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  • Hiking with a snowboard

    Help me understand something, oh great EYT braintrust.

    I see lots of turn-earning snowboarders hiking with their snowboards on their packs. Why is this preferred over dragging the snowboard behind you on a tow rope? (Obviously these are folks for whom splitboarding isn't an option.)

    Does it flip over too much? I can see twisty singletrack thru trees being an issue. But for wide open areas with firm snow, it seems like walking would be SO much easier without all that weight swaying around up high. What am I missing?
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    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    hahaha. Well, in my zero experience, I would say either the boards themselves are pretty light, the bindings would act like snags in the ground, snowboarders aren't create enough, or all of the above.

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    • #3
      What dschane said, and when you are "sidehilling" your board will be trying to cut a parallel path on the downhill side of your path. If there's any rocks, trees, or vegetation then you are reeling in your snowboard which takes both hands... Where do you put your poles when you do that?... On the pack makes sense to me...

      I like seeing splitboarders in the BC. They always seem to have a similar "take" on BC travel than snowshoe travelers... I got a snowshoer story... but I'll give you all a break this time...
      the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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      • #4
        Ah, sidehills. Yeah that makes sense. Still though, I never see anyone dragging it. Surely there are folks who know they won't encounter a sidehill on their route.

        I guess the next question is whether a better towing setup could be designed. Perhaps using a collapsible pole that anchors to the board on a hinge that can't twist, but only hinge up and down (same with the connection to your waistbelt).

        Of course most folks carrying boards on their backs are newer to the sport, and once they get serious about it, they're likely to go to splitboarding or skiing. But I could see it being useful for folks hiking for fitness at the ski area (yes, a fair number of these people exist). They could go sans pack, wear light clothing, and probably move uphill with a lot less effort. I don't see there ever being enough demand to sell something like this commercially, but it's an interesting thought exercise.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
          I like seeing splitboarders in the BC.
          Me too, but mostly because it means they're no longer f'cking up a skin track.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dschane View Post
            Me too, but mostly because it means they're no longer f'cking up a skin track.
            Yeah, that is a big part of it. (I can't lie) but it also means they probably have embraced a similar objective as BC skiers. They are skinning for turns like we do. They are probably aware of avalanche concerns as a result so they are more likely to have avy training too. If I see snowboarders carrying their board and booting the trail, I figure they are clueless. If they have snowshoes on and their board strapped to a pack, I wonder if they have training and BC tools, and if they are skinning I'm pretty certain they know the dangers and protocols...
            the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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            • #7
              One of my main touring partners is a split boarder. I checked this with him...

              snowshoes and board on the pack is the cheap entry point for snowboarders. All they have to invest in is the snowshoes and some poles if they want to get fancy. Kinda like the alpine skier who talks themselves into frame bindings so they can hit the side country. Once you are going out enough to a) know it sucks and/or b) can justify the expense, you upgrade to dedicated equipment that is lighter and more purpose built.

              My friend said he did it for two seasons. Carrying the board sucks, but almost worse is going down with the snowshoes strapped to your pack.

              At least with frame bindings there is the argument that they perform better on the down, allow regular boots, and can be used in-bounds. Being a telemark skier, I've never tried them but I do have a pair on the skis for my 10 year old.... and I feel sorry for him as I see him drag those beasts uphill!

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              • #8
                But jnicol, what are his thoughts on dragging the board behind the snowshoers?

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                • #9
                  Once split boards came about, I never saw anyone carrying or dragging boards on back in my BC zone. The exception was booting, where some have mini snow shoes or crampons. With experience and good technique, traverses are not as bad as some state as they can pretty much go anywhere. If the snow is to stiff to edge, then you can probably walk on it without snowshoes and pack your board. Here's a pic of some 1997 snowshoeing snowboarders before they figured it out... Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    When K2 came out the with Clicker binding, they also sold a short approach ski with a clicker connection for your K2 boots so you could use the approach ski for the ascent and then your snowboard for the descent. I still have an old Arbor board with Clicker bindings and the K2 Remote boots that went with it but not the approach ski. I used the system occasionally for a couple of years but never got into snowboarding even though I love surfing.

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                    • #11
                      SPQR,
                      if you love surfing you should check out the One Wheel. Very similar sensation.

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                      • #12
                        I'm still curious as to why carrying it on the back is preferred to dragging it. Cross-hills seem like a legitimate drawback to dragging it, but low branches are a legitimate drawback when it's on your pack (literally, ha).

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                        • #13
                          They are not stable to drag along a skin trail...basically untrollable and will flip, snag, With a rope to drag it, it will keep bumping up against you when you stop or head down hill. They don't have a brake....etc,,,,,,, But on certain routes they are very handy to carry on your back...

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                          Last edited by Valdez Telehead; 13 January 2021, 03:53 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bobbytooslow View Post
                            I'm still curious as to why carrying it on the back is preferred to dragging it.
                            Could be that decent folks consider dragging it cruel and unusual.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Valdez Telehead View Post
                              They are not stable to drag along a skin trail...basically untrollable and will flip, snag, With a rope to drag it, it will keep bumping up against you when you stop or head down hill.
                              I don't know if it's that bad once you're out of alpine. I've seen mountaineers drag their skis while carrying heavy packs. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't do it. But, I don't snowboard, likely never will, and really only have the desire to try when it's 2' of mashed potatoes and they're the only ones seemingly having fun, until they hit the runout . . .

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