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Best Splitboards For 2020 -2021 | Our Pick Of This Year’s Top Splitboards For Getting Out In The Backcountry

The Whitelines Team select their favourite splitboards for all abilities, riding styles and budgets

Could 2021 be the year when splitboarding really booms? As it stands, all the signs are pointing in the right direction. Social distancing is the new norm, resort lift statuses have big question marks hanging over them and there’s never been so much choice on offer when it comes to buying a touring setup. If you’re hesitant of steppin out of the lift queues and onto the skinning track, we reckon there has never been a better time than now.

While we won’t pretend the initial cost outlay isn’t significant – remember, you’ll also need all the essential avalanche safety gear and the required splitboard accessories, we guarantee that the views and lines you’ll be rewarded with at the top of a long skin are a worthy return on your investment.

“If you’re hesitant of steppin out of the lift queues and onto the skinning track, we reckon there has never been a better time than now”

Social Distancing done right. Neil McNab and Rob McCreath venture off the beaten track on their splitboards.

Of course, there’s a lot of technology and information to grapple with compared to your average day blasting around the resort and finding the odd stash of untracked snow. Splitboarding in the backcountry – or even just a few hundred metres from the lift lines – means venturing into an uncontrolled environment where you’ll need your skinning technique and your senses all finely tuned into to the ever-present danger.

If it all seems a little overwhelming, don’t fret. We’ve teamed up with the splitboard masters at Jones Snowbards and compiled these super helpful ‘How To’ videos on our Splitboard Hub to get you started (or even just to brush up on your knoweldge and technique). You can view some of them here:

In the list below, we’ve outlined highlighted some of our favourite men’s, women’s and even youth splitboards for the 2020-21 season. Whether you’re looking for your first splitboard with a more forgiving flex, something to take to serious lines over multiday objectives, or even some of the more creative and original looking shapes that continue to grow in popularity, we’ve got you covered.

Happy shopping, we’ll see you out on the trail!

The Whitelines Choice Best Splitboards for 2020-2021

THE WHITELINES 100 SPLITBOARD WINNERS 2020-2021

Jones Solution Splitboard 2020-2021

Best for: Best Men’s Splitboard
PRICE: £785 / €900 / $900

Well, Jeremy and the gang have only gone and bloody done it. The completely reworked 2021 Jones Solution marks a major checkpoint in splitboarding’s ever-evolving construction standards. This time last year we were raving about their split collection but highlighted that the one drawback compared to their solid counterparts in the lack of the 3D Contour Base. Naively, we assumed that “the logistics of ‘spooning’ the nose and tail in a splitboard is probably beyond even the brains of the backcountry boffins at Jones”. How wrong we were.

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  • Selected for the Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2020-2021 Jones Solution Splitboard here

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    Weston Riva Women’s Splitboard 2020-2021

    Best for: Best Women’s Splitboard
    PRICE: $900

    You could pretty much count the snowboard brands producing the same number of men’s and women’s products on one glove – and we’d save the biggest finger for Weston. The Colorado-based backcountry powderhounds have an extensive line of both solid and splitboards where the lads and ladies have an equal number of unisex and gender-specific options to choose from.

    Because of this, there’s an abundance of strength in depth for every ability and style of backcountry enthusiast out there. The Riva splitboard is revamped for 2021 and is the most performance focussed splitboard for ladies lining up at the trail and ready for whatever conditions mother nature throws at them.

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  • Selected for the Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2020-2021 Weston Riva Splitboard here

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    AMPLID

    Amplid Surf Shuttle Splitboard 2020-2021

    Best for: Rugged, durable construction in a surf inspired shape
    PRICE: €850

    The Surf Shuttle is one of Amplid’s new splitboards for the 2020/21 season. It’s built for endless repeat journeys into the backcountry. Combining the powder-primed shape of the Millisurf with the bombproof construction of the Tour Operator, it’s highly adept at holding its nerve in low tide, but truly comes to life when the waves are pumping.

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  • Selected for the Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2020-2021 Amplid Surf Shuttle here

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    Amplid Milli Surf Splitboard 2020-2021

    PRICE: €1200

    Combining the pumped-up centrifugal shape of the Surfari with the superlight construction of the Milligram seems like a bit of an unusual mix at first. Amplid have taken inspiration from opposite ends of the snowboarding spectrum and the Millisurf is the fusion of these ideas. It’s the ‘Usain Bolt meets Paula Radcliffe’ of splitboards. Power and style meets lightweight endurance. Effortless steeze meets shit-your-pants levels of adrenaline.

    Boards like these don’t come cheap and if you’re looking for a more affordable trip into the backcountry (and not fussed about being the first to the summit) you might be better suited to the bombproof construction of the Surf Shuttle split instead. For those who want the absolute best and have a good enough credit score to back them up – here lies your new split.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2020-2021 Amplid Milli Surf splitboard here

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    BURTON

    Burton Family Tree Hometown Hero Splitboard (Unisex) 2020-2021

    PRICE: £720 / €800 / $800

    As anyone with a few tours under their belt well knows, finding the best snow in the backcountry often requires travelling over the worst. Having a board under your feet that’s as reliable in the bad conditions as the good is a crucial balance to strike.

    Last year, we awarded the Burton Hometown Hero (solid version) a place in our 100 down to its incredibly versatile shape and performance in the diciest of conditions. It makes complete sense then, that Burton would adopt the same shape and construction to produce a split version for this season, with sizes available for both the men and women.

    There’s quite a pronounced camber running underneath both feet, but this transitions into a long, progressive rocker in the nose. Combined with a setback stance and a tapered outline, the Hometown Hero split maintains its agility and response in tight trees, sketchy couloirs and cruddy snow but can be fully opened up once the conditions change for the better.

    Even with this many directional elements going into its construction, the sidecut remains centred on the stance and keeps that freestyle card up its sleeve if the moment’s right for attempting a few spins out in the backcountry.

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    CAPITA

    CAPiTA Neo Slasher Splitboard 2020-2021

    PRICE: $750

    CAPiTA built the Neo Slasher with the single goal in mind of creating a split that’s as fun and easy to ride on a quick lap up your local hill before work as it is on a multi-day alpine assault above 2,000m.

    There’s a load of reasons to love this one, not least of all because it shares the same Alpine V1 Profile as this year’s 100 winner, The Black Snowboard of Death. A positive camber runs in between the feet and is flanked by a rocker section in the nose and a flat section in the tail. This directional profile is paired with a 22mm taper that enables the tail to sink into deeper conditions and the snowboard to make quicker, tighter turns in more technical terrain.

    For this season, CAPiTA have upgraded two new materials, designed to elevate the board’s response and bolster its durability. Their new Amplitex Amplifiers (stringers made from woven carbon and flax) run from the centre of the board out to the nose and reduce chatter and vibrations, while the tail end of the top sheet has been constructed with CAPiTA’s Duratil die-cut material. This protects the snowboard from the constant scuffs and dings of the skis inevitably hitting against each other during ascents ascent and kick turns.

    The Neo Slasher split comes complete with connectivity hardware from Union Binding Company.

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    JONES

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    KORUA Shapes Dart Splitboard 2020-2021

    PRICE: €699

    New for 2021, KORUA Shapes have introduced a split version to their super popular (and this year’s 100 winner), the Dart

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    The heavily directional shape and profile mean the Dart is going to feel most at home in deep, deep conditions, and if their Japanese riding edit, SUNŌKERU is anything to go by, we know exactly where we’ll be planning to ride this split version. Even so, with a positive camber underfoot and Korua’s carving specific sidecut, the Dart Split will still hold its line if the snowpack hardens up, or your simply riding back down the home run once you return back in bounds after a day on the trail.

    For year one, the Dart Split is only available in a 162 size. The longer effective edge will help in icier, more viariable conditions, for sure, but given the increasing size options of the solid version (including women’s specific sizing), we’re hoping to see this one role out to a few more lengths next season.

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    KORUA Shapes Pencil Splitboard 2020-2021

    PRICE: €699

    If your prefered split style is long, drawn-out carves and all the stability and float that comes from a bigger deck, the Pencil split may be more to your liking. Coming in both a women’s specific 147 and a 164 for the fellas, the pencil is the largest snowboard in Korua’s pointy-tipped fleet and, as such, is better suited for higher-speed charging and wide-open powder fields.

    The mid-body camber between the feet provides ample grip and pop, but really it’s the long progressive nose rocker and tapered shape that makes this thing sing. The deeper and steeper the better, really.

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    SALOMON

    Salomon Speedway Splitboard 2020-2021

    PRICE: £800 / $899

    Salomon have always made great value for money snowboards, and when you consider that the cost of the Speedway Split comes with custom-fit POMOCA skins included, this is a pretty stand-out deal for those looking to purchase a full split setup this season.

    It’s built with the same outline and profile as the solid Speedway, which should give you some idea of the confident riding style it’s best suited to. A backseat camber and Salomon’s Quadratic Sidecut suggest that the Speedway Split is designed with powerful, precision performance in the backcountry, but the subtle taper and full tail outline still give it an aptitude for riding switch and even bringing a little more freestyle to your backcountry riding.

    Where weight saving is key, but not at the expense of stability or response, the Speedway Split has found a solution. The wood core in the nose has been replaced with a superlight honeycomb-style structure that drastically shaves excessive weight, but this is dampened out with cork additives to absorb all of the inevitable chatter that would normally occur.

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    WEST

    West Grammont Splitboard 2020-2021

    PRICE: €769 / $879 / CHF 879

    At a glance at the above picture, you’d be forgiven for thinking someone had accidentally paired two different halves of a splitboard together. In fact, each side’s graphics were designed by two different artists. Even so, West’s Grammont Splitboard comes pretty near to perfect harmony between big mountain freeride performance with the fun, nimble manoeuvrability of a volume-shifted outline.

    Coming in a 157 size only, the Grammont split is the shortest but also the widest model in their touring series. There’s 268mm of width in the waist. When you combine that with a 19mm taper, 25mm setback in the stance and early rocker rise in the nose, leading up to that pointed tip, you can build a picture of how well this will float in super deep conditions and turn on a dime when the trees are packed tightly together.

    If the conditions are stable and you want to skin higher into the alpine and take on bigger objectives, the Grammont’s fun and playful shape is contrasted with a powerful and responsive core that can handle more serious lines. There are two carbon stringers running from the nose to tail, as well as snappy triaxl fibreglass layers and a solid poplar and paulownia wood core.

    For riders looking for one split board to ride early season, deep, low angle lines, right through to the high alpine spring touring days (let’s be honest, who here’s really looking to buy two splitboards?), the Grammont nails the design on a split for all conditions.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2020-2021 West Grammont splitboard here

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    WESTON

    Weston Hatchet Splitboard 2020-2021

    PRICE: $949

    It’s no secret, we’re huge fans of Weston’s Hatchet Pow Slayer snowboard. While we could happily ride it in all conditions, all season long, there’s only one time we’d have to swap it out – venturing further afield in the backcountry on foot. Enter the Hatchet Splitboard.

    Featuring the same shape, construction and profile as the Whitelines 100 winning snowboard, the Hatchet split is designed to be ridden significantly shorter than a regular freeride deck (currently only coming in a 152 size) and shifts much of the volume into its width, making it incredibly efficient at floating in deep snow while still retaining a fun, forgiving freestyle nature.

    The directional twin shape and lively underfoot camber with rocker sections in the nose and tail are what gives the Hatchhet so much of its versatility. One morning you could happily lay out carves on the pistes; the next, you could be dropping pillows miles beyond the resort boundary. The split is designed to be ridden in much the same way, best served with fun, fresstyle inspired lines in the backcountry, but with enough power and rebound in its core to step up to the plate should you take on more ambitious lines.

    For the split version, Weston have equipped the Hatchet with Karakorum’s rock-solid UltraClips and holeless base technology, which conceals the hardware from the underside of the split and prevents deposits of frozen snow from building up.

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    YES.

    YES. Optisplitstic Splitboard 2020-2021

    PRICE: £869 / €1000 / $1000

    YES. seem to have been biding their time before entering the splitboard market. But if ever there was a season to promote social distancing and escaping the crowds, this is it. Introducing the all-new Optisplitstic (see what they did there?), inspired by the hard-charging, pow busting Optimistic, then sliced right down the middle. This is YES.’ weapon of choice to sniff out and skin up to those distant freshies after the resort boundary has been smashed to pieces by the crowds at 10:30am.

    YES. haven’t been sitting on their hands before entering the world of earning your turns. The Optisplitstic has taken years of trial and error to deliver something they are truly proud of. Working with the guides of Eagle Pass Heli Ski, YES. have designed a board to deal with the gnarliest of terrain. Also collaborating with Spark R&D (Giants of the splitboard world), they have developed a simple and reliable clip system which won’t let you down, no matter the weather.

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  • Take a closer look at the 2020-2021 YES. Optisplitstic splitboard here

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