Venture Storm splitboard

Learn why this was our pick for the best splitboard of 2011/2012

Venture Storm
Length: custom built, 152 through 181
Hardware: none

Believe in love at first sight? Even our buddy knew as soon as I pulled the Storm out of the box. "This board was made for you” he said. I didn't want to trust my instincts at first but with the Storm under my feet I couldn't fight the feeling any more.

If you’re looking for that snow surfing feel, this is the board for you. With its arrow pointed nose and a softer flex up front it makes riding powder a dream giving you added float. Meanwhile, a stiffer midsection and tail helps you power through variable conditions. This board will make you confident dropping into any big line, chute or open powder field. Overall fun was had.

In saying that, if you are just getting involved with snowboard or backcountry riding, this may not be the board for you. It punished us the second we stopped concentrating. Don't commit or get lazy and it let you know with a friendly toss to face plant to cart-wheel.

One of the better priced boards on the market, it sadly only comes with Voile hooks/clips; you will need to purchase pucks and a climbing bracket. But considering the level of customization available this board is still a steal at $900. Klemens or Lisa Branner build every board to order and will help figure out your ideal dimensions. Not just length but width too (24 through 27 cms).

“For us, it's a labor of love. We do everything in house because it gives us complete freedom of design and total quality control," says Klemens Branner.  "It's more labor intensive, but the payoff is worth it. We build the boards we want to ride—no hype and no frills, just solid engineering and stellar performance.”

Overall: As you may have guessed, all testers were united in giving the Storm our highest pick. Less experienced riders will want to look elsewhere, but for the quality, ride and price it can't be beat.