If you're an eco-minded snowboarder who likes heading for the backcountry but is worried about the environmental damage heliskiing and ski mobiling do, here’s a solution - try splitboarding.
This is when you use a board that breaks down into skis so you can ‘ski tour’ your way into the wilds. Once you've reached your intended riding destination, you snap the skis back into board shape and hammer down the hill. In ski mode, the board makes use of skins – sticky, well-gripped base covers that allow you to ski up steep slopes fairly easily.
When you're splitboarding you spend a lot more time skiing than riding so you need to enjoy ski touring as well as boarding if you want to get the most out of it. And you also need to be fit enough to cope with tours that can last for hours.
In board mode, splitboards are a bit chunkier and less manoeuvrable than piste or park sticks but the technology has improved so much recently that they are responsive enough to cope with the tight tree runs you’ll come across in the backcountry.
MF's Nick Hutchings recently went on a splitboarding trip near Innsbruck, Austria, at the invitation of snowboard manufacturer Burton. Watch this video to see how he got on and find out more about splitboards on the Burton website (opens in new tab).
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Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.
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