Some sweet Derby turns in Hintertux, Austria

Salomon Derby 147 Splitboard Review

First impressions

I was concerned about going for such a small splitboard. Most splitboards start in the 160's so this was quite a departure from the norm. Yes Snowboard produced a powder board this season called the Yes 420 that is only a 148 and Burton has the Spliff Splitboard which is also a 148. I feel that over time with some well thought out specific tech tweaks to boards that many riders will opt for a smaller splitboard, as it does make life a whole lot easier. In the end my choice came down to my goals with splitboarding. I wanted the lightest setup I could get and link the design of the board with my normal riding style which is more playful and jibby. Looking at the stats I was in the mid weight range for the board and the design of the board is similiar to the Burton Nug or Spliff where you ride it 7–10cm shorter than your normal board. So it was a no brainer. I was sold on the idea and was lucky enough to get my hands on very board Jenny Jones used for her recent splitboarding trip in collaboration with Ski Sunday.

On Piste

I do a lot of active pedling of my normal boards, so with the Karakoram clips and bindings the board did feel solid torsionally. That meant it held a super clean edge and felt solid in a carve at various speeds, but did feel a bit catchy of icey cat tracks as I could not twist the board as much as I would like to allow freeing up of the edges. With the setup and the angles for powder switch does feel weird, but it’s not impossible.

In Powder

I thought I would be struggling massively in the powder with back leg burn. The only time I found leg burn becoming an mild issue was on mellow angle side of piste powder stashes, where my speed was not super fast and I had to work a little to keep the nose up. On steeper faces it floats very easily. I was surprised at how little effort is required to get the board to lift out of the powder. I think it might struggle on super long faces, but for general splitboard decents its great.

Change Over

With the board size you can easily open the retaining clips without having to move around much. The Karakoram bindings enable a much faster changeover with their quick release levers. Traditionally people would use a Voile system with a sliding pin to retain the bindings in place. This can sometimes get iced up. The Karakoram system is a standalone bindings, so you ride very low to the board creating a more familiar feel. The other guys were on Rome bindings mounted onto Voile Pucks. They did ride higher, and did mention the time it took to adjust to that change in feel. Voile also produce their own system that does mount a lot closer to the board.

In terms of icing up, I did encounter a little bit on the mounting plates on the first time out. I carry a small chipping hammer that is commonly used for welding. It has a wire brush on one side and a little metal hammer on the other. Its light and easy to carry and certainly helps if things get a little compacted around the bindings.

The custom skins fit perfectly with a great level of adhesion to the ski and are also easy to remove with the skin covers being of a decent quality, so they did not shred on separation from the skin.

So overall if you want a light, fast, easily manoeuvrable setup then this could be a ideal board for you. To find out more visit:

Salomon Snowboards
Karakoram Bindings

Rider Stats

Weight= 67.5kg
Stance width= 22 inches
Goofy= -6 and +18
Bindings — Karakoram split30

James Streater is the Head Coach and Founder of Maverix Snow Ltd, a snowboard coaching company. James dips into his 16 years of snowsports experience to comment on the snowsports industry and ways to improve your on slope experience. Follow him on twitter @maverixsnow

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