Last season we reviewed the 2015-2016 Jones Explorer Splitboard (see below) and this year we wanted to bring you the 2016-2017 Jones Explorer Splitboard review to see what’s changed, what we dig and what can be improved for riding and touring in the backcountry. Odds are likely if you’re looking at this splitboard review, you undoubtedly know about the Jones Snowboards founder, Jeremy Jones and his years of contribution to the sport of snowboarding and especially the splitboarding lifestyle as of late.
Find out who this splitboard was made for below:
Jones Explorer Splitboard Review
Let me start out by saying that this splitboard is currently available at Backcountry.com for only $699. It’s a hell of a deal, especially considering many traditional snowboards (non splitboards) sell in this price range.
Which brings us to who’s this splitboard made for? Backcountry beginners, first time splitboarders and anyone not wanting to break the bank while getting introduced to splitboarding.
The Jones Explorer Splitboard is fun to ride in powder thanks to a rockered tip and tail. With a setback stance it’s nearly impossible to sink the nose into the powder. This board wants to float and eat’s fresh powder for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thanks to camber profile underfoot and a super long effective edge the Jones Explorer splitboard offers great edge hold along with the tried and true performance and reliability of camber while in ride mode.
What Can Be Improved?
Personally I would like to see Magne Traction removed from the inside edge’s of every splitboard on the market, especially this one. Why you ask? Try cutting skins for a splitboard that’s edge is not straight. It’s a freaking nightmare and is causing many a skins to fail. Plus when touring you sort of end up actually fighting the Magne Traction especially on step sidehills as your effective edge is no longer the entire length of the board but instead on the Magne Traction contact points. Now keep in mind this is mellow Magne Traction but with that comes another issue.
The gap between the splitboard when in ride more. See the photo below. Needless to say this does not instill confidence when you can see daylight shinning through each half of the splitboard. For someone riding mellow terrain this won’t be an issue. If you plan to skin a big line in Haines, AK checkout some of the other options in the Jones Snowboards line that will be better suited for hard charging riding.
When going from edge to edge in tight trees this board felt a little clunky and slow to respond. But see above as this was most likely due to how the board went back together when in ride mode. Maybe I got a “second” (manufacture defect) however everything else about this snowboard seems fine.
Jones Explorer Features
Not really a feature however the top sheet on this board will look just as rad under foot as it would hanging on your wall. And most likely a lot of people will end up using the board to ride and as artwork thanks to the Grand Teton image that comes with the 2016 Jones Explorer Splitboard.
If you run Jones Snowboards skins you will surely enjoy the Quick Tension Tail Clip system. What this does is make it easier to attach skins to the tail of the splitboard thanks to a slot cut out of the tail of each piece of the board.
According to the Jones Snowboards website:
A slightly rockered tail maintains the power and stability of a traditional board but helps keep the tail catch-free initiating turns and landing switch.
One thing to keep in mind is this is a directional board with a sort of unique tail clip system. If you plan to hit jumps, or land switch checkout a true twin tip instead. I question the verbiage above that was mentioned on the Jones website?
From the nose of the board to the inserts the length is 18.5″ (46.99cm) while the length from the tail to the inserts is 15.5″ (39.37cm). So it’s trually a directional board with a setback stance.
If you’re buying a gift for someone, highly consider the 2016 Jones Explorer Splitboard. Also if you are living in a mountain town and finding it hard to make ends meet (aka every single one of us..) you should consider this board, and honestly you could buy 2 of them and still come out with more money in your pocket than you did by buying some of the other $900+ splitboards. Keep in mind you will be riding in the backcountry, there are trees, stumps and rocks..
Although this board was not designed with my style of riding in mind, I surely had a blast making face shots in the Tetons on the Jones Explorer. The board is currently sold out on the Jones Snowboards site but is available via our retail partners at the bottom of this article.
Last years review is below
2015 Jones Explorer Splitboard Review
In years past anytime I saw a Jones Splitboard usually the first thought that came to mind was dang those boards looks sweet however they were way too expensive for my taste. That being said it is with great pleasure that I introduce the 2016 Jones Explorer Splitboard available with an $699 entry level price tag.
The reason we selected this board to test is above, splitboarding should not be limited only to people that can drop $2k on a setup. Splitboardings expensive price tag really held the sport back in the past few years, now thanks to boards like the Jones Explorer splitboard, splitboarding is attainable for even the most hard core snowboard bum.
Jones Explorer Review
Like to pop, well wood has some of the best snap around and poplar is super for the lack of a better term poppy. This board is incredible responsive and lively thanks to camber under foot, you can really press down and make this board snap back to life. Although it is a directional board, I think of it more of a twin with a funky nose. This is the type of stick you can take freestyle radness with you into the backcountry without sacrificing performance.
Jones Explorer Stability
While touring at times I felt the skis were a little on the soft side. I really dig how this board rides in pow, not sure if Jeremy surfs at all but the Explorer just seems to be at home in the deep snow. Typically I try my best to avoid riding over avalanche debri, so I won’t be able to tell you how it rides in those conditions, or ice for that matter.
Jones Explorer in Action
I live in the Tetons (along with Jeremy’s brothers) for good reason. Keep in mind the Explorer is little chattery at high speeds as its rated a 6/10 on the stiffness scale. There are plenty of other more burly models in the Jones line to choose from.
Like to ride pow, clearly you’re reading a Jones splitboad review. Well considering Jer is the man at searching out untracked snow, you better believe the Explorer split will do the same and thanks to it’s uplifted boat hull nose the board just always wants to plow through deep snow. “My experience is that most falls in freeriding start from the nose of the board – you either go over the bars in powder, the nose gets caught under a weird crust and tosses you, or you hit a hard tranny at the contact point of the tip and get bucked…” – Jeremy Jones
The 2016 Explorers steel edges don’t fully wrap around the tip and tail. Some manufactures are running this style others are not. I have noticed the tips and tails starting to wear after a few weeks of testing here in the Tetons. Aside from the edges, the other thing you will want to keep an eye on is the bamboo sidewalls. Now I love the fact the Jones is being sustainable, (see below) however other brands have found out that bamboo can’t take a beating the same way ABS plastic can. So this becomes a interesting dilemma for the industry in the years to come.
Jones Snowboards Sustainability
This is one of the first times, and surely not the last that we’ll be talking about sustainability in our reviews, and Jones Snowboards is leading the industry the right track.
The Explorer Splitboard comes with sweet looking bamboo sidewalls on the inside edge, recycled steel edges and recycled plastic for the boards ABS sidewalls. The brand is also using an eco-plastic topsheet made with castor beans. Along with being sustainable, these boards perform well thanks to the use of natural materials.
For the price, the brand name and the fun your guaranteed to have, it will be hard to beat dropping $699 on a 2016 Jones Explorer Splitboard. Now everyone (that included you too) can live there TGR dreams and be like Jeremy while getting after it in the backcountry. There is a reason when most people ask me about purchasing their first splitboard that Jones Snowboards always is mentioned, two words – Jeremy Jones.
This is the perfect board for someone looking to get into the sport, or for someone that’s working two jobs like everyone here in Jackson. That being said, if you tend to use crampons frequently, and ice axes while out on your backcountry adventures my advise would be to look to one of Jones Snowboards stiffer big mountain slayers like the Solution or Aviator. For the other 95% of you and me this is a solid board to go splitboarding with a name brand you can trust and feel great about riding. Best of all this exercise is free, enjoy the ride..
One last thing to note the Jones Explorer 2016 Split comes with Jones skins or actually Universal Pomoca skins, which worked really well for touring in the late spring and early fall.