Keeping things simple in the backcountry is always best practice, and the Hercules Splitboard Hooks do just that. With a positive, almost lock-like connection and added stiffness, these hooks my new favourite splitboard goodie.
Splitboards have traditionally been held together by Voile Hooks. Two pieces of metal that butt up together and keep the two halves from sliding apart vertically while providing a small amount of torsional stiffness. As splitboarding became more popular, designs improved. Most notably, Karakoram came out with their Splitboard clip which was then revised and replaced with the Ultra Clip. Both featured a buckle, much like that on a ski boot, that levers the two board halves together to keep things locked down.
Phantom has taken things one step further by simplifying this connection. The Hercules Splitboard Hooks are made of two notched aluminum hooks, one of which has an adjustable tensioner built into it. Turning the near hidden screw on the side of this hook slides the hook towards or away from the inner edge, creating either a looser or tighter fit. Be careful not to adjust it too tight while the board halves are together or you won’t be able to get them apart! Yes, the Hercules Hooks work that well! The hooks, once locked into each other, create the tightest connection I have ever had on a splitboard.
They’re also hassle free, just set and forget. I had to adjust mine after a few days but haven’t had to adjust them again in the last 50 days of use.
With toe and tail clips undone and board sans bindings I can lift one half of the board, hold it parallel to the ground, and the opposite side holds on as if it were a solid board. All of that torsional strength from the Hercules Hooks.
The real questions is, does this transfer to the board while riding? You bet it does. There have been times where I’ve finished a run and not even known my tail or toe clip has come undone. The connection between the two halves with the Hercules Hooks is immaculate.
Pros: Incredibly simple and efficient hooks that add stiffness.
Overall: I originally thought these hooks would not make that much of a difference. At $50 USD I could afford to give them a try, even if there was no perceived gain. It’s been one of the best 50 bucks I’ve spent on a splitboard.
Black Sheep Adventure Sports was not compensated in any way for this review and the options expressed are entirely our own.