How To Make A Splitboard
Slice It And Seek Powder Solitude
Sure, there are a handful of metal ornaments protruding from it and it might look complicated, but really, a splitboard is simple and one of the most worry-free tools to access the backcountry with. All you need to make one is a little shop-class skill, the Voile DIY Split Kit, and an old board to sacrifice to the powder deities. Read up on how it’s done and you’ll be making remote pow turns in no time.–B.G.
Mark the centerline on the base with a flexible straight edge and a marker-for a smoother slice, cut small notches in the tip and tail with a hack saw. Now, clamp the board with the base up and cut it from tip to tail with the circular saw. Sand and file the exposed core ’til smooth.
Apply a seal on the exposed edges with a flexible epoxy to keep water out and reinforce the edge. (Epoxy from your local shop works best, but you can also use marine epoxy, varnish, Varathane, or enamel paint.) Let the edges completely dry before moving on.
Follow the Voile instructions for placing the hook templates on the board. Note that contact points on alternative camber boards are a little ambiguous, but you can still place them a couple inches in from where the tips flatten out (roughly one inch in from the contact points). Mark the holes with the center punch and drill them with the 3/16-inch bit. Flip the board over and countersink the base holes so the screw heads are flush, then mount the hooks with the supplied screws and nuts.
Bracket And Climbing Bar
Find the board’s center balance point and place the templates for the touring brackets just ahead of this mark. Drill a pilot hole on the top with the1/4-inch bit then countersink the T-nuts with the 3/4-inch bit on the base. Tighten the screws using blue Locktite. With the climbing block in place set the climbing bar at the block’s end, with the bar facing the nose. Drill and mount just like the brackets, but with the 10/32-inch screws and T-nuts.
Figure out the dimensions of your stance (angles, width, et cetera) and stick the binding templates to the board accordingly. Make sure the board is snugged together with the hooks and that the stance doesn’t interfere with the touring brackets, climbing bars or inserts. Drill holes with the 9/64-inch bit approximately 1/4-inch deep. Don’t drill through the board! Make sure the binding block pairs are parallel with each other then add epoxy to the holes and screw them down.
Use the template on the tips and drill holes with the 3/16-inch bit. Secure the clips with the supplied rivets and flare the ends with the ball-peen hammer or other blunt object. Now all you need to do is pick up a set of skins from Voile and you’ll be on your way.
Sacrifice a stiffer board because it will be more rigid for touring and once split, it will ride quite a bit softer.
Materials And Tools:
Voile DIY Split Kit (voile-usa.com)
Circular Saw (preferably with a carbide blade)
9/64″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 3/4″ Drill Bits
3/8″ Nut Driver
#3 Phillips Screwdriver
Varnish, Varathane, or Enamel Paint
Illustrations By Shawn O’Keefe