Almost by definition, backcountry skiers are pioneers, nomads who choose to make fresh tracks on unmarked trails. Paradoxically, it’s increasingly popular to be such a loner, backcountry skiing being the fastest growing division in all of snow sports. Is it the allure of fresh powder? The untouched beauty? The lack of lift lines? Whatever it is, Salomon has released a snowboard to match this boundary-pushing, trailblazing spirit: the Salomon Premiere Split Board.
The Premiere’s design is inconspicuous; it looks like any other snowboard. It’s not. It’s specifically designed for backcountry enthusiasts, with a revolutionary Tracklock-A 4-part split design that allows the board to be taken apart and quickly reworked into two skis. These are meant for hiking rather than riding; with an internal straight edge and external edge underfoot to improve grip, they’re a wonder for climbing back up the slopes for another go. The center of the Premiere separates into two smaller blades that can easily be stowed in a backpack. Two blades and two skis add up to a four-part split design, each part of which makes sense.
An optimal touring snowboard needs to have all the control, balance and maneuverability of an alpine board while being light enough to ease the burden of an uphill hike. And the Premiere stays consistent with its name: compared to most other splitboards on the market, the Premiere is 880 grams lighter and its two skis, each 90 millimeters, are narrower. It won’t hold the rider back on the ascent — and once at the top, transitioning back from touring to alpine mode is made simple by the board’s color-coded sidewalls and quick Track Lock assembly. On top of that, the Premiere’s light body and slightly tapered tail allow it to float better on powder, which is what backcountry snowboarding is all about.
Salomon’s taken care of all the prep for you, from custom-fitting ski skins, pucks and a Voilé universal kit (hooks, clips, heel risers and sliders and more). It even comes with easily mounted crampons for the steepest climbs. Versatile, effective and innovative, the Salomon Premiere Split Board has all the tools to get deeper into the backcountry, and then get you back.
Design: Tracklock 4-part split construction
Tail: slightly tapered tail (10-15 millimeters)
Board: FSC certified wood strip, 157 centimeters
Additional: Voile universal kit, custom skins, crampons
Ski Width: 90 millimeters