just splashed out on a split!

soza

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Jun 15, 2013
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This will be my first split so interested in opinions of those in the know....Spent the last week trawling online ski shops here and overseas, watching youtube vids, scouting ebay and reading online reviews not to mention going back through the forum for previous splitboard posts.

Hope everything I have splashed out on is compatible as it was pretty much a self guided mission....to add, for a newbie the world of splitboarding at first seems a minefield of technical jargon and conflicting opinions.
Hope I have gear that suitable and appropriate for me and the places I aim to use it......
187cm, 100kg intermediate/advanced. Enjoyed the last couple of years snowshoeing the slackcountry not too far from Falls or Hotham resorts and want to explore further this year with plans of moving to NZ late this season for more of the same.

Initially like many others I didn't want to spend the earth. I had a Board from last year that seemed perfect for a DIY split, I watched the how too videos numerous times and felt pretty confident in my ability as a former tradie not to majorly F*** things up.
But when pricing up the DIY Voile kit plus the extra hard wear and tools I would need I noticed that I could get a custom splitboard from as little as $380 in the us....not a great deal more than doing it myself. (I figured about $300 plus own board/bindings)
I also realised that splitboard specific bindings were the way to go so the DIY kit alone wouldn't be enough.


So I bit the bullet and just ordered everything I think I need new
I couldn't get everything from one site so I had to shop around but I will list it here to
a) See if I have the right gear for the job
and
b) Give any others contemplating the move into the backcountry an idea of current prices.

Voile Revelator 165 ($389us)
I saw that `firstlight` is rocking this set up, read nice reviews and figured that with voile you know the fixings are simple and easy to replace. This board also comes with the pucks as well as fixing clips. Almost went for the Rome whiteroom at $407 but minus the fixing kit it would add another $103 to the price.

Backcountry Medium 159-173cm skins ($80us)
Cheap but hopefully good enough to get me going. Postage for the board and skins was $100us from backcountry.com. also picked up the book
Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain Book ($20) for some light reading
and a spare
Voile slider pin ($10)

Voile Light Rail Splitboard bindings size L
($219us)
REI folding carbon trekking poles ($73us)
REI trek pole snow baskets ($6)
rei.com posted the above for $20

VOILE Split Dual Height Climb Heels ($35) from torpedo7

Just over $900us spent (Au $1200)
Pretty happy with that to be honest....sure it soon snowballed from a $300 self split job but so long as I haven't missed anything I should be getting amongst it and finding some solitude and fresh lines this winter.


I didn't get crampons because I have the CAMP c12 boot crampons and Omega mountain axe.
Not that I plan on venturing too far until I have a avalanche safety course under my belt and a few others to tag along with.

I will post pics when the stuff arrives.
 

Endless_Winter

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I'd splash out on ski crampons if I were you. When things are slick, they'll save you time and energy. Boot crampons generally aren't necessary for most ski touring missions in Aus.
 

Matt Spencer

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Looks good! The one thing I'm not sure of with the setup is with those skins and whether the tail clip will hook on to the end of the split-skis. Seems like they're designed for skis with a more symmetrical end. You'll know when you get it all. Spark make great split skin tail clips if you need to replace them.

I'll be keen to head out on my split to Hotham and Falls this year, and will also aim for splitfest in NSW too. Send a PM if you want to head out for a splitboard trip this season
 
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soza

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I'd splash out on ski crampons if I were you. When things are slick, they'll save you time and energy. Boot crampons generally aren't necessary for most ski touring missions in Aus.
cheers EW, yeah I did toy with the idea and price them up and Im sure as I get more comfortable and head off on longer journeys ski crampons will be a handy addition to the kit. To start with I will be hitting the same hills I was snow shoeing last year so if it looks like crampons are needed on the way up its not going to be a pleasant ride back down.

It was this guys blog that got me questioning the need, but Im sure I will soon find out for myself when I get out amongst it

http://atrailcalledlife.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/crampn-my-style-are-splitboard-crampons.html

From what I have read the voile light rail crampon isn't much use with heels when in the floating position and I imagine fixed ski crampons are more awkward and energy zapping that boot crampons?
 

soza

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Jun 15, 2013
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Tawonga South
Looks good! The one thing I'm not sure of with the setup is with those skins and whether the tail clip will hook on to the end of the split-skis. Seems like they're designed for skis with a more symmetrical end. You'll know when you get it all. Spark make great split skin tail clips if you need to replace them.

I'll be keen to head out on my split to Hotham and Falls this year, and will also aim for splitfest in NSW too. Send a PM if you want to head out for a splitboard trip this season
thanks Matt, will PM you my email. Give us a heads up when you get up this way.

I hope the skins are ok?
this is a link to the product
http://www.backcountry.com/backcoun...ib2FyZCBza2luczoxOjk6c3BsaXRib2FyZCBza2lucw==

It does say `Twin tail connectors designed specifically for splitboards`
A bit hit and miss with the reviews but they are made by G3 by the sound of things...and half the price of anything I could find local
 

BobGnarly

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Those skins will fit the split. See how the rubber strap is on the side of the skin rather than the centre, thats split specific.
I used that exact skin all last season
 
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Draizuh

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From what I have read the voile light rail crampon isn't much use with heels when in the floating position and I imagine fixed ski crampons are more awkward and energy zapping that boot crampons?
Ski crampons dont use any more energy IMO. Its going to be icy if you are using them and if you need them, you arent moving fast unless you have boot crampons on.
 
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soza

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Those skins will fit the split. See how the rubber strap is on the side of the skin rather than the centre, thats split specific.
I used that exact skin all last season
just out of interest did you have issues with the skins over time? Lots of people complain of the adhesive remaining on the splitboard after a while.
 

Draizuh

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Ive had the glue stick to my base, but it was my fault for leaving the skins in a drying room and sticking them to the board while still warm. The skin can be re glued. Id rather have extra gluey skins than once that come off in the cold.
 

Red_switch

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glue sticking to bases is just part of touring.

It will take a long time for that to trash the glue enough to need replacing.
 

Belly

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I posted on another thread re skin glue risks - be careful to scrape all excess wax off as wax will transfer to glue lessening adhesion.
Add another 10kg to your resort weight - you have plenty of length in your board so no issue just saying :).
Looking forward to set-up pics, don't know anything about the Voile bindings.
 

Chester

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A question for the experts out there, what are the best splitboard bindings on the market at the moment?
 

Chester

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A question for the experts out there, what are the best splitboard bindings on the market at the moment?
 

BobGnarly

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A question for the experts out there, what are the best splitboard bindings on the market at the moment?
Hahaha thats a hot topic. For me its the one with the least moving parts. Ive see so many failures, its always a moving part that fails...
 

Chester

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Thanks Bob, I thought it was a pretty broad question. Perhaps I should provide a bit more information.

I'm an Australian living in a resort in the French Alps. I've spent the past 10 northern seasons riding lift accessed off-piste (or groomers when there is no pow to be had) and very occasionally hiking.

The locals here do a lot of ski touring, but the prospect of buying skis/boots, then putting the hours in required to get my skiing up to a level where I'm as comfortable riding off pistes on skis as I am on a snowboard, and then also buying ski touring equipment doesn't really appeal.

What I'd like to be able to do is ...
  • to get further away from the crowds, especially during peak season
  • access terrain that I'm not currently able to access
  • find un-tracked when the lift accessed is has been tracked-out
  • go higher when the stuff down low is not in great condition, especially later in spring when the temps are warmer
  • do some spring touring after the season
I'm a complete novice when it comes to splitboarding, I've never even tried it. Over the past few years I've been thinking about it quite a bit but have been put off by the prospect of investing in a complete set of new equipment. I'm already a 'gear junkie' and I have multiples of everything. Plus I'm not really in the habit of buying crap, and would like to adopt the same philosophy when I invest in a splitboard/bindings/boots/accessories.

There are some decent deals floating around here in Europe at the moment, for example 50% off some of this season's boards, but I know nothing about them other than online reviews that I've read.

The million dollar question is where do I begin?

Any tips when it comes to equipment?
What should I look for in a board, bindings and boots?
Which brands are better than others?
(I don't know if there are definitive answers to the last question.)

Thanks in advance, any advice or help would be useful and welcome.
 

BobGnarly

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If it were me....
1x camber board with rocker nose (voile hooks, not k clips)
1x spark bindings (get your boot centred and then loctite the fk out of the heel cup bolts)
1x backcountry.com skins

Add poles to taste.
 
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Belly

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Yeah good point, I've had like 4 pairs of boots in my life. My anecdote would be as much around the impact on traversing in climbs when I recently went from an old soft best friend boot to a newer modern stiff boot. As for riding, tough to say, probably lost a bit of that freedom but at least I knew my ankles had more protection :)
 

Donza

Dogs body...
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Some boots can be too stiff.
Mine are around a seven..
I've ridden nines and tens and hated.
I've had 13 pairs at last count. DC judges last three pairs
 

Chester

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Thanks to everyone for the input, much appreciated. I've got a few pairs of boots so may make do with those to start with.

Another question, what are the pros and cons of voile hooks versus karakoram clips?
 

BobGnarly

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voile hooks just work.
K clips are hard to open and close with cold fingers and you cant do them up till you have one binding on which gets pretty awkward.
Basically if your splitboard part starts with the letter K you are going to have troubles lol
 
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Chester

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Good to know, thanks for the tip.

I've been trawling the net trying to learn as much as I can ... information overload ... ouch.
 

Endless_Winter

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you cant do them up till you have one binding on which gets pretty awkward.
Basically if your splitboard part starts with the letter K you are going to have troubles lol

I suppose everyone has their own personal preferences, but I don't agree.

You can do Karakoram clips up without the binding on the board. I don't think I've ever put a binding on my board without doing up the clips first. I haven't had any real issues with my karakorams (clips or bindings), the only negative thing I'd say about them is the "air strap" (lightweight toe strap that comes with some of the lighter models) is completely useless and will snap in 1/2 a second, I simply replaced it with a sturdier toe strap.

One advantage the voilé hooks have is they don't overhang the edge of your board in ski mode. I thought this might be an issue with banging them on a rock of something, but it's never been an issue for me. Just be aware if you get karakoram bindings, you have to have their board clips.
 

smackies

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If you did what I suggested, you wouldn't have ended up in Hakuba in the rain.
 

Beerman

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voile hooks just work.
K clips are hard to open and close with cold fingers and you cant do them up till you have one binding on which gets pretty awkward.
Basically if your splitboard part starts with the letter K you are going to have troubles lol
So does that mean you are changing the name of your proposed label??
 

soza

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Jun 15, 2013
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the Voile board and bindings have arrived and must say I'm impressed with the quality. Still waiting on a few other bits that had to go via a forwarder so will post pics when its all here.

On print and with online photos I was never that overly fond of the voile graphics but up close the `revelator` really is a nice looking board.
The REI Carbon Exp Vario Trekking Poles are actually made and branded by Komperdell and look amazing value for the $70. They pack down to daypack size and are light as a feather.
 

soza

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just about to set it up......
backcountry%20split_zpsckfwwnek.jpg
 
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soza

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Jun 15, 2013
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was umming and ahing about the need with already having boot crampons. I will pick some up when I can find them at a good price, so far from what I have seen they are costing almost as much as the bindings.
 

Draizuh

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I suppose everyone has their own personal preferences, but I don't agree.

You can do Karakoram clips up without the binding on the board. I don't think I've ever put a binding on my board without doing up the clips first.
This, Ive never had an issue with my K clips, and i prefer em over the voile ones. I switched about 2 years ago and they are a great bit of kit.

Tip clip goes on, then tip K clip, Rear K Clip and then rear tail clip. then bindings on.

I don't think they're interchangeable at all. Ski crampon terrain is entirely different to boot crampon terrain.
Id agree, Ski crampons assist you out on icy traverses, hard crust that hasnt melted yet and in aussie in particular would allow you fast travel over icy mellow terrain.
 

soza

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ok, so it looks like crampons are going to be a necessity. Cant find what I am after locally so checking overseas online stores and have a couple of options. Looking like the $150 mark so going to sting a little but it does seem like they needed here and in NZ.
The crampons may have to come via a shipping forwarder and for something .5Kg its not that cost effective.....unless I add some other bits to the order.

So, looking at my above gear list is their anything else I should add?
Baring in mind this year will most likely be starting with day trips out to rocky Knolls and Mt McKay and a couple of trips camping out in the Vic ranges. September/October should see me sampling a bit of NZ sidecountry around the Canterbury and Mackenzie hills.

I`m good for appropriate clothing and have a suitable backpack, tent, bag and whatnot. I also have a multitool plus spare repair bits, compass, first aid kit and a SOL emergency bivy.

Only thing I can think that I may need in the future is avy gear?......
Is it worth picking up a beacon and probe? may only cost an extra $200 for something like this.....and not add too much to the postage if I order with the crampons
http://www.backcountry.com/backcoun...hbGFuY2hlIGJlY29uOjE6NTphdmFsYW5jaGUgYmVjb24=
 
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