2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Karakoram Split30 Snowboard Bindings

Bindings that quickly transition from hike to ride mode

Losing time while transitioning from hike to ride mode is the bane of a splitboarder’s existence. And we’ve seen riders flirt with hypothermia while futzing with awkward binding connections. But after riding five sets of bindings on three different boards, our tester declared, “The Split30s are the easiest and fastest to transition, as well as the most solid and smooth-riding system I’ve ever used. It’s a giant leap forward for splitboarding.” Karakoram engineers ditched the ubiquitous “puck and rail” system other manufacturers use (in which the binding attaches to a metal rail that then slides onto two puck-shaped plastic discs to provide rigidity in ride mode).

They started from scratch and came up with an all-new design that, in ride mode, has five points of contact between the board and each binding, creating a solid, resort-board feel. The machined-aluminum and steel binding locks in place with the flick of a lever that deploys pins into the interface, knocking snow and ice buildup out of the way. “With practice, you can pull off the transition without even removing the binding from your boot,” says our tester. “And there are no parts or pins to lose.”

$599

3 lbs. 14 oz. (pair)

splitboardbindings.com