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

How We Tested Splitboards

By David Reichel ⋅ Review Editor
Friday January 18, 2019
Chris McNamara testing splits in Tahoe.
Chris McNamara testing splits in Tahoe.

Quick dawn patrol missions, yo yo powder laps, overly optimistic early season explorations, big wilderness tours, and more than few resort days were all part of our test. We dragged boards to the Southern Hemisphere to test during August. Skinned up frozen volcanoes in the North American spring. We rode as much soft snow as we could find during the heart of winter in our home base of the Sierra Nevada. We switched between boards regularly to drill down on the distinguishing attributes between them.

Checking out the review fleet in the garage: 6 lb 11.6 oz weight of Jones Explorer.
Checking out the review fleet in the garage: 6 lb 11.6 oz weight of Jones Explorer.

In addition to thoroughly testing all of the models in a wide range of snow conditions, we examined them in the garage and dissected them on a spreadsheet. We weighed every competitor on the same scale. We removed pucks, but left on whale clips and hooks. For the channel boards, we left in the slider screws. Weight is tremendously important for equipment that will spend the vast majority its existence ascending mountains, and yet is rarely listed by manufacturers. We busted out a calculator and created a weight to surface area chart to try and fairly compare the splits in our review. We recommend using the weight to surface area measurement to compare weight between splitboards. While not perfect it is more accurate than just comparing weights, since boards often vary in size and shape.