Split boarding: making transitions fast work

So, you’re ready to take on the mountain, one-on-one. You’ve got your board your boots, your skins, your poles and your bindings. The car is loaded, in ski mode, with poles out and skins handy so all you have to do is strap in and go.

But at the top of the tour, it’s another story.

It’s called the transition, switching over from ski mode to board mode. Get good at it. All your skier friends have to do is peel off their skins and go, but you need to find a rhythm.

Here is how we do it:

1) Get out of your skis

Shove your poles down somewhere safe and sound and unstrap, one foot at a time. Some riders like to shove their skis into the snow flat and upside down, so the bindings dig in.

2) Peel your skins

Some skins have a bag, skin protectors, or both, so use it. Start with the tail end and peel the skins in sections or all at once, just don’t let go. Fold or roll your skins up and stash them securely in your pack, which you’ve also kept safe and at the ready. This is a good time to stash your poles, since your pack is open. Don’t be the gumby, ready to drop in only to find your poles are still out.

3) Break the ice

Almost inevitably, snow and ice builds up on the inside edge of your skis, which you need clear so the boards fit together as seamlessly as possible. Use something with a flat edge to scrape the buildup away. A fingernail can work is the easiest and most effective way. Remove your bindings and stash them securely.

4) Which is which

In ski mode, the two board halves are situated so the outside edges of the snowboard become the inside edges of the ski. Be sure to remount your bindings correctly when transitioning to board mode.

5) Mount up

Once you have the binding puzzle solved, mount your bindings and double check that they are securely locked on your board. Double check you pack zippers before putting it on. A mountain side is no place for a yard sale.

Now it’s time to drop in.

Brandon Mathis