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Weston Backcountry Backwoods Splitboard Review

Climbs like a bird in thermals, rides like your trusted solid board.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $899 List | $898.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Durable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less base
Cons:  Expensive, switch riding
Manufacturer:   Weston Backcountry
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2019
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Powder - 25% 9
  • Firm Snow - 27.5% 7
  • Climbing - 27.5% 9
  • Binding Adjustability - 5% 5
  • Playfulness - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Weston Backwoods takes home a Top Pick for its well-rounded performance. The Backwoods is designed with a powder shape, yet outfitted with freeride features. It provides incredible floatation and maneuverability in powder. In firm snow, it gives plenty of edge hold; the poplar and bamboo core also provides a snappy turn experience. A stand out feature for the Backwoods is its tail heavy split ski, which provides a balanced and nimble climbing feel. This board is for spiltboarders looking for a medium-stiff board that climbs well and has downhill performance suited for most objectives.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $898.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$899.95 at REI
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$919 List$799 List$848.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
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Star Rating
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Pros Durable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less baseStable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectivesFun, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great floatDurable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizesLightweight, responsive, carbon layup, durable topsheet
Cons Expensive, switch ridingExpensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose riseSlightly soft nose and tail, heavy-ishProficient firm snow performanceExpensive to use standard hook clips
Bottom Line Climbs like a bird in thermals, rides like your trusted solid board.Provides versatile performance to support daily or ambitious backcountry objectives.An even mix of freestyle and free ride that doesn't neglect flotation.Freeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose.User-friendly performance in a backcountry specific design.
Rating Categories Backwoods Jones Solution Splitboard Venture Storm United Shapes Covert G3 Axle
Powder (25%)
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9
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8
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6
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Firm Snow (27.5%)
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8
Climbing (27.5%)
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8
Binding Adjustability (5%)
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Playfulness (15%)
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Specs Backwoods Jones Solution... Venture Storm United Shapes Covert G3 Axle
Weight 7.33 lbs 7.38 lbs 7.91 lbs 7.45 lbs 7.15 lbs
Tested Length 157 158 157 158 162
Flex Medium - stiff Stiff Medium Stiff Medium Stiff
Weight 3325 g 3346 g 3587 g 3382 g 3245 g
Weight Per Surface Area 0.74 0.74 0.8 0.75 0.7
Available Lengths 152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w) 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 157,161, 162, 166, 171 149,152,158,161,166 154, 158, 162, 166
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Wood/ bamboo Wood Wood Blended wood Wood
Waist Width 25.6cm 24.7cm 25cm 25.7cm 25.7cm
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional Directional
Radius 7.3/6.5/7.5m 8.5m 8.48m 7.5m 9.8m
Camber/Rocker Rock camber rocker Directional rocker Straightline rocker Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Weston Backwoods has a powder shape designed for all-around performance. Whatever terrain or conditions we found ourselves in, this board was confidence-inspiring and fun. One day we rode 2000 feet of breakable crust, and even there, our lead tester was having a field day on this board. The Backwoods is a standout model for enjoyment and all-around performance.

Performance Comparison


The mountain graphics fit in the mountain scenery.
The mountain graphics fit in the mountain scenery.

Powder


Powder, powder, powder. Its why we endure the rough conditions of the storm. Its why we wake up at 4 in the morning to get a lap in before work. We love it, and our board should support our ability to enjoy it.


The shape of the Backwoods utilizes strategic design tactics to promote optimal and user-friendly float. What differentiates the Backwoods from a large number of splitboards on the market is its shorter tail. It has a short rounded tail that instantly sinks due to the lack of surface area. In addition to added float, the short tail creates a nimble ride that can maneuver through the tightest trees. The rider can pivot and quickly steer off the backfoot; this makes it an excellent choice for those who ride a lot of treed terrain and would appreciate added maneuverability. The longer and rockered nose just before the contact point makes the nose want to stay afloat, while the tapered tail supports add floatation as it works to sink the tail and float the nose. Both of these characteristics are found in a variety of splitboards, and that's because they work.

Firm Snow


If you are looking for a quiver of one from your splitboard setup, powder performance should never come at the expense of firm snow security. The reality is that you will encounter every condition that exists while touring throughout your season; everything from boilerplate ice to blower powder that will make you stay lap after lap. The Backwoods provides a secure, fun, and snappy ride on firm snow.


The Backwoods starts off with a powder shape and is incorporated with freeride design techniques to provide a ride with limited trade-offs. The stiff, predominantly cambered profile allows this board to be stable and secure at speed or when the conditions firm up. The Backwoods has plenty of edge hold when turning down the fall line or even traversing on both the toe and heel edge. On an incredibly firm descent of Mt. Shasta, we descend to traverse a few hundred yards to intercept a saddle. Our lead tester came up a few yards lower and shorter than a skier on his heel side traverse. During the traverse, the edge rarely slipped, and there was no heel drag to worry about. Really, any result that is comparable to a skier is impressive when we're talking sideways movement and edge hold.

The Backwoods is incredibly easy to get on edge at all speeds, which makes it easy to maneuver in firm, icy, and potentially steep situations. If you need to hop turn, this short tail and well-balanced construction lowers the swing weight and spaces required overall, making it easier when the moves become critical. When the turns aren't make or break, the Backwoods provides a snappy, powerful, and fun turning experience. It utilizes a poplar and bamboo core, which provides an energetic turn with a snappy finish.

Climbing


Climbing efficiency is the bread and butter for touring equipment as most of its life is spent ascending. The Backwoods nailed it with its lightweight, tail heavy skin and on track stability.


We loved climbing on the Backwoods; it became one of our go-to options for longer days and further objectives. Until we weighed all the boards side by side, we thought the Backwoods was the lightest. While maintaining a competitive weight that is considered lightweight, it is not the lightest; however, it felt the lightest underfoot in the category. In our first few tours, we were pleasantly surprised by how nimble this board was on the track. Kick turns came easy, and the skis were easy to pivot. Weston balances their split skis to be tail heavy to produce these benefits, and it actually works. Its uphill efficiency is complemented by plenty of stability.

Apprentice Ski Guide Will Sperry testing out the Backwoods.
Apprentice Ski Guide Will Sperry testing out the Backwoods.

The Backwoods side hills as good as the other top competitors in the category. Its medium-stiff camber profile provides plenty of edge contact for secure sidehilling or tip to tail stability when climbing up steeper objectives. It was designed for uphill efficiency and became one of our favorites on the up.

The uphill efficiency made the Backwoods or go-to choice for longer objectives.
The uphill efficiency made the Backwoods or go-to choice for longer objectives.

Binding Adjustablity


The Backwoods uses the standard insert pattern for splitboards. Expect to take off the pucks or attachment system to adjust your stance.

Playfulness


The Backwoods is a stiff board built to ride anything you may want. The benefits brought by this character posits a barrier to a truly playful board in the traditional sense.

The Backwoods supports the majority of objectives
The Backwoods supports the majority of objectives

It is playful in its versatility and the diverse styles that it can support. Whether it be riding low angle powder, briefly scooting switch into an icy couloir or ripping turns on perfect corn like its groomer, this board can do most things. We find this board conducive to airs and spins that result in regular landings, but switch landings are challenging because that's not what it was designed to do. It's designed to float, edge, and climb, which it does very well, and is easy to get on edge and maneuver where you want it. The ability to downsize this board 1-3 cm unlocks a playful benefit without compromising stability.

Karma Score


Weston is a brand for snowboarders. They are about the community rather than the marketing or image. The company visualizes this ambition through active avalanche awareness activities and the riders host backcountry awareness nights in their local community. The Backwoods specifically supports the community, as Weston partnered with the National Forest Foundation. Ten percent of the profits of every board sold is donated to back to the foundation.

Value


The Backwoods is priced competitively for performance splitboards. We really enjoyed the Backwoods performance on the up and the down and find the performance pricing to be justified.

Conclusion


The Weston Backwoods is fit for all types of terrain and can suit the mood you are in. If you're feeling sendy, the Backwoods will excel in an icy chute; if you're looking for mellow turns, it can make fun turns at any speed or condition. This board is set apart from most in the category due to its climbing efficiency. It's perfect for splitboarders looking for a stiffer board that is versatile in addition to exceptional performance that is fit for most objectives.



Isaac Laredo