Love snowboarding and dreaming of exploring the backcountry? Converting your existing snowboard into a splitboard can open up a world of new adventures without breaking the bank.
With a few basic tools and some DIY spirit, you can transform your trusty snowboard into a versatile splitboard. Let's dive into this step-by-step guide and unlock the backcountry potential of your snowboard!
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials For DIY Splitboard
Before we get started, let's gather everything we need:1. Your snowboard
2. Splitboard hardware kit (available at outdoor stores or online)
4, Epoxy adhesive
5, Masking tape
7, Measuring tape
9, Utility knife
10, File or sandpaper
Step 2: Prepare Your Snowboard For Conversion
First things first, let's give your snowboard a clean slate. Remove any stickers, wax, or debris from the base and top sheet using a wax scraper or plastic card. A clean snowboard will ensure better adhesion of the splitboard hardware. Wipe it down with a cloth or towel to make sure it's nice and tidy. Make sure it is clean and dry.
Step 3: Mark the Center Line
Grab your measuring tape and let's locate the center of your snowboard's length. Mark this point with a pencil on both the nose and tail. This center line will be our reference for positioning the splitboard hardware accurately. Be precise and double-check the measurement.
Step 4: Measure and Position the Binding Inserts
Now, let's take our splitboard hardware kit and measure the positions of the binding inserts along the center line. It's essential to ensure that the inserts are symmetrical and evenly spaced for a well-balanced ride. Take your time to double-check your measurements to avoid any alignment issues later on.
Step 5: Drill the Binding Insert Holes
Here comes the fun part! Get your drill ready with an appropriate-sized drill bit based on the hardware specifications. We'll start drilling at the marked positions for the binding inserts. Remember to apply gentle pressure and maintain a perpendicular angle to the snowboard surface. Be careful not to drill through the base of the snowboard. Repeat the process for all the marked positions.
Step 6: Apply Epoxy Adhesive to the Inserts
To ensure a secure attachment, let's apply some epoxy adhesive to the holes we just drilled. Grab a small brush or a toothpick to evenly coat the inside of each hole with epoxy. Now, insert the binding inserts into the holes, giving them a slight twist to distribute the adhesive. Don't forget to wipe away any excess epoxy using a clean cloth. Allow the epoxy to cure according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 7: Secure the Halves with Tape
Now, let's bring the two halves of your splitboard together. Align the binding inserts and use masking tape to firmly secure the halves together along the entire length of the split. We want to make sure the edges are flush, and the board remains flat. This step is crucial for maintaining alignment during the conversion process.
Step 8: Drill the Holes for the Splitboard Clips
The splitboard clips play a vital role in holding the two halves of the splitboard together securely during both ascent and descent. Refer to the instructions in your hardware kit to mark the positions for the splitboard clips near the tip and tail of the snowboard. Once marked, grab your drill and an appropriate-sized drill bit, making sure not to penetrate through the base of the board.
Step 9: Attach the Splitboard Clips
It's time to attach those splitboard clips and bring it all together! Insert the splitboard clips into the holes you just drilled.
Make sure to position them according to the manufacturer's instructions, ensuring they align properly and securely.
Grab your screwdriver and tighten the screws to fasten the clips in place.
Congratulations! You've successfully converted your snowboard into a splitboard.
Now it's time to hit the backcountry and enjoy the freedom of exploring untouched terrain.
Before you head out, remember to:
Conduct a thorough inspection of your splitboard to ensure everything is securely fastened.
Practice transitioning between split mode and snowboard mode to become familiar with the process.
Consider taking an avalanche safety course and equipping yourself with the necessary backcountry gear for a safe and enjoyable experience.
As you gain more experience with your newly converted splitboard, you might want to fine-tune the bindings and experiment with different setups to find the perfect fit for your riding style and preferences.
Remember, safety should always be your top priority when venturing into the backcountry. Pay attention to weather and avalanche conditions, and always travel with a buddy.
Congratulations on converting your snowboard into a DIY splitboard! By sanding and cutting the board, adding top sheets, and installing touring brackets, you transformed your old board into a versatile ski companion. With metal edges and slider tracks, it's ready to conquer any terrain. Now, like a snowboarder and a skier combined, you can enjoy the freedom of the backcountry. Embrace the thrill, carve your own path, and savor the joy of exploration on your homemade splitboard.
Now that you're a DIY expert, we suggest you try making some more creative things with your snowboard, like a coffee table from an old snowboard.
Questions & Answers
How do I convert my snowboard into a DIY splitboard?
To transform your snowboard into a splitboard, you'll need a few key tools and materials. First, grab a circular saw and a razor blade to carefully cut the board into two separate halves. Then, add top sheets and countersink the inserts for a smooth finish. Utilize clamps to hold the splitboards together while you fill the holes with epoxy. Strengthen the wood core with fiberglass and install metal edges for extra durability. Finally, attach touring brackets, tip clips, and tail hooks for uphill and downhill performance.
Can I use any snowboard for this DIY project?
In theory, most snowboards can be converted into splitboards. However, it's important to choose a board that is sturdy enough to handle the modifications. A thicker, more rigid board around 160 centimeters in length is usually recommended. Keep in mind that the condition of your board, such as the presence of any major damage, will also impact the outcome.
How do I attach the skins to my splitboard?
Skins are essential for uphill travel on your splitboard. To attach them, use a puck and hook system. First, apply the skin's adhesive side to the base of the splitboard. Next, align the pucks with the touring brackets on the board's heel piece. Finally, secure the hooks onto the tail of the board. This ensures a reliable grip as you ascend steep slopes.
What tools do I need to cut and shape my snowboard?
To cut your snowboard, you'll require a circular saw or a table saw. Ensure the saw's blade is appropriate for cutting through the board's materials. Additionally, a template can help guide your cuts accurately. To refine the shape and smooth any rough edges, use a jigsaw and a file or scraper.
How does a DIY splitboard compare to mass-produced boards?
While DIY splitboards may not have the same level of refinement as their mass-produced counterparts, they can perform quite well in the backcountry. By converting a solid board into a splitboard, you have the opportunity to customize it to your preferences. You can add wooden edges for enhanced durability and tailor the board's flex and stiffness using materials like carbon. With a little creativity and craftsmanship, your homemade splitboard can provide an exhilarating experience that rivals those of store-bought boards.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the ski and snowboard space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.