Jones Solution Splitboard Long Term Review — All Around Performance


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 26, 2016      
The Jones Solution and a classic tour in the San Juans – these are the conditions we would love to be in all the time.

The Jones Solution and a classic tour in the San Juans – these are the conditions we would love to be in all the time.

Splitboards are a dynamic tool for the backcountry snowboarder; the potential they help us access is truly limitless. I have ridden a number of different splits, from fully rockered twin tips to fully cambered swallow tail shapes, in a wide variety of conditions. Time to put down my thoughts on what’s been working.

Owning a quiver of splitboards for all of the different conditions you will encounter out there can be unreasonable, so what should you look for to simplify life? It is imperative to find a shape and size that will “ski tour” uphill exceptionally well, as the reality is we spend 95% of our time going up. Of course, we all live for the gravity assisted descent, so that same tool must perform equally as well on the down.

I’ve been utilizing a Jones Solution splitboard for almost four years, and the new 15/16 model for about a year and a half. The shape and design of the Solution makes it a recommendable tool for the board quiver of one.

The Solution on a wild month-long trip in Glacier Bay National Park.

The Solution on a wild month-long trip in Glacier Bay National Park.

The 2015/2016 Jones Solution has a number of updates to the construction that have drastically improved its quality, despite a couple of potential drawbacks to this board.

The profile of the board is ideal for the uphill and includes critical features that allow it to perform well on both sides of the spectrum. The importance of a cambered shape in the profile for skinning far outweighs any counter arguments I’ve heard about riding performance.

The Solution is a directional board with camber between the feet, coupled with slight rocker towards the tip and tail. I have found this profile to perform well in the variety of conditions you will encounter in the backcountry. The rockered nose floats in powder and charges through the chunder and mank that inevitably exists no matter when you go out.

Similarly, the camber between the feet gives the necessary edge control for firm conditions. While touring the rockered nose creates float when breaking trail, but this profile really shines when it is combined with the camber in the center of the board. The camber between the feet and under the touring bracket provides support and stability in both deep snow conditions and firm hardpack.

A stock photo from Jones portraying the profile of the board.

A stock photo from Jones portraying the profile of the board.

Profile of the rockered nose and the beginning of the camber underfoot.

Profile of the rockered nose and the beginning of the camber underfoot.

My biggest complaint about a fully rockered profile is largely in the touring performance, I equate it to walking uphill with two bananas under your feet. It will provide float in the deepest of conditions, but minimal support.

Similarly, when you are clinging for dear life on an icy uptrack, the rocker in your skis keeps just the right amount of surface area off the snow for a potential struggle fest. Yes, this is a moderately exaggerated rant about fully rockered shapes — but it’s real.

Fortunately, Jones has combined the useful parts of the rockered technology with the benefits and old technology of camber to make a functional uphilling tool.

The same profile that makes the Solution perform well on the uphill, is the same technology that makes it a good choice for the all around descent. I’ve ridden some of my deepest days and had excellent floatation, and also some of my most hateful surface conditions and had good control and ability to charge through crud.

No tip/tail metal plates or wrap-around edges for 15/16. Good improvement.

No tip/tail metal plates or wrap-around edges for 15/16. Good improvement.

The updated materials in the 15/16 construction have to do with a new topsheet and edge design. The new topsheet is made of castor beans and is claimed to be lighter, stronger, and more durable (insert other buzzword here). I’ll agree to the durability part, as it’s hard for me to weigh just the top sheet of both models.

The darker colored topsheet (although not black, thank goodness) does sometimes collect snow and ice up, but I am a sucker for that teal blue color so I’ll deal with it for the fashion statement.

The previous models of the solution had a full wrap around edge on the tip and tail with a metal plate in the base that often became damaged by hitting rocks and would bend or break out. The 15/16 model does not have that, and has held up exceptionally well to the all too familiar San Juan Shark Attack. A quality improvement!

A potential drawback to the Jones Solution is the thickness of the base. I tagged a rock a few weeks ago in the San Juan backcountry and put a decent sized core shot in my base from what I perceived to be a relatively minimal impact. After inspecting the thickness of the base, I began to question the durability. I know there is a balance to strike in durability and lightweight performance, but it did raise some questions for me. Fortunately the ding was easy enough to repair, and I have not had any significant problems since then despite hitting plenty of rocks — San Juan Shark Week (season) 2016.

Jones Premium Skins – 70% mohair 30% synthetic

Jones Premium Skins – 70% mohair 30% synthetic.

Slightly different universal tail attachment – effective.

Slightly different universal tail attachment – effective.

Another new product from Jones is the addition of climbing skins. I have been using the Premium Skins, which is essentially a rebranded Pomoca skin that is 70% mohair and 30% synthetic nylon fibers.

Jones Premium Skins are superb, truly. The glide to grip ratio is effective, and the glue has held up well so far. I have definitely put them through the wringer with the occasional dirt patch skinning, and over sharp rocks, and they are holding up so far. Time will tell, and I’ll follow-up with more info if I notice significant changes.

The 15/16 Solution is designed with a notch in the back of each ski to accommodate a “quick-tension tail-clip”. I have been using the skins with the universal tail clip, so I cannot speak to the effectiveness of the quick-tension clip, but it seems like a good innovation nonetheless.

Jones Solution splitboard.

Jones Solution splitboard.

Overall, the 15/16 Jones Solution is a highly recommendable board for the one split quiver. It has the profile to be effective on the ski uphill, and versatile for the down. The board without hardware weighs in at 3220 grams, and the skins weigh in at 490 grams for the pair.

(I bought my first Jones splitboard, current one is a loaner from Jones for testing and review.)

Shop for Jones splitboards here.



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Comments

13 Responses to “Jones Solution Splitboard Long Term Review — All Around Performance”

  1. Joseph April 26th, 2016 2:16 pm

    I like the honest review, but this split has been around nearly unchanged for forever. Almost every splitboarder has tried one by now. You couldn’t find a more exiting board to review?

    This is Wildsnow, we expect extreme lightweigh tested to the point of destruction. 😉 Why not test something a bit more unknown and exotic?

  2. Lou Dawson 2 April 26th, 2016 4:05 pm

    Joseph, I can answer that, sometimes we just get going with what I’d call a long-term-use review. That’s what this is. We actually don’t do a huge amount of that sort of review but I’ve been told over and over again that readers do like them as they ring with authenticity due to the amount of real-world use.

    Thus, when Coop came up with this I saw no problem with producing it.

    So, we’ll keep your point in mind and I’ll see if we can get Coop eventually going with the exotic. Meanwhile, reading is optional (grin).

    Lou

  3. Lou Dawson 2 April 26th, 2016 5:03 pm

    I changed title so as not to ambush any readers.

  4. Coop April 27th, 2016 12:10 am

    Joseph,

    Thanks for the comment. Although this split has been around for awhile, a number of elements of the design changed for the 15/16 season, and worth noting,as previous years models had some serious durability issues.

    We will have more reviews of splits that trend toward the exotic end of the spectrum. We also like to cover and give honest reviews to gear that works.

    Thanks for your thoughts again, always good to know what folks are looking for. Cheers!

  5. Joel April 27th, 2016 2:10 am

    Hi,

    Could you also let us know:
    if the weight is the one you measured or the one published by Jone
    what size+weight you are
    what size of board you use

    Thanks for the review,

    Joel

  6. Coop April 27th, 2016 8:57 am

    Joel,

    The weight is one I measured.

    The board is a 164.

    I am 5’11” and about 155 lbs.

    Hope that helps!

  7. VtVolk April 27th, 2016 9:27 am

    Lou and Coop,

    I love seeing more splitboard content on WS. Have either of you seen or tested the upcoming Voile Spartan? There’s very little info on the interwebs yet, and though being marketed as an “entry level” split, the shape and construction look really appealing, at least from the short clips I’ve seen.

  8. Lou Dawson 2 April 27th, 2016 9:38 am

    VT, yeah, I feel like splitters “ski” enough to fit in to our matrix (grin). Main thing is that competent riders like Coop simply blend with the mountains so beautifully on the down, I can’t resist working with them. Especially when they’re our son’s friends and mountaineering partner. Besides Coops choice in glisse tool, all other gear remains pretty much the same, as well as alpinism goals, so we appreciate working with him on a variety of gear reviews and trip reports. Lou

  9. Shane April 27th, 2016 12:17 pm

    I appreciate the review and pretty strongly disagree with the statement that “almost every splitboarder has tried one by now”. The darn things are too expensive to be buying new ones very often, and even then, there are quite a few others out there to be trying.

    I’m something of an oddity though – still riding my 11 year old Prior BC split.

  10. Hayden Beck April 27th, 2016 10:48 pm

    Although I primarily ski these days. The solution seems like the best split you can buy right now in terms of all around usage. (That is such a cliche statement, but still true.) I split on a second generation Burton Freebird, and while I do like it, I would purchase a jones next time. My jones Flagship (the solid board version of the solution) is the best riding snowboard I have ever strapped into. At least for my body type and dynamics. It is really a great tool for descending mountains. I am sure a split version would be a great tool for ascending and descending mountains.

  11. Joel April 27th, 2016 11:59 pm

    Thank you for the review and the supplemental info. I am asking since I am afraid that the board wouldn’t bring me enough surface. I got used to my magistral swell panik 185 which is bringing plenty of surface. Also I weigh 10 pounds more than you.

    Thank you for the info,

    Joel

  12. Napaliwow January 6th, 2017 10:21 am

    Completely agree, thickness of the base is my biggest complaint. Love the design and ride but I’m on my second solution (14/15) and I’ve never experienced another board where core shots came so easily. Sometimes feel like the base is made of cheese but an aged Parm might be more durable. I”m also not a fan of the magne traction. It makes the edges harder to sharpen well and the magne traction down the split is just a hair off on mine causing a gap and poor lateral rigidity on hard pack. I’m constantly adjusting or bending the clips to get a firmer conection. Mine will actually skip on a high speed heel edge turns in hard or variable conditions. Likely just a factory issue but Jones didn’t seem to care. I’d recommend the board but tell anyone to avoid repeated base grinds and try to inspect and buy in person.

  13. Massimo August 23rd, 2017 12:13 am

    Hello

    Have someone ride this board switch. Not just two turns, but pushing it. Hard pack and soft snow

    Is possible to mount it more central in order to not to have the tail too long.

    I know is a directional board , but I ve got a strong experience and love to alternate my riding.





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