Splitboards you can already rent in Poland

Text: Anna Plaszczyk, photos: press release

12 November 2016

They restore adventure to snowboarding, they help to avoid the crowds on the slopes and the beaten tracks. For lovers of the board they are just like ski-tours for skiers. The Splitboard is a kind of snowboard, where you can climb up the hill on it, and later go downhill on it. The first rental company of splitboards in Poland is situated, of course, in Zakopane.

Splitboard is a snowboard that can be split into two pieces. This allows you to use it just like skies while climbing uphill. And later descent on it. The board consists of two parts, connected by clips and ... bonds. But before discussing the technique - lets get to the history of the splits. The first split was made in 1991, by Brett "Cowboy" Kobernik. At that time it was a DIY work- split was made by cutting snowboard with circular saw. Nowadays splits are ultra- lightweight, extremely precise and reliable "devices".

With splitboard, whole winter fun begins not when you are going downhill, but when you have to go ... uphill. Ascending on "fissile" board is possible primarily thanks to bonds. And here - every company has a different system. In the first rental company of splitboards in Poland, JONES EPICenter Zakopane, we can find boards from Jones Snowboards. EPICenter Zakopane is also one of the few testing centres of this brand in the world.

Karakoram fasteners, which you can rent together with the board in Zakopane, are handmade, by a small company consisting of 7 people. Today they have been considered to be the most creative fasteners ever created for the splitboards. We dont need any special tools to fasten them, and they do not have any parts that can fail or break down during the trip. You can switch boards, naturally, without removing the fastening from the ski boots. In addition, they stiffen the board, so it can operate like a regular snowboard.

During ascending the fasteners are functioning exactly like equipment for ski-tour. Skins (a kind of material resembling velvet) are an essential component needed during ascending. Thanks to its construction, skins can easily slide uphill and while going downhill "grab" the snow. Anyway - in a deep snow splitboard works much better than snowshoes. Why? The board even split in a half, it is wide and stable, and keep us on the snow.

Preparing split for downhill ride takes just a few minutes. At this time, we remove the skins, we combine the splits into the board and we put fasteners. It is important to remove ice and snow from the board before we connect parts. Downhill ride on splitboard is no different from the ride on the "classic" snowboard. Of course, we need to choose the right board, bindings and boots. It is the best to ask professionals for help.

The prices of splitboard set range from 5 to even 10 thousand złoty.

We need to be well prepared for splitboard expedition - not only as far as the equipment is concerned. We should also take a professional avalanche equipment (we can also rent it at JONES EPICenter Zakopane), and before the expedition it is worth passing adequate avalanche course. The price of such training is about 500 zloty. It is worth doing so, because the ride outside the slopes is fascinating only when it is safe.