News & Previews

Spark R&D Splitboard Bindings | 2021-22 Snowboard Gear Preview

As part of our new Envision Series, we take a first look at next season's splitboard binding range from Spark R&D

Welcome to our new Envision Series where we’ll be bringing you the latest gear previews, with some of the most exciting new snowboard, boot, binding, outerwear and goggle products to drop for winter 2021-22. In this Envision episode, we’re taking a look at next year’s lineup from Spark R&D.

There hasn’t been a lot to celebrate over the last 12 months. Even less so if you’re a snowboarder. Many of us have been denied the chance to return to our local resort for party laps on the groomers with our crew. Having said that, there has been one upshot amidst the chaos: the global snowboard community has witnessed a surge in backcountry riding and splitboarding.

Even with — or because of —widespread resort closures and travel restrictions this season, more people than ever before have taken to earning their turns on their local hillside, inbounds at closed resorts, and summiting peaks they’ve often wondered about from the roadside but never had the right gear to access. With that in mind, it probably comes as no surprise that Spark R&D have seen record sales of their splitboarding bindings and accessories range.

“Having said that, there has been one upshot amidst the chaos: the global snowboard community has witnessed a surge in backcountry riding and splitboarding”

Their incredibly simple yet effective T1 System forms the interface of their softboot splitboard bindings line. These include the Arc, Surge and Pro series bindings, available in both men’s and women sizes and colourways. In this episode of our Envision series, we look back on a crazy year for the Bozeman crew, and see what they have in store for the 2021/22 season and beyond.

Check out our full gear preview below, as well as our interview with Dan Ventura, Spark R&D’s Marketing Manager.


What’s your hero story/stories going forward into the 2021/22 season?

Build more bindings! Splitboarding is growing and we’re committed to leading the way.

What product are you personally most stoked on and what are you currently riding?
Well, me personally, I’ll be riding my Franken-binders. I’m preferential to the Arcs for the surfy ride, but in real-life, my bindings are usually a mosaic of prototype parts and materials. Myself and all the splitboarders here at Spark are pretty much always testing gear.

Spark R&D Arc Splitboard Binding 2021-2022

Have you made any specific changes or leaps within your women’s range?
Women are crushing it in the backcountry! We’ve built more women’s bindings every year since we introduced women’s specific sizes in 2015. Currently, women’s bindings make up an impressive twenty to twenty-five percent of our build.

Spark R&D Women’s Surge Splitboard Binding 2021-2022

Where are we seeing innovation within your existing line? Art / Design / Inspiration
It’s been a long and fluid process to get the line to where it currently is.

The bindings and accessories are a culmination of millions of steps on the skin track, midnight moments of inspiration, countless hours of computer design work, and multiple meetings to discuss everything from highlight colors to plastic blend ratios. So where do we see innovation? It’s hard to answer because the only fair answer is everywhere.

That said, we’re never fully satisfied with where things are at. I can say we’re stoked on our sales and happy with how everything is performing, but we’re always looking to improve. I’m really excited about some of the cool tech and upgrades currently being field tested this winter. Most of this innovation is slated for a 2022/23 debut. More on that to come.

Is there an overall theme/inspiration driving your 21/22 line?
If we had a theme, we’d probably call it ‘onward’. It’s been a challenging year and we’re ready to just move forward. Splitboarding is growing and we’re growing along with it.

Just because the line is unchanged this year, doesn’t mean that there are not changes here at Spark, though. We’ll be doing a lot behind the curtain – mostly involving improvements to our processes and manufacturing capabilities – so we can continue to meet the demand of a growing splitboard community next season and well into the future. So, onward!

Spark R&D Surge Pro Splitboard Bindings 2021-2022

Covid has shaken up everything this year. Are there any big changes taking place with you guys ahead of next season?
We are carrying over our entire line from the current season. That’s binding models and colors, as well as our accessories. Some of our dealers had mentioned that they favor this in general and even more so this season.

Spark R&D Ibex Crampon 2021-2022

On top of that, internally it also made a lot of sense. We’ll skip the hyperbole but this year has been a bit crazy. We’ve had challenges on the production side of things because of COVID and at the same time seen demand for our gear go nuts. That’s a good thing, of course, but we decided the best decision was to roll as smoothly as we could into the next production cycle.

Where can we see updates or changes within the company, not product related? IE- new HQ, new team riders, team movies etc
There will likely be a few new team riders joining the fold that haven’t been announced yet.

We’re also focusing heavily on meeting the growing demand for splitboard gear by boosting our manufacturing capabilities. We’ve recently purchased a new CNC machine that we’ve dubbed ‘The Beast.’ It’s big! Buying machines isn’t always sexy but we’re actually pretty stoked on it! We’re doing everything we can to prepare for the continued growth of splitboarding.

Do you have any new sustainability stories for next season? Has any of your production moved to become more sustainable?
It’s not really new, but every year we offset about 25% of our energy use via the 166-panel, 50 kW solar array on our roof. Solar powered splitboard bindings!

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