We are always pushing the limits and seeing what we can achieve when it comes to snow sports, so it’s no surprise that the popularity of splitboarding is on the rise and is fast becoming the new trend on snow.
What is splitboarding
Splitboarding is the ultimate snow sport that combines the thrill of fast-pace snowboarding and the tranquillity of cross-country skiing.
The splitboard looks like a normal snowboard at first, but can split in half to reveal a pair of skis - offering double the activities but without additional equipment.
How splitboards work
Splitboards are a clever piece of winter sport equipment.
Firstly, you need to remove the bindings from your splitboard. You do this by removing the retaining pin, then sliding the bindings backwards off the binding plates and off the board.
Secondly, unhook the clips at the nose and tail, and the board will come apart.
Thirdly, fix your bindings to your 'skis'. Position the bindings in the uphill position and attach the toe end with the retaining pin, your heel can then move up and down as you walk.
Finally, apply your splitboard skins. These can be clipped to the nose and pressed firmly down to the tail. Splitboard skins are a thin covering that you put over the base of your splitboard when traversing or climbing terrain. They have small hairs that grip when you step forward, and glide when you push off, like cross country skis.
Once you have reached your summit and wish to snowboard down the awaiting run, it’s a quick and easy transition to downhill mode by simply removing your skins and bindings to attach the board back together.
What equipment is needed for splitboarding
A splitboard isn’t all that different from a regular snowboard in terms of weight and feel. However, they now often contain new features such as a reverse camber to give you a light, open ride downwards, as well as specialist bindings.
Depending on the runs you would like to take, you could purchase a splitboard that is optimised for deep, powdery slopes with a directional shape (namely a longer nose for floatland and a weightier tail). There are also lightweight snowboards available which are much more simple for beginners at the sport to use. Jones splitboards are often recommended as some of the best boards on the market for people keen to take up the hobby more often.
Many riders choose to bring customised skins not only as a way of providing more traction in your ski’s movement, but also to give a brighter, more personalised feel to your splitboard.
Splitboard boots are available for purchase if you plan to take up the sport as a regular activity, however it is also perfectly possible to use regular snowboarding boots as well. In particular, stiffer freeride snowboard boots are recommended so that you can take more control over your speed and grip in icier areas.
Although poles are not usually a part of a snowboarder’s kit list, telescopic or foldable poles are strongly recommended for splitboarding, they will aid in your grip, stability and speed.
Standard ski or snowboarding outfits are absolutely fine to wear for this activity.
Are splitboards worth it
It’s about your passion and sense of adventure whether this sport is right for you.
A splitboard is the best solution to any boarders or skiers that wish to explore the great outdoors with no limits. With the freedom a splitboard provides, you can seek out new terrain.
It’s recommended that splitboard users have a lot of mountain experience and that skiers and snowboarders of an intermediate to advanced level, who are confident with red and black runs are most adapted to try this sport. This activity is rewarding to those who want the chance to head off-piste.
We spoke to one of our Inghams Reps in resort who shared with us his experience of splitboarding and why he enjoys the sport -
‘I have always enjoyed off-piste skiing and using the lifts means access to only certain areas of the mountains. So, during the Covid-19 pandemic when flights from the UK were not allowed, I saw an opportunity to buy a splitboard and venture more into the mountain away from the resort.
The reason I love split boarding is I don't think there is anything better than planning a trip, going out into nature, away from all the hustle and bustle and enjoying the scenery, the challenge and the riding. Nothing really beats it in my mind.
My friends and I took this opportunity to do lots of splitboarding and ski touring - Inghams’ resorts have such vast and diverse areas to explore. From easy quick tours to some big tours that take you to other resorts.’
*Photos above from our Inghams Rep - Lewis Jones in 2023
We also spoke with co-founder of Backdrop Journal, Pete Coombs, who is not only an avid splitboarder, but also a filmmaker and part of the creative crew behind the film: Lofoten: A Splitboarding Story. Pete loves the Alps and attended the first Splitboard Festival here.
He gave us an insight into his passion for splitboarding and shared with us his blog: ‘10 splitboarding tips to make life easier’ - worth a read if you are thinking of trying this sport.
Other Holiday types
Best for Snowboarding:
Best for advanced Skiing: