Testing splitboard from Jones Snowboards
We do not need a lift
Another short presentation deserves a brand Jones Snowboards. A few years ago it was founded by Jeremy Jones, who I hope needs no introduction. The brand is aimed at the production of freeride snowboards with the highest quality. Now offering all of their models boards in a classic design, split version or carbon split. I had the opportunity to test the model 164 Solution in split version with Voile system.
What is different from the normal boards, except that it has two halves? Binding systems. What I was able to find, there are two basic systems. Voile and Karakoram. Voile is older and technically not as far as Karakoram. Personally, I only tried Voile, but according to the attached video, and the responses of people who tried both systems the Karakoram system is simply better. Mainly due to the speed of transition between the walking and downhill mode. Voile system is more versatile because it allows the use our binding, which is screwed to the metal rails. These rails are then attached to board for downhil l or at the tip for walking, see pictures. The advantage Voile system may therefore be the fact that you can use your own bindings and you do not have to buy another one only for Split.
How I tested the Split? I stepped into it and went up. I did not have much option, so we went with my brother two weekends in a row to the home resort Pustevny. Since the weather during testing are not very nice, so we only walked one weekend. Next weekend we got new powder so we went for riding.
Walking mode is simply great. With the climbing skins you can go where you want to, even there is tonne of powder. Assembling and disassembling of the board together with the use of climbing skins needs its know-how. I recommend to newcomers in the ski mountaineering to take along someone more experienced, otherwise you will have a few annoyances. Especially fitting the skins and walking uphill requires practice.
The main concern I had of the fixedness during downhill mode. After couple rides my doubts disappeared and I have to conclude that the board is well constructed and you can enjoy ride in the powder and even on the piste. The board was generally softer than I'm used to, it's hard to tell if it is by being in two halves, or by the inside construction. I hadn't a opportunity to compare it with other Splits. The board with bindings is heavier than the classic board, so you should keep in mind that you'll need to train a little bit.
Overall, I find the Splitboard from Jones excellent and I would recommend to try the system Karakoram. This should remove the few annoyances that has the Voile system and enjoy rapid transition speed between walking and downhill modes. Another remark I would mention surface treatment of the board. In heavy snow, the snow sticks on the board and stays there. I never did not deal with this, but now that you've have to carry a few kilos with it up or sometimes get rid of the snow, so it will not please.
I would like to thank Filip Paseka from HonkyTonk shop for mediation of borrowing the splitboard. You can buy Jones Snowboards boards with a special price just from HonkyTonk where you get extra service and proper advice.
Video to Voile system : HERE
Author: Tomáš Zelinka