A First Look Review of the Plum Prems Splitboard 164.
Known for their ultra-light ski touring bindings, Plum has actually been quietly making some Splitboarding gear since 2014. One of Plum’s best boards, the Prems, has hit the maple shores of Canada and we got a chance to take it up and down a few mountains. Read on for our initial thoughts on this fairly unique Splitboard.
Specs & Features:
- Length: 164 (also available in 150, 156 & 160)
- Nose, waist, tail: 31.3cm, 27.12cm, 29.63cm
- Taper: 14cm
- Setback: 2cm
- Sidecut: 12m
- Profile: Camber with rocker on tips and tail
- Weight: 3.46kg (manufacturer claimed)
- Materials: Ash, Paulownia and double quadriaxale fiber. ABS Sidewalls
- Base PTEX 4509
- Weight: 3520g
- Country of Origin: France
- Days Ridden: 10
Who is Plum?
Based out of the Haute Savoie region of France, Plum has been making ski bindings since 1924 and Splitboards began in 2014. Most know the Haute Savoie for it’s most famous mountain town, Chamonix.
What is the Plum Prems?
The Plum Prems is marketed as a freeride board and is a fairly traditional snowboard designed for all conditions. Having ridden the board for ten days I’d say this is a fairly accurate description. But more on the ride later.
What’s it made of ?
The Plum Prems is made of 45% paulownia and 55% Ash. It has ABS sidewalls and a PTEX 4509 base. It has a see through top sheet that reveals it’s wood core. Around the edges are ABS walls that are Neon orange and the color pops beautifully. On the tail of the right ski is a ruler and a slope angle scale. They look cool, but I never attempted to use them.
What are those hooks?
The Prems uses Plums’ proprietary Wom hooks. They can be adjusted by loosening the hardware, hand holding the hook, and tightening the hardware again. There is no mico tension adjustment. The hooks seemed to do their job and cleared off snow easily.
How Does it tour?
Since most days start with the ups, let’s start there. The touring bracket position is nice and even, if a little set back. This kept the nose afloat in deep pow well. Kick turns are easy, but then they should be, this is a splitboard. Thanks to it’s stiffness, track setting on the Plum Prems was quite good. I cannot speak to edge hold on icy traverses as I rode this board late December, and there was just acres of deep pow out there, no ice.
Plum sells custom cut Kohla Eterle skins with the Prems. I highly suggest you pick up a pair of these. Not only are they pre-cut to the shape of the board, but they offer great grip and glide. The only caveat being that the glue can be a little too good. On the second time I rolled them up, glue on glue, they tore themselves apart. From then on I used the skin saver sheets and the skins never came off. I’ve since gone to buy a pair of the Karakoram version of the Kohla skins for myself.
How’s it Ride?
Stiff as shit. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not always a bad thing. This board eats choppy snow for breakfast. It also floats really well, and it should, it’s a 164 with a 2cm setback stance, widebody with 14cm taper. It’s designed to float. However I had a tough time getting much pop out of the board owing to it’s stiffness. On the upside, the combination of uber stiff board and 12m sidecut, I felt I could really rail a turn. No matter what the conditions were the Prems would hold, that’s what if felt like anyway. Like I said earlier, I wasn’t able to test it out in icy conditions. It did plow through anything I could throw at it though.
In open alpine terrain and wide spaced trees this board excelled. In really tight trees where you’d expect to flex the board to push through corners, it became challenging. Moguls would be tough.
The Plum Prems is, in my opinion, a big mountain board. It’s very apparent this board was built in the Alps near Chamonix. It rides really well in open alpine terrain and handles mixed conditions with ease. But when you get it in the tight tress maneuverability gets a bit tough. This is a board for serious snowboarding, none of that playful nonsense.
Pros: Stable and Fast. Great design.
Cons: Tight tree navigation can be tough.
Overall: The Plum Prems is not a snowboard for beginners. Advanced riders who want a stiff board that can charge in powder but also handle rough alpine conditions with ease should consider the Plum Prems. It’s fast base, large sidecut and wide waist width compliment open alpine, or alpine like terrain. If this is your style of riding then this may be what you are looking for.
If this sounds like you head on over to Plum to further check out the Prems Splitboard.
Our friends over at Coast Mountain Collective lent us a demo of the Plum Prems splitboard to test… though we did have to give it back 🙁 Of course this didn’t influence us or our review in any way.