By Fitz Cahall; Video still by Bryan Smith

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In the last year, splitboarding has reached a tipping point. Ski movie stalwarts Teton Gravity Research released Deeper, which featured snowboards that transform into skis, to much fanfare. In the last three years, several snowboard companies have begun aggressively marketing these backcountry boards. Splitboarding may seem like a new sport, but in actuality, it’s been sitting on the fringe of snowboarding for almost 20 years.

 In the late 1980s Brett Kobernick began tinkering with boards. He hand-cut standard snowboards in half to fashion skis for uphill movement and slapped a set of adhesive climbing skins to the bottom. At the top, a rider could simply remove the skins and reconnect the board for downhill riding. In 1992, Kobernick partnered with Salt Lake City, Utah, ski manufacturer Voile. By 1994 the hardware to split a snowboard hit the market. At first, snowboarders looking to hit the open backcountry away from resorts had to purchase the Voile kit and chop a snowboard in half on their own. For a lot of consumers the

Eventually, Voile began marketing factory-made splitboards for the small market. Snowboarding giant Burton offered a version for a few years, but discontinued it. In the last three years, as the pull of the backcountry has hit the masses, there are now a dozen or so splitboard manufacturers who produce different shapes and sizes to suit a rider’s ability, style, and size. The new boards are smaller, lighter, and more maneuverable than the previous generations. A few companies have begun to create bindings specifically designed for splitboarding, and now snowboarders can keep up with skiers. The sport is evolving rapidly yet the concept remains the same. Ski up. Shred down.

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Comments

  1. bijuterii
    April 6, 2011, 9:39 am

    Even if I have already taken my first ski lessons, I suppose I cannot say that I LOVE this sport! They LOVE it, I can see that in the film, in their courage and their thoughts and above all, their experience. Wish you find some more fresh mountains and ski up, up, up.

  2. Erric
    April 8, 2011, 2:22 am

    that’s cool,
    the snowboarding is so exciting
    and the snow mountains are so beautiful

  3. Kosherica (kosher summer cruises)
    April 8, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Splitboarding?! This is the first we’ve ever heard of this. Sounds pretty dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. What does it mean to “shred down”?

  4. Bed and Breakfast
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  5. longchamp
    July 21, 2011, 10:55 pm

    beautiful but dangerous travelling
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  6. Bachelor of Sports Business
    August 8, 2011, 5:25 am

    I super love the video. It’s amazing. But It’s clearly shown that it’s very dangerous too…It’s only good for those who are professional on your field of splitboarding.

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    Snowboarding accidents happen every single day and the reasons for this vary from person to person, and from accident to accident. Despite this, one thing remains prominent. Of those accidents, many of them could have been stopped with appropriate care and attention from the snowboarders involved. This is why we have to realise that snowboarding is a dangerous sport, and therefore health and safety should always remain an issue to any snowboarder.

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    The scene is breath taking. I was so tense watching the video. I couldn’t imagine them playing in that very scary mountains. Wuhh! I just hope and pray for the safety of this people.

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