Written by Will Ritter, As told to Mike Horn
Speedy Splitboard Exchanges
Splitboard changeovers can turn junkshow quicker than a touring pin disappears in two feet of fresh. You need to have a system; you need to be efficient and organized. Rumored split-switchover champ Will Ritter, owner of Spark R&D, explains his step-by-step “touch-it-once” technique below. By using the same routine at every changeover, he minimizes wasted movement and time, and maximizes efficiency and speed.
- Take my pack off and set it down on my right side.
- Put on hard shell, which is on top in my pack (I unpack and repack in the same order so I’m not emptying out my whole pack to find the thing I need first).
- Flip open four flick locks and compress both poles at the same time. Attach them to the right side of my small pack or stuff inside my big pack.
- Open both toe straps, and then both ankle straps, at the same time. Step to the right side of my skis, next to my pack.
- Pull pins, then bindings, and set next to me.
- Pull skins off each ski and fold in half.
- Slide board halves together and close the tip and tail clips (I usually don’t rotate my hooks in unless I’m on hardpack).
- Set board’s toe edge on my toes (with base against my shins) and slide both bindings on vertically.
- Set board down flat and insert both pins.
- Put on helmet and goggles, stash sunglasses in my shell’s chest pocket.
- Strap in and shred.
- High five partners.
- Unstrap both toes and ankles; step to the heel side of my board.
- Pull both pins, then remove both bindings and set next to me.
- Undo tip and tail clips and pull board apart. If the snow is deep, set the skis in vertically. I place them with sidecuts to the inside so I don’t put my bindings on the wrong feet.
- Line up bindings and insert pins.
- Remove pack and set down on right.
- Take poles off my pack, extend, clamp and set in snow next to skis.
- Pull skins out, peel one apart, apply to corresponding ski. Repeat.
- Set skis, skins down, in the snow.
- Shoulder pack.
- Step into bindings and strap in both feet.