Expert Review: Jones Frontier Splitboard · 2022Published on 10/20/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2021.
Summit selfie with the Frontier Splitboard in ski mode. All photos courtesy of Katie Young
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2021.
The Jones Frontier Split Snowboard is excellent for all ability levels—which was perfect for me, because it has allowed my gear to grow with me as my splitboarding abilities increase. It’s a great board for a wide selection of conditions and functions well in ski mode, which is critical when touring.
About the snowboard I own
- Model: Jones Frontier Splitboard 2021/2022
- Size: 156cm
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 148lbs
- Experience: 12 years of snowboarding and four years of splitboarding
- When I bought these: September 2021
- Days tested: 40 days.
- Boots: Vans Women’s Luna Ventana Pro (2021)
- Boot Size: 11
- Bindings: Burton Women’s Lexa Bindings (2021)
- Where I’ve used it: Backcountry touring in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains
- Terrain: Powder, trees, steep climbs, mellow hills, long traverses
How it performs
What I was looking for
My first season of splitboarding was all about learning what I was even doing. Once I figured that out I knew more of what I wanted, I needed a smaller board (started with a 160cm) and wanted something more versatile for different types of terrain. I also wanted something that not only rode well as a snowboard, but had stability in ski mode and didn’t leave me feeling sketched out on traverses and steep climbs.
Why I chose this gear
I like Jones as a company and have had many fellow snowboarding friends love their Jones boards. Being a taller female with larger feet, I always have to buy men’s boards. So I reached out to Jones to ask about the women’s versus men’s boards and was told the Frontier is pretty much just the larger/men’s version of the women’s Solution. I only considered Jones because of the reviews from folks online and friends. I knew a Jones Splitboard was what I wanted.
What I love about it
- Speed: I am not the fastest snowboarder out there, but for the speed I ride, this board has been a dream. I never feel like it chatters or catches edges, even in sketchy conditions.
- Edge hold: One of the main things I wanted in a splitboard was more reliable inner-edge traction when in ski mode. Jones uses inner-edge traction tech to improve the edge grip of the skis and make it more reliable—especially when traversing.
- Turns: The middle of the board is softer than the ends to make initiating turns easier. I have found that carving on the Frontier split is much easier than some other boards I have ridden. It has a fast reaction time for a splitboard.
- Trees: The soft middle allows for the board to respond quickly with turns. I’ve ridden through fairly tight trees and never felt like I was going to miss a turn.
- Backcountry: Jones is well known for being top-of-the-line in their backcountry gear. This Frontier Splitboard comes apart and goes back together with such ease that it blows a lot of other splitboards out of the water. I feel that the weight of this board is perfect: not too heavy but solid enough to withstand the beating that it tends to get in backcountry conditions.
- Durability: Jones uses Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE) and carbon, which is a new, super-durable material. The topsheet is made from a bio-plastic that is chip-resistant and water/snow resistant, which means snow doesn’t stick to it as easily. I have gone over, under, and into a number of rocks and logs and still have minimal damage to the board. I have been very impressed with its durability.
- Weight: It has the perfect balance of not too heavy but still burley enough to be durable.
- Stability: The pop of the board is really good and landing on it feels very predictable, which makes for a lot more confidence when riding. I’ve had minimal chatter when riding this board, even on some sketchy ice.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Powder: The blunt nose of the board really helps with floating on powder instead of plowing through it. The board is also built so that the nose, middle, and tail have different stiffness to help lift the front of the board instead of diving down. It is a more all-mountain-focused splitboard, so it does not have as great of float as some of the other more powder-focused boards. But it still performs really well in my experience.
- Switch riding: This is a directional board so not really meant for riding switch. Since the ends are fairly symmetrically shaped it could potentially be ridden switch for a short period of time but would not be conducive to a long lap. I’ve had to ride it in switch for a few seconds before being able to get back into my regular stance and have managed just fine.
Favorite moment with this gear
I had just made the switch from my old splitboard to this new Jones Frontier splitboard. I was living in Tahoe and we got 8–10 feet of snow over the course of a few days. Once the avalanche danger had settled, some friends and I went out to go ride Rubicon Peak. The skin up was fairly mellow to start and very steep at the end. I was so impressed with how the Jones board was able to traverse and keep an edge. We got to the top, which has jaw-dropping views of Desolation Wilderness and Lake Tahoe, enjoyed our lunch, and then prepared for the descent. I went last in our little group of three, and the moment I dropped in my heart started singing and I had the dumbest smile on my face. The powder was unreal: so fluffy and plowable. Tommy James’ song Draggin’ The Line was loudly playing inside my head as I let out yips and yee-haws of pure joy. The turns were floaty and playful. I knew just from that lap alone that I had made the right decision in choosing my Jones Frontier board.
Value for the money vs. other options
For those just starting out, I think this board could be a lot for someone to invest in. While I think it is a phenomenal splitboard that can grow with the rider, it is a pricey investment. I cannot think of other specific brands/models to compare to, but I know there are certainly more affordable starter boards out there that would allow for someone to experiment and figure out what they like.
The Jones Frontier Splitboard is a phenomenal option for a variety of riding abilities and terrain types. While it is a pricier investment than some other splitboards, I think that the money is well worth it.