Top 8 Splitboards for 2020

2020 Best Splitboards Touring on Tetion Pass, Wyoming

Splitboard reviews from our 2020 splitboard test which took place over 3 months during the past winter. There were a total of 15 splitboards tested this year. Find out which brands made the cut for best splitboards of the year in our splitboard buyers guide below.

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Best Splitboards 2020

2020 Jones Solution Splitboard

Jones Solution Splitboard – ($899.95)

With 10 years of R&D, the Jones Solution Splitboard was from the get-go one of the best 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 great pop. For powder riding, this splitboard has a slight rockered tip and tail and a flex rating of 8 of 10.  It seems to work best 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.

[Purchase: $899,95]

2020 Arbor Coda Splitboard

Arbor Coda Splitboard – ($749.00)

I try not to play favorites or put this list of best 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.

[Purchase: $749.00]

2020 Never Summer Splitboard

Never Summer Atom Splitboard – ($1,059.99)

Never Summer boards 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 the best 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.

[Purchase: $1,059.99]

2020 Slash Splitboard

Slash Linehiker Splitboard – ($769.00)

A splitboard by GiGi?  I wasn’t actually sure if I was “cool” enough to ride the Slash Line Hike 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 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?

[Purchase: $769.00]

2020 K2 Marauder Splitboard

K2 Marauder Splitboard – ($899.95)

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 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 top sheet 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 top sheet.  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.

[Purchase: $899.95]

2020 Rossignol XV Splitboard

Rossignol XV Splitboard – ($699.95)

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.

[Purchase: $699.95]

2020 Cold Smoke Splitboard

Cold Smoke Alchemist Splitboard – ($850.00)

Back on the best splitboards of the year’s 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.

[Purchase: $850.00]

 

2020 Prior Kyhber Splitboard Glass

Prior Khyber Splitboard – ($1,049)

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 best rippers north of the US border have been devouring the wilds of Canadia on the Prior Khyber for years.

[Purchase: $1,049]

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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. When not on a board, Mike worked for Snowboarder and later oversaw TGR's online publication. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief. Mike spends most of his time splitboarding in the winter months and backpacking throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the summer.

30 Comments on "Top 8 Splitboards for 2020"

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

      Byron,

      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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Mike, something to put on your radar for an upcoming review. Greg over at Trapper Snowboards in Revelstoke, BC is cranking out handmade splits and solids. http://www.trappersnowboards.com I met Greg a couple years ago during a trip to Revi. Awesome guy. Amazing snowboards. Especially the Trout Trap. https://trappersnowboards.com/collections/splitboards/products/trout-trap-splitboard

    • 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.

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

  10. 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?
    Cheers!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Where’s the split bean at?

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