Are you sitting at home with your new splitboard and wondering how to get started? Here are our six tips so that you can have fun on the mountain and get started.
1. TOUR PLANNING
Splitboard beginners are often experienced snowboarders who dream of being able to ride beautiful, previously unattainable lines with their new splitboard. You can definitely make this a reality quickly, but our advice for the first tour: keep it simple and don't overdo it! The mountains don't run away and it makes more sense to practice your technique and get to know your equipment than to take unnecessary risks.
Even if they are sometimes laughed at: a slope tour makes a lot of sense as a first tour. You can fully concentrate on the climb and don't have to worry about route selection or avalanche risk/equipment. Plus, you're on a groomed slope that you can get down even when you're exhausted, and you don't have to be able to do any hairpin bends ;)
Familiarize yourself with converting the bindings and attaching/removing the skins at home. It's warm and dry at home and if something doesn't work straight away, you won't freeze your fingers off straight away. On most tours you can start climbing straight away. In such cases, you can put on the skins and mount the bindings at home (you can find out more about converting between ascent and descent mode here ).
So that you don't forget anything important, you can take a look at our packing list . The often-quoted onion principle is used in clothing. You are usually well dressed for the climb if it is a bit too cold for you at the beginning. It's better to stop and put something on than to wear too much, sweat a lot and then freeze.
We always recommend taking crampons with you when off-road. Especially at the beginning of your touring career, these can provide more security on hard traverses.
As already mentioned in the first tip, slopes are an ideal training area. You can easily hold the backpack because you don't need avalanche equipment and can work on your walking technique in peace. To practice the basics and the first hairpin bends, even a small hill with some snow is enough.
A mistake that is often seen not only among beginners but also among advanced riders is that the board halves are lifted with every step. This means you waste power that can then be missing on the descent. Better: Only drag the back half of the board over the snow so that the tips of your toes never lose contact with the ground.
Another common mistake is going with too much template. Due to the incorrect load, it can quickly happen that the skins slip, especially on steeper terrain. At the beginning it can help to consciously press your heels into the snow with every step to get a good feel for it. What can also help: Don't fold out the climbing aids too early! The higher heel position quickly tempts you to shift too much weight onto your toes.
Then it's just a matter of finding your rhythm and drinking something regularly. Enjoy the climb!
You'll spend ~90% of your touring time doing this ;)
4. AT THE SUMMIT
Once at the top? Now it's time to take a quick breather and enjoy the panorama!
But not for too long! :D Especially on cold, windy days you have to make sure you don't get cold. If possible, look for a place protected from the wind and change from your ascent to your descent gear: change your shirt and gloves, put on a hardshell jacket, etc.
Once you're dressed warmly, you can start converting. It's best to leave the skins on the board and put the two halves together. With the skins mounted, the board does not move away. Only then remove the skins and always make sure that the board lies well/is secured. We've heard of people whose board was flipped over by a strong gust of wind and sent hurtling downhill. The board is often gone and coming down the mountain on foot can be very dangerous.
Carefully place skins together with fur foils so that they stay clean and continue to stick well. It's best to turn your back to the wind so that you can fold the skins in the lee. If you want to fur up again later, it makes sense not to store the skins in your backpack, but rather close to your body, for example in the inside pocket of your jacket.
Now you can collect yourself again before you set off. Eat something small, drink something, if it gets cold, circle your arms and discuss with the others how the descent should go.
Hopefully now comes the most fun part of the tour, the descent. The same applies here (again, imagine the raised index finger): Take it slowly!
Enjoy the descent and get to know your new equipment. Pay attention to whether the binding settings are already correct or whether you can get even more riding fun with a little fine-tuning.
6. APRÈS TOUR
On the drive home you're probably looking forward to a warm shower/the sofa/a cold beer. No matter what you decide: enjoy it, you deserve it! :)
But you should not only take care of yourself, but also your splitboard equipment. This includes:
- Dry the skins at room temperature and then store them at room temperature after sticking them onto the skin foils.
- Wipe snow/water off the board to prevent rust from forming on the edges.
- Make sure everything is ready for the next tour. This includes, for example, checking whether the binding parts and connecting elements are still tight or whether the board needs to be waxed.
This way you will have fun with your new equipment for a long time and be prepared for the next tour.