Spark R&D Update – Rolling Into 17/18 with Pillow Line Straps, Crossbar Clips, and Canted Pucks

Spark R&D Rolls Into 17/18 with Pillow Line Straps, Crossbar Clips, and Canted Pucks

Bozeman, Mont. – Spark R&D unveiled its latest innovations and improvements to their line of splitboard bindings and

accessories at the SIA and ISPO tradeshows earlier this year. Now as we approach the upcoming winter season, we have

all the details of the new tech you can expect to see on the shelves and on the skin track.

The biggest change for the upcoming season is the debut of the Pillow Line straps on all Tesla T1 bindings. These game

changing straps are injection molded with one-piece construction and feature flexible pillows on the inside for comfort,

and stiffer ribs on the outside to maintain rigidity. Soft and firm at the same time in a single piece.

“This is a huge accomplishment,” explains Will Ritter, Owner and Chief Designer at Spark R&D. “We’ve been gradually

building up the capacity, knowledge, and resources to be able to pull off something of this scale. Not only did we design

and prototype the straps, but we designed and built the molds for them as well. We inject the straps here at Spark HQ,

and make our own strap hardware. I’m really proud of our guys for making this all happen.”

The motivation for the project came from wanting to create a strap that meets the lightweight and comfort

requirements of skinning, and the durability and waterproof needs of being out in the backcountry, without sacrificing

the support needed for riding hard on big lines. After countless prototypes, the Pillow Line straps took form.

“We’ve been working on this design for several years,” says Ritter. “The best part of working on a design like this is

getting out and testing it. We’ve had a lot of fun taking out different iterations of the straps, putting them through the

backcountry wringer, and then discussing what works and what doesn’t. We’ve also received a lot of helpful feedback

from our team of athletes and product testers over the past couple of winters. Doing the production ourselves allowed

us to put all of the last minute input into the straps for their first season on the market. These straps are incredibly

refined having been through so many revisions. They wouldn’t be at this level if they were made somewhere else.”

The Arc and Surge have two distinct ankle shapes – the Surge straps are wide and asymmetric to offer a stiffer, more

locked-in feel, while the Arc incorporates a flex window and lower profile design to give riders a more agile and surfy

option. The weight savings for the Pillow Line straps over previous versions of fabric straps are considerable. Ankle

straps are on average 50% lighter and toe straps are 60% lighter.

Spark R&D did not stop with new straps. They are introducing their own splitboard clip – the Spark Crossbar Clip. The

clip features a camming lever for locking the board tightly together, and a solid crossbar of lightweight aluminum that

extends across the board seam to eliminate unwanted flex and movement. Clamping tension is adjustable to allow a

customized fit for every board. Crossbar clips rotate out of the way in tour mode for snag-free skinning.

“Splitboarders and board manufacturers have been asking us for a while to come up with another option for clips. We’re

really stoked on the new design – it’s simple, bomber, and easy to use,” says Ritter. “These clips will help splitboards ride

much more like a solid board.”

Spark Canted Pucks are the final addition to the 17/18 line. With all the same great features as the popular Spark Pucks,

the new canted version includes a subtle, but important, three degrees of inward cant built into the plastic puck. This

cant reduces knee strain for riders that need it, or that like the feel of the inward angle.

Spark R&D 17/18 Bindings and New Product Info Sheet

Arc Splitboard Bindings

Lightweight with medium flex for long tours, epic overnighters, trees and steeps. The Arc is our most popular splitboard

binding. It features our new Pillow Line ankle and toe straps for a shocking weight savings – the Arc weighs in at a

feathery 627 grams.

  • Features Tesla T1 System anatomy: built-in climbing wire, 2-position heel rest, snap ramps, and side-lock touring

    brackets.
  • Now comes equipped with the Whammy Bar; a single fatty wire with a side arm lever for easy climbing wire

    position changes on the steeps.
  • CNC machined baseplates with maximum cutouts shave weight, yet maintain strength and performance.

    Conveniently access puck screws with the bindings in place for precise stance adjustment.
  • Features a medium flex version of the Rip ‘N’ Flip highback for a surfy ride down. Ideal for riders who prefer

    more mobility.
  • Pillow Line Straps: waterproof, durable, comfortable one-piece molded construction.

    o Ankle straps are 46% lighter than previous Arc fabric straps, and utilize a flex window for a surfy, nimble

    feel.

    o Toe straps are 61% lighter than previous Arc fabric straps. The toe straps are the same for both Arc and

    Surge models and can be used as a toe cap or traditional over the top.
  • Ladders and adjusters produced in-house with unique thermoplastics that maintain flex over a wide

    temperature range.
  • Incorporates Burton’s time-tested bomber buckles.
  • Women’s Arc: Shorter and narrower baseplates fit snug and comfortably, accommodating down to a size 5 boot

    (35 EUR). Lower and more compact heel loops move the ankle strap mounting point down to hit the sweet spot

    over your boot while positioning the highbacks lower on the leg for a better calf fit.

Specs

  • MSRP: $385 | €429
  • Weight: Men’s Med – 1.38lb/ea (627g), 2.76lb/pr (1254g) |Women’s XS/S – 1.35lb/ea (611g), 2.69lb/pr (1222g)
  • Available sizes: Men’s S (<8), M (8-10.5), L (11+) | Women’s XS/S (5-8.5), M/L (9-11)
  • Colors: Men’s – Cyan, Metal, and Black | Women’s – Bluebird, Black/Teal

Surge Splitboard Bindings

Unapologetically stiff and powerful, the Surge was built for big days on big lines. Preferred by our bigger, more

aggressive riders, the Surge locks you in and gives more control in demanding terrain. It features our new Pillow Line

ankle and toe straps for weight savings and durability.

  • Features Tesla T1 System anatomy: built-in climbing wire, 2-position heel rest, snap ramps, and side-lock touring

    brackets.
  • Now comes equipped with the Whammy Bar; a single fatty wire with a side arm lever for easy climbing wire

    position changes on the steeps.
  • CNC machined baseplates remain solid for max stiffness and durability.
  • Features a stiffer version of the Rip ‘N’ Flip highback for riders who prefer maximum response.
  • Pillow Line Straps: waterproof, durable, comfortable one-piece molded construction.

    o Ankle straps have a wide, asymmetrical shape and are 53% lighter than previous Surge fabric straps.

    o Toe straps are 71% lighter than previous Surge fabric straps. The toe straps are the same for both Arc

    and Surge models and can be used as a toe cap or traditional over the top.
  • Ladders and adjusters produced in-house with unique thermoplastics that maintain flex over a wide

    temperature range.
  • Incorporates Burton’s time-tested bomber buckles.
  • Women’s Surge: Shorter and narrower baseplates fit snug and comfortably, accommodating down to a size 5

    boot (35 EUR). Lower and more compact heel loops move the ankle strap mounting point down to hit the sweet

    spot over your boot while positioning the highbacks lower on the leg for a better calf fit.

Specs

  • Price: $415 | €469
  • Weight: Men’s Med – 1.51lb/ea (686g), 3.02lb/pr (1372g) |Women’s XS/S – 1.44lb/ea (653g), 2.88lb/pr (1306g)
  • Available sizes: Men’s S (<8), M (8-10.5), L (11+) | Women’s XS/S (5-8.5), M/L (9-11)
  • Colors: Men’s – Red, Gray, and Black | Women’s – Plum, Black/Purple

Pillow Line Straps

After two years of development, Spark R&D is proud to introduce the Pillow Line strap collection. Lighter.

Ultradurable. Comfortable. Waterproof. One-piece molded construction. Made at Spark R&D in the USA (even our molds

were made in-house!). There are two distinct designs for Arc and Surge ankle straps – the Arc with a smaller footprint

and a flex window for max agility, and the Surge with a wide asymmetric footprint for incredible all around support. The

toe straps come in one construction for both Arc and Surge and are designed to be used as a toe cap but also fit

traditionally over the top. All straps are ergonomically designed around 3D scans of popular snowboard boots. Pillow

Line straps will be standard on all 17/18 Arc and Surge models, and will also be available to purchase á la carte as an

upgrade for previous seasons’ bindings.

  • Super Light: Pillow Line ankle straps weigh in at a mere 37g for the Arc and 39g for the Surge (a 46% and 53%

    weight savings!). Toe straps barely register on the scale at 14g.
  • Durable: Touring is tough on straps with bindings constantly grazing past each other. These plastic straps are

    incredibly durable and are made to withstand the abuse.
  • Comfortable: Thin, flexible pillow faces are the only parts that contact the boot. Thicker ribs and attachment

    points are held off the boot to maintain comfort. Soft and firm at the same time in a single piece.
  • Completely Waterproof: Pillow Line straps will not take on water weight in warm conditions, or freeze when

    temperatures drop. Snow simply doesn’t stick.
  • Stiff or Flexible: Arc ankle straps offer a more flexible version for max agility, while Surge ankle straps offer a

    stiffer locked-in feel.

Specs

  • MSRP: Arc Pillow Line Ankle: $55 | €65 – Surge Pillow Line Ankle $60 | €70 – Toe Pillow Line Strap $40 | €45
  • Ankle Strap Sizing: Men’s S (<8), M (8-10.5), L (11+) | Women’s W (5-11)
  • Toe Strap Sizing: Men’s S (<8 and W’s), M (8-10.5), L (11+)

Spark Crossbar Clips

You want your splitboard to ride like a solid board. We get it; so do we. Our clever design features a one-piece crossbar

that extends from one set of bolts to the other for the stiffest possible connection between the board halves. The cam

lever clamps the board together, taking gaps out of the board seam, and rotates out of the way leaving nothing hanging

over the edges to snag while you’re touring or getting rad split skiing. Clamping tension is easily fine-tuned by turning a

set screw, compensating for any slight board variability. Spark Crossbar Clips are made from lightweight aluminum in an

elegant low profile design.

Specs

  • Price: $50 | €60
  • Weight: 2.9 oz/pr (82g)
  • Available Colors: Black, Black/Metal

Spark Canted Pucks

New for 17/18, we are offering a canted version of our Spark Pucks. With 3° canting to reduce strain, your knees will

thank you.

  • Price: $75 | €85
  • Weight: 11.25oz/pr (319g)

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About Spark R&D

Based out of Bozeman, MT Spark R&D is rider owned and operated, dedicated to pushing innovation in splitboarding

since 2006. With a view of the Bridger Mountains from our shop, we design and build splitboard bindings and

accessories with backcountry performance coming first.

More of the latest snowboarding news here

Source: TransWorld SNOWBoarding

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