2021 Splitboard Top Picks

Top Splitboards 2020

There were a total of 15 splitboards tested and of those, 8 boards made the cut for best splitboards of 2020.

2020 Arbor Coda Splitboard

Arbor Coda Splitboard

I try not to play favorites or put this list of splitboards in any order.  However, the Arbor Coda is the splitboard I enjoy going downhill on the most of any splitboard on the market.  That being said this board does have some hiccups when it comes to touring, as will any of the boards with rocker underfoot mentioned here.  Arbor did set out to “mellow” the rocker near the tail of the board to decrease the amount of space between the backend of the splitboard and snow when touring.  When putting in skin tracks the rocker profile doesn’t matter as much in fresh snow, but if you tour on icy, steep skin tracks this board may not be the most enjoyable on the way up.

Why do I love this board?  The Arbor Coda Splitboard actually rides more like a surfboard, you can ride this board lightly and have a blast.  I’m 5’11 150lb so this style really allows me to surf pow without having to think or worry about edges catching.  If your looking for a splitboard that can be ridden inbounds as well, you found it.  The Arbor Coda has 4 Grip Tech contact points so edge hold is going to be better than other rocker boards you have ridden.

Price: $749.00

2020 Never Summer Splitboard

Never Summer Atom Splitboard

Never Summer Splitboards are incredibly fun to ride, they have been known to make people ride better.  Seriously. However Never Summer is still in love with their Rocker/Camber profile which was tweaked a little bit for a split specific shape. The new Never Summer Atom Splitboard is flat under the touring bracket which is a huge step forward for Never Summer.  That being said the base of the board is wavy, this allows numerous points of the board to not be in contact with the snow when going uphill. If your skins are failing this is one of the reasons why.

But, the Ripsaw Rocker/Camber profile is a blast to ride, especially in sub-par snow. And in powder, it’s a no-brainer the board floats like no other. Never Summer is setting out to make splitboards for going downhill. They fought Mervin legally over the Rocker/Camber patent, so it seems that’s hard for the brand to let go of.  It’s weird though as Never Summer actually does make Camber splitboards for World Boards snowboard shop in Bozeman, MT and even allows other brands to press camber boards and splits in their factory. In the future, perhaps Never Summer will see or hear the need for new profiles for splitboarding, the Atom is clearly an example of them expanding into splitboarding more and more.

Price: $1,059.99


2020 Rossignol XV Splitboard

Rossignol XV Splitboard

This splitboard is not for the faint of heart, it’s not for lightweight surfy riders.  It is for dudes that can man handle snowboards. On the way uphill the Rossignol XV Splitboard is as solid as one would expect.  The board is stiff, camber and offers really sharp edges that grip on the way up and down.

The reason I don’t ride this board daily is it requires a lot of work and energy to ride.  If you’re competing on the Freeride World Tour and plan on going straight and sending huge, like 40 foot plus airs.  The Rossignol XV Splitboard is perfect.  If you like to ride tight trees, surf powder there are other boards on this list that would be a better fit.  Xavier De La Rue is a gnarly dude, and he’s actually not that tall.  That being said do you ride like Xavier?  If so check out this rigid big mountain splitboard.

Price: $699.95

2020 K2 Marauder Splitboard

K2 Marauder Splitboard

If you want to buy a splitboard package without much fuss, perhaps new to the sport of splitboarding the K2 Marauder Splitboard Package is something to look into. Part of the Backside collection the K2 Marauder Splitboard comes with skins, pucks and hardware for mounting the K2 Far Out Bindings or Sparks R&D’s. Similiar to Jones K2 offers custom cut skins for each size board they build.  Skins will fail eventually, custom cut skins from the factory will work a lot longer than the DYI job which typically uses a letter opener to cut the skins. At the tip and tail of the board are holes for locking your skins to the board.

The K2 Marauder Splitboard is a directional splitboard with a combination Camber profile.  There’s plenty of camber underfoot with slight rocker at the tip and tail. The board is incredibly solid underfoot on the way up, it even features a topsheet designed to help with splitboarding, different from most, K2 is using a material they’re calling SnoPhobic made of Nylon.  What this does is block snow from sticking to your topsheet.  If you tour in the spring or the PNW snow buildup is a major issue, extra weight on your skis on the way up simply sucks.  That’s not an issue with the K2 Marauder. Last but not least this board can be used as a rescue sled if you needed to pull someone out of the backcountry via a rope connected to the holes at the top and bottom of the Marauder Splitboard.

Price: $899.95

2020 Slash Splitboard

Slash Linehiker Splitboard

A splitboard by GiGi?  I wasn’t actually sure if I was “cool” enough to ride the Slash Line Hiker Splitboard or any Slashes for that matter.  The sort of have the Capita cool guy vibe going on.  Then I tried the board and fell in love instantly.  If anything the shape alone is noteworthy before the board ever hits snow. This directional twin tip back seat camber profile (just saying that sounds epic) is designed to do everything and anything you need in the backcountry.  Check out the nose and tail on this board, Slash cut down weight and added some really fun places for grabbing your board mid air.

Out of all the boards on the list, the Slash Line Hiker Splitboard is the only twin tip board making it incredible for hitting jumps, pillows and cliff drops.  The board feels really natural underfoot and doesn’t take much effort to turn.  I always run my boards in the backseat, so to ride a board already set back just felt right for my needs. If you ride powder all the time, the farther back you are the better.  Slash teamed up with Union for all the hardwear on the board, the tip and tail clips are especially nice and really lockdown, sometimes almost too much. The only hiccup here is I’m not sure where to find these boards for sale?

Price: $769.00

2020 Jones Solution Splitboard

Jones Solution Splitboard

With 10 years of R&D, the Jones Solution Splitboard was from the get-go one of the great all-around splitboards you could buy, and still is. Jones designed a directional shape with camber underfoot and rocker at the tip and tail. This profile thanks in part to the camber offers stability at speed, confidence while turning and has lots of pop. For powder riding, this Jones Splitboard has a slightly rockered tip and tail and a flex rating of 8 of 10.  It seems to work most ideally for shredding hard, big open terrain. Big Sky, Jackson, AK places like that with the boards stiffer flex.

The Solution Split has a size range starting at 154cm and goes all the way up to 166cm.  With this versatile sizing, there’s a Solution for everyone out there. Toss in custom cut Pomoca skins that are sized exactly for each board and you’re going to love touring on this setup or any Jones Splitboards for that matter as they all notches cut into the tail to secure the Pomoca splitboard skins to your board. The Jones Solution is like the Burton Custom of Splitboards, a board everyone will most likely end up on at some point in time, and for good reasons.

Price: $899.95

2020 Cold Smoke Splitboard

Cold Smoke Alchemist Splitboard

Back on the list for the second time in the past 3 years is Cold Smoke Splitboards, as small independent splitboard manufacture in Gunnison Colorado.  Just up the rode from the shop is world the US Extreme Ski World Championships have taken place for many years, the terrain in that part of Colorado is rocky, steep and super technical.  The Alchemist Splitboard is some of the tightest construction we have seen, sort of suprising for a small brand.

On the way up the Alchemist tours well, it’s sturdy and has camber underfoot with a slight rocker at the tail and a bit in the nose for added float.  Last time we picked the Voodoo splitboard, this time we went after the direction twin offering from the brand.  There are times you may want ride switch, or be forced too through a tight section on the mountain.  When that happens the Alchemist is going to be more forgiving and more playful when going downhill.  Like to send some pillows in the backcountry?  If so you’ll dig the Cold Smoke Alchemist Splitboard with it’s solid yet simple tech and design. You really don’t need a fancy board to go splitboarding on..  Or gimicy shapes for that matter.

Price: $850.00


2020 Prior Kyhber Splitboard Glass

Prior Khyber Splitboard

Prior’s long history in one of the most storied snow meccas of North America, Whistler, has all but culminated in the Khyber Glass Split. Its big fat nose is sure to keep you afloat while the thinner tail drives through the pow. It’s rare for such a sturdy and light board to be only mid-flex, but the Prior Khyber has got a mind-blowing response, whether edge to edge inbounds or trying to sneak around that last tree in the bc BC pow. One thing I love is that it has some camber, going to rocker underfoot, but it’s not so pronounced that the board loses hold while skinning.

Prior’s Khyber is freakishly light, surprisingly sturdy, and deliciously responsive. Especially if you’re riding it in anything from super steep couloirs to trees floating in the deep maritime snowpack. It’s why arguably the top snowboarders and splitboarders north of the US border have been devouring the wilds of Canadia on the Prior Khyber for years.

Price: $1,049

Compare Prices:

Jones Solution

About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief.

64 Comments on "2021 Splitboard Top Picks"

  1. Hi Mike,

    Looking to put together my first split setup. Wondering if you ever got on the Taka split or had a recommendation for sizing. I am 5’9″ ~145pounds no gear. Wasn’t sure between the 155 and 158.

    My solid setup is a Prior Khyber 156 with Union Forces and Vans Highcountry and hellbound and I really enjoy it.

    I was also eyeing the Spark Surges as what I read flex wise was they would be closer to the Forces, do you think I will be okay going that route despite being on the lighter end?

    Thanks for your help

  2. Have you tried the Orca split? I currently have a earlier model Jones Solution 162 split and feeling the toe drag(size 12 boot). I’ve got a 156 orca that I love and first board I didn’t have to get in a wide and was thinking of moving to the Orca split.

    • Hey Mike,

      I have not tried the Orca split. It will be better with your shoe size but may be a little wider clunkier on the skin track.

  3. You missed out on Telos!! I’ve been using them for over a year now and there’s no comparison to their ultralight splitboards in market.

  4. Did you get a chance to demo the Taka Splitboard?

  5. Hi,
    Kinda funny that you dislike the Neversummer Splitboards (review of NS Atom) with the rocker/camber profile and on the top 9 Splitboards the Arbor Coda, build on a rocker platform, is 2nd best.
    You mention that the Arbor Coda and all other rocker splitboards have problems when going through skin traveled tracks, wonder why they could score so high on this top list.

    • Danny,

      You must not have toured on the Never Summer RC profile. The Arbor Coda can have issues but nowhere like Never Summer on the skin track.


  6. Hey man, was hoping you could help me with a sizing question… I’m ready to pull the trigger on my first splitboard but I’m torn between the Jones solution or the Jones hovercraft split. I really like the idea of 3D base/nose on the solution but then like how nimble the hovercraft sounds…
    I’m 5’11, 175lb-180lb ish without gear, wear a vans size 9 boot, and currently riding a 156 niche story. I’m pretty happy with the 156 size but the size guide on the Jones website says I should be on a 161 solution and I’m wondering if 161 would be too big for me? or if the 158 would sacrifice too much float?? or if I should grab the split hovercraft to keep a similar length??
    Orrrrr maybe the Bryan iguchi split lol??

    And if you have any binding suggestions I’m all ears as well!

    Looking forward to the advice, Thanks a lot:)!

    • Lee,

      So many ways you can go. Seems alot of splitboards are getting shorter these days. At 5’11 the old math would say normal snowboard between the chin and nose. Then size up 2-5cm for splitboards. The 159-162 range is hugely popular. I have ridden a 159 Jones Twin in deep snow with zero problems. I do recommend mounting splitboards in the back seat for riding powder. I tend to stay away from anything over 164 as it becomes more of a boat out there.

      If you can rip the Niche in powder (lean back) the 158 would feel more familiar. Where as the 161 is going to take a little adjustment period. For first split Hovercraft is a little too “niche”


  7. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for all the great insight…
    Got a Jones Solution 164 last years. Im 6ft and 200lbs.
    Looking for a stiffer splitboard for this year… Any suggestions? I ride a Burton Custom X on the hill.
    Dean B

  8. Hi Mike,
    Question about women’s split boards. I had planned to demo some solid boards (that have a split option) and then well- 2020. I’ve been riding NS for some time- Lotus, Aura and now Lady West (a brief stint on a High Society, playful but too soft). I’m dealing with some recovery issues from an injury, so no early season demos for me, and by the time I’m ready to go I’m concerned my choices will be limited. I’m looking towards Jones since I know the profile is better for climbing and float, but also the opposite profile to what I’m used to. Opinion between Dream Catcher and Solution? I know the Solution is more aggressive and designed for big mountain terrain, but is it good for mixed and mellow backcountry? I know the Dream Catcher is more playful, but still solid if someone wants to ride it more aggressively? I would love any guidance you have to offer.

    • Mike Hardaker | October 8, 2020 at 6:38 PM | Reply

      Hey Stephanie,

      Thanks for the message, coming from NS the Dream Cather will be a softer more fun ride. I like Solution alot but it needs to be ridden a little stronger.

      Either board you can’t go wrong.


  9. hey mike, do you ever tested the amplid milligram? i heard it should be the best split on planet can you say somthing about it?

  10. Any experience with Prior Slasher? I’m 6’, 200lbs been riding for 20+ years. Looking for a new split this year and having a hard time choosing one. So many options…been looking at the Prior Slasher carbon in a 161 or 167 or the Jones Hovercraft in a 160. I ride a lot of backcountry in BC’s interior, mostly tree riding and always deep. Nice vid of WH20 btw, and love the NOFX soundtrack. I’ve ridden almost every inch of that mountain. Can’t wait for this season to start!!!!

    • Al,

      I have not rider then Slasher, looks sweet though. The Hovercraft seems like it was built for the terrain you ride.. Thanks for checking out the site.

  11. Have you tried out the Black Diamond Goat? I’m thinking about switching to a split board, currently riding a Niedecker megalight, probably about ten years old, how would it compare to a split board

  12. Hey Mike,

    Thank you for your awesome and thorough reviews of all the available splits. I have a question about the Flight Attendant X. Some reviews claim that the added carbon has indeed made the board light for uphill travel, but sacrifices performance on the way down. I have read some reports that say the board (especially the tail) is too stiff and its hard to slash and turn the board like you would a non-X version of the F.A. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this? Or, was the board that light on the uphill that you could look past some minor downhill stiffness?


    • Mike Hardaker | June 28, 2020 at 11:01 AM | Reply


      Thanks for the comment. Board is super fun on the way downhill. Check out the video for the turns I was making. You will appreciate the lighter weight especially on the up. I would not hesitate to jump on this board again.

  13. Captain Rudolph | June 9, 2020 at 12:10 PM | Reply

    This is a lot of great info to absorb. I’m looking to buy my first split board for the northeast. I have a normal jones explorer, but I’d like to start touring around and think I should get a Splitboard that might be a little different from my Jones to change it up. Any suggestions on what would rip down the fresh groomers, but also tear apart a backcountry deep pow day?

    • Mike Hardaker | June 9, 2020 at 3:13 PM | Reply


      Look for the boards in splits that are available in solids for the best ride going downhill. The shapes are tried and true. Arbor, Burton, Jones, K2 and others make there popular solids into splits. Stay away from anything that looks too specific for xyz terrain. Instead look for a board that can handle it all. Touring is important, so the brands that have figured out less rocker underfoot seem to be best.

  14. Hi there

    Looking to by my first split, I have narrowed down to either jones frontier, mountain twin or lib brd.
    I would like to be able to use it for backcountry in New Zealand and japan so good for big lines and nimble enough for trees.

    Many thanks

    • Mike Hardaker | April 9, 2020 at 5:26 PM | Reply


      The Mountain Twin may just be the best most underrated splitboard on the market. The Lib Tech is great too, it doesn’t tour as well. I have yet to try the Frontier.


  15. Olena Sholomytska | March 17, 2020 at 10:03 PM | Reply

    Love love love your article – thank you for all the reviews. I am riding Arbor Poparazzi now (150), and I am trying to decide on my first splitboard now. I was looking into Arbor Swoon 152 vs Jones Dream Catcher 151. I do not have specific needs, I just love riding! 🙂 Which of those 2 would you recommend? Or would you suggest something else?
    And as far as bindings – I looked into Spark R&D: their Womens Arc is out of stock, and their Womens Surge is available in M/L size only, and I am right in between their sizes (in shoes I am 8.5-9), and their XS/S : 5-8.5, and M/L – 9-11. Do you think it is OK for me to buy Men’s Arc n Medium?
    Thank you in advance

    • Mike Hardaker | March 23, 2020 at 10:33 AM | Reply


      The Swoon would be the most familiar, friendly board of the 2 where the Dream Catcher is a little more aggressive. For bindings I spoke to Spark here is what they recommend.

      “A Men’s Arc in Medium will be too big. Now a W’s M/L will likely work. It’s possible it is a little on the big side for her, but it depends on what profile of boots she’s rocking (big or small). She’ll have options with the W’s M/L to bring the heel loop in and adjust the straps if needs be. ”

      Thanks for the comment! Have fun and be safe out there

  16. Hi Mike, thanks for the reviews. Im heading to Hakuba Japan next week and I will be there for 2-3 months. Im going to be doing some back country touring and I am wanting to buy my first splitboard setup. I want something surfy that is great in powder and trees. My height is 5″5, weight 143lbs, boot size US 7. I have the 150 Jones Mind Expander but I am wanting to add a splitboard to my quiver. What splitboard would you recommend that I can buy in Japan?
    Cheers for your help 🙂

    • Mike Hardaker | January 2, 2020 at 2:55 PM | Reply


      The Gentemstick snowboards are available in Japan as are the Moss Snowshapes. Best bet would be to contact the shops in Hakuba to see what demos have available. The Mind Expander would be my first pick for JP…

  17. Mike, thanks for the reviews. Looking for advice on splitboard upgrade. Have ridden Jones Solution and Venture Storm in the past. Both hard chargers and super stable but I’m looking for something a bit more playful and nimble for trees and powder. Also important that it tours well (camber underfoot?) and handles variable snow. Looking at Weston Backwoods, Prior Khyber, or Hovercraft. Any thoughts between those boards? Or something else I should look at? Thanks!

    • TJ,

      The Prior would be a nice progression of a board for you. The other 2 are amazing the Backwoods rips in powder as does the Hovercraft although both are not the “best” touring.

  18. I was seeing if you enjoy the family tree flight attendant x over the jones carbon solution split for someone who likes to charge fast but also mainly riding powder.

    • David,

      The Burton is a little more playful, where Jones is going to be more stable at speed. I actually haven’t ridden the Carbon version, I ride super light so it might be too stiff for my needs.

  19. Thanks for the info. I own a Jones Solution and have never had it in deep pow. How do you think it will handle the deep? Also it’s a 2014 I think. Has the design changed much since then?

    • Jack,

      I had that same split I think. Works great in the powder. Be sure to set it back a little and it may take a few days to break in. If you can take some laps at a resort on that thing before touring it will feel that much more lively.

      Article with 2020 splitboards to be updated soon.

  20. Hi! I read your article and really appreciate the pointers here! I am a woman and am trying to buy my first split set up this season, and was wondering if you had any pointers on which board is best if I’m just looking for something that’ll give a smooth ride, be easy to manipulate (turn/carve- not stiff) and is forgiving with catching edges?

    • Moriah,

      Thanks for the comment. What board are you riding now? Do you know what sort of profiles you have ridden in the past? Happy to point you in the right direction. Awesome to hear you’re getting into splitboarding. It’s a game changer for sure.

  21. Regarding the Amplid- they moved their production away from Austria to east Asia and had some production issues. Indeed, the first board I had de-laminated after a few days out. They were super good with the warranty and sent a new one right away with no questions asked. New board is fine so far. That being said, the board some seem somewhat delicate.
    The performance is simply spectacular, though. It is amazing going up due to the light weight, stiffness and camber. Downhill it was really surprising- it feels stiff yet playful / surfy. Worth a try, if you like to do lots of vertical and still want to rip on the downhill.

    • Jake,

      Thanks for the honest user-driven feedback. I like this part “if you like to do lots of vertical and still want to rip on the downhill.” sounds like a marketing campaign waiting to happen.

  22. Byron Shapland | April 21, 2019 at 3:16 AM | Reply

    Hey, just wonder if you have demoed any of the korua splits or amplid splits?

    • Mike Hardaker | April 21, 2019 at 1:14 PM | Reply


      We have not had a chance to test the Korua Splits, although there solid boards are sure a blast. As for Amplid, I hear great things, apparently super light. That being said they potentially have durability issues. But who knows. The hardboot crowd seems to dig those boards for their weight savings. Let me know what you end up getting. Now through summer is a great time to get a killer deal on a splitboard.

  23. I/m planning on making a switch to splitboarding. I usually ride Telluride, Crested Butte, and hike as well. Not big into freestyle. I would like an all mountain board. Which would be the best and do the split boards come with step on bindings or what would be the recommended bindings to use? Thanks

    • Mike Hardaker | March 4, 2019 at 8:23 AM | Reply

      Hey Tyler,

      Most of the boards on this list are perfect for all mountain riding. What board/profile are you riding now? I would look at the Arbor Coda, Venture Paragon, Coldsmoke or Weston for a first time splitboard.

  24. I really wanted to get the goldmember split as I love the goldmember board but I’ve heard it’s a little sketchy and loose on the way up and touring. Does anybody have thoughts on this?

    • Brendan,

      very loosy goosy on the way up, amazing on the way down. This is why they changed the profile up a bit on the Split BRD for profiling specifically. The board rides similar on the down.

  25. Hi Mike, thanks for all the great reviews! Are you going to post a full review for the Jones MTN twin? I am wondering how it does on the up and also how reactive it is edge to edge on the down?

    • Thanks for the comment. Jones Mtn Twin review to follow this week. Fun board top to bottom. Nice bit of edge hold, great flex, super sporty. Fine on the up as well. I was on a smaller version 158 I believe and normally ride a 161-163

  26. Thanks for the tip on Trapper. I’m actually in BC splitboarding and that brand keeps coming up in conversations. Looking forward to working with those guys and some other CA brands in the future.

  27. I’m confused, the article says Top Splitboards for 2019 but has last years Signal split.

  28. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the nice review. Any chance you wil or could test West Snowboards Grammont, Korua Shapes Tranny Split and Cafe Racer Split Plus?

  29. Solid list. Could you also list which semi prominent boards you didn’t test? It’s hard to know if a board is missing from the list because it sucks or because you just didn’t try it. Voile, Never Summer and others come to mind. Maybe list the others you did test but didn’t make the top 10. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment and question. The following boards did not make the list this year. (* Reviews to follow)

      K2 Cool Bean*
      Venture Euphoria
      Rome Powder Division*
      Jones Mind Expander*

      The above boards have fun unique shapes, that being said touring on these shapes is not ideal for what I like to ride. Sometimes I wonder if the brands actually “test” these boards before sending them to the market?

      We should have 2020 splitboard reviews going up soon. Never Summer has something new in store for 2020, this year split 2018/19 was the same profile as last year so they opted not to send it to me.

  30. Hahow about adding the Lib Tech BRD? I’m dying for an honest review on this mystical creature from the Northwest. I had the GNU Beast from 15-16 season and would like to know if it has any resemblance.

  31. Where’s the split bean at?

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