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Prior - Spearhead Split XTC

posted Nov 10, 2015, 7:14 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated Nov 11, 2015, 9:16 AM ]




Nomen est omen: the Spearhead is designed to be launched through powder and cleave it like a spear! How could we miss the chance to test such a weapon of pow destruction? Last winter we grabbed the Spearhead in its split and lightened version (Spearhead Split XTC) and we took it out for a few spins. Here, we report on our riding experience with it.

Technical Description

The Spearhead is a directional powder-board with a clearly noticeable setback in the stance (the setback is only 2 cm with respect to the center of the camber, but the difference between the nose and the tail is about 20 cm) and an ample nose. It has a "Powder Rocker Profile", which is a combination of a rocker on the nose and a traditional camber profile underfoot reaching all the way to the tail. The Spearhead also has a prominent taper (~2cm) to host
the 
oversized nose, designed to allow easier floatation and quicker turn initiation.

The XTC Carbon Construction is an upgrade available on all Prior splitboards that saves an average of 500 g (about 15% of the weight) off the same model with a
   
standard quadraxial fiberglass construction. 
The XTC Carbon Construction uses the same vertically laminated maple and aspen wood cores, sidewalls, bases, and nylon topsheets as in the traditional construction, but replaces the fibreglass weave with Carbon fabric.

Our test

We tested the XTC carbon version of the Prior Spearhead Splitboard (length 166, model 2014/2015) for a whole winter season. We had the chance to try the board in the backcountry on very different snow conditions: powder, wet and heavy snow, icy crusts, windy slabs, firn, spring snow. Even if it's not its favorite terrain, we also tested the Spearhead on the pistesWe used it exclusively in combination with the Spark R&D Magneto bindings (weighing approximately 1.5 kg). This is probably one of the lightest splitboard settings, with a total weight of less than 5 kg for a 166cm split!

First impressions on the snow
The Spearhead literally flies on powder and in deep snow in general. You can adopt a "more aggressive" riding style, almost leaning forward, even in deep snow. The board is very light, it turns easily,
and pow surfing is effortless and more governed by your front leg.

Lightness & Riding Agility
Thanks to the carbon construction, the Spearhead Split XTC is certainly among the lightest powder splitboards on the market. We set it up with a very light pair of bindings and split system (we used the Spark R&D's Magneto with the Tesla system). With this setting the total weight of the board is less than that of an average non-split snowboard of the same length. We always stress that lightness is of fundamental importance in the backcountry, because it lets you save a lot of energies during the long and steep approaches. This simply means that you can reach further and higher. Saving energies during the climb also means being able to enjoy the descent much more. Lightness is key in improving the agility of the board during the ride, especially when surfing the deepest powder. 

Flex & Responsiveness
The flex of the the Spearhead Split is intermediate and just right to make the ride fluent while still providing a comfortable damping effect thanks also to the camber. The true flex and responsiveness can be fully appreciated when riding on compact snow or on the piste, when vibrations - especially on the nose - can be noticed, but not terribly so. Of course, the piste is not the ideal terrain for the Spearhead, but when you get used to the new riding style, more pivoting on the forward foot, you start enjoying the curving. The cambered underfoot profile helps generating a good damping effect especially appreciated on landing of big jumps and during tight turns. 

Edge Grip
The Spearhead Split has a combination of a large rocker on the nose and a camber profile underfoot, plus a pronounced setback of the binding inserts. Its behaviour during the turns is radically different from that of a "standard" twin-tip board or from that of a more traditional directional board. You can lean forward and use your front foot much more to initiate the turns and control your riding. The underfoot camber provides good edge hold and stability, especially during fast and ample turns. The taper on the nose helps turn initiation and quickens the edge-to-edge switch.

Floating
Thanks to its pronounced rocker and the ample nose the Spearhead floats in deep powder effortlessly, even at low speed. Even in waist-deep powder the nose always sticks out of the snow without having to lean back. This means that you can ride in a much more comfortable and efficient position: with your weight equally distributed on both legs. Both the large surface of the Spearhead and its lightweight contribute effectively in enhancing the floating. As a result your ride can be more efficient, more fluid, and even aggressive in deep pow.

Versatility
The Spearhead Split XTC is a powder split. Its favourite terrain is deep snow, no doubt about it. A natural concern is, therefore, how good is this highly asymmetric, directional powder board on hard,
compact snow? 
Surprisingly, the Spearhead does actually behave quite good on compact snow too. The riding style must be re-adjusted to be more balanced on the front foot, which is almost centred on the pivoting point of the board, but the riding feeling is nice and the edges provide good grip. Even if longer than your usual board you'll find it very agile and easy to turn. We found it very good in all the kind on terrains in the backcountry: from the gently inclined slopes in the woods to the steepest and tightest couloirs. 

Durability
The sintered Durasurf base is quite tough. It protects relatively well even from strong impacts with rocks and we had the chance to actually proof that a couple of times. However, because of its extremely lightweight construction, the top of the board requires some extra care, especially when carrying the board or when using it in touring mode. The flex and elasticity also tend to weaken quite rapidly with time. For this reason it is important to choose the correct length for your weight. If indecisive on the size, go for a few extra cm: these will offer more support, better floating, and greater durability.

Our verdict

The Prior Spearhead Split XTC is the ultimate weapon of pow shredding. It is an ultralight powder board ideal for the days of epic dumps, when being light and fast is key. The efficient and energy-saving skinning gives you more chances be the one drawing the first track. Our riding experience with the Spearhead has been outstanding in deep powder and surprisingly good on a variety of different terrains, including on the pistes!


 Lightness & Agility   10/10
 Flex & Responsiveness     7/10
 Edge Grip     8/10
 Floating   10/10
 Versatility     7/10
 Durability     7/10
 Total Score  8.2/10

Prior - Brandywine Split XTC

posted Nov 22, 2014, 7:28 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated Dec 19, 2014, 5:55 AM ]




For a long time we've been waiting to test a Splitboard specifically designed for women and, finally, last winter we had the chance to test for a whole season probably one of the best Splitboards for women: the Prior Brandywine Split XTC... and finally switching to a Split has been a fantastic experience!

First of all, the whole Splitboarding experience is so cool! You can forget about ski passes, long queues at the lifts, or the strenuous hikes with snowshoes and the weight of the board on your backpack. Splitboarding is pure freedom! The first time you try it you realize that the adventure now really begins. You can reach and explore new places, away from the crowds, enjoy the priceless feeling of fulfillment when you reach the summit with your own means and with so little effort... and up there it's is only you, your Split, and the POW! 

Forget about the misconception!
 One of the biggest concerns people have about Splits is the complexity of the assembly/disassembly of board and bindings. Different systems exists with different levels of complexity. We have chosen the Tesla System of the Spark R&D Magneto, definitely one of the easiest and quickest systems in existence, that perfectly couples with the extremely lightweight XTC carbon-construction version of the Brandywine Split
Another frequent concern is the fact that the Split is actually a board cut in half! Is that noticeable when riding and how does that affect your riding? Well, honestly, for us on most snow conditions it's been really hard to notice a difference between a non-Split and a Split under our feet, except maybe for some slightly increased vibration of the tips of a Split when riding on hard snow.

Having blown away all the prejudices and misconceptions, we are now ready to appreciate Splitboarding to the fullest.

Technical Description

  

The Brandywine Split is a directional Freeride splitboard specifically designed for Women, with a narrow waist and softer flex than the BC Split. The Brandywine Split is designed to allow Women to drive the board harder and maximize energy transfer for the best performance possible. Utilizing the Hybrid Rocker Profile, the Brandywine Split is aimed at maximum versatility.

   

XTC Carbon Construction is an upgrade available on all Prior splitboards that saves an average of 500 g (about 15% of the weight) off the same splitboard model pressed with the 
   
standard quadraxial fiberglass construction. 
The XTC Carbon Construction uses the same vertically laminated maple and aspen wood cores, sidewalls, bases, and nylon topsheets as in their traditional construction, but replaces the fibreglass weave with Carbon fabric.



Our test

We tested the XTC carbon version of the Prior Brandywine Splitboard (length 149, model 2013/2014) for an entire season. We tried the board in the backcountry on all possible snow conditions (powder, wet and heavy snow, icy crusts, windy slabs, firn, spring snow) and we also tested it on the pistesWe used it exclusively in combination with the Spark R&D Magneto bindings (weighting less than 1.5 kg). This is probably one of the lightest Splitboard set-up, with a total weight of less than 4 kg!

First impressions on the snow
From the very first moment with the Brandywine you feel confident and fast. It has a great balance and stability during the turns. It follows your movements easily and fluently. Thanks to its extreme lightweight, it is very dynamic and rapid in switching from one edge to
the other.

Lightness & Riding Agility
Light & fast! The Prior Brandywine Split XTC behaves like a champion downhill. The carbon version of the Brandywine Split is definitely one the lightest splitboards for women. Combined with the Spark R&D's Tesla system it's even lighter than most non-split snowboards! Lightness is the key in saving energies during the longest and steepest approaches: you can easily reach further and higher. The energy saved during skinning also means that you'll enjoy much more the descent. Of course, lightness also improves the overall agility of the board during the ride. 

Flex & Responsiveness
The flex of the Brandywine is rather soft, but still sufficiently supportive during the turns. The perfect terrain for the Brandywine is definitely the powder! Even on hard snow the behavior is good, although vibrations of the tips become more noticeable. The snap and responsiveness of the board are well calibrated for lightweight female
bodies. Overall, the board is s
table, lightweight, and fun to ride.

Edge Grip
The hybrid Rocker/Camber profile has a moderately pronounced rocker on the nose that rises just enough to let you effortlessly float in deep snow, without dramatically affect the behavior of the board during the turns. The central traditional camber provides good edge hold and stability, especially during fast and ample turns.

Floating
Although not extremely pronounced, the rocker on the nose is noticeable and, together with the slight setback, it effectively helps you floating effortlessly in deep powder, without having to push your weight back even at low speed. In deep snow the nose always points up and stays out of the snow without great effort. This makes your ride more efficient and more fluid.

Versatility
Designed to be a Freeride all-rounder, the Brandywine Split XTC is a truly versatile board. Its favorite terrains are deep powder and soft snow, but thanks to its lightness and agility it has really good
performances on all kind of backcountry terrains, from
 the woods to the most ample lines. The Brandywine goes well even on the pistes: its great edge hold gives you full confidence and control even at full speed with only limited vibration.

Durability
The sintered Durasurf base is quite tough. It is hard enough to protect from relatively strong impacts with rocks and tree branches. However, because of its extremely lightweight construction, the top certainly requires some extra care, especially when carrying the board or when skinning. The flex and elasticity also tend to weaken quite rapidly with time. For this reason it is important to chose the correct length for your weight: a few extra cm will offer more support and durability.

Our verdict 

For all the demanding female freeriders the Prior Brandywine Split XTC is the top choice. Specifically designed for women, the 
Brandywine Split XTC is an extremely lightweight, very agile, and very versatile Splitboard, that has everything it takes to become your trustworthy companion of all your freeriding trips throughout the backcountry. If you are seeking that intense feeling of freedom that only a Splitboard can give you, that fulfillment when you reach a beautiful and secluded summit covered in fresh powder all by yourself and the excitement of exploring new boundaries, then the Prior Brandywine Split XTC is the board for you.


 Lightness & Agility   10/10
 Flex & Responsiveness     7/10
 Edge Grip     8/10
 Floating     8/10
 Versatility     8/10
 Durability     7/10
 Total Score  8.0/10

Prior - Backcountry Split XTC

posted Nov 4, 2014, 12:54 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated Nov 16, 2014, 8:19 AM ]




The Prior Backcountry has now become a real classic. We had the chance to test the split and lightened version of the evergreen board: the Backcountry Split XTC. This is a report of our experience with the BC Split during the past winter/spring.

Technical Description

The Backcountry Split (BC Split) has been slightly modified over the years, but it is based on the original 'Freeride shape' designed by Chris Prior in the early 90’s. The BC Split has a classic all-mountain directional shape, a Hybrid Rocker Profile, with rocker on the nose and tail and traditional camber underfoot. The BC Split has also a minimal taper, which provides both power and drive on edge while allowing the playful rider to land or ride switch.

 
 

XTC Carbon Construction is an upgrade available on all Prior splitboards that saves an average of 500 g (about 15% of the weight) off the same splitboard model pressed with the
   
standard quadraxial fiberglass construction. 
The XTC Carbon Construction uses the same vertically laminated maple and aspen wood cores, sidewalls, bases, and nylon topsheets as in their traditional construction, but replaces the fibreglass weave with Carbon fabric.


Our test

We tested the XTC carbon version of the Prior Backcountry Splitboard (length 161, model 2013/2014) for an entire season. We had the chance to try the board in the backcountry on all possible snow conditions (powder, wet and heavy snow, icy crusts, windy slabs, firn, spring snow) and we also tested its performances on the pistesWe used it exclusively in combination with the Spark R&D Magneto bindings (weighing approximately 1.5 kg). This is probably one of the lightest possible splitboard settings, with a total weight of less than 5 kg!

First impressions on the snow
Since the first few rides we had a really good feeling with the BC Split. The BC is one of those boards that you immediately feel familiar with. As soon as you make the first turns you have the impression that it has always been your board. It behaves exactly as you would expect: no weird reactions when initiating or progressing through the curves, good snap and reactivity, and extreme rapidity in switching from one edge to the other.

Lightness & Riding Agility
The carbon version of the BC Split is definitely one the lightest splitboards on the market. Combined with a light splitting system and a light pair of bindings (for example we used the Spark R&D's Tesla system) the total weight of the board can be easily below that of an average non-split snowboard. Lightness is of fundamental importance in saving energies during the longest and steepest approaches. This means you can reach further and higher. Saving energies during the climb also means enjoining much more the descent. Lightness is also of great importance in improving the agility of the board during the ride, easing all the switching manoeuvres. 

Flex & Responsiveness
The flex of the the BC Split can be considered intermediate, maybe more tending toward the stiff end of the flex scale. The board rides really well both in deep powder and on firmer snow and even on the piste the behaviour is good, although vibration becomes more noticeable. Of course, the piste is not the ideal terrain for the BC
Split. The elasticity of the board is more than sufficient and its response is prompt, without being nervous. Thanks to the cambered underfoot profile the reaction force in response of the flex is noticeable and it generates a good and playful thrust on jumps and during tight turns. 

Edge Grip
The BC Split has a hybrid Rocker/Camber profile, with a moderately pronounced rocker quite close to the two tips that is just enough to let you effortlessly float in deep snow, without dramatically changing the behaviour of the board during the turns. The central traditional camber provides good edge hold and stability, especially during fast and ample turns.

Floating
Although not extremely pronounced, the rocker on the nose is noticeable in deep powder and it effectively helps the floating even at low speed. In deep snow the nose always points up and stays out of the snow without great effort, as a result your ride can be more
efficient and more fluid.

Versatility
The BC Split is a good all-rounder. Its favourite terrains are big backcountry lines, but thanks to its agility it is always easy to turn, very quick and precise also in tighter spaces, as in the woods or on steep and narrow couloirs. The BC Split has very good capabilities even on the pistes: its great edge hold gives you good confidence and control even at full speed with only limited vibration.

Durability
The sintered Durasurf base is quite tough. It is hard enough to protect from relatively strong impacts with rocks and we had the chance to actually proof that a couple of times. However, because of its extremely lightweight construction, the top certainly requires some extra care, especially when carrying the board or when using it in touring mode. The flex and elasticity also tend to weaken quite rapidly with time. For this reason it is important to choose the correct length for your weight: a few extra cm will offer more support
and durability.

Our verdict 

The Prior Backcountry Split XTC is the ultimate lightweight splitboard for demanding back­country freeriders, as well as guides and explorers, who are looking for an extremely light splitboard to be more efficient and save energies when skinning and to have top performances in riding big lines. If your riding style is fast and with large arcing turns, you'll love the BC Split. It is a quick, responsive and very agile all-rounder with the best performances on big and steep backcountry lines.

 Lightness & Agility   10/10
 Flex & Responsiveness     7/10
 Edge Grip     8/10
 Floating     8/10
 Versatility     8/10
 Durability     7/10
 Total Score  8.0/10


Switching from touring to riding mode, including skins removal.

Salomon - Grip

posted Feb 24, 2013, 12:32 PM by Italo Balestra   [ updated Jan 23, 2014, 4:17 AM by GoOut Project ]




At Go Out Project we are constantly looking for the most versatile products and the Salomon Grip gave us the impression to be exactly one of those. We decided to test it!

Design & Construction 

Developed by Wolfgang Nyvelt, the Salomon Grip is a pure Twin Tip with a peculiar design in which two different profiles coexist: a flat profile between the bindings and a rocker on the nose and tail. 

The sidecut is also very peculiar. Dubbed Equalizer 5, it is composed of five straight edges, instead of the traditional curved shape sidecut.

Nose and tail are large, stumpy, and have a quite prominent rocker at the tips.

The board has a medium flex, with a quite powerful response though. A thin bamboo layer, which is visible through the graphics, enhances the responsiveness. The construction is a classic ABS sandwich with cork rails at the edges to help absorbing chatter and impacts.

It is classified as a Freestyle/Park board by Salomon. 


On the snow


The first thing you notice on the Grip is its high stability under all conditions. Even when pushing the edge's grip to the limit on hard snow, it is very difficult to slide. This is probably due to the synergy of the Equalizer 5 sidecut and the flat section between the bindings. The tips vibrate considerably during turns due to their size and shape, but this does not negatively affect the curving. 
The flex is fairly smooth, mellow, and pleasantly responsive. This gives the board a predictable behavior both in getting out of the curve and in landing jumps. 
Despite being labelled as Freestyle/Park, the Salomon Grip behaves excellently also in powder. The large rocker tips easily stick out of the snow with no need to lay back. The board gives the impression of having a much larger floating surface than the actual one. The twin-tip shape, the stumpy tips, and the centered binding stance invite to a "skate-like" riding style. The board is well balanced and its weight is average.


Our verdict
 

We loved the Grip! We were expecting a freestyle board. Instead, we discovered with pleasure a true all-around board suited to all conditions. Whether riding on powder, curving on the pistes, or jumping in the park the Grip behaves always very good. During fast turns, it is fairly accurate and it has a very predictable behavior. The board is globally "easy" and pleasant to ride. The Grip surprises for its capability of providing high-level performances at all times. It also has an excellent quality/price ratio.

Testers:
Marco M. - 172 cm, 62 kg (set up: Drake Fifty, +21°, -6°)
Fabio M. - 175 cm, 73 kg


  Marco Fabio Average
 Lightness 6/10 6/10 6/10
 Flex 6/10 6/10 6/10
 Responsiveness 7/10 7/10 7/10
 Durability 7/10 7/10 7/10
 Grip 7/10 7/10 7/10
 Floating 8/10 8/10 8/10
 Agility 7/10 8/10 7.5/10
 Versatility 8/10 9/10 8.5/10
 Total Score 7.0/10 7.3/10 7.1/10

Possible Alternatives

JONES - Mountain Twin
BATALEON - Goliath
RIDE - Machete GT


Our friends' comments

Federico - I did not know the Salomon Grip and when I saw it for the first time it gave me the impression of being a relatively heavy board, hard to fully exploit, especially in freeride. As soon as I tried it, though, I immediately appreciated its lightness and I immediately had a good feeling. On compact snow, the grip of the Grip is impressive! On powder, the rocker always makes you float. It is a board that can be used everywhere: on the pistes for high-speed curving, on powder, in the woods, fooling around, or for a photo shooting at the chalet! The flex is not too hard and maneuverability is great! It is very similar to my Ride Machete, just longer and lighter!

Fabio - I had the chance to try the Salomon Grip 2012 (157 cm) on both compact snow and powder. The first impression that you get is to handle a very "solid" sandwich-construction board... but when you feel it under your feet it reveals an unexpected lightness and maneuverability. The shape of the Grip is purely twin, with a bamboo layer that increase its responsiveness.... but in the same board you have also large nose and tail with a noticeable rockered tips...in one word: versatility! On compact snow, despite the rocker profile, the Grip reveals a good stability even pushing hardly on the edges. The smooth flex (softer on the tips and stiffer under feet) gives you a very good feeling, keeping a nice and funny ollie pop. On powder I've been pleasantly surprised! Considering that I was riding a twin-shaped board, I had no need to lay on my back foot to float thanks to the considerable surface of the tips and the rocker profile.
I would suggest the Salomon Grip to those who are looking for an all-around board that performs in all conditions.


Jones Hovercraft

posted Feb 13, 2013, 11:29 AM by Italo Balestra   [ updated Jan 23, 2014, 4:15 AM by GoOut Project ]




Every snowboarder dreams to have the right board for the big day.... 
the very deep-powder day! 
However, most "powder boards" (boards designed to perform well in deep-powder snow) are often limited and work well only in those particular conditions. Among a large range of powder boards available today, one gave us the impression of offering a good compromise between high performances in deep snow and versatility on various terrains: the Jones Hovercraft.

We tested the Jones Hovercraft for a whole season in different snow conditions, from powder to more compact snow. Here we give a short overview of the design and performances of this board. 

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

Beyond the expectations, thanks to its well-studied shape and its compact size, the Hovercraft turns out to be a true all-round board always maneuverable in all snow conditions.

The shape is highly directional. An almost non-existent tail is opposed to a very pronounced nose with a very large surface, which has been dubbed Blunt Nose (BN).
The BN, patented by Jones Snowboards, is a special design of the nose, very massive, almost stumpy, which provides better floating when surfing deep snow.

The rocker is very pronounced and it is only on the nose. The setback is only 2 cm with respect to the center of the camber, but the difference between the nose and the tail is really huge (20 cm)! The design of the Hovercraft, unlike that of many boards devoted to powder, adopt some solutions that allow it to be fairly performing even on hard/compact snow: the stiff tail, the camber, and the well-chosen sidecut radius, for example, contribute to make the Hovercraft an almost "normal" board. This is a peculiarity that you'll appreciate very much if you end up on steep icy traverses searching for powder. 

The construction is a traditional sandwich, robust and easy to repair if damaged. It also features a Mellow Magne-Taction that increases grip on icy or compact snow.

IN DEEP POWDER

In deep powder the Hovercraft is pure pleasure! You can forget about laying back. The board glides on powder even at minimum speed, thanks also to the rocker. The feeling is similar to that of riding a surfboard on water and, when you look down at your feet, it seems amazing that you can float like that on such a small board! The nose always sticks out of the snow, which also helps a lot in landing jumps. 
The Hovercraft is definitely the board for the Big Day!

ON COMPACT SNOW

Off the field which it is specifically designed for, the Hovecraft amazed us, responding really well. The board curves almost like a "normal" board, the camber makes it distinctly "alive", and thanks to the design of the Mellow Magne-Traction, even on icy slabs it has a very good grip, difficult even to imagine on a board of this kind. On
hard snow, it suffers a bit in the rapid changes of direction. The width
 of 26 cm at the center of the board, which certainly helps floating in deep snow, is not ideal for fast edge transitions. On steep and icy terrains the edges always perfectly stick to the snow giving great confidence, good stability, never sliding unexpectedly, also thanks to the rocker. The short and rigid tail enables safe and powerful braking in all snow conditions.









....Jones Hovercraft Testing...


COMMENTS FROM OUR FRIENDS

Simone: I tried the Hovercraft (160 cm) on its favorite ground: a lot of powder snow! What I can say is that you always ride in a very central position without any effort and with no need to lay back on the tail. You never get tired! 
It is a very agile board, even in the woods, with a very long effective edge. On the piste it is also fantastic: fast, reliable, and sufficiently reactive for a camrock. A very easy board!

Franco: I tried the 156 cm on a day of abundant, although a bit "wet" snow. Despite my doubts on the floating ability, given the small size of the board for me (I am 190 cm!), the particular shape of the Hovercraft has proven to be nothing less than exceptional in those conditions. It kept floating beyond expectations and allowing lightning-fast changes of direction even in dense woods, where it has demonstrated to be particularly at ease. Even on the pistes the behavior was better than I expected. In this case, the rather stiff tail coupled with the Magne-Traction allows more than satisfactory performances also on a terrain that is certainly not its favorite.
The fact that I got a positive response despite the undersized board for me, in a sense it was an even more tangible proof of the value of the Hovercraft.
As Jeremy says...."I love Hovercrafting"!

We like Jones snowboards more than many others because they are made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood! The FSC® trademark identifies products that contain wood from forests that are managed responsibly according to strict environmental, social, and economic standards.

K2 Kwicker preview (2013)

posted Jan 31, 2013, 3:23 AM by Italo Balestra   [ updated Feb 7, 2013, 1:28 PM by GoOut Project ]




How does the new Kwicker splitboard system work and how does the board ride? We just tested it on the slopes and here we report our first impressions.

We tried the Kwicker, the new splitboard system by K2 Snowboard, that will be available on the market starting from winter 2013. With the Kwicker, K2 offers a complete package that includes board, bindings, boots, crampons, and skins. The Kwicker uses the K2 Clicker step-in system, which is supposed to greatly simplify the operations of transitions and to significantly reduce weight.

First Impressions on the Snow

How does the splitboard system work?
  • In the transitions from ride mode to touring mode and vice versa, the system is much easier than any other system available on the market.
  • The average transition time is less than a minute (see the videos below)!!
  • The mechanism is essential and intuitive.
  • All the components are solid. There are no small parts that can be lost or subject to breakage.
  • The light weight is very impressive. The board with all the components mounted weighs much less than the standard version from which it derives (the UltraDream) with a pair of K2 Formula bindings mounted.
  • Attaching the boot to the board is not always immediate, especially in deep snow and on irregular or steep terrains.
  • All operations can be easily done also wearing gloves (as a challenge we did it also with mittens!)

How does the board ride?

  • The cornering grip is stunning considering the extent of the effective edge, the global shape of the board, and most importantly that it is a Splitboard. 
  • The board is steady on the corners even at high speeds and the long nose and tail do not vibrate, as one would have instead expected.
  • The decoupled twist and flex of the two halves of the board is hardly noticeable, even when pushing to the limit.
  • The grip is always good, also on steep and icy slopes. The agility in tight spaces is excellent.
  • On powder the behavior is identical to that of the UltraDream.


How are the boots?
  • As one might imagine, the boots have a particularly hard flex, both forward and backward flex. In sideways movements (parallel to the board), however, they allow some degree of movement, which is pleasant given the overall stiffness of the system. In any case, this lateral freedom does not compromise the transmission of impulses to the board.
  • The comfort is generally good and the inner shoe perfectly copies the shape of the foot, but the very hard flex may cause some problems to those who are not used to ride with very stiff boots.
  • Inside the tips of the boots there is plenty of room for the fingers to move, which allows some freedom of movement in "touring mode".
  • The lacing system uses the BOA, one for the inner shoe and one for the outer hull.

At least for the moment, K2 seems to give a strong shock to the world of Splitboards.
The ISPO winter 2013 is coming soon. 
We'll soon know who is going to challenge the KWICKER next winter ...


STAY TUNED!


Transition Ride Mode - Touring Mode


Transition Touring Mode - Ride Mode


Kwicker Official Presentation Video

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