Backcountry skiing has been rising in popularity in the past several years. The lure of solitude, impressive mountain summits, and untracked powder eventually reaches many snow sports enthusiasts. But what if you are a snowboarder and not a skier?
Luckily, the snowboard industry has taken care of that. A splitboard is a backcountry specific snowboard that can break in half to be used as two skis on the approach, and then locked back into snowboard mode for the ride down. As a general rule of thumb, most riders will want their split board to be about 5 centimeters longer than their typical board to allow for more float in soft backcountry snow. Plus, you will always have a backpack with you, adding weight, so the additional length is advantageous.
After you purchase your splitboard, you will also need special splitboard bindings and climbing skins to complete your hill-climbing kit. Don’t forget your avalanche gear too!
Never go out into the backcountry without proper education and equipment. All backcountry skiers and riders need to be carrying appropriate rescue gear – beacons, shovels, and probes – and they need to know how to use them. Read the local avalanche forecast every time before heading into the backcountry. Also consider taking an avalanche class to learn how to navigate avalanche terrain safely so that you and your friends can all make it home at the end of the day.