Jones Dream Catcher Women’s Splitboard 2020-2021
PRICE: £655 / €750 / $750
Based on the ever-popular (and Whitelines 100 winner), Dream Catcher, Jones have cut the women’s freeride classic down the middle and given it all the necessary split specific upgrades that they do so well. Ladies looking for a low-cost, mid-flexing, high-quality splitboard to see them through every condition in the backcountry should keep this one firmly on their radar.
At a glance, the Dream Catcher split almost looks like a directional twin but everything about its construction is tailored for floaty directional riding. The flex pattern gradually stiffens towards the tail of the snowboard, making it smooth and mellow in turn initiations but with enough power and snap at the back end to still be ridden with some aggression. Of course, it doesn’t quite match the response and performance of something like the Women’s Solution, but there’s still a positive camber between the feet which generates grip, power and pop, as well as a full poplar core and basalt stringers that stabilise the core at top speeds (which you’ll easily reach thanks to its rapid 8000 Sintered Base).
The touring specific additions are easy to spot on the Dream Catcher split. The inside edges have the same Traction Tech 2.0 wavy sidecut as the solid does on the outside. These provides added grip on icier ascents when you’re in touring mode. For the descent, things are held well in place thanks to Karakorum’s split clips and newly upgraded screw-mounted tip and tail clips.
Jones Frontier Splitboard 2020-2021
PRICE: £655 / €750 / $750
While the top sheet graphics have always stood on the Frontier (last year’s design from RP Roberts was a particular favourite among our team), the splitboard itself is actually rather understated. That’s what gives it the pretty attractive pricepoint, though, and it’s still an incredibly fun and versatile split to ride in the backcountry.
Asides from the new, replaceable screw mount Karakorum tip and tail clips and the equally well crafted top sheet (this time from artist Trevor Kekke), the frontier remains unchanged. It has the same super versatile freeride shape: a camber between the feet with rocker sections at either end and, as far as the Jones splitboard fleet goes, the Frontier has the most freestyle friendly outline. With softer flex in the very centre of the splitboard that becomes more responsive from the inserts out to the tip and tail, it’s perfect for playful turns in trees or for stomping landings in regular or switch.
While some of of the materials won’t match up to the highest-end models out there, the construction and tech are still very high where you need it them the most. The Inner/Outer Traction Tech 2.0 edges provide grip on all four edges and will come in equally useful on both icey ascents and descents. There’s alos the new Sintered 8000 base which, although not the fastest in the Jones line, will be more than enough for giving it full beans on the run out of a face.
Jones Hovercraft Splitboard 2020-2021
PRICE: £765 / €880 / $880
The Hovercraft must surely be one of the most recognisable snowboards in the world by now. Its outline and aesthetic have undergone subtle changes through the years, but it still has the unmistakable look and feel of the first iteration from over ten years ago. The split version captures the same magic of floaty pow turns, wide-open carves and tight turns through the trees, without the lift-line hustle in between laps.
The Hovercraft split’s nimble, squat outline provides the float of a much longer board, while at the same time making it more agile in tight spots and easier to ascend and kick turn with. The shape is clearly directional so, compared with something like the Frontier, it’s far less likely to be putting in any switch turns or 180s in the powder.
Having said that, the stiffer tail is still solid enough to stick some bigger landings and cliff drops and once you put more power into the ends of your turns you’ll feel the rebound and response coming from behind the rear inserts.
The shape isn’t the most versatile out there, but what you lose in freestyle finesse or confidence-inspiring performance in icy, cruddy conditions, you win back in its agility and float when the conditions are deep and the corridors are narrow. And in those conditions, it’s still one of the best.
Jones Mind Expander Splitboard 2020-2021
PRICE: £785 / €900 / $900
This was our favourite splitboard of the 19/20 season, and the Surf-inspired shape remains the same for this year. Designed by legendary surf shaper Chris Christenson with Jeremy’s desire to create an “alternative all-mountain shape”, thr Mind Expander split is for creative freeriders who are less fussed about making it to the top or bottom of the mountain first, and more about slashing every wind lip, hitting every feature and zipping short, tight lines through the tightest gaps.
The shape is pretty far from your conventional all-mountain outline, but its performance is surprisingly versatile. The shorter, wider shape and the full tail makes the Mind Expander split as good at floating in powder than substantially longer snowboards and still really effective at bringing more or a freestyle approach to the backcountry. The Sidecut has been made tighter to accommodate for the extra width across the waist, and the Surf Rocker profile features a long flat section with a pronounced rockered nose.
It’s probably not the board you want for bullet proof ice, sketchy traverses and overexposed lines, but we’d be concerned for you if you were looking at the shape of this thing and imagining yourself in those kinds of environments. This one is all about those surfy, slashy lines where style overrules steepness.
Jones Ultra Solution Splitboard 2020-2021
PRICE: £1220 / €1400 / $1400
Well, it ain’t cheap, but you’re going to have to cough up if you want the absolute best of the best. The Ultra Solution is Jones’ answer to the question: What would you get if you took the lightest, fastest, most responsive and powerful materials and put them into a splitboard for the most extreme terrain and experienced riders in the world? This is the board that we all love to gawk at, but only a select few would consider as their mode of transport in the backcountry.
The shape and new 3D profile are the same as what you’d find on the regular Jones Solution, and that acts as a very solid foundation for its all-terrain performance to be built upon.
Things then step up in every other respect. The Fusion Core is the lightest blend of paulownia stringers with small reinforced sections of poplar available from Jones. Fusion Carbon construction is then added to this – the highest spec construction method going in the Jones fleet, reserved only for the Ultra models. Aero-space carbon fibre is first fused to the wood core using as little epoxy as possible. Once cured, it’s then fused between the base and top sheet – again, using very low amounts of epoxy. By stabilising these layers before the final mould and drastically cutting down on material use, Jones have constructed their most damp, durable and responsive snowboards ever, here.
With their fastest and most wax absorbant Utra Base underneath, they Ultra Solution will glide for days on end, no matter the snow conditions. Especially usuefull if you’re going deep into the backcountry for a multi-day expedition.
This truly is the pinnacle of splitboard construction coming out of the Jones fleet. It pushes conventions and delivers a ride like nothing else, but naturally comes with a price tag that costs more than the rest of your expedition setup combined.
Jones Solution Women’s Splitboard 2020-2021
PRICE: £785 / €900 / $900
Asides from the splash of blue in the topsheet and one half of the base, the newly upgraded women’s Solution is more or less identical to the men’s Solution.
Good news, indeed. The new 3D Contour Base marks a significant checkpoint in splitboard construction and takes the Solution from one of the most versatile splitboards to, arguably the most versatile splitboard in today’s market. Everything from the directional shape, setback camber, subtle taper and new outline testify to the Solution’s ability to handle to best and worst of conditions the backcountry can throw at you.
If you’re serious about touring this season and want to give yourself the best chance of achieving your winter objectives, this is as good a tool for the job you could hope to have strapped to your feet.
Jones Youth Solution Splitboard 2020-2021
PRICE: £530 / €530 / $465
And if Mum and Dad both can both enjoy the best of bunch, why the hell can’t Junior? The all-new Youth Solution features a nearly identical construction, with a youth-friendly flex pattern and sizes ranging from 137 to 147.
We’ve already seen a real surge in youth-sized options from Jones, with a leaning towards more serious freeriding options, so it seems like a natural progression to introduce a splitboard to the lineup. Where many solid snowboards can opt for lower construction specs, a splitboard needs to be up to the task if you’re miles from the nearest lift. As a result, the Youth Solution is built with the same 3D Contour Base, Traction 3.0 Tech, and a super-fast 8000 Sintered Base