What makes Chimera
After a decade of designing and hand-crafting our own splitboards, we have refined our approach.
First, our riders are also our builders; everyone at Chimera has a direct connection to board design, shaping, building.
Next, our riders and clients identify a need and the board they want. The team then designs, builds and rides successive iterations of the new shape, improving as they go. That board is then offered to our customers as a specialty, hand-built model, for a final round of independent reviews. Finally, once we agree we can’t go further, we work with our factory to flawlessly reproduce our optimized design, at scale.
In this way you are able to buy a specialty, small batch, splitboard supported by years of design experience and shaped by actual splitboarders, at significant savings to industry-standard pricing.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re riding a skate deck down a hill at the local golf course, unlocking a street spot with your friends, or standing on top of a pristine line miles from civilization; setting your own track lies at the heart of snowboarding.
How it Began
Over a decade ago, most splits were clones of resort boards, and there were very few splitboard-specific shapes and designs. In 2009, Chimera Backcountry Snowboards was formed with simple goals; to be the first splitboard-only company, to meet the rapid progression in splitboarding, and to design and build splitboards that were optimized both for touring and for riding.
Immediately, we realized a fundamental truth that has driven our entire approach; splitboard design is complicated - shaping a new board takes much more than CAD and a phone call to the factory. To truly design a board you must first learn to build one. You must be able to ride what you create, understand what worked (and what didn’t), throw it in the recycle pile and be riding an improved version within days.
From our first shop, tucked away in Big Cottonwood Canyon of Utah’s central Wasatch, to our current R&D facility, we have built splitboards and tested for every parameter we could think of. Design aspects that are now industry-standard (and several that are not) we were forced to develop alone. We took a holistic approach to design and considered the interplay of camber, shape, flex and materials; we optimized board design for traction and maneuverability in ski mode; figured out ways to minimize snow and ice transport; developed hard-boot specific design features. We worked on different construction techniques, new materials and innovative technologies .
And, we made boards to be as fun as they could possibly be. We built big-mountain slayers, old-school swallowtails and twin-tip floaters. We built boards for volcanos; boards for Japan; boards for carving, stunts and horsing around in the slush. By understanding what made each board shape work we were able to design and build the splitboards we wanted to ride.
Our shaping roots are still firmly at the core of our approach. We are still based in SLC; creating boards for splitboarders around the globe, working with our sisters at Pallas Snowboards, and snowboarding every chance we get.