There are two predominant modes of transport available to snowboarders hoping to explore most backcountry terrain. The first is the humble split board – a straightforward, albeit expensive system allowing users to split their snowboard in half and use each half as a ski for touring purposes. The benefits are many, but slapping on or peeling off climbing skins and fumbling with bindings add time to transitioning between tour mode and downhill mode or vice versa. Not to mention entire split setups will cost you a pretty penny.
The second more affordable option is to strap your snowboard to your back and hike through the backcountry on snowshoes. This uses more energy as you don’t glide and stride as you would on a split board, but it has its merits. One of the primary downsides, though, is once you strap into your board, you’ve got to throw your snowshoes on your back, which can be awkward for riding.
This dilemma is precisely what motivated the dudes at Ross Snow Tech, based in Denver, to develop a snowboard binding that detaches from your board to become a snowshoe for backcountry exploration.
The idea, if we may be so bold, is absolutely brilliant. RST calls their first-of-its-kind binding the Convert for obvious reasons. And we imagine once you get your hands on a pair you’d be a convert yourself.
The Convert is set to drop this fall, so keep your eyes peeled.