Weston — the Colorado-based brand synonymous with splitboard culture — has been quietly dialing its women’s lineup for years. With the new Eclipse, one of four female-focused boards for 2020-21, it may be time to toot the horn.
I was lucky enough to test the Eclipse in the backcountry (and front) right before the coronavirus crush. In fact, the last spring day of my AIARE Level 1 course on Vail Pass felt almost illegal. The ski resorts were shutting down, and we were still surfing pow under bluebird skies.
The Eclipse more than held its own in every condition I encountered, from fluffy powder sashes on a mountain pass to tracked-out lines and trees near Breckenridge to a low-grade, all-day skinning session near home to an iced-up early-morning run on Aspen Mountain.
And that’s what this aggressive, all-terrain board is made for: chasing pow for the ultimate ride, but outfitting you with stability, edging, and confidence for all the cruddy conditions in between.
In short: The Weston Eclipse is intentionally designed and artfully appointed for serious female snowboarders to take up more space in the industry. It’s a directional yet versatile powder-lover featuring the best characteristics of Weston’s iconic Backwoods splitboard but with a female-friendly waist width and personality all its own.
What Is a Women’s Splitboard? It’s All in the ‘Waist’
So let’s start with waist width. It’s the most noticeable difference on a women’s snowboard, and it’s even more pronounced on a splitboard. A mid-wide men’s board may feel floppy and uncontrollable to women. Why? Because science shows our feet are relatively smaller. And the last thing you want in a splitboard that you steer with your feet is something that feels unwieldy underfoot.
The women’s Eclipse, which comes in 145, 150, and 155, ranges from a 24.6cm waist width to a 26.4. For reference, the men’s “equivalent” Backwoods bottoms out at 25 cm and tops out at over 28 cm in the wide version. It’s where millimeters matter.
Weston Eclipse Women’s Splitboard Review
The Eclipse is profiled as a directional, multi-radial camber-rocker. But all you need to know is that the board keeps its carbon-strength camber throughout the center of the board, which is ideal for stance confidence, whether you’re skinning up, “skiing” down on an icy skin track, or cutting full-board freshies in the trees.
A wide early-rise “rocker” nose provides a great float for powder, but not too much that the board flops upfront when split. A proportionally smaller rocker on a narrower tail kicks in where you need it for fun and direction. The right camber-rocker combination is critical on a splitboard — to keep you tight on the uphill and in the trees — and the resourceful Eclipse delivers the ultimate mix.
That said, this fierce profile — a 7 out of 10 in stiffness — is ideal for hard-charging snowboarders looking to up-level in the backcountry. But it could feel very different from your typical resort board experience. The big camber core may take some getting used to, but that’s all part of the backcountry challenge, right?
Badass Karakoram Components
Whether you’re new to splitboarding and want the actual “splitting” part to go faster or easier, or you’re a seasoned backcountry pro who remembers the “old days” of DIY split components, the latest Karakoram UltraClips and Tip-Locks will impress.
Both “active joining” technologies are smooth to maneuver, even in the bitter cold. And the locking security is unmatched: no more rattling or slipping sometimes associated with older components.
What can I say? The thought that went into the design of the Weston women’s Eclipse makes me want to be a better snowboarder. And with backcountry proving to be the hottest activity in a winter of pandemic pandemonium, I can’t wait to get back out there.
Weston’s Eclipse Splitboard: Get Yours
The Weston women’s Eclipse splitboard retails for $899. It’s currently showing up as sold out online because, well, Weston broke an all-time sales record last month. But don’t worry, a shipment is coming soon, and there are plenty still in stock at a Weston dealer near you.