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ProView – Kemper Snowboards SR Splitboard 1986/87

Just Right!

I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and moved to New Mexico around 13 and at 19 found myself in Taos the year hell froze over. Snowboarding was and always has been a huge passion of mine. Now being a new mom with a son whos almost a year, I feel I owe it to myself now more than ever to make a point to keep it a part of my life for my own mental wellbeing. So spending my precious time in lines with tons of crowds has turned me off of riding resorts. I have trended towards spending more and more time in the backcountry and working towards a goal of mine, becoming a Backcountry guide. I have made this transition not only because it affords me exercise, but because it’s away from the crowds, and I can find soft lines without having to rush myself. 

Kemper Snowboards SR Splitboard 1986/87

Product Description: David Kemper was fourteen years old in the winter of 1984/85 when he started hand-building snowboards in the basement of his house. The first snowboard David built was the Kemper Freestyle and during the winter of 1986/87 he created the SR 140 which had a P-Tex base and an ABS topsheet, but no metal edges. Kemper handmade around 90 snowboards over those first 3 years.

Offer price: MSRP: $790.00

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (3)
  • Durability
    (4)

Summary

From the top of the Colorado Divide’s open bowls and chutes to below treeline, this board has great control and just enough flex that it almost feels like my favorite solid board I used to ride inbounds back in the day.  With the board’s Camber cut through the boilerplate spring conditions, and floated on the zipper crusts while making quick effortless turns. I thought It was going to be a bit stiff because of the camber, but I was elated when I began my first few turns downhill. This board can even be buttered if you like getting playful. The profile of camber to early rise makes this board a complete quiver for almost any conditions you may come across.  The split is a solid investment for your backcountry set up if you are looking for a board that can do about anything. 

Overall
4.3

Pros

  • Rides well in many conditions
  • Great edge
  • Fun graphics

Cons

  • Only comes in two sizes

I have been riding for well over 13 years, from competing in Big Mountain FWQ events to Boarder Cross. I have instructed three-year-olds to adults, coached for a kids team, and now I am fortunate to guide for Snowcat operation based in the Front Range just outside of Denver, Jones Pass Guides. 

Now one thing I have come to find with trading lift days for skins and tracks is that it can be hard to truly test the quality of a board before you buy them. I have my fair share of skinning days each season, and I usually make 10-12 runs on days I work, so I am able to push and play with boards.

I would rate this board a 4 out of 5 stars, simply because they only have 2 sizes. 

Look/Style

Kemper’s new SR split is the little bear of the three bears in the Goldilocks story–it’s just right for this girl!  Its have multiple profiles on this board to work in all kinds of conditions, and the flare of color and graphics really pop against the Colorado snowpack. The SR is a lightweight split with striking graphics honoring the original solid SR 140 Kemper board model from 86’/87’. Setting this board up for a tour was a breeze with my Spark RnD binding kit. My favorite Pomoca skins, which I use for all my split boards, work great with the shape and size of this board (155). The best feature of this split that is the phantom split clips that are lightweight, slim, and stay closed while riding. I haven’t had such luck with other hardware on other boards thus far. The shaped tail isn’t anything drastic but the gentle taper does add some ease in the deeper snow. 

Function

Being based in Colorado’s Front Range presented a wide variety of terrain and conditions to put this board to the test. The Camber part of the board’s profile holds a great edge on firm boilerplate spring snow, and the Early Rise makes turns playful and surfy, once the spring slush shows up. I was lucky enough to make turns on a day that had a few fresh inches of snow. These turns were so fun! I only wish there had been more snow and more of turns. I am so excited for deeper days with this board.  

Touring with this set up wasn’t a drag, the camber gripped with the pressure of each step. The lightweight construction of this board didn’t weigh my feet down on the climb up hill. My skins easily attached with the tail clip. I have found with other Splits that have speciality powder shape tails that I have to do some MacGyvering with ski straps to make the tails stay in place. 

Fit/Comfort 

This  SR splitboard is one I would recommend for men and women alike. I would say this is not an ideal board for beginners or anyone who is considerably shorter than myself. The size could be difficult to manage, and the flex of this board could be difficult to manage for those who are not used to riding camber.  

Durability/Construction

The one and only con I have to share about the SR is that it is not made in a size smaller than the 155. Being 5’7” and weighing 160, I didn’t have much of an issue with this size as it is similar to some other splitboards I have ridden. Spending the money for a manufactured split board is worth its weight in gold for those enclosed metal edges. On tours in the spring being able to hold an edge on firm snow is priceless, and not something your going to get with a homemade split board. The top sheet doesn’t scratch easily, and snow doesn’t collect on it while traveling up hill.  The carbon, bamboo, and popular core make for a sturdy board that isn’t a brick to carry. Saving time and weight can be a concern when traveling uphill. 

This is a durable splitboard that can hold an edge at higher speeds, which is necessary when making your way down a face of a peak by the feel of the snow under your feet because you can’t see more than 20 ft in front of you. 

The Final Word

From the top of the Colorado Divide’s open bowls and chutes to below treeline, this board has great control and just enough flex that it almost feels like my favorite solid board I used to ride inbounds back in the day.  With the board’s Camber cut through the boilerplate spring conditions, and floated on the zipper crusts while making quick effortless turns. I thought It was going to be a bit stiff because of the camber, but I was elated when I began my first few turns downhill. This board can even be buttered if you like getting playful. The profile of camber to early rise makes this board a complete quiver for almost any conditions you may come across.  The split is a solid investment for your backcountry set up if you are looking for a board that can do about anything. 

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
kemper-snowboard-splitboard-review-dirtbagdreams.com
Delia Maher
Snowcat Guide ::

Delia has been riding her snowboard for well over 13 years, from competing in Big Mountain Freeride World Qualifier events to Boarder Cross. She instructed three-year-olds to adults and coached for a kids team, and now she is fortunate to guide for Snowcat operation based in the Front Range just outside of Denver, Jones Pass Guides.

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