Weston Backcountry Backwoods Splitboard Review
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Weston Backcountry Backwoods Splitboard
$949.00 at REI
|$712.77 at Amazon|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$939 List||$695 List||$799 List|
|Pros||Durable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less base||Stable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectives||Fun, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great float||Durable, affordable, versatile, easy to adjust stance||Durable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes|
|Cons||Expensive, switch riding||Expensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose rise||Slightly soft nose and tail, heavy-ish||Generalist, soft for aggressive riding or heavy snow||Challenging to smear turns in firm snow at slow speeds|
|Bottom Line||Climbs like a bird in thermals, rides like your trusted solid board||Provides versatile performance to support daily or ambitious backcountry objectives, the Solution is a satisfying ride||An even mix of freestyle and free ride that doesn't neglect flotation||A minimalist board that has everything that you need and nothing that you don't||Freeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose|
|Rating Categories||Weston Backcountry...||Jones Solution Spli...||Venture Storm||Voile Spartan Ascent||United Shapes Covert|
|Firm Snow (26%)|
|Binding Adjustability (5%)|
|Specs||Weston Backcountry...||Jones Solution Spli...||Venture Storm||Voile Spartan Ascent||United Shapes Covert|
|Weight||7.33 lbs||7.38 lbs||7.91 lbs||6.08 lbs||7.45 lbs|
|Flex||Medium - stiff||Stiff||Medium Stiff||Soft||Medium|
|Weight in grams||3325 g||3346 g||3587 g||2794 g||3382 g|
|Weight Per Surface Area||0.74||0.74||0.8||0.62||0.75|
|Available Lengths||152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w)||154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W||157,161, 162, 166, 171||154, 158, 162, 166||149,152,158,161,166|
|Core Material||Wood/ bamboo||Wood||Wood||paulownia, carbon||Blended wood|
|Camber/Rocker||Rock camber rocker||Directional rocker||Straightline rocker||Freeride camber||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 blast on this board. The Backwoods is a standout model for enjoyment and all-around performance.
Powder, powder, powder. It's why we endure the rough conditions of the storm. It's why we wake up at four in the morning to get a lap in before work. We love it, and our board should support our desire to enjoy it. The Backwoods does just that.
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 short rounded tail and its longer relative effective edge. It has a short rounded tail that instantly sinks due to the lack of surface area. The reduced surface area and rounded tail also aided performance in breakable crust conditions. The rounded tailed reduced the amount the crust was able to grab and influence the back half of our snowboard. This benefit was especially noticeable at slower speeds and was enhanced by the nimbleness of the board.
The board shape creates a swift 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 additional floatation. The taper 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.
If you are looking for a quiver of one for 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. An all-around performer like the Backwoods works to make enjoyable turns in all conditions. This splitboard 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 traversed 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, which in the ski vs. snowboard comparison is a rare event. 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 about traversing 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 space required, making it easier when the moves become critical. When the turns aren't make-or-break, this board provides a snappy, powerful, and fun turning experience. It utilizes a poplar and bamboo core to provide energetic, quick turns that promotes a surf-style approach to spring corn riding.
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 ski 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. After weighing the models, the Backwoods was not the lightest but was very competitive in this metric.
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, which raises the nose up and results in the aforementioned benefits. Its uphill efficiency is complemented by plenty of stability.
The Backwoods sidehills as good as the other top competitors in the category. Its medium-stiff camber profile provides plenty of edge contact for secure sidehilling and tip to tail stability when climbing up steeper objectives. It was designed for uphill efficiency and became one of our favorites on the way up.
The Backwoods uses the standard insert pattern for splitboards. Expect to take off the pucks or attachment system to adjust your stance.
The Backwoods is a medium-stiff board built to ride anything you may want. The benefits brought by this character posit a barrier to a truly playful board in the traditional sense of being easy to flex and ride switch. The board is playful in the sense that you can happily use it everywhere.
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. That's not what it was designed to do. It's designed to float, edge, and climb, which it does very well. Additionally, it 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.
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 2020 Backwoods sold is donated back to the foundation.
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.
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 a steep and potentially 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 offers versatile and exceptional performance that is fit for most objectives.
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