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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.

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.

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.

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