Hi All, It's my first post so please take it easy , and apologies if you've already covered this before.
I'm off to Japan soon for my first multi-day tour and I'm now finding out that I'm the lone splitboarder of the group . I'm getting that dreaded feeling that I'll be holding everyone up, for a week!
I've got some time there before to work on transitions and such but I'm really the worst skier ever and will struggle on long traverses, for sure with a decent pack on. I'll have a 168 Prior BC, Spark Burners and Spark Deeluxe boots (crampons and axe too, and not so experienced with those either).
Is there some other things I can do to get quicker or maybe just deflect attention a bit? I'm sure I'll be fine and just need to go at it and not carry on too much.
Any crafty suggestions would be great. Thanks for your help and cheers for such a kick ass site!
Just work out a system for changing over. I try to do it so that I don't have to move the board or skis around more than once. Like when I am putting the board together. Put the tip clip on and binding on one side then flip it over and repeat. Same sort of thing for putting on skins. Just try to minimize the time it takes you to do it. I am generally as fast or faster than most of my splitboard buddies in making transitions. Some of my skier pals just smoke me and that is the way it is.
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:32 am Posts: 552 Location: Rawesome, BC
Just work out a system for changing over. I try to do it so that I don't have to move the board or skis around more than once.
This a hundred times over. Get repetitive and don't change it up. For me, at the top of a climb the first thing I do is compress my poles, they're already in my hands. 2nd is unstrap & remove each binding from the board. Notice I haven't even taken my pack off yet? You'll likely work something out that'll suit you, but the key is to do it the same every time.
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 5098 Location: California
Welcome to the site.
the first thing I do is compress my poles, they're already in my hands. 2nd is unstrap & remove each binding from the board. Notice I haven't even taken my pack off yet?
Two really god tips!
Also make sure you're not the last one to the top....be near the front of the pack since it will take you a couple mins to transition. Then, nobody in the group is waiting for you, they're waiting for someone else.
Compress poles first since they're already in your hand Rip your skins, pull the pins, quickly put the board together and slide your bindings on, done. Take it personal and set a goal to not be the last one ready.
For traversing. Make sure you focus on weighting your UPHILL ski Adjust your uphill pole to be shorter than your downhill, your hands should be at 90 degrees off the slope not parallel Over emphasize the setting of your uphill ski to really gain a solid purchase (since this is the focus of your weight) Take it personal and understand that traversing on a splitboard is more difficult than skis, work through it
Last, the mention of the Deelux boots and a week long trip trip scares me for you. How much time have you spent in the boots? Are they broken in? If not, than a week long trip for their maiden voyage could be a recipe for blister soup. I'd consider taking your regular snowboard boots too.
I'll say that compressing my poles is the second thing I do after getting out of my bindings. I've done it the other way like maniac, and then when I stepped out ended on my ass because the snow gave away under foot. It's really up to you on that one. I think in some regions the snow gives more support like in coastal climates, versus the typically not so supportable snow here in Colorado.
On the traverse, focus on one step at a time. Don't look ahead and see the skiers pulling away, focus on what you are doing and make solid steps, one after another. You can only go so fast, if you try to rush you might lose focus and take a spill which will set you back.
On the transition, Take your time. Don't try to rush anything, it will just cause you to fumble something and ultimately slow you down. Find a routine that works for you and stick with it every time. This way you won't be thinking about what to do next, you will be doing it.
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:18 pm Posts: 940 Location: reiter hills
II agree with taking your time to do everything with purpose, from skinning to transitioning. don't try and go faster then you are physically capable. Don't try and race rando guys. Technique comes with time.
Physically, it can be more exherting then a marathon. Everyone has differant levels of fitness. Some fast, some slow. You can build cardio and endurance, but you can't force it.
If you partners sweat you for not keeping up, find new partners, or hit the gym. Leave the anxiety elsewhere.
Fast transitions just take a well rehearsed routine. Like a good skinning tech, it takes time and practice. If your transitions take to long for them, delegate someone else to colapse your poles for that hole 10 seconds saved.
If you were rando racing I'd be worried about it, if you're just out touring with your buddies then the time it takes for the last guy to make the transition point if you're properly spaced out in avy terrain is much longer than the difference in time it takes between skis and snowboards.
I've spent a bunch of days out with friends on Dyna-fits and when everything is going good for them I'm just barely slower, when they have ice packed in their fittings then I'm a lot faster.
One thing to keep in mind: If the peak is scenic and the group spends a few mins taking pictures: Make your transition first, then enjoy the view afterwards. Skiers will generally go the other way, and this makes it easier to be all set when the rest of the group is ready.
_________________ Trondh (Zurich, Switzerland) Prior Fissile 172 split / Prior Swallowtail 172 split / Prior AMF 162 Split / Never Summer Premier F1 159
I agree, don't rush it. You'll develop a routine, get used to your gear, and then it honestly doesn't take that much longer to transition boards over compared to skis, unless you are in a race. The longest part of the transition is fucking about with the skins, and that's the same for skiers... (And if you have Gecko skins, you can get rid of that step).
Rushing it is a recipe for disaster and is just going to make the experience less enjoyable and potentially dangerous if you miss something!
The only reason we even have these discussions is because of the old but persistent myth of how horridly slow and inefficient splitboards are at backcountry travel and the odd rivalry between skiers and snowboarders - skiers still love to point out how superior they feel they are and if they finish transitioning a few minutes before a boarder they often enjoy pointing it out by - but it's crazy to worry about a few minutes after a multi-hour skin up, where the group moves at the pace of the slowest skinner (which is just as likely to be one of the skiers who is now being impatient).
As somebody else said, if your group is giving you grief for taking a few minutes longer to transition... find a new group, or tell them if they are in such a hurry to go back to the chairlifts!
I find with the Karakorams and Geckos I'm often done before the skiers in my group, and then i'm pretty stoked to chill out, eat some snacks, take some pics, enjoy the view and rest. It's not a race!
When I rush, I always put the binding on the wrong foot. Buckles in. Not a big deal, but sucks I guess.
Develop a routine and speed will come. I did a change over in the dark last night without a headlamp. So routine now that I forgot to get my headlamp out and use it. It was also a full moon though. Was faster than my wife with dynafiddles for once.
Oh and change over, then safety meeting. In that order Failure to do this can also cause B.O.B.S. (bindings on backward syndrome).