As a certified snowboarding instructor, I’ve tried many snowboards designed for backcountry regions. This is my review of the best backcountry snowboards in 2021.
Backcountry snowboarding is an experience like no other. It’s always nice when you enjoy the sport, but there’s nothing quite like making fresh turns in deep powder away from crowds and civilization.
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the backcountry, you know there’s something truly magical and inspiring about being on your own with nature.
To truly enjoy everything the backcountry has to offer, you need to be prepared. That means getting all of the necessary equipment and gear to help you stay safe and ride tough.
While your whole ensemble matters, everything starts with your board. This article will look at some of the best backcountry snowboards to take with you on your backcountry adventures.
- The Weston Snowboards Japow Splitboard is one of the best overall backcountry boards you can get your hands on. The splitboard design will get you uphill easily, while the construction and shape give it great downhill performance as well.
- Another great option is the Voile Revelator Splitboard. This is a functional-but-affordable option that’s specifically designed for backcountry snowboarding.
- The Jones Solution Wide Splitboard is another great option for backcountry riders. This is a fun snowboard to ride thanks to its playful-yet-solid on-mountain characteristics. It also has a splitboard design that helps you easily get anywhere in the backcountry.
Who Should Get This
All of the snowboards listed here are built specifically for backcountry applications.
They each feature a splitboard design, which means the board literally splits in half and the bindings twist to allow you to use each piece like a ski. This enables you to trek uphill in the backcountry in a manner that normal boards cannot provide.
If you’re planning on doing any backcountry snowboarding, you need to get a backcountry board. You simply cannot access tough terrain by walking through the snow.
You need a splitboard design. Just know that if you plan on sticking to resort riding, you won’t want any of the options listed here.
Top Picks of the Best Backcountry Snowboards
The Weston Backwoods Carbon Splitboard is a solid backcountry snowboard that’s a great option for many riders. This board has a medium-stiff flex which makes it capable of handling the variable conditions encountered outside of the resort.
A lightweight construction also caters to the needs of backcountry riders and is made possible by a carbon-weave top sheet and a technically advanced Strike wood core.
The Backwoods has a directional shape on top of a multi-radial camber rocker, two features that give it excellent characteristics downhill.
It has a snappy and playful feel while still being strong enough to bust through crud and hardpack if you don’t find fresh powder. The lightweight-but-sturdy construction makes this board stand out in the backcountry and the splitboard design is easy to change from one piece into two.
- Excellent performance both uphill and downhill
- Lightweight but quite strong
- Directional shape and multi-radial rocker/camber create excellent downhill performance
- Paulownia wood and aluminum stringers increase durability
- Carbon-weave top sheet
- Easy-to-use splitboard design
- Can be too stiff for some riders
- Directional shape not great for riding switch
Another solid option for a backcountry snowboard is the Voile Spartan. This board is simple in look and design, but it’s fully designed for backcountry riding. It has a great feel downhill thanks to the aspen wood core and fiberglass layered design.
Full perimeter steel edges and a cap construction make this model both strong and durable enough to handle any backcountry condition.
This snowboard won’t win any beauty contests, but the no-frills design keeps it affordable while offering all of the performance you want and need out of a backcountry board.
- Strong, durable construction
- Full perimeter steel edges
- Nice flex and snappy turning radius
- Integrated channel puck binding system
- Won’t win any beauty contests
- Simple design that lacks extra features
The Jones Frontier Splitboard is a playful and well-constructed backcountry snowboard. It features a directional freeride shape that gives it excellent downhill and backcountry capabilities while still being fun and maneuverable in various conditions.
The board also has an inner/outer traction technology that allows for great grip on icy ascents and gives you total control when headed downhill.
- Excels in powder
- Freeride shape lends to a fun and playful feel
- Inner/outer traction tech edges
- Great uphill and downhill performance
- Well constructed
- Not the best option for poor snow conditions
Best Snowboards for Backcountry: What to Consider
As I mentioned above, all of the options here are splitboard snowboards. That is crucial for backcountry riding because it gives you the ability to turn your board into skis when you want to head uphill.
You can then glide and climb across the snow in a way that’s impossible on a normal board. It’s easy to change the board from one piece into two and vice versa. This feature is a must for the backcountry.
Backcountry snowboarding is a lot of work. Not only does it take a lot of energy, but you won’t have the option of riding a chair lift to the top of the mountain. That means you have to walk, which is why you don’t want any extra weight slowing you down.
The boards listed below are constructed with lightweight wood and other materials that help shed ounces. A few ounces might not seem like much, but on a backcountry trip, you want things to be as light as possible.
Even though weight is a major concern with a backcountry snowboard, you still want it to be constructed with high-quality materials that allow for excellent downhill performance.
A lightweight wood core combined with either carbon or fiberglass layers is a common construction for a backcountry board. That is because those features allow for great flex and feel downhill while still providing you with plenty of strength.
Useful Tips and Resources
Backcountry snowboarding is an amazing way to enjoy the sport, but it also comes with a decent amount of risk. Before you venture out into the backcountry you need to educate yourself on the best safety practices to avoid avalanches and other dangerous obstacles.
Here are some general backcountry safety tips that you should know about before heading out.
If you’ve never been backcountry snowboarding before, you should learn how to use a splitboard before venturing deep into the wilderness.
This isn’t a difficult skill to learn, but it helps to have a good idea of the process before diving in. Here are some great tips for beginner splitboarders.
The backcountry is a great way to connect with nature and experience snowboarding in a truly unique way. If you want to take your snowboarding to the next level, you should definitely give the backcountry a try.
All of the backcountry snowboards listed here will give you the ability to easily tackle your next adventure with ease. Just remember to always be safe and prepared!About Lorraine