Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you invent Drift boards?
Drift boards were originally designed for snowboarders as an alternative to split boards. Turns out they are also a great alternative to snowshoes.
Are Drift boards better than split boards?
While we are careful not to claim that Drift boards are always better than split boards, they do have some advantages. Here are a few reasons you might choose Drifts over a split:
- Drift boards allow you to take any board in your quiver into the backcountry. You can choose the right board for the conditions, and not ride a board that's been cut in half.
- Drift boards are very efficient. Studies show that carrying weight on your back is much more efficient than carrying it on your feet. Particularly in situations where you are taking big vertical steps, the lightweight Drift boards really shine. Don't be surprised if you reach the top before your friends.
- Drift boards transition quickly. At the summit, Drift boards are consistently quicker than split boards. You'll be strapped in and waiting for your buddies to finish up.
- Drift boards are about 1/3 the cost of a typical split board setup. Assuming you already have a snowboard or two, it's a cheaper way to get into the backcountry.
- The smaller, wider footprint of Drift boards gives them unique advantages over skis, such as maneuverability in trees, quick turns up hill, scrambling straight up steep sections, etc. They also have a dual-position heel riser so they kill it when things gets steep.
- Drift boards an excellent companion for powder surfing.
What are the downsides compared to split boards?
- If the terrain is steep and icy enough, Drift boards can reach their limit a bit before skis do. But we do make a crampon that can be quickly installed for those rare moments. We have yet to be forced to turn back before our friends on skis or splits.
- On hard, icy traverses, the wide board, minimal binding, and lack of metal edges can make it harder to hold an edge. Again in these situations, it's best to throw on the crampon and just climb the hill.
- You need to carry the Drift boards on your back when you descend. They're so light that you won't notice them, but they are an extra thing on your back.
Do Drift Boards fit in skin tracks?
Yes. Drift boards love established skin tracks, and we take our turn breaking trail, just like everyone else.
Why don't you have a high-back binding?
The Drift board bindings are minimal on purpose. You'll be surprised at how well they support your foot. The minimal design keeps the weight down low, and allows the boards to lay flat on your pack for the descent.
The Drift boards have a hole pattern that works with split bindings and you're welcome to use those if you prefer.
Can Drift Boards go downhill?
While you can glide down a mellow slope, and step down in powder, the Drift boards are not designed to descend like an alpine ski. The climbing skins are permanent, the bindings have a free heel, and the skis don't have a metal edge. Besides, it’s more fun to ride your favorite board down anyway!
Are Drift boards better than snowshoes?
The main thing a snowshoe has over Drift boards is that they are cheaper. That said, we can't imagine using snowshoe ever again. Drift boards do everything a snowshoe can do, but they glide so you don't have to pick up your feet. You can travel a lot faster in the snow on Drift boards. Plus, they look better!