Cold Smoke Splitboards of Gunnison, Colo., recently received a highly coveted
Editors’ Choice award in Backcountry magazine’s 2015 Gear Guide for the
company’s flagship “Voodoo” splitboard.
Cold Smoke owner Kyle Jones hails the honor as a major achievement, given
that the Voodoo is just in its second year of production.
“This is a huge honor for a company that was built on offering the best in
backcountry snowboards,” Jones says. “People who love the backcountry hold
Backcountry magazine’s annual gear review in an extremely high light. Testers
rode and reviewed dozens of boards. To think that ours rose to the top as one of
the best is a testament to the craftsmanship Cold Smoke prides itself on.”
Cold Smoke released the Voodoo, its first factory splitboard, last year. A
partnership with renowned boutique ski manufacturer Romp Skis, of Crested
Butte, the Voodoo is built to impress. A directional, big-mountain slayer that
doesn’t sacrifice durability, the Voodoo was deemed an “everyday, go-to” and
“do-it-all” deck by Backcountry testers in the board’s first year.
This year, Backcountry called the Voodoo “an ideally flexed board built for all
speeds on any mountain.” “Good platform for cliffs, pillows and steeps. Easy to
climb on slick slabs,” one tester said. “Inspires confidence at high speeds,”
another added. Backcountry reports that the Voodoo netted the greatest number
of “all-star” reviews at the magazine’s testing session this past spring in Crested
Unlike many splitboards on the market today, the Voodoo was designed not only
for responsive riding — offering fast and agile descents. But also, its design
lends itself to superior climbing and traversing. Each board is made by hand with
the utmost care and craftsmanship in Romp Skis’ small factory in Crested Butte.
The Voodoo’s “camber bubble” — a section of camber placed behind the rider’s
rear foot — provides traction while skinning and boosts ollie-power with a springlike
effect. This technology from Cold Smoke makes both the uphill and downhill
more efficient by minimizing the effort required to climb and by maximizing the
amount of “pop” a rider gets out of the board. Carbon stringers in the deck also
add pop in the tail section, which boasts 12 cm of rise. Early rise on the nose —
slightly wider than the tail — aids in flotation when slicing through powder and
crud alike. The Voodoo — “Made in the Elk Mountains of Colorado,” as the
topsheet indicates — is built of remarkably strong, lightweight, sustainably
selected poplar, which withstands pressure and provides better rebound. A black,
sintered base is your ticket to one of the strongest, toughest and longest-lasting
boards on the market today. This base material will withstand abuse, absorbs
wax well and is lightning-fast.
Incredibly strong and impact-resistant polyethylene sidewalls offer flex — even in
the coldest conditions, when other materials suffer from a decrease in response
time. Each board gets a stone-grind finish — not common with other factory
splitboards — increasing speed and performance on the snow. To top it off, Cold
Smoke uses an environmentally friendly wax on each deck. And the board’s topsheep
graphics are unique — exhibiting a scene of popular peaks up the Slate
River Valley, north of Crested Butte, that Cold Smoke’s riders are known to
“Probably the most beautiful topsheep I’ve seen,” said one Backcountry tester.
Cold Smoke formed in a garage in Gunnison in 2010 — shortly after owner Kyle
Jones graduated from Western State Colorado University. In an entrepreneurship
class at Western, the idea for Cold Smoke was born. Prior to the launch of the
Voodoo last year, Cold Smoke’s business was based solely on converting
existing, solid decks into “custom” splitboards — snowboards that have been
crafted into a durable, backcountry rig from their original, solid form.
The Voodoo — retailing for $850 — comes in two lengths: 158 cm and and 163
cm. The waist on both decks is 26 cm, and at 7 pounds, 6 ounces (158), the
Voodoo finds itself in the middle of the pack among other factory decks in terms
of weight. For more information and to find out how the board can be purchased,
visit www.coldsmokesplitboards.com. The company can also be reached at