Since splitboarding often entails spending 80-90% of your time in the mountains skinning, how well a board tours is incredibly important to me. Being on the heavier side, the XV is obviously at a slight disadvantage when earning your turns (it’s around 1130 g heavier than the 163 cm Amplid Milligram), but the added stiffness and dampening is welcome when touring in bigger terrain, and the XV is actually one of my favorite boards to skin on. Its camber underfoot does a great job gripping the skin track in variable conditions, while its rockered nose adequately punches through snow. The tail to tip ratio from the toe of the touring bracket seems quite comparable once again to the Jones Solution, and feels well balanced and allows for easy kick turning.
The XV’s Magnetraction is also very effective when sidehilling, and seems to increase the edging power of the board, which generally seems to be an issue on a splitboard vs. skis. And the torsional stiffness really allows the edges to engage on hardpack.
While on a multi-day hut trip up on the Eklutna Glacier in the Chugach mountains, I encountered the whole spectrum of skinning conditions — from exposed, blue glacier ice, to deep powder, and everything in between. And during this trip I was very impressed with:
- How well the board grips ice and hardpack while edging.
- The XV’s edge penetration into windboard and variable snow
- The split’s ability to float over crust and powder with a multi-day pack.
I’ve found that softer boards can make breaking trail pretty grueling in that they can create a dished-out skin track that’s a pain to follow in, as well as forcing you to expend extra energy. But every aspect of the XV Magtek Split seems to be geared toward optimizing stability, whether riding or touring.
The XV Magtek Split is best defined as a hard-charging freeride board. Although I didn’t get to test this board in Valdez, AK, I think it could be the perfect weapon for those kind of demanding lines, tight couloirs, steep faces, and variable snow down long descents. The stability that the XV offers inspires confidence no matter the snow conditions.
I did notice that the XV is not the fastest board I have ridden, which might be due to the magnetraction, or the stiff, crud-busting nose — or perhaps my waxing. But in general, it seems to me that boards with magnetraction seem more sluggish. I really could tell the difference between the magnetraction on the Jones Carbon Solution vs. the Amplid Milligram, though the added grip of the magnetraction was very noticeable when riding hardpack.
But overall, for a board of this nature, I am okay with trading off speed for increased grip.
The combination of Rossignol’s Roller technology (which raises the edges off the snow slightly) and the shape of the board make the XV Magtek a great platform in powder. Due to its stiff flex, the board does require a bit of speed to get its nose up and planing in deep snow but once it is planing, the board becomes pretty maneuverable in tighter terrain, and the softer waist helps to get the nose up when riding over bumpy or rolling terrain.
There are definitely better boards for really deep powder, such as the K2 Splitbean, G3 Scapegoat, or Jones Hovercraft, but they are not as versatile as the XV in other conditions, and they can be downright scary on firm snow. The directional shape of the XV has ample float for steep and deep snow, but again, I have found that it takes a bit more speed to make surfy turns and slashes.
Variable and Firm Snow
The stiffer nose of the XV seems to plow right through variable snow, crust, and chunder. Due to the nature of bigger mountains, it’s typical to encounter some degree of variable snow throughout the descent — whether it’s a small icy patch, or isolated crust pocket. The XV does a wonderful job of crushing through and over these small, often sketchy features, as long as you have some speed. Due to its softer flex and the ability to really force the nose out, I think the Amplid Milligram may be easier to punch through crust while going slow. But at higher speeds, it the XV is the more stable and better platform. In short, it is quite versatile across all conditions, making it a good one-board quiver option.
The XV feels stable and holds an edge very well on chalky, velvety snow. Although I have not really been able to open it up on consistent chalky snow in open terrain, it seems like the XV will carve really well. I have used Rossignol’s magnetraction on their One Magtek LINK and couldn’t believe how well it grips groomers and ice. Instead of just sliding and skidding through turns, the magnetraction can be engaged quickly to redirect the board with ease.
After 11 long days touring over rocks, glaciers, alders, and variable snow, the XV Magtek Split is still in great shape. The top sheet seems resistant to wear while touring, but it does seem to collect quite a bit of snow build up, which is something to think about given that the board is not that light to begin with. The base has withstood miles of scraping over alders, rocks, and exposed, blue ice impressively well, and it seems like this board will likely last for a long time.
Who’s It For?
Rossignol’s XV Magtek Split could be an excellent one-board-quiver for anyone looking for a stiffer, versatile, all-mountain splitboard. Since it is stiffer, I would not recommend this board for a more freestyle-oriented rider looking to huck, jib, and send natural features or jumps. The XV is best designed for bigger trips in open terrain while going fast — in short, for something approximating Xavier De Le Rue’s style of riding.
The Rossignol XV Magtek Split is a great choice for the backcountry snowboarder looking to tackle more technical lines, but also for someone who simply who wants a safe, stable ride for a broad spectrum of conditions. Its combination of traditional camber under foot, directional shape, and directional flex pattern with a stiffer nose makes this splitboard extremely fun to ride while charging at high speeds. Although it not the lightest board, the XV tours and edges well in variable and hard snow, which is perfect for long days or multi-day trips.