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Salomon Premiere 2018-2019 Splitboard Review

Some splitboards are essentially the same as what’s available as a solid version, only cut down the middle (see: K2 Joy Driver Split, Korua Pencil Split). There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but if you’re looking for something that’s truly been designed to be split-specific, look no further.

The Salomon Premiere splitboard first appeared a few years ago, and immediately turned heads with its unique 4-part system. The central channel of the board can be separated from the ‘skis’ on each side, then split yet again across the waist. That leaves you with two sections that you can attach you your pack, and two skis that are much lighter than average.

“The idea is that you’ll save energy on the way up, and therefore have more in the tank when it’s time to descend”

The idea is that you’ll save energy on the way up, and therefore have more in the tank when it’s time to descend. When you do, the lightly tapered shape eats up the powder, and the mostly-camber profile and carbon additives make this a poppy, lively board. It’s also got one of Salomon’s typically rapid bases.

The Salomon Premiere comes as a package, with custom skins and pucks that suit a wide array of splitboard binding systems. It’s one of the easiest ways to get all the kit you need at once, although you do need to be fairly lofty to be suitable for its limited size range.

Tester’s Verdict

Andrew Duthiewhitelines.com

“Changing the Premiere from riding mode to touring mode is actually remarkably easy and quick. At a splitboard derby event, I was actually first to break up my setup, fit the skins and start heading up the mountain – and that includes lashing the middle bits to the outside of my pack, which no-one else had to do. Applying the skins in particular is a piece of cake, thanks to the hole-and-hook system.

It’s putting it back together that’s occasionally the tricky part. If you don’t have all the bits exactly lined up, then you won’t be able to slide your bindings on. I spent a good 10 minutes on an exposed peak in Norway, trying hard to get things to sync up. Eventually I realised that if I loosened the central screws, then I could clear some compacted ice and make things easier for myself – but it’s not something I’d what to repeat.

“Applying the skins in particular is a piece of cake, thanks to the hole-and-hook system”

As for the ride, I can’t really fault it. It doesn’t feel exactly like a solid, of course, but it’s not far off, and the base is really, really quick. You might, as I did, feel a bit apprehensive about popping off stuff at first, but don’t worry – it soon passes.

The thin-ski factor isn’t a selling point for me; yes, they’re light, but the difference it made on two- or three-hour hikes wasn’t huge. If you were planning long, arduous days of touring, however, I bet you’d feel the benefits over time.”

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