How To: Splitboard
Self-powering your way to stashes rules-plus it’s cheaper than a sled. The gear’s easy to figure out, but the backcountry is another story. Learn the backcountry basics, then split your way there with these tips.
1. Skin Up
Make sure your base is clean and dry. Peel your skins apart and slowly apply them to your base from tip to tail, making sure they’re in the right direction to grip-smooth going forward, prickly going backward.
2. Right Or Left?
Split your board and swap the two sides. You’ll want the straight edge on the outside and the sidecut on the inside for better grip and edging. Make sure you mount your bindings with the ratchets on the outside too.
3. Glide It To Ride It
Once you get going, glide the sticks (sorry, we don’t say s-s) by keeping them in constant contact with the snow and shimmying with your hips. Plant your poles in rhythm-the right hand and left ski should extend at the same time, and vice versa. Avoid lifting and stepping-your skins will stay on better and you’ll be less fatigued.
4. Stick To The Steeps
When ascending steeps, pop up the riser bars with your pole’s handle and get at it like a Stairmaster. Avoid leaning too far forward or you’ll slip out. To navigate switchbacks, dig the inside edge of your downhill plank in, then swing the other perpendicular and stomp it down.
Just The Tip
Peel your skins apart by gripping each end against your knees, and then spreading your legs open. Or avoid the hassle altogether and pick up some cheater sheets from voile-usa.com.
Illustrations: Shawn O’Keefe