite enthusiastic with the board. I would be very interested in where you see the Burton Freebird in direct comparison to the other boards. Maybe you can add it to the post. Many thanks for your input!


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 Post subject: Re: A Quick Breakdown of A Few Splitboards on the Market!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:42 pm 
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I still love the Freebird it really is a more playful board super light weight and rides great in powder. I was using a prototype so I really beat the crap out of it. I happened to get a production one but sadly it was too small for my size 13 feet!

Great in DEEP powder and steep lines when doing hop turns but I was having issues with my Toe Drag which made it rather sketchy!

Here is a review of the Freebird

Yep the Cap construction overlapped!

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