Getting Started: Splitboarding
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Jones Snowboards Mountain Twin
About a dozen companies make splitboards, but our favorite is the Jones Snowboards Mountain Twin for its buttery powder float and trustworthy turning ability—especially in the backcountry’s sometimes sketchy terrain.
Spark R&D Blaze Bindings
Of course, skinning up with the Jones Snowboards Mountain Twin split apart requires bindings that rotate 90 degrees and pivot freely, like Spark R&D’s Blaze. While they’ll work with almost any snowboard boots, they (not surprisingly) mate best with the Deeluxe Spark boots.
Deeluxe Spark Snowboard Boots
Spark R&D’s Blaze bindings mate best with the Deeluxe Spark boots, a backcountry-specific, Vibram-soled, crampon-compatible collaboration between Deeluxe and Spark R&D.
Gecko Mohair Splitboard Skins
The last critical piece of the hardware puzzle: skins. Gecko’s mohair splitboard skins are welterweight and stick to your board via silicone adhesive. Get dog hair or pine needles on ’em? You can stick them under the faucet, unlike most skins.
Black Diamond Compactor Poles
Oh, and poles. At a minimum, they need to collapse for storage. We like Black Diamond’s three-piece Compactor poles—they’re sturdy, quick to deploy, and lie flush against your pack (we like Burton’s AK31) on the way down.
Hestra Vertical Cut Freeride Gloves
Transforming all your gear requires dexterity, and Hestra’s weather-sealed and moderately warm Vertical Cut Freeride gloves fit so well it’s as if they were tailored to your hand.
Trew Pow Funk Jacket
Trew’s helmet-compatible Pow Funk jacket lets you dump heat through 16-inch pit zips as you schlep uphill.
Burton AK 3L Hover Pants
None of this will be fun, though, if you can’t regulate your temperature. Trew’s helmet-compatible Pow Funk jacket lets you dump heat through 16-inch pit zips as you schlep uphill, while Burton’s lightweight AK 3L Hover pants do the same thing down low with their thigh vents.
Helly Hansen Odin Insulator Jacket
Toss in Helly Hansen’s PrimaLoft-packed Odin Insulator. The hood is a lifesaver on windy ridges, it layers perfectly under a slightly loose-cut shell like the Pow Funk, and it takes up barely any space, scrunching down to the size of a grapefruit when you don’t need it.