Through A Split Lens — SIA 2015


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 5, 2015      

The Snowsports Industries of America (SIA) tradeshow is an eclectic mix of mainstream downhill brands and companies that are really pushing the limit of backcountry skiing and snowboarding.

There are numerous new technologies and updated designs for next year. Many of these brands we did not cover at Outdoor Retailer, and as usual I am looking at this as a backcountry splitboarder.

Jeremy Jones with the JJMTB, Jeremy Jones Mountain Boot.  An interesting “walk-mode” design will be incorporated using Boa technology. Idea is to allow for a longer stride. The boot will only be compatible with a strap-on crampon.

Jeremy Jones with the JJMTB, Jeremy Jones Mountain Boot. An interesting “walk-mode” design will be incorporated using Boa technology. Idea is to allow for a longer stride. The boot will only be compatible with a strap-on crampon.

ThirtyTwo — New touring inspired boot design in collaboration with Jeremy Jones.

ThirtyTwo will be incorporating a built in gaiter to prevent frozen laces on long-multi day expeditions.

ThirtyTwo will be incorporating a built in gaiter to prevent frozen laces on long-multi day expeditions.

Karakoram: New for this current season is their redesigned binding and interface system. The Prime system includes a simpler and lighter interface, a redesigned attachment system, and a unique heel riser component.

Prime binding with the new ankle strap.

Prime binding with the new ankle strap. Click all images to enlarge.

Available fall 2015 is a carbon fiber version of the Prime interface…light!

Available fall 2015 is a carbon fiber version of the Prime interface…light!

Karakoram will also be introducing a new ankle strap design that looks to be significantly more supportive and form-fitting (available fall 2015).

Spark R & D: Next year Spark will expand on their “hardboot” adapter components by bringing back a hardboot specific binding. Don’t stop reading too soon skiers; there is more than a hint of Dynafit technology in here.

The Dyno DH Hardboot binding. Weighs in at 1.68 lbs for the pair.

The Dyno DH Hardboot binding. Weighs in at 1.68 lbs for the pair.

Spark’s hardboot set up. Dynfit toe-piece, Dyno DH binding, Dynafit TLT 6 all on the super light G3 Scapegoat.

Spark’s hardboot set up. Dynfit toe-piece, Dyno DH binding, Dynafit TLT 6 all on the super light G3 Scapegoat.

Jones Snowboards: There are a number of new designs and additions to the Jones line-up for next year. They will do away with wrap-around edges, and metal plates in the tip and tail. To replace this will be tail notches for a new skin attachment system, thus making things lighter and more durable.

The new Quick-Tension tail clip, as well as the new Eco-Plastic top sheet.

The new Quick-Tension tail clip, as well as the new Eco-Plastic top sheet.

A sample of a skin with the attachment notch shown. Notice the lack of the metal plate.

A sample of a skin with the attachment notch shown. Notice the lack of the metal plate.

On the Solution split, a new top sheet construction will be incorporated – derived from castor beans; said to be stronger, lighter, and more eco-conscious. Jones will also be introducing a new board for the backcountry, the Aviator Split – a full camber, directional twin, with a beveled section of base just before the tip and tail to prevent edge catching (called 3D Power Camber).

Jones will work with Pomoca and release a new splitboard skin with two different types of tip attachments: universal and specific to Jones boards. The skins will be 70% mohair and 30% synthetic nylon. After a brief look, these skins are extremely packable.

Jones will work with Pomoca and release a new splitboard skin with two different types of tip attachments: universal and specific to Jones boards. The skins will be 70% mohair and 30% synthetic nylon. After a brief look, these skins are extremely packable.

Weston Splitboards

Currently available is Weston Snowboards’ Big Chief Split, a cambered construction with rocker in the tip and tail. The Big Chief is available in a 157, 164, and 168 sizes. We here at WildSnow like the light colored top sheet.

Currently available is Weston Snowboards’ Big Chief Split, a cambered construction with rocker in the tip and tail. The Big Chief is available in a 157, 164, and 168 sizes. We here at WildSnow like the light colored top sheet.

POC –- Spherical lens design.

The Fovea Line will be POC’s new spherical lens goggle.

The Fovea Line will be POC’s new spherical lens goggle.

Boots

A common trend is incorporating a walk-mode function into boot designs and making them more crampon compatible for technical ascents.

Fitwell — Redesigned liner and power strap

The Backcountry boot by Fitwell has started to incorporate a power strap into their shell. This has been out since last season. The boot is still compatible with a semi-automatic crampon.

The Backcountry boot by Fitwell has started to incorporate a power strap into their shell. This has been out since last season. The boot is still compatible with a semi-automatic crampon.

Fitwell has taken feedback and gone through and redesigned their liner to remove pressure points and increase durability. With a brief try on and test, it definitely feels significantly better. A slide on snow will be the true test.

Fitwell has taken feedback and gone through and redesigned their liner to remove pressure points and increase durability. With a brief try on and test, it definitely feels significantly better. A slide on snow will be the true test.

Deeluxe — New walk-mode design

Deeluxe has incorporated a similar walk-mode function to increase stride. The mechanism is attached to the power strap. They have also added a short, minimal gaiter to prevent lower lace area freeze-up.

Deeluxe has incorporated a similar walk-mode function to increase stride. The mechanism is attached to the power strap. They have also added a short, minimal gaiter to prevent lower lace area freeze-up.

K2 — New boot versions for the Kwicker system.

K2 now has three different boot options for their Kwicker system ranging in stiffness and style.

K2 now has three different boot options for their Kwicker system ranging in stiffness and style.

The interesting

Of course, these tradeshows will always feature totally new designs. It’s always interesting to see what adaptations people are thinking up.

Rodin Split introduces a splitboard that can ski? Or skis that can snowboard? When split, each ski has sidecut on both edges. Dynafit bindings are used in ski mode, and Voile pucks are used in snowboard mode. Claimed to float well, despite the large gap.

Rodin Split introduces a splitboard that can ski? Or skis that can snowboard? When split, each ski has sidecut on both edges. Dynafit bindings are used in ski mode, and Voile pucks are used in snowboard mode. Claimed to float well, despite the large gap.

The binding is a traditional snowboard binding with Dynafit toe and heel compatibility.

The binding is a traditional snowboard binding with Dynafit toe and heel compatibility.

Solomon – a 4 piece splitboard

A little hard to decipher in this picture, but the board has a middle section that folds into two during tour mode. I believe the idea is for weight saving on the up. Definitely interesting.

A little hard to decipher in this picture, but the board has a middle section that folds into two during tour mode. I believe the idea is for weight saving on the up. Definitely interesting.

Gentem Stick out of Niseko, Japan is making some of the most beautiful boards I have ever seen.

Gentem Stick out of Niseko, Japan is making some of the most beautiful boards I have ever seen.

Overall trend

Generally speaking, if I had to decide what the overall trend of snowboard designs are for the coming year, it would be the surf-inspired swallow tail designs. Just about every company has a powder-specific board. I had the opportunity to demo a couple of these boards at the On-Snow Demo day, and despite the lack of bottomless Japan-style powder, these shapes are absolutely amazing carve boards. Needless to say, tons of fun!



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Comments

30 Responses to “Through A Split Lens — SIA 2015”

  1. mike February 5th, 2015 11:53 am

    I am a at skier. But just curious what are the total weight of split broad set up with skins and boots per foot? with newer at gear it can be as light as 6 lbs per foot and under.

    mike

  2. Kyle February 5th, 2015 1:13 pm

    Some rough figures..

    A Prior 156cm Carbon AMF splitboard is 2850grams total, so 1425 per “ski” when board is in tour mode
    TLT5 Hardboot roughly 1225 perfoot
    Dynafit Radical Toe piece 156.5 per foot

    Phantom Splitboard bindings I dont know the weight, but they stay in your pack for touring, not sure what the interface weight is either, but I would imagine this setup is the lightest for now. Skins on top of that. We are probably between 7 and 8 pounds touring? Somebody will no doubt correct me, and somebody no doubt uses a lighter setup somehow.

    Softboots can be as light as 850grams per foot for the boots only, but you have to tour in the bindings, as opposed to using the tech toepiece.

  3. Kyle February 5th, 2015 1:36 pm

    Ill add to the above, saw a review of Phantom for 2013/14 weights. Not sure if they are less now.

    Dyanfit toe with heel risers(not the heel pieces) are 200grams total for each board half
    And the interface for the phantom bindings (what you attach the downhill bindings to)are 150 grams per set roughly, so 300 total for whole board, but for uphill would be 150 each..I think, thats how I take it.

    So looks like without skins, we are at roughly 3155 or 6.9 lbs.

    I think we are seeing a lot of split innovations but whats really needed is a proper boot so splitters don’t have to modify 700 dollar ski boots. Seems for many the TLT5 is the best. Im still on softboot setup for now..

  4. mike February 5th, 2015 1:49 pm

    thanks it seems I am seeing more split boarders out in the backcountry adding to skyrocketing increase of back country riding.

  5. TK Eagle February 5th, 2015 1:55 pm

    “I think we are seeing a lot of split innovations but whats really needed is a proper boot so splitters don’t have to modify 700 dollar ski boots. Seems for many the TLT5 is the best. Im still on softboot setup for now..”Amen.

    Nitro boots w/ shimano step-ins were as close to stiff and speedy as we got without going to hard boots. Then, K2 yanked it all from the market because it was not associated with park/pipe/shredfests. Funny to see them back around and frankly a little late back to the party. If I remember right, their ‘stiff’ boots were soft and weak and don’t expect much different. I’ll stick with Deeluxe Spark SV’s for now, especially with full welt vibram crampon compatible soles.

  6. riff February 5th, 2015 3:55 pm

    I used to ride a 178 split decision with side it on both edges. I used hardboots and skied the halves, it all worked great. It did collect a fair bit of brush in the crack though.

  7. riff February 5th, 2015 3:57 pm

    “sidecut”

  8. Kyle February 5th, 2015 4:27 pm

    I have noticed a lot more splitters as well in the backcountry, even in the short time I have been involved, 4 or 5 years. I have also been slowly relearning how to ski, not because I dont like splitboarding, I just feel on some tours I would prefer a ski. I think well see a spike in numbers of people, then it will gradually fall off a bit and steady out. All this new gear makes people salivate, but in the end, your still hiking a bunch, and thats not for everybody. Obviously in certain areas where access is quite easy its going to get crowded.

    Eventually, I will transistion to hardboot setup for my split. None of the softboot inovations are convincing me otherwise, but the Phantom hardboot setup is. Just a lot of coin initially..

  9. Aaron February 5th, 2015 8:08 pm

    Stoked to see tip and tail notches making their way into the splitboard world.

  10. TK Eagle February 5th, 2015 8:15 pm

    Mike, there is a lot more people in the backcountry (side country) in general on all types of sleds as far as I’m concerned, which is great – the resorts have been sticking it to many of us with exponential pricing schemes and purposeful crowding since #’s remain flat or dropping for them all. It’s become vertical golf to be sure.

    I imagine the uptick in BC users will push innovation for every type of company producing products for every type of user and always appreciate the sneak peaks here on the WS blog – keep up the good work fellows !

  11. See February 5th, 2015 9:06 pm

    The problem with the popularity of bc travel is that part of the beauty of the backcountry is lack of crowds. Any observations from the continent that put the “Alp” in alpine?

  12. ericsplit February 6th, 2015 8:16 am

    thanks to lou I have no problem cutting into some 700? (I paid 500$) brand new tlt6 boots. I think that with the rise in splitting hard boot companies will take note real soon. Some will just have to push the innovation before these companies get motivated. I was on soft boots K sdetup for 3+ years in the BC. the new phantom setup is silly light and touring is pretty much amazing by comparison. Full tour setup- 160 board, phantom, and skins is 5.75 per foot. no boots. ” K” setup is 7.29 with no boots. just need to file some more plastic on these hard shells and I will be happy!

  13. TM February 6th, 2015 8:52 am

    Glad to see Wildsnow covering some of the new splitboard gear. I agree that the lack of a splitboard-specific is the biggest gear gap in splitbaording. It’d be great to see a splitboard-focused review of the new AT boot offerings.

  14. Wookie February 6th, 2015 8:52 am

    The Phantom setup is great. Got my wife on it, and she says it works well. (She’s a snowboard instructor) – I ski, so all I can say is that the combination of a lighter setup, boots that can walk, and faster transitions just about doubled her speed on tours with me.

    Its much more than just “noticable” – its huge.

  15. Aaron February 6th, 2015 8:59 am

    Ill second the Phantom fanfare. Those things are awesome. Pre-canted, light, low profile and simple.

  16. TM February 6th, 2015 8:59 am

    Edit

    Glad to see Wildsnow covering some of the new splitboard gear. I agree that the lack of a splitboard-specific tech-toe boot is the biggest gear gap in splitbaording. The Jones boot is a step in the right direction for softboots but a lower pivot would make for better touring mode. It’d be great to see a review of Phantom, which in my opinion is state-of-the-art, and a splitboard-focused review of the new AT boot offerings.

  17. Kyle February 6th, 2015 9:04 am

    5.75 lbs without boots? Thats pretty good, especially if that includes heel risers and toe pieces.

  18. Dave H February 6th, 2015 11:02 am

    Mike, come to the dark side, your feet will thank you. As a bc boarder from long before splits I’d say that nothing has impacted bc numbers like the dynafit binding and light pebax boots and online map tools and blogs did. Tele was hard and splits were pretty unknown and not marketed heavily and alpine folks were stuck slogging somewhere back there on the trail. The upside, at least in the Wasatch, is that bc numbers may help to block the resorts that want to turn the whole high elevation place into resort terrain.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 February 6th, 2015 11:19 am

    Dave, be afraid, very afraid, the relentless stringing of cable is horrible in Austria, will tend to happen in US. Lo

  20. mike February 6th, 2015 2:09 pm

    My curiosity with how much weight you have on your feet with split broad gear had to do with how many vertical feet I see split broaders putting up in our area. I know with lighter gear big vertical days are much easier.When I had frame bindings and 3 buclke boots a big day was about 5500 now an average day is 6500. I think it’s great to see any body out enjoying human powered means to earn your turns what ever gear you choose to use.I am not complaining about the increase it just means we will all have a better choice of gear.

  21. TM February 6th, 2015 4:40 pm

    Mike,

    Here are per-foot weights for one of my splits, a 181 / 27 cm Venture Storm with Phantom binding:

    Ski: 1775g (board, Phantom interface, clips, hooks, heels)
    Alien Mondo 30: 1050g
    Dyna Radical Toe: 156.5g
    BD Ascension Skin: 304g

    Total per foot: 3285.5g

    A well-sorted AT set up–given its at-foot weight savings and added ankle mobility and stride length–is in my opinion a game changer for splitboard touring efficiency. The difference relative to a soft-boot configuration is stark.

  22. Coop February 6th, 2015 7:10 pm

    Thanks for the comments you all! Great conversations here, and good feedback. We will work to get a phantom review here in the near future.

  23. Splitskier February 7th, 2015 9:25 am

    coop and Lou, thanks for the periodic split content. Very cool. Much appreciated from this splitter. Was Phantom not represented at the SIA?

  24. Aaron February 7th, 2015 10:24 am

    Hey TM, How are the Aliens compared to TLT’s? Did you mod them at all?

  25. Coop February 7th, 2015 10:37 am

    Split skier-

    We will continue to get more split related content here as long as there is interest.

    John from Phantom was walking around. Unfortunately we missed each other. He’s a one-man operation and seems to be quite busy.

  26. Kyle February 7th, 2015 11:07 am

    Also wondering how the Aliens compare? I haven’t seen any splitters using them. Curious if anyone is using the newer scarpa f1’s?

    I think phantom is workin on something new as well…

  27. TM February 7th, 2015 9:03 pm

    Aaron and Kyle – I posted a review of the Alien on splitboard.com in the boot forum. There are a few other splitter discussions of the Alien there too.

    Short answer: I haven’t ridden the TLT so cannot provide a direct comparison. But based on the carpet test Alien is softer medially and forward than TLT and Sideral (unmodded), has shorter BSL per size (shortest among any AT boot–think heel / toe drag and boot-out) and is lighter by a lot. All around winner for splitboard ing. Again, see my review for a more detailed discussion.

  28. TM February 7th, 2015 9:07 pm

    …and yes, I ride the Alien unmodded.

  29. Kyle February 7th, 2015 11:29 pm

    Just checked it out on splitboard site, thanks for the write up. I’m a pretty light weight rider so the alien might be a good choice. All comes down to fit I suppose.

    Did you find any benefit split skiing with aliens or did you feel it was about the same?

  30. TM February 8th, 2015 6:48 am

    I haven’t split skid with it (downhill) much, and not at all with heel lock down. From what I have done, it works fine. I typically drop a knee tele style, for stability, and the configuration works well for that. Regarding the F1 (if we’re talking about the same boot) my understanding is that the ride mode engages through the heel only when stepped into a ski binding. (And have I read that that mechanism has proven defective?) Absent that, or some significant mod, there’d be no ride mode–only tour mode–for splitboarding. Short of that prohibitive problem, I like that boot.





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