words: Andrew Hardingham
Dave Sand (owner and operator) of The Tune shop in Banff, Alberta, Canada has been making splitboards a long time. Thirteen years long to be exact and his first prototypes from the late 90’s are still holding up. Recently, he has started making them for customers. However, his craft has elevated his boards to another level and now offers something I’ve only seen him do. Dave can also fully rebase your board with a brand new sintered 7000 base, allowing a once retired board to make a full comeback and shred again. “You can now take apart that old snowboard bench because we can fix it,” said Dave during a short interview. The boards of the past that we loved to ride can be new again. Even the board we towed behind our buddies car can be fixed and/or split if you wanted. Whether it’s to split or just re-condition, it’s all quite possible now.
I’ve known about Dave and The Tune Shop for many years. I used to take my old Boarder Cross boards there to have him texture them in the late 90’s. But, because I was getting new boards with fresh bases more often, I hadn’t been back since then. When The Tune Shop approached me with the idea of splitting one of my favorite powder sticks, I jumped at the opportunity! The reason I think splitboarding has become so popular is because of its natural progression and as snowboarding matures and becomes more intellectual, people will seek out new ideas and ways to broaden their snowboard horizons. Nothing against park jumps and rails but you can only hit so many before you crave a different substance. But, the quest for powder can get expensive and limited snowmobile, helicopter, and snow cat budgets wont stop a true mountain/powder enthusiast from figuring out how to get their fix.
The truth is, as we grow older as a sport, it becomes less about quantity and more about quality, and working for your turns becomes more of a pleasure than an inconvenience. As I hike more every year, I find new places and terrain I never knew existed and these places are thirty minutes from my front door. Had I only known this kind of terrain was so accessible I would have been riding it much sooner. And now that I’m taking that time on a splitboard, I’m opening up an entire world of new terrain possibilities. I now ride on the Jones Snowboard Team who make incredible split boards for me, but this was my one last project before moving forward. I enjoyed it immensely.
words: Andrew Hardingham