Retail Buyers Guide: Splitboard Hardgoods FW20/21
Interviewee: Seth Lightcap, Global Marketing & Team Manager
Please outline up to three new key products of interest to splitboarders in your line, and tell us what makes them so great.
We are excited to debut the completely redesigned 20/21 Solution featuring a groundbreaking 3D Contour Base and a new shape. This stunning new edition of the world’s best selling splitboard sets a new standard in all-conditions, all-terrain backcountry performance. By adding taper, a 3D base and smoothing out the nose shape, the new Solution is faster down the line and more precise to turn in tight terrain than ever before. For those icy skintracks and bulletproof couloir entrances the Solution now features our latest Inner/Outer Traction Tech 3.0 Edges. The Solution also features the Boltless Bridge plus Karakoram Ultra Clips and Tip-Lock Tip Clips for unmatched torsional board lock.
Women’s Solution –
We are excited to debut the completely redesigned 20/21 Women’s Solution featuring a groundbreaking 3D Contour Base and a new shape. This stunning new edition of the world’s best selling splitboard sets a new standard in all-conditions, all-terrain backcountry performance. The new shape has 10mm of taper which sinks the tail in pow for better float and the 3D Contour Base makes every turn more fluid and effortless. For added response, the Women’s Solution is built with our premium FSC Ultra core, Flax/Basalt Power stringers and an ECO-plastic topsheet. For those icy skintracks and bulletproof couloir entrances the Women’s Solution features our latest Inner/Outer Traction Tech 3.0 Edges and the Boltless Bridge plus Karakoram Ultra Clips and Tip-Lock Tip Clips for unmatched torsional board lock.
Mountain Twin Split –
The Mountain Twin Split offers creative splitboarders a premium directional twin shape option for getting rad in the backcountry. It’s designed to offer precision control riding regular or switch on any terrain, from chutes to tree runs to backcountry booters. We’ve completely redesigned the shape of the Mountain Twin Split for 2021 by adding a more blunted tip profile, a 3D Contour Base 2.0 and Inner/Outer Traction Tech 3.0 edges. The blunt tips reduce weight, Traction Tech keeps you locked in on firm snow and the 3D Contour Base makes every turn more effortless. For unmatched torsional board lock in ride mode the Mountain Twin Split features the Boltless Bridge and Karakoram Split and Tip + Tail Clips. To complete the redesign we upgraded to our new super fast and durable Sintered 8000 base and added stance options with our new Freestyle/Freeride Stance Pack.
Construction. This is the place where you can talk to us about what’s going on under the hood in your gear, and how you are building it.
New for 1920 all Jones splits now feature FSC certified wood cores for improved product sustainability. The best selling Solution and Women’s Solution are also now built with sustainable Basalt split stringers. All Jones splits aside from the Discovery are compatible with our Quick Tension skin tail clip system.
Onto functionality now; how do you make your stuff work better during skinning, during transitions and riding?
Jones splitboards are some of the highest performance splits on the market because we pay attention to the construction of each split ski. We don’t just make a solid board and cut it in half. The wood cores and stringers of each ski are specially profiled for even flex in ski mode or ride mode. We also use proven tech that undoubtedly improves your ascent or descent experience like inside and outside Traction Tech, Boltless Bridge + Karakoram Ultra Clips and our Quick Tension tail clip system. Jones splits feel really solid going up or down.
Which pricepoint is seeing the most action at retail? Are splitboarders prepared to spend money on gear, or is this a discount/budget marketplace?
Experienced splitboarders are prepared to spend money to ride the highest performing equipment while riders just getting into the skin track for the first time are focused on price because they also have to buy all the necessary accessories and BC safety equipment. In the middle of the split market are a wide variety of niche regional brands that pick up some customers here and there, plus a growing used market of lightly used premium splits at a discount price. It doesn’t look likely that the low low end of the split market will ever get too big because most split customers are experienced riders who are willing to pay for legit performance and it is quite difficult to produce a solid splitboard for cheap.
What unique or new features will splitboarders dig about your gear next year?
Splitboarders will definitely be stoked to see us debut 3D contour bases on splits. This development has been three years in the making and we’re thrilled to finally offer this amazing performance feature for backcountry shredding. All the little things we’ve done to our splits also add up to a pretty big performance improvement. The combination of traction tech edges, boltless bridge and tip lock clips make for a super solid and stable split in firm snow.
How are graphics evolving in your splitboard-focussed lineup? Any particular trends going on?
Our split graphics echo that of our solid boards as we feature modern mountain art and material focused topsheets.
What’s the ideal-world distribution channel for your gear as splitboarding evolves? B2C, speciality retail or wider? Do people still need advice on this stuff?
Customers look to both speciality retail and online dealers for splitboard gear purchases. Retail shops still have the opportunity to educate customers about the gear but they need to know what they are talking about as customers are increasingly saavy to the latest product tech thanks to a wide variety of media outlets now covering splitboard gear.
In terms of size, which are your top three European markets for splitboard equipment?
France, Germany, Austria