9 Tips for Smooth Splitboard Transitions

9 Tips for Smooth Splitboard Transitions

Efficient splitboard transitions are a key skill to minimize downtime and stay warm while touring in the backcountry. Splitboarders have an extra step, compared to ski tourers, since they have to break down and put the splitboard together.

When you’ve successfully made it up the slope, it’s time to attempt to not yard sale yourself into the chaos during your transition.

Having a solid splitboard transition not only saves you time muddling about with gear, it gives you more time to be social with friends and enjoy more time riding down. Here are some quick tips to keep you warm while splitboard transitioning like a champ.

1. Get off the skin track

If you're planning on descending close to the skin track, get off it and move slightly to the side to make room for others. Try not to run over or wreck the current “highway” up.

2. Pack yourself a landing pad

splitboard transition pack snow

You don’t need to spin yourself in a complete circle. Take a few side steps in each direction to create a snow-packed space to transition. This prevents snow from falling back in on your gear while you are transitioning. If snow gets in your gear before you store it, it will melt and could lead to you getting cold or poor gear performance.

3. Put your layers on first

splitboard transition wear layers

Once you have stopped and landed, your body is warm from the climb -- but now is not the time to cool off. Keep the heat in and put your riding layers on. If you wait to do this after your splitboard transition you’ll be cold AND hungry.

4. Glove Up

splitboard transition wear gloves

Transition time is not the time to wear your lightweight liners . You are going to be working with snow covered hardware and cold equipment. Get out a decent set of gloves that would be good in a snowball fight.

5. Keep your hands in your gloves

splitboard transition gloves on

Don’t underestimate the cold or the wind around you. Your hands will get cold fast. Yes it is going to feel fumbly and useless to start in gloves. Trust me, trying to warm your hands up after a cold exposed transition can take a long time.

So, instead of having to warm up cold hands, just keep them warm to begin with.

6. Leave a skin or binding on

splitboard transition skin binding

Do your best to leave a skin or binding on. You know the comedy movie scene where the skier loses a ski down hill… Don’t be the comedian – make sure your “skis” aren’t going anywhere.

7. Only touch things once

splitboard transition for beginners

I stop, step off the skin track and pack myself a landing pad. While my poles are still in my hands, I break them down and gently strap them in. If I planted them in the snow upright in pole mode, I’d have to touch them again to pack them down.

Limit the amount of times you are touching items. Revisiting pieces of gear equals a longer splitboard transition.

8. Keep your splitboard gear organized

splitboard transition organization

It’s easy while splitboard transitioning to start taking your gear apart, digging out riding equipment and completely forgetting which binding is what.

If you’re going to take your binding off your spliboard, get in the habit of placing them so that the right binding is always on the right and left binding is set up the same.

This will save you confusion when you go to put them back on your board.

9. Put your goggles on last

Even if this means you have to go back to your goggles and touch them twice, it’s fine. This is better than having them fog up while you are huffing and puffing transitioning.

Splitboard Transition Summary

I hope this list of tips gets you thinking about your safety (staying warm) and keeping yourself organized while splitboard transitioning. To help practice and build your muscle memory, try transitioning in the living room at home.



“Dreams don’t work unless you do”

Kimberley Kenyon Badfish Team Athlete

AQ Outdoors Whitewater SUP and Splitboard Ambassador

Advanced and River 1 SUP Instructor Paddle Canada


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What is a Splitboard

Splitboard FAQs

4 Ways to Remove Your Splitboard Skins



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