Jones created a winner in the Hovercraft Split. Marketed as a quiver board for powder and soft snow, it definitely excels in those conditions. Surprisingly, it also performs remarkably well in many other soft snow conditions, including crust, crud and chop. This is my second season on the Hovercraft Split, and it’s the board I grab on a powder day.
General Impressions: The over sized blunt nose and 26 mm waist width on the 156 cm split provides more than enough float for my 175 lb frame plus pack and gear on even the deepest of days. I must admit, at first I was a bit skeptical about riding a board several centimeters shorter than my normal powder board, but after the first run on the Hovercraft, I was sold.
On the Skin Track: The Hovercraft performs solidly while touring. I’ve used it with both the Karakoram Split 30’s and Spark Burner’s, with no real noticeable difference between the two. The board provides plenty of grip while skinning due to both the camber underfoot and the wide width of the ski’s. One minor thing to note when following skiers – it’s easy to feel like you’re re-breaking trail since their skis are narrow in comparison to the board halves of the Hovercraft.
In Ride Mode: This board is fun to ride in soft snow, period! Part of the reason the board floats so well, besides the blunt nose and wide waist, is due to directional rocker at the tip and tail of the board – you literally feel like you’re hovering over the top of the snow! Camber underfoot provides stability when the snow firms up, in combination with the mellow magnetraction. To be honest though, I’m not sure the mellow magnetraction adds anything substantial to the ride. The shorter length of the board makes it a pleasure to ride in treed terrain, providing quick and nimble turns.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a powder specific split to add to your quiver, look no further than the Hovercraft!
More Info: More information about the Hovercraft Split can be found at Jones Snowboards