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Old 10-13-2011, 08:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Snowshoes vs Splitboard for starting in BC

Basically I am thinking of getting into Backcountry riding this year and am going to be taking a AST-1 course in January. The course requires either a splitboard or snowshoes and carrying the board for the field days. I am wondering what is better for getting started and what would be more cost effective as I would also be buying the safety equipment as well. I am thinking snowshoes might be a bit bulky to carry for the ride down?

Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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splitboard. yes it is far more expensive initially, but you'll want one for sure going forward. might be a good idea to look around in your area to see if any shops rent them - alot of places will put the cost of rental towards the price of purchase (if buying new is an option). otherwise check craigslist, ebay, and splitboard.com for used ones.
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you are really sure you are going to be getting into it, a splitboard is far better than snowshoes. It's also far more expensive. Snowshoes are not bad and sort of have their place in your arsenal. If you are going the snowshoe route, maybe see if you can find a pair of Verts. Spark is selling them with splitboard pucks to attach their bindings to them this season, but that won't work for you. See if you can find them with the strap configuration. I suspect they will still sell them directly from the site. Verts are great for climbing, especially very steep stuff. Work adequately in most conditions. Going downhill they are kinda lame though. They are usually around $70 though. I'll use them in the spring for climbing steep couloirs when skinning is too much work or just not an option, so they are worth having.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you've got the cash and you know you're committed and sticking to it, go with a split. Snowshoes suck ass. Like killclimbz said, they do have a place, but 95% of the time, the split will be the better option.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The only snowshoes I had that ever really worked were ones I took off the wall as decoration at an outdoor camp I worked at. Massive tennis racket looking things. Probably 2 feet wide, 3 feet long. I could actually stay on top of snow with those. These new ones are no better than postholing with snowboard boots, in my opinion.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWNOW View Post
The only snowshoes I had that ever really worked were ones I took off the wall as decoration at an outdoor camp I worked at. Massive tennis racket looking things. Probably 2 feet wide, 3 feet long. I could actually stay on top of snow with those. These new ones are no better than postholing with snowboard boots, in my opinion.
Oh they are better. No doubt about it. The are still a shit ton of work though in comparison to a split.

Also, snowshoes work better in some climates than others. In Colorado where the snow comes down so light, you don't get as much float out of them as say in California with a more stable and wetter snowpack.

Still, I've done enough snowshoeing around here to know they do offer more float than just booting it. When you are going up to your thighs instead of your waste, you won't really care though...
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you are gonna go with a group of people on skis or a split do them a favor and get a split. You will have to either make your own track with snowshoes or demolish the skin track. No one really likes the guy who walks on the skin track by boot or snowshoes anyways.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you are gonna go with a group of people on skis or a split do them a favor and get a split. You will have to either make your own track with snowshoes or demolish the skin track. No one really likes the guy who walks on the skin track by boot or snowshoes anyways.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What??? So you're saying that when I'm moon walking in the skin track while singing Billie Jean at the top of my lungs, that's considered bad form? I don't believe you.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the good info guys.

I already spend most of my free time in the mountains either biking or climbing. I am also addicted to snowboarding so I am pretty sure I will be going in for the long haul. I think I will start to look into the used market for a splitboard or maybe just the parts to assemble one as I don't think my finances could handle a new factory split along with all the other gear. From what most of you are saying it seems like snowshoes are going to be a more of a hassle to deal with then they are worth for most situations.
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