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Any updates on the drift boards? Looking to do all my avy courses and start getting into the backcountry in the next year or two, but the idea of a splitboard really doesn't appeal to me. As far as I can tell, splitboards ride much worse than solid snowboards, but cost a lot more. Are the drift boards actually a viable alternative to splitboarding, and will I be able to somewhat keep up with friends on splitboards or skis? I really like the idea of being able to take my existing solids into the backcountry, and the money I'd save on not buying a splitboard setup could just go towards buying another regular board (or two)!
Hey Kez. 100% viable alternative to split boards. Full disclosure I do some R&D and media work for Drift but I was as skeptical as anyone when I first saw them and now I would never use a split board again. I can write a book here but in short, I've done tens of thousands of vertical feet in all kinds of terrain with very accomplished skiers and splitboarders. Probably the best praise is that my ski buddies envy how fast I transition and how little weight I carry on my feet. I've even had skiers talk about getting Drift boards with tech bindings and carrying powder skis on their backs. Most if not all of the naysayers are people who have invested in splitboards and never tried Drift boards. (Nobody likes to think that their expensive setup might not be the best option.) There are some pros and cons depending on the situation but for me the pros outweigh the cons by quite a bit.

You can check out the FAQ on their website and read a bunch of testimonials. Also the crew at The Good Ride spend a lot of time on them and have some reviews. I've done a lot of demos and have yet to see anyone disappointed once they try them. Drift has also refined their binding and skis a lot in the last couple years and have some cool options.

Feel free to hit me up if you have further questions. There probably aren't very many people who have spent more time on them than I have and I love to geek out about backcountry setups. - Brigham
 

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Korua Dart 160 | Bataleon Magic Carpet 156W | Lobster Aaron Schwartz (Party Wave) 148
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Hey Kez. 100% viable alternative to split boards. Full disclosure I do some R&D and media work for Drift but I was as skeptical as anyone when I first saw them and now I would never use a split board again. I can write a book here but in short, I've done tens of thousands of vertical feet in all kinds of terrain with very accomplished skiers and splitboarders. Probably the best praise is that my ski buddies envy how fast I transition and how little weight I carry on my feet. I've even had skiers talk about getting Drift boards with tech bindings and carrying powder skis on their backs. Most if not all of the naysayers are people who have invested in splitboards and never tried Drift boards. (Nobody likes to think that their expensive setup might not be the best option.) There are some pros and cons depending on the situation but for me the pros outweigh the cons by quite a bit.

You can check out the FAQ on their website and read a bunch of testimonials. Also the crew at The Good Ride spend a lot of time on them and have some reviews. I've done a lot of demos and have yet to see anyone disappointed once they try them. Drift has also refined their binding and skis a lot in the last couple years and have some cool options.

Feel free to hit me up if you have further questions. There probably aren't very many people who have spent more time on them than I have and I love to geek out about backcountry setups. - Brigham
Thanks for the reply! That’s kind of what I figured. I’m sure there are a few situations where split boards are better, but also a few where the drift boards outperform the splits. Good to hear some feedback, hopefully I’ll be able to bring my quiver into the backcountry in the near future!
 

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Hey Kez. 100% viable alternative to split boards. Full disclosure I do some R&D and media work for Drift but I was as skeptical as anyone when I first saw them and now I would never use a split board again. I can write a book here but in short, I've done tens of thousands of vertical feet in all kinds of terrain with very accomplished skiers and splitboarders. Probably the best praise is that my ski buddies envy how fast I transition and how little weight I carry on my feet. I've even had skiers talk about getting Drift boards with tech bindings and carrying powder skis on their backs. Most if not all of the naysayers are people who have invested in splitboards and never tried Drift boards. (Nobody likes to think that their expensive setup might not be the best option.) There are some pros and cons depending on the situation but for me the pros outweigh the cons by quite a bit.

You can check out the FAQ on their website and read a bunch of testimonials. Also the crew at The Good Ride spend a lot of time on them and have some reviews. I've done a lot of demos and have yet to see anyone disappointed once they try them. Drift has also refined their binding and skis a lot in the last couple years and have some cool options.

Feel free to hit me up if you have further questions. There probably aren't very many people who have spent more time on them than I have and I love to geek out about backcountry setups. - Brigham

Great to finally see some positive feedback on these, they feel like they should be a good alternative but every thread I find on them sounds like the comments in this one. "Waste of money, its been tried before, just buy a split". So it's hard to feel like I want to put my hard earned money into them for my first backcountry setup.

Have you tried any of the different models? Have a preference? Like the Oxygen or the Cascades? The cascades are supposedly narrower and better for edging? Also I've heard some criticism that they can ruin skin tracks. I certainly dont want to be the one messing up the skin track in a group.
 

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Great to finally see some positive feedback on these, they feel like they should be a good alternative but every thread I find on them sounds like the comments in this one. "Waste of money, its been tried before, just buy a split". So it's hard to feel like I want to put my hard earned money into them for my first backcountry setup.

Have you tried any of the different models? Have a preference? Like the Oxygen or the Cascades? The cascades are supposedly narrower and better for edging? Also I've heard some criticism that they can ruin skin tracks. I certainly dont want to be the one messing up the skin track in a group.
Where are you riding? Last year I pretty much just used the Cascades all year here in Oregon. They are my favorite but 90% of the time either one would be fine. If you're only going tour when there's a bunch of fresh snow, then the original wider version might be better. If you intend to go out in a variety of conditions, I prefer the Cascades. A lot of people really like the Oxygens. I don't really notice the weight but they're not quite as stiff as the carbon and I do notice that.

As for tracks, they are excellent in established skin tracks. If you have a fresh track in really soft snow, they can sometimes sink deeper than a full length ski would. I have experienced this a couple while touring with skiers and nobody seemed to bothered by it. It's nothing like someone walking (and post holing) in a skin track, for example.

Hope that helps! - Brigham
 

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Where are you riding? Last year I pretty much just used the Cascades all year here in Oregon. They are my favorite but 90% of the time either one would be fine. If you're only going tour when there's a bunch of fresh snow, then the original wider version might be better. If you intend to go out in a variety of conditions, I prefer the Cascades. A lot of people really like the Oxygens. I don't really notice the weight but they're not quite as stiff as the carbon and I do notice that.

As for tracks, they are excellent in established skin tracks. If you have a fresh track in really soft snow, they can sometimes sink deeper than a full length ski would. I have experienced this a couple while touring with skiers and nobody seemed to bothered by it. It's nothing like someone walking (and post holing) in a skin track, for example.

Hope that helps! - Brigham
Thanks, I'm in Tahoe area... so maybe I'd just go with the regular ones, aside from weight, sounds like the stiffer carbon is preferrable than the softer oxygens?
 

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As far as I can tell, splitboards ride much worse than solid snowboards, but cost a lot more. Are the drift boards actually a viable alternative to splitboarding, and will I be able to somewhat keep up with friends on splitboards or skis?
Splitboards ride almost just as well as solids these days, the slight difference are in feeling (mainly due to the baseplate of bindings) but virtually zero difference in performance.

No you won't be able to keep up. When it gets more firm, some steeper traverse are hard enough on a split, where you sometimes can't keep up with skier. With smaller edges, larger width and less lateral stiffness, you just won't keep up.

They can be cool for deep pow toboggan runs though.
 

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Splitboards ride almost just as well as solids these days, the slight difference are in feeling (mainly due to the baseplate of bindings) but virtually zero difference in performance.

No you won't be able to keep up. When it gets more firm, some steeper traverse are hard enough on a split, where you sometimes can't keep up with skier. With smaller edges, larger width and less lateral stiffness, you just won't keep up.

They can be cool for deep pow toboggan runs though.
Have you used them?
 

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Nope, I firmly stand in the "skeptics who never tried them", mentioned above. And it's gonna take a lot to make me change my mind—and starting with"splitboards ride poorly" doesn't help the cause here. But if I actually see someone with approach skis edging on a firm traverse, or someone carrying both their boards and skis on their back while climbing with crampons, or someone carrying their board on their back on 3+ days hut tour, I might change my mind 🤷.

I've seen a lot and it never happened though. I've seen people climbing with all kind of snowshoes—verts, metal plate things…—, with kites, mountain bike with skis on the rack, mono-split—you hear that right, it turns back into a f-ing monoski for the downhill. If it climbs, they'll use it. They don't use approach skis though. I've seen a pile of approach skis—granted, note drift boards—taking dust at the Lofoten ski lodge, because nobody was using them ever since good splits came around. Most pros and guides are either on snowshoes in waist deep pow or split anywhere else, not because they lack cash, are stupids or lack imagination. Trust me, people who started touring in the early 90's have tried an awful lot of solutions. The settled on splits for a reason.

Don't get me wrong, drift boards are most likely fine for riding your powsurf/noboards quiver boards in the trees or tours with little uphill difficulties. But your range will be hugely limited compared to a split. If that doesn't rule out the terrain or type of tours you ride, go ahead and have fun, but just don't expect to follow a split in every situation.
 

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Splitboards ride almost just as well as solids these days, the slight difference are in feeling (mainly due to the baseplate of bindings) but virtually zero difference in performance.

No you won't be able to keep up. When it gets more firm, some steeper traverse are hard enough on a split, where you sometimes can't keep up with skier. With smaller edges, larger width and less lateral stiffness, you just won't keep up.

They can be cool for deep pow toboggan runs though.
Exactly, they're great for pow surfing. Get a split if you want to snowboard.
 
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