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Snowboards

Jones Hovercraft 2019-2020 Splitboard Review

  • Sizes: 152, 156, 160
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Setback Camber
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: £779 / €880
  • BUY DIRECT FROM JONES

Jones have taken everything there is to love about the Hovercraft and cut it right down the middle. This split won last year’s 100 Award and, for this year, they’ve kept things exactly how they are. Asides from few eco-tweaks, the Hovercraft Split remains the timeless, surfy turning, pow hunting, go-to freeride option for breaking trail in the backcountry. Praise the Lord.

The splitboard shares that iconic shape that’s made the solid version such a reliable choice. Despite its shorter running length, the elongated nose rocker and cut out tail makes it float and ride like a much longer deck. It’s ideal for tight turns, whether navigating through a narrow gully or darting through the trees, with enough camber underfoot to hold its line when the seas get choppy.

“It’s ideal for tight turns, whether navigating through a narrow gully or darting through the trees, with enough camber underfoot to hold its line when the seas get choppy”

That shape also lends itself to being more lightweight and less fatiguing on the way up, not to mention making those kick turns a little easier too. Jones have also taken the sidewall disruptions, known as Traction Tech 2.0, that feature on the external edges of the solid version and added them to the inside edge for a little more bite and reassurance when the ascents get hairy.

As mentioned, the big changes for this year come from the transition into more sustainable materials. The core, edges, and resins all perform as before but with more sustainable sourcing of the materials and a far smaller carbon footprint.

Of all the Jones snowboards, these upgrades seem most fitting on the Hovercraft Split. You can take a certain satisfaction in knowing that the only trace you’ll leave in the backcountry is that of your skinning track. Even the new wood engineered veneer, which not only helps to dampen the ride, blends in to its natural surroundings like a thing of beauty.

It’s the shape that has won multiple awards for its performance across the mountain, but especially in the deep. Who wouldn’t want to take that riding experience further afield, where you’re not competing in lift lines or for secret stashes under the ropes?

Tester’s Verdict 2018/19

Tom Copseyonboardmag.com

“I’ve finally rode a splitboard that feels like a snowboard rather than a door (previous missions have been on equipment from a few years back, mind), and what a board it is too!

As everyone knows, splitboarding is 95% walking up a hill and 5% riding down it, so the split performance is important. It worked well, the wavy edges even holding on when we were traversing despite my incompetence.

“Nothing short of a joy… Surfy, floaty, and turns super quick”

Once transitioned back into a snowboard, the thing is nothing short of a joy. Surfy, floaty, and turns super quick, but with enough about it to be stable on steeper faces, I was chucking roosters and buttering around as if it was on a regular snowboard.

If you’re looking to tackle nothing but full gnar on every tour, there are no doubt models better suited, but for tackling a bit of everything – mellow trees to steeper faces – I couldn’t recommend the Hovercraft Split more.”

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