I have been testing the Jones Frontier Splitboard here in the mountains of NW Wyoming. It performed well in a wide variety of conditions and terrain, from perfect powder in steep, tight trees, to corn on wide open faces, to bulletproof avy debris and heinous, supporting, isothermic slop.
How’s it Ride?
I found the Jones Frontier splitboard to be a great all-arounder with good float in the nose for effortlessly playing atop the powder and plenty of stiffness underfoot for laying down big arcs at high speeds and pointing it through the chunder.
The Frontier 162 also has a little rocker in the tail and slight convexities in the tip/tail that make shifting from edge to edge a lot smoother and easier than I expected from a 162cm directional board with traditional camber and stiffness underfoot. It is very fun to slash and bounce around on during the descent, and the Traction Tech edges give it a reassuring bite into windswept ice.
While slogging uphill the Frontier split feels light and holds a reliable edge in the switchbacks. As someone who backcountry skis and snowboards, I have always been aware that skis – while often heavier – generally climb steep, slick skintracks better than splitboards. That said, I am very impressed by how much better the Frontier 162 holds an edge during the ascent than other splitboards I have climbed on over the years. I attribute this to the Traction Tech 2.0 serrations on the inner edges which provide a lot more contact than traditional splitboards with perfectly straight inner edges.
These little undulations on the inner edges are subtle – barely noticeable to the eye – but they do seem to make a big difference at those sketchy moments during the ascent. The board seems well balanced during the ascent, and it feels light on the feet, especially when paired with lightweight backcountry specific boots and modern bindings.
Jones Nomad Skins
The included Jones Nomad Splitboard Skins were pre-cut to a perfect fit and provided adequate grip on steep, icy skintracks. Out of the box the skins did not offer much glide on the flats, so I treated them to a quick coat of canning wax which got them right where I wanted them. The little bag included with the skins started to fall apart at the stitching almost immediately, but that was not an issue since I typically toss skin bags or repurpose them into ditty bags.
The skins and Frontier splitboard themselves are proving to be well made and durable.
Amazon.com Price: $559.97 (as of 02/21/2024 15:30 MST) Details
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Year after year, the topsheet graphics on all Jones snowboards are consistently crowd pleasing, and my 2023 Frontier split is no exception. It sports a beautiful painting by RP Roberts of Mount Moran looming over Jackson Lake with snowy pines in the foreground. The board bottom showcases the classic Jones logo and lettering.
It’s a good looking board, and I’m sure it will make a great piece of wall art even after its service life has expired. Adorning the topsheet with “5 Red Flags” foretelling increasing avalanche danger is also a nice touch.
Who Would Like This Split?
I think the Jones Frontier Splitboard is a great option for backcountry riders of all ability levels looking for one splitboard that will perform well in all conditions. It is especially well suited for backcountry beginners who want a relatively forgiving ride on a board similar to the one they probably learned on at the resorts.
The Frontier split has camber and stiffness underfoot with a little rocker in the tail and quite a bit of rocker in the nose. The convexities in the tip and tail decrease the odds of catching and edge, and improve the ease of initiating and disengaging turns.
At $799 for the new 2024 Jones Frontier Splitboard, the price is certainly right: the Frontier is the most affordable board in the Jones splitboard lineup. If you can find a high quality 2024 splitboard from any other manufacturer for less than $850, you must be a savvier online shopper than me.