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Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage to a carbon-constructed splitboard will be the premium $200-$400 price increase it demands. These costs are derived from the expensive materials used in creating these boards in addition to the losses through defective boards. Amplid’s Peter Bauer shared with us that, “one in every five boards we press is discarded for quality control purposes. When a carbon snowboard is removed from the press, there’s so much pent-up energy in the camber that it can distort. These mutants won’t see the light of day so we have to account for this.”

When asked about possible disadvantages to carbon boards everyone felt the ride these boards deliver might not be for everyone. According to Prior’s William Westwood, “The downside could be that the board is more lively/poppy, however some people view this as a benefit.” Amplid’s Peter Bauer stated, “Carbon boards can certainly feel overly responsive and in some cases nervous and twitchy to inexperienced riders.” Jones’ Seth Lightcap said, “The limitation of a carbon splitboard is that it takes precise rider energy input.”

“Carbon boards perform best when you drive them with both hands on the wheel and your foot on the gas pedal.” – Seth Lightcap, Jones Snowboards’ Marketing/Team Manager

Durability

It’s only natural for people to believe that a product that is heavier is stouter than a lighter alternative. While carbon fiber is much stronger and stiffer than other materials such as aluminium and steel, it does have its weaknesses. Just like a drinking straw is far stronger when it’s standing vertically then when it’s lying down, carbon fiber is constructed to withstand loads only from one direction.

Constructing a carbon board without keeping these shortcomings in mind would surely lead to a loss of durability. In order to combat this, Amplid utilizes lightweight fiberglass deck patches beneath the bindings, and touring hard wear. Prior reinforces the crucial areas with patches of Kevlar. Considering these remedies, and the fact that carbon maintains it’s shape and pop, there appears to be no reason a carbon board won’t last as long, or longer than your fiberglass deck. Riders should also remember that these carbon decks are not excluded from the typical manufacturer’s warranty.

Who are these boards for?

“Not every rider needs nor wants a carbon board. Jones’ carbon splitboards are designed for expert freeriders who demand unwavering board performance in any condition, and for alpine objectives where energy savings is crucial to success. Those riders looking to improve ascent and descent confidence on steep, technical terrain are who should consider a carbon board.” – Seth Lightcap, Jones Snowboards’ Marketing/Team Manager

“If you’re touring routes with a lot of mileage and vertical and you’ve already shaved off as much weight as you can with your mounting hardware and bindings then saving those extra grams is definitely worth the premium. On the other hand, if touring is just about extending your powder day range beyond the tracked-out backcountry at your local resorts then a fiberglass board will do the job without breaking a sweat.” – Peter Bauer, Amplid’s Owner/Board Designer

“I would definitely recommend carbon splitboards to 100% of the people getting into the backcountry. If it’s a resort board it’s a different kettle of fish, but if you’re spending most of the time touring (which, let’s face it, you are if you’re on a splitty), carbon is the way forward. Plus you can get to the top before your buddy’s and snake their lines!” – William Westwood, Prior’s Product Engineer

 

 

Amplid – The Lab Carbon Split:

Weighing only 5.07 pounds (2.3*Kg,) the Amplid LAB Carbon Split is the lightest Splitboard on planet Earth. The Carbon Split’’s lightweight construction and freeride geometry make easy work of long tours and big mountain lines. The raw, stealth aesthetics of uncovered carbon fiber are the only visible signs of the Carbon Split’s weight saving tech. Amplid’s experimental three wood BBP core (Birch, Balsa & Paulownia) and slimmer race edges strip valuable grams. The pioneering use of low viscosity aerospace epoxy improves core/laminate wetting whilst reducing excess application.

The Carbon Split’s Karakoram connector kit works faultlessly with triaxial carbon to increase torsional stiffness; response and edge hold are on-point for even the most demanding splitboarder. A S-Rocker camber-line supplies plenty float in powder, easy skinning and a kick in the tail for control in tight situations.

The Amplid Carbon Split exists to deliver the highest level of splitboard performance to turn-crazy skinners, without compromise. Recommended for riders weighing between 45 and 80 kilograms.Board will be shipped WITH Karakoram kit and hiking skins.(*Length 157. Without connector kit. Approx. 2.55 Kg with Karakoram connector kit – weight may vary slightly in production.)

Retail Price: $1250

amplid lab

“Amplid’s LAB Carbon Split is all about keeping weight to an absolute minimum, therefore the “carbon part” is just the start. The low viscosity resin we use means there’s zero excess resin in the construction, but the superlight Balsa/Paulownia/Birch core is well-wetted for superior adhesion. We then use lightweight fibreglass deck-patches under the bindings and touring hardware, beneath the carbon, for increased durability where it’s needed. We really stripped everything back on the LAB Carbon Split and sometimes I question whether a customer who pays $1250 for a board expects a glossy topsheet with gold trim and tassels, but the board is all about removing everything that isn’t necessary, so raw, stealthy carbon is what you get. To sum up what makes the LAB Carbon Split different, I’d say that it isn’t about having the stiffest straight-line charger on the mountain; the LAB Carbon Split is a fun and lively board that makes touring a breeze.” – Peter Bauer, Amplid’s Owner/Board Designer

“It isn’t about having the stiffest straight-line charger on the mountain; the LAB Carbon Split is a fun and lively board that makes touring a breeze.”

 

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Cbalke

Colin Balke is a content editor for Splitboard.com who lives in Northern California. When not plucking away on a keyboard, he can be found splitboarding, camping, backpacking, or hanging out with family and friends.

5 Comments

  • Scooby2 says:

    One thing to remember, while carbon is fantastically strong in tension and rebounds a lot quicker, it is not so great in compression. This means any mfg. bragging about carbon on the top side really isn’t effectively using or understanding the properties of the material. Really a carbon topsheet can give you different dampening and feel to a board (see Donek) but as far as adding strength springy-ness, pop, carbon strips on the topside are a bit of a tip off that a mfg is just marketing to you.

    • Chris hanson says:

      So would it actually be worth it? To buy the jones carbon solution split? Over the regular solution? I’m so confused if it would honestly make much difference weight wise? Plus would it be worth the extra dime? Any info would be great!

  • Scooby2 says:

    I should have said carbon on the topside only does not make sense, it is normal to add the same carbon on the top as on the bottom of a board so that the board remains flat from edge to edge while the resin hardens and fibers shrink or expand in the laminating process.

    • Andy Starr says:

      fibers do not shrink at all! so silly comment carbon works as a tension item compression (ie top of board ) works a lot less. it does not like it!

  • I’d love to to gear/design talk with one of design/implentation engineers. Introducing carbon into the layering scheme very beneficial for the split innovation highway. I mean with the board shaving 1/2 the material present from rail to rail changes to maintain desired response seem practical. I was wondering (quite a few things actually but I’ll keep it short.) Are the layers mechanical/thermo properties designed to match complement each other, such as the bases response to shear heiarchied up through the layering. With the different mediums responses to loading, does introducting a very strong carbon fiber bundle mediate significantly the properties that are introduced of the different types of layers, does this unpredictable structural changes to the the neighboring layers under different loads and dynamic loads? Composites is a big area but mainly but I was wondering what compositew was used in the layering design? Is it possible to have variable composites using triaxial weaving to match the bases response below and then complement the top layers above. Such as a fiberglass composite bottom whicj vares it’s compostition type or densityies to chasnge mechanical properties along the triaxial weave thickness to minimize vibrations/ potentaill leaveleave energy sinks along resonante area through the board by changing the weaving spacing/ pattern or composite materoa;I don’t know much about carbon fiber manufacturing so please forgive me if this is simply a manufacturing nightmare and one too hard to implement. extentb