11/08/2010 | by Tom Copsey
Watch David Benedek & Christoph Weber-Thoresen guide you through converting an old board into a splitboard.
With the Onboard Product Guide set to drop in a couple of weeks, which’ll might very well have you jonesing to max out the credit card on a new weapon, here’s a good way for you to put that old board to use and give yourself a project over the long summer nights too. David and Christoph sent us this short vid showing how they made themselves a splitboard, so we hit up David with a couple more questions about the process. Watch, learn, chop…
Onboard: So why should we chop a perfectly good board in half?
David Benedek: Haha, yeah. That’s a good question. I guess you might not want to chop your board in half if it’s the only one you have. On the other hand if done right it should hold up pretty good, at least mine did so far.
I’ve got so say I am not that much of an outdoor/hiking-type person so splitboarding didn’t appeal to me right away, I just kind of tagged along with everyone else cutting theirs. But once I did go out I found it to be an incredibly positive change from the crappy apres-ski touristy disco-show that most European resorts feel like. Hiking on splits is far easier than on snowshoes, and there’s obviously no extra weight to carry on the way down.
OB: How did you find yours rode?
DB: On the very first day I thought my board might have gotten a bit softer, which would make sense. But a few days in we hit a small jump and I don’t think I really felt a difference. I am not so sure if self-made splitboards are durable enough to sustain 130ft park booters but they are totally fine for everything else. And with the new Spark bindings that slide on directly on the Voilé plate you’re just as low on the board as you are with a regular binding.
OB: How much does the Voilé system you used cost?
DB: A full DIY kit is about 160 USD but you don’t really need all the Voilé insert plate so maybe there’s a way to deduct those from the price since you definitely want to go with a Spark baseplate that slides onto the Voilé plate. This way you can also just use your regular highback and buckles on the Spark binding. So I recommend people to buy the a DIY Voilé kit and then the baseplate and crampons from Spark RND, which is another 200 USD. So all in all it’s a bit pricey considering you still need to get skins and put in a day of work to cut the board and glue all the pieces. Luckily Christoph [Weber-Thoresen] has been kind enough to do most of this for both our boards.
OB: What’s the hardest part of the process? Are there major pitfalls people should be aware of if they try this?
DB: I’d say getting the inserts lined up perfectly is probably the most work. Even if you screw up the sawing part the skis will fit somehow. It’s not rocket science but paying a little more attention to aligning everything right will pay off in the end. And I guess you should make sure your inserts and screws for all the pieces are rock solid. I saw Fredrik [Evensen] rip both his bindings off his board. As we said in the video, we have no friggin idea on how to do this right and it still worked and both our boards held up and hold up fine after probably 15 days on snow.