Salomon HPS Taka Splitboard Review

2022 Salomon Splitboard Test Jackson Hole Wyoming2022 Salomon Taka Splitboard Test | Photo Mike Hardaker Mountain Weekly News

Salomon sure does seem to be making a mark on the splitboard world as of late. From insane splitboards designed to ride deep snow, to splitboard boots, and even a foldable splitboard the brand has pulse on the sport of splitboarding.  I had the pleasure of testing out the Salomon Taka Splitboard last season, a board that was created with my style of riding in mind, perhaps yours too for surfing powder.

Salomon Taka Splitboard

Why is the Salomon Taka Splitboard a stand out? To start it was designed by Wolle Nyvelt and Takaharu Nakai. Wolle is the dude the snow surfs, rips harder than you without bindings and was the designer of an all time shape the Salomon Sickstick Snowboard. Takaharu Nakai is from Hokiado, has competed in the Olympics snowboarding and loves shredding powder.

The Taka shape takes inspiration from some of the best snowboards in the Salomon line. These dudes teamed up before to make a ripping powder snowboard the Salomon HPS Taka x Wolle. Now they have a splitboard too.

This Salomon Splitboard is to the point, a directional cambered profile with a taper.

Paulownia Core

Uphill Kick Turn by Splitboarder Mike Hardaker

Mike Hardaker Putting Skin Track in on the Taka Splitboard | Photo Ryan Ariano Mountain Weekly News

By using Paulownia wood in the core, Salomon has been able to reduce the weight of this splitboard.  It’s noticeably lighter on the way up and floats with that much more ease on the way down. A bunch of brands are figuring out how rad this natural wood is included Arbor, Weston, Kemper, Lib Tech and more.

We can talk about how this board rips going down but what’s more important is how does the Salomon Taka Splitboard tour?  Epic I will say, with a huge part of that being the integrated POMOCA splitboard skins that are custom cut for each sized board.

Salomon also teamed up with Plum, a French ski and splitboard manufacture for their clips. The design is unique to Plum.

POMOCA Splitboard Skins

POMOCA Pre-Cut Skis for Salomon Taka Splitboard | Photo Mike Hardaker Mountain Weekly News

What’s cool about these POMOCA skins is there’s a notch in the tip of the board that the skins actually hook into with a metal hook.

Salomon POMOCA Splitboard Attachment

POMOCA Skin Bungee Attachment System on Salomon Taka Split | Photo Mike Hardaker Mountain Weekly News

And on the tail there’s a notch cutout for the tail tensioner to tighten down the skins. This keeps everything snugly in place.

Combine all this with camber from tail to about 3/4 the way up the board and you get a splitboard that can tour well, seems to always be in contact with the snow and doesn’t have a weird rocker underfoot. Rocker tends to make you slip backwards, it’s where skins like to fail too. I truly feel all splitboards need some camber for touring.

Once you use this system, you’ll be wondering why all the manufactures are not working directly with POMOCA??  Cutting skins is no fun, it’s the best way to get skins to fail vs having them factory cut to the exact dimensions of your board.  Maybe you think you’re as good as the factory cutting skins, I doubt it though. I won’t mess with cutting skins anymore, too many pairs have failed especially when cutting skins in the past with wavy edges, think Mervin, Arbor and Jones.

It’s rare these days to find a splitboard manufacture not selling skins cut for their boards, it says a lot about the brand if they don’t. Aka they’re selling product they don’t actually use. Too lazy to work with another company in the industry or just lack of knowledge.

Salomon has people around the world testing their snowboards and splitboards and it shows in the quality of their gear.

Salomon Taka Splitboarding Powder

Mike Hardaker Splitboarding in the Tetons on Taka Splitboard | Photo Ryan Ariano Mountain Weekly News

The Taka Splitboard from Salomon is available in 3 sizes; 155cm, 158cm, 161cm.  I ended up on the 158cm where I normally would opt for the 161cm.  I had zero problems riding this board in deep backcountry powder in the Tetons.

I always mount my boards, especially splits in the backseat toward the rear hole patterns. This combined with a directional tapered shape and 2 designers that live for eating, sleeping and slaying powder equals a board that well should be ridden in powder. I found the board always floated me to the surface and rides incredibly fast down the mountain, almost like the Rossignol XV Splitboard. This is a splitboard you can ride hard with confidence.

Overall Impression

Mike Hardaker Splitboarding Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Salomon Taka Splitboard in Powder | Photo Ryan Ariano Mountain Weekly News

Honestly, if your splitboarding riding powder is the ONLY thing you should be after.  Sure touring up the resort and riding groomers down is great exercise.  But compared to the feeling of surfing down a powder run nothing can compare.  Salomon gets this, as does Wolle Nyvelt and Takaharu Nakai.  Cheers to them!

The Salomon Taka Splitboard ($799.99) is easily in the running for one of the best splitboards of 2022, which should not be surprising.

Related Articles:

  1. Interview with Professional Snowboarder Wolle Nyvelt
  2. Best Splitboard Boots for Men
  3. Top Splitboards of 2021

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 based in Jackson, Wyoming.

19 Comments on "Salomon HPS Taka Splitboard Review"

  1. Hi Mike, which board would you grab for a day trip in Teton Pass? The K2 Marauder or the Salomon Taka? Let’s say we’re going to hit Taylor with about a foot of fresh.

    • Mike Hardaker | April 14, 2022 at 12:43 PM | Reply

      Mike,

      That’s a tough one, I smiled at thinking of riding either. The Taka will be lighter on the up and faster on the down. The K2 will do better if you hit some weird variable snow. PS Winters Back

      -Mike

  2. Hey Mike,

    Thanks for the excellent review. Looking to upgrade to a Taka Split from a 2009 Prior Khyber Split now that they’re on sale and the season is winding down. Do the PLUM hooks retract when in touring mode and, if not, did you notice any issues with side hilling or the occasional split ski run with the PLUM hooks protruding from the edges a bit? Will be riding in the Pacific NW in all conditions (winter powder; spring and summer corn and mountaineering), so trying to decide between the Taka and the Super 8 Split (available at evo.com).

    I’m 5’11” and 140 lbs with size 11.5 (29.0) boots, so will likely pick up the 161 just because of boot size. I’m imagining the board will feel stiffer to me since I’m pretty light.

    Thanks!

    Christopher

    • Mike Hardaker | April 14, 2022 at 12:49 PM | Reply

      Christopher,

      Thanks for reaching out. The Plum hooks in the middle do not retract but I didn’t notice them when going up. Visually at first it stands out. But so do alot of those systems. Heck even the Union Pucks sit 1/4 off each ski. The Taka will be really fast and light, since your already a light guy I would go this route. The Super 8 if your riding more powder then the rest of the stuff all year as it’s more setback in design.

      -Mike

  3. Thanks for the review Mike! I’m currently looking to pick this board up as my first split. I’m trying to decide between this and the Backwoods. Most of my riding will be in the Northeast riding variable conditions in tight trees with the possibility of some ice. How do you think the Taka would do? Definitely seems like a great deal since it comes with skins!

    • Nico,

      This board would work well inbounds and out of bounds. So for a backcountry splitboard that can handle everything I like it. One thing to note is it is softer than the other boards we had in our best of list this year. I liked how manuverable the board was, although I never really ride on ice so harder to say there. But for everything else it rips.

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Mike

  4. Great writeup! Curious to hear your take on the level of stiffness in the Taka Split. I live in Sweden where it doesn’t dump like in Tahoe, so mostly variable terrain, steep bowls, crusty snow, occasional pow, and spring slush.

    How would you imagine the Taka split would perform riding hardpack? I don’t have the opportunity to feel the board in person so curious to know how soft the board is… Did you find the Taka Split was stiff enough?

    Thanks in advance!

    /Jeff

    • Jeff,

      You may want a little stiffer board for that style of riding. I do love the Taka in the powder and for ripping around like I am riding a traditional snowboard. It was the softest splitboard I tested in this years Top 10 roundup. Let me know what you end up going with.

      Mike

  5. Mike, curious why you went w/ 158 on this demo when, you say, you usually ride 161’s. I’m geeking out comparing specs between the Taka and the Jones Solution, and see that the Solution has the same waist width as my solid board (a Salomon), but the Taka is a full cm wider than both of those. So, did you go shorter than usual with the Taka because the Taka is fatter? And, did that make it feel somehow less nimble to go edge-to-edge?

    Cool to see your OC surf roots. I grew up surfing in SoCal too, now surf/board in OR (mainly surf, occasionally board.)

    Thanks for the review! Was happy to find it.

    • John,

      I hear good things about the surf up there, less crowds? Salomon sent the 158 out so I went with that, we have been telling people to size up for splits for years. I ride 158 to 159 inbounds. But I ride that same length on huge powder days too.

      With the smaller shaped splits coming out and boards in general I think length is not as crucial as it was in the past. Or the difference isnt too noticeable from 158 to 162. Now if I jumped to 168, 170 different story all together.

      As for being nimble, this board went where I wanted to go before I was even trying…

      Appreciate you reaching out.

      Mike

      • You sold me on the Taka. Yup, pretty good surf up here, but cold water year-round.

      • I’m around 175-185lbs before gear and trying to decide on sizing as well. Riding mostly low angle pow and trees, but some more open and steeper stuff in the future (not a big mountaineering guy). A few MM in the width, 20mm edge and 0.3m sidecut being the only difference, I suppose a 161 would be the safer bet for a more versatile ride?

        161 isn’t exactly a boat by any means.

        Appreciate the review!

        • Hey Rhys,

          How tall are you, and what size are you riding now. I was really surprised to find the board I was riding was the 158, which leads me to believe anything in the range 158-162 is going to be really fun. Especially with a setback stance.

          Mike

          • 6′ and I ride 151 to 162 depending on the board. I usually try to ride the shortest board possible for the given purpose, but I’m not planning on building a split quiver any time soon! I think I’ll go for the 61 and sacrifice a little in the trees just to make sure I can skin and float even when it’s not ideal.

          • Mike Hardaker | February 26, 2022 at 1:15 PM |

            Rhys,

            Indeed, I had a day week back where I though hmm, extra few cm wouldn’t have hurt..

            Mike

  6. Thanks for the comments. Interesting to hear. I live in Winter Park and was just looking at this board. Mostly looking for something fun in powder throughout the winter, but will get on a few bigger lines in the spring. Upgrading from an older Gnu Billygoat split. Looking at Weston Backwoods, Arbor Coda, and the Taka. I can get a great deal on a Taka, and like the Plum hardware and included specific skins.

    • Steve,

      Wow the Billygoat, been a while since I have ridden that. The Salomon is going to as you noted be a little lighter and faster. The backwoods and the Taka will be noticeably more nimble and responsive then the old GNU.

      Appreciate you reaching out, let me know what you end up going with. What was the price for the package you’re seeing?

      Mike

  7. Hello!

    Stoked to read a review on this board! I own the Taka solid and reached out last season to see if you’d tested one of these yet. Great photos of you on the Taka. Curious if you have gotten to take out this board in variable conditions / challenging skin tracks? I ride in central CO and generally ride powder for the majority of the season. However, in spring when the dangerous CO snowpack consolidates, I spy bigger lines w/ variable conditions. Narrowed my search for a new board to the Taka, the coda, and I have a soft spot for supporting Venture so either the Storm or Paragon. I was looking at the Slash Vertical as well. Currently on a well seasoned 2015 Zelix so I feel like the Paragon would likely be pretty similar. Thoughts on expanding my quiver, going to keep the Zelix as a rock board.

    • When you said Colorado and the terrain you ride, first thought was Venture. Paragon rips top to bottom. Most of the time I set skin tracks so it’s tough to find beat ones to test, although I guess I could go where everyone else tours from time to time.

      Thanks for reaching back out.

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