The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Jones Solution Review

Winner of our Editors' Choice Award, the Solution takes the cake, especially in powder and firm snow.
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $900 List | $629.93 at REI
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Stable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, exceptional performance on powder and while climbing and descending firm snow, the use of Mellow Magnetraction
Cons:  Stiff, expensive, harder to adjust bindings
Manufacturer:   Jones
By David Reichel ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 17, 2019
  • Share this article:
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 5
  • Powder - 30% 8
  • Firm Snow - 25% 8
  • Climbing - 25% 8
  • Binding Adjustability - 10% 5
  • Playfulness - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Solution is the highest performance splitboard we tested and wins our Editors' Choice Award. Its predictable performance across whatever terrain we threw at it makes it a great choice for more advanced backcountry terrain. The Solution is calibrated towards big mountain terrain and might not be the first split to grab for a freestyle photo shoot. Its Jones cousin, the Jones Explorer, which won our Best Buy award would be better suited for tweaking airs in front of a camera. That said, if you only have one split for the whole season, the Solution is a great choice. The Women's Solution Splitboard comes in different sizes and graphics, but most of the construction is the same. It's also available in wide sizes a carbon fiber model which, for an extra 450 dollars promises even more performance in technical terrain.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Jones Solution
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $629.93 at REI
Compare at 4 sellers
$764.11 at Backcountry$650 List$559.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$439.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
76
100
0
74
100
0
70
100
0
67
100
0
66
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Stable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, exceptional performance on powder and while climbing and descending firm snow, the use of Mellow MagnetractionFun, lightweight, solid, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great float, powder performanceVersatile, lightweight, affordable, ease of binding adjustability, strong overall ride with a solid riding experience, highly versatileFreestyle fun, the most bang for your buck, lightweight, impressive performance on powder, playful, the use of Mellow MagnetractionSolid feeling, easy to adjust bindings, good performance on firm snow, stable on fast open alpine terrain
Cons Stiff, expensive, harder to adjust bindingsDifficult to adjust the bindings, slightly soft tailCap construction, performance on firm snowSoft for larger riders, performance on firm snow, difficulty to adjust the bindingsHeavy, expensive, below average powder float, sluggish at slow speeds
Bottom Line Winner of our Editors' Choice Award, the Solution takes the cake, especially in powder and firm snow.Impressive all mountain splitboard that excels in powder.One of the most affordable in our review, this Best Buy winner earns high marks across the board.Winner of our Best Buy Award, the Explorer is an outstanding, lightweight option.The Flight Attendant is decent, offering good performance on firm snow and easy to adjust bindings.
Rating Categories Jones Solution Venture Storm Voile Revelator Jones Explorer Burton Flight Attendant Split
Powder (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
6
Firm Snow (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
7
Climbing (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
6
Binding Adjustability (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
9
Playfulness (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
6
Specs Jones Solution Venture Storm Voile Revelator Jones Explorer Burton Flight...
Tested Length 158 157 159 159 162
Flex Stiff Medium Stiff Medium Stiff Medium Soft Stiff
Weight 6 lb 4.5 oz 8 lb 0.6 oz 6 lb 6 oz 6 lb 15 oz 9 lb 8.6 oz
Weight in grams 2849 3645 2891 3147 4326
Weight Per Surface Area 0.65 0.84 0.65 0.7 0.94
Available Lengths 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 157,161, 162, 166, 171 159, 162, 165, 169 152, 156, 158W, 159, 161W, 162, 164W 154, 158, 162, 168
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Cap Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Wood Wood Wood Wood Wood
Waist Width (cm) 24.7 25 25.7 25.2 25.6
Shape Directional Directional Directional twin Directional Directional
Radius (m) 8.5 8.48 8.8 7.5 7.9
Camber/Rocker Directional rocker Straightline rocker Camber/Early rise rocker Directional rocker Directional camber

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Jones Solution won our Best In Class award back in 2016 when we first reviewed splitboards. Upon retesting in 2019, the Solution wins again. The performance we liked in the 2016 model remains, the areas that scored lower have been noticeably improved, and Jones addressed a couple of minor components that were not even on our radar in 2016.

The 2019 Solution from Jones.
The 2019 Solution from Jones.

The Solution is still ideal for big mountain chargers who love riding fast and hard and want a stiff, reliable board that can handle this. When the couloir walls close in tight and speeds slow, the light weight of the Solution allows it to be moved easily. In mellower environments, picture hippy trees or low angle pow fields, the current model is much more fun and forgiving than it was a few years ago.

Jones uses Flip Flop bases to minimize material use  so base colors may vary.
Jones uses Flip Flop bases to minimize material use, so base colors may vary.

One of the most impressive improvements since the 2016 Solution, is the addition of Bolt-less Bridge technology. Historically, splitboard clips required holes drilled thoroughly through the board, with bolts visible on the base side of the board. Jones has added a small amount of material to top of the Solution. This allows them to use clips that are not drilled all the way through the board. The absence of holes in the base significantly improves the appearance of the Solution, while also improving the speed of the base. Bolt-less Bridge tech represents an incremental but significant step forward in splitboard design.



Powder


The powder performance of the Solution is excellent for a general directional snowboard. If you imagine an ultimate quiver, the Solution is significantly better than the twin tip park board, and not as amazing as a powder specific directional board (but more versatile than many pow centric shapes, like a swallow tail or short-nosed fish design).


We found the current Jones Solution to be a much-improved powder performer over the 2016 design we reviewed previously. If we could only have one splitboard, loved powder and rode somewhere with tons of it, we would be happy to have the Solution. Powder days will be epic, and it will perform well when conditions change.

The Solution is a great tool for exploring the backcountry.
The Solution is a great tool for exploring the backcountry.

Firm Snow


If you only ride firm snow, you should probably consider moving, or at least splurging on a trip to Japan. If you can't do those things, buy this splitboard.


The Solution handles firm snow very well. The relatively stiff flex can maintain an edge in the firm snow, and the Traction Tech helps edge hold. In the spring, the Solution is an excellent choice for days that might include hard, refrozen surfaces and hopefully some perfectly ripe corn. The Solution is capable of surviving in the frozen conditions and has the will to play in the ripe corn.

The Solution handled the firm snow and the soft stuff on this tour above Lake Tahoe.
The Solution handled the firm snow and the soft stuff on this tour above Lake Tahoe.

Climbing


The lightweight, stiffness, and Traction Tech helped this contender score the highest in our review for climbing. Lightweight is essentially the absence of material and is easy to overlook, yet it adds more when climbing than any possible feature.


Don't overlook how impressive it is that the board weighs so little, while still maintaining stiffness, and contributing to a boost in your confidence. Skinning through challenging and firm sidehill sections was as good as challenging sidehilling can be. Losing the skins and split-skiing also works well, as the stiffness and camber underfoot help maintain control and edge grip when split-skiing. The early rise nose assists keeping the nose from diving under powder when breaking trail skinning.

Before this lake froze solid  the skin track around the edges added challenge to a favorite local tour.
Before this lake froze solid, the skin track around the edges added challenge to a favorite local tour.

Just like the Jones Explorer, this splitboard has small notches cut out to accommodate the Jones Skins and their Quick Tip Tension Tail Clip system. Pairing a Jones splitboard with their skins and Quick Tip Tensions Tail clip system will reduce bulk and weight, thereby improving packability — definitely an option worth considering. These types of skin connection systems have been employed on backcountry skis for many years.

Binding Adjustability


This splitboard has the standard insert pattern.


Playfulness


The splitboard can freestyle but will reward skill, strength, and rider weight in this area. The stiffness of the board (which has many significant benefits) presents a challenge for lighter weight riders who may find it tough to flex and bend.


We reviewed the 158, and our lead tester weighs 150 lbs. With the right rider, this board is certainly capable of spinning and playing. This is one of the variables that will vary depending on a rider's height/weight and the size of their board. While still not a park board, this year's Solution is definitely more playful than the 2016 version. This improvement is noticeable and contributes to increased enjoyment in mellow terrain.


Karma Score


Jones Snowboards has an Ethics tab on their website, which is not something you will see on every snowboard company's site. The company supports 1% for the planet, and Jeremy Jones founded POW (Protect Our Winters) in 2007. This splitboard also features an Eco-Plastic top sheet, which is said to reduce the environmental footprint of the board.

Right next to the Ethics tab on the Jones website is a Backcountry Safety tab connected to a wealth of great info. The backcountry segment of the ski and snowboard/splitboard market is growing rapidly, and it would be great to see more manufacturers push avalanche education like Jones is doing. In addition to Avalanche Awareness information on their website, Jones Snowboards considers December Jones Avalanche Awareness Month and feature valuable educational messaging in their social media content.

Best Applications


This board can ride everything on the mountain. If you struggle getting down something on this split, it's probably not the Solution's fault. This board is tilted towards big mountain riding and is also a better match for stronger riders, but is still a fun ride in mellow terrain.

Value


At $900, the Solution is on the higher end of the market. It's also one of the best boards. Its performance is exceptional, and it features high end touches like the Boltless Bridge technology that lends a high-end appearance. If you mainly ride softer snow and prefer a more playful board, the Jones Explorer is the much better value.

Conclusion


The Solution won our Editors' Choice award. If you are looking for a light, stiff, split that can ride everything, it is indeed a great choice. If you are looking to ride your split in the park (which would be silly), this isn't for you, but if you want to shred powder, climb peaks, and ride steeps, this splitboard will do just that.


David Reichel