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2016-2017 Amplid Milligram Splitboard

Andrew Forward reviews the Amplid Milligram for Blister Review.

2016-2017 Amplid Milligram

Amplid Milligram Splitboard

2016-2017 Amplid Milligram 163 cm

Dimensions (mm): 297 – 259 – 293

Stated Sidecut Radius (163cm): 8.6 m

Camber: Half-Fat (traditional camber with early rise rocker)

Core: Paulowina, Basla, and Birch

Stated Features:

  • Sintered GE 7.2 Lightspeed Base/ Stone finish
  • Elliptic Nose Rocker
  • 360° Wrap around steel edge
  • Pre-mounted with Karakoram board clips

Stated Weight: 2.5 kg / 5.51 lbs

Blister’s Measured Weight: 2.66 kg / 5.87 lbs

MSRP: $1,100.00

Bindings: 15/16 Karakoram Prime Carbon binding | 15/16 Spark Blaze

Boots: Deeluxe Independent BC | Fitwell Backcountry

Test Locations: Anchorage Front Range backcountry, Turnagain Pass backcountry, Thompson Pass backcountry, Chugach Mountains; Hatcher Pass backcountry, Talkeetna Mountains, AK

Days Tested: 45

Introduction

Amplid introduces the Milligram splitboard as “the summit of splitboard performance” achieved by “combining state-of-the-art materials and construction with good old fashioned experience. Experimentation by Amplid’s top secret LAB department has resulted in the development of the lightest splitboard construction on the market”.

At first glance, the board’s craftsmanship is very impressive and visually striking. The Milligram is unbelievably light, which should help relieve fatigue when touring, and increase agility on the descent.

Construction

According to Amplid, the light weight and performance of this board is achieved through several key features:

-BBP core: Paulownia and Balsa are arranged in the low impact zones with stronger Birch located under the bindings and along the edge of the board to reduce weight without sacrificing strength.

The combination does quite an effective job of remaining sensitive yet seems to dampen unwanted chatter without additional weight.

-Topless Construction: A belt finished structural topsheet eliminates the need for a heavy topsheet while remaining semi-durable and waterproof.

To ensure protection against metal splitboard bindings, Amplid added multidirectional fiberglass pads under the binding regions which has proven to be quite effective. The topsheet is not the most durable compared to that of the Jones Carbon Solution or G3 Scapegoat, and noticeable wear has occurred where the board rubs at the tip and tail while touring. Although there is no structural damage, there is considerably more visual wear as a result of the belt finished topsheet.

Andrew Forward reviews the Amplid Milligram for Blister Review.

Andrew Forward on the Amplid Milligram, Thompson Pass, AK.

-Low viscosity resin: A resin from the aerospace industry, which is able to flow between the composite fibers easily to ensure no voids or points of weakness. This allows for a much thinner profile and eliminates any excess resin in the board, further reducing weight.

-Amplid’s Full Carbon Jacket: The most expensive carbon fiber laminate in Amplid’s arsenal. The carbon’s tensile strength to weight ratio is unbeatable, resulting in thin lightweight laminates. In addition, Amplid uses pre-streched fibers to remain responsive and poppy which is designed to enhance the longevity of the board.

Camber Profile

The Milligram features Amplid’s directional Half-Fat camber, a combination of camber between the bindings with an early rise nose to improve buoyancy in deep, soft snow. I have really grown to love the traditional camber between the feet due to its edge hold on both soft and hard snow.

In addition to the edge hold, the traditional camber feels very poppy and powerful on the descent. This camber profile rides very similar to the early rise rocker and camber of the Jones Snowboards Carbon Solution, but is much snappier and more dynamic. The Milligram’s Half-Fat camber is much more responsive than any other splitboard I have tried, resulting in a very playful ride.

Flex

The Milligram is noticeably softer than the Jones Carbon Solution and G3 Scapegoat.While the Jones Carbon Solution is one of the stiffest Jones boards (they rate it a 10 out of 10), the Amplid Milligram feels comparable to a 6-7 out of 10.

I am not particularly a large person (5’11” | 155 lbs) and the flex and spine of the 163 cm is comparable to a high end solid snowboard, often making me forget I am riding a splitboard. However, I could see this board feeling soft to a larger/more aggressive rider, resulting in a less-stable, squirrely ride. Personally, I have struggled to find a board that can dampen bumps and chatter while remaining snappy enough for trees, natural features, jumps and explosive turns…until the Milligram.

Skinning

While testing the board in Valdez, I had ample time to critique the skinning performance of the Milligram on the common 4500-5000+ foot climbs. At first I could not believe how light the board felt…and not just for a splitboard, but even compared to carbon touring skis with tech bindings.

Of the two other boards (Jones Carbon Solution, G3 Scapegoat) I cycled through while in Thompson Pass for 5 weeks, the Milligram was by far the most enjoyable to tour with. The Milligram’s exceptionally lightweight construction is most noticeable when the board is split. I felt much faster and stronger on the climbs, allowing me to have more energy for the ride down.

Andrew Forward reviews the Amplid Milligram for Blister Review.

Andrew Forward on the Amplid Milliram, Talkeetna Mountains Backcountry, AK.

However the light weight has a trade off. While touring on hard snow, such as melt/freeze crust, the board can be hard to edge, especially with a softer boot. I prefer the Jones Carbon Solution when touring around bigger lines with exposure or variable snow.

Often I find myself more skittish on the climb than the descent, and a stiffer board with more edging powder seems to help alleviate those nerves. The Jones Carbon Solution is much stiffer than the Amplid Milligram and seems to bite into harder snow with its Magnatraction. The softness of the Milligram can also make breaking trail harder in deep light snow, or isothermal soft snow due to a lot more ski penetration underfoot, creating dished out skin tracks.

The touring mounting pattern of the Milligram seems to be more centrally located than most splitboards — the nose seems a bit shorter, and tail longer. When touring, my toe is considerably closer to the center of the board than on the Jones Carbon Solution. Although the extra couple inches of tail took some getting used to while kick turning, I did like how easily the board could be “flicked” and it seemed to be more balanced over all.

NEXT: Descending, Powder, Etc.

13 Comments

  1. Matt September 21, 2016 Reply

    Is a G3 Scapegoat review up next?

    • Author
      Andrew Forward September 22, 2016 Reply

      Hey Matt,
      The 16/17 G3 Scapegoat should go online shortly.

  2. GW October 18, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for the killer review Andrew! Just curious what you thought of the flex and feel of the Sparks vs. the Karakorams on the Milligram. Also, I was wondering what you thought of the 163 length. I’m 5’10.5″ and 150 lbs and am debating between the 58 and 63. Thanks!

    • Author
      Andrew Forward October 20, 2016 Reply

      GW,
      Thanks! I think if you are concerned about the board feeling too soft, the stiffer Karakoram Prime or Prime Carbon could help out there. If your looking for a more playful ride, maybe consider the Spark Arc, as the high backs and binding chassis seem to be a bit softer and more flexible. In addition to height and weight, riding style has a big influence on binding choice and board size… However, I think you would be happiest with the 163cm, especially if you don’t mind a little more float and stability at higher speeds. We are about the same weight and size, and I am more than happy with the 163cm, from tight tree runs, cliffs, kickers, and big open steeps.

  3. GW October 22, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for the advice Andrew! I’m still debating between bindings. I read your Prime Carbon review and it seemed like you favored Karakorams for pulling the board halves together and your Milligram review mentioned that the board felt more like a solid when descending. Would you say that the Milligram felt more like a solid board with Karakorams or the Sparks you tested the board with? Or did you notice a difference in the bindings in terms of giving the board a more solid feel at all?

    • Author
      Andrew Forward October 24, 2016 Reply

      I think the Karakoram’s definitely lock the board together better, which is always nice for a snappy, poppy board (such as the Milligram) to ensure the board halves are locked and uniform, when carving. If your set up is too soft and the bindings are a bit sloppy, in terms of torsional flex, you may feel the middle edges catch slightly when laying into harder turns ( if you check your track you may also notice you can even see where and how badly the middle edge is catching). That being said, the Sparks still feel great and I think that they do not negatively affect the boards performance on the descent in any way. The Spark Arcs seem to cater towards a more freestyle / playful approach to riding, where as the Karakoram Prime Carbons stiffen up the board, creating a more responsive and stiffer feel (better for harder snow, high speeds etc). The Karakoram Prime1’s or Spark Surge could be a good in-between choice, depending on which board interface you like better. The Spark interface is simple and bomb proof, while Karakoram’s interface seems to perform better and is more responsive…

  4. GW October 26, 2016 Reply

    Killer, thanks Andrew! Life is all about tradeoffs I guess

  5. Morris April 5, 2017 Reply

    Andrew how are you?? as a freestyle oriented rider, 5,6 feet tall and 165 pounds weight im thinking for next season to get the milligram 158 with Spark Arc bindings to start my splitboarding adventures……. is it possible to also mount regular bindings on this board? Do you think my set up is good for my style of riding?

    • Author
      Andrew Forward April 5, 2017 Reply

      Hey Morris,
      I do think the Milligram would be a great choice for you. Its still my favorite freestyle / all mountain board. As for sizing, I think the 158 could be ideal. If you want more float and a slightly stiffer ride for deep pow, maybe consider the 163cm. Weight wise, I think you fall somewhere in the middle between the 158/163. I normally ride a 161cm( 5’11″/165lb) have found the 163 is perfect for me…
      Aa for mounting regular bindings, I would not recommend it. It is possible to use resort bindings mounted to Voile plates, however it is less responsive and puts you further up off the board, decreasing performance. I think you would be happy just using the Sparks, or possibly the Karakoram Connect… a binding that can be used for splitboarding ( with an additional split kit) and for the resort via the quiver connector. See my review if your interested: http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/snowboard-reviews/first-look-2016-17-karakoram-prime-connect-snowboard-binding

      I think with either binding choice, you will have a really nice set up with the Milligram.

  6. Kirk Summers April 19, 2017 Reply

    “Although it would not necessarily be my top choice for bigger, exposed lines with variable ice and snow”
    Looks like some of the AK lines you did were exactly that, why wouldn’t it be your choice for these conditions, and what would you rather have. Something Stiffer? That’s my only holdup with the milli, A) durability and B) does the flex come with a loss of backbone at times when I’ll need it 40+ degree variable conditions.

    Thanks

    • Author
      Andrew Forward April 26, 2017 Reply

      Hi Kirk,
      I did use the Milligram in those conditions and although it did ride fine, something a little bit stiffer seemed to feel more stable on the melt/freeze snow, chunder and firmer conditions. Overall the board is very impressive on most conditions, but by doing a side by side test I preferred something with a little more backbone such as the Jones Carbon Solution or Rossignol XV Magtek when skinning or riding on really variable snow at higher speeds. But with added stiffness you do lose the feel and playfulness of a typical solid board…

      The Milligram seems extremely durable from what I have seen and it is usually my first choice for most backcountry outings. If concerned about back bone, you could consider a longer board, depending on your weight and size. Overall I think you would be very pleased with how well the board rides. What size are you considering?

  7. AMZ October 18, 2017 Reply

    Andrew thanks for all of the reviews you have done. I’m also an AK based rider and find my self mostly exploring the mountains near the highways in thompason, hatcher, and turnagain pass.. This has me leaning more towards high traction skins for my next setup (163 mg). Have you found a skin brand/type that you prefer?

    • Author
      Andrew Forward October 21, 2017 Reply

      I have traditionally gone with Voile Tractor skins and they seem all around the best bang for your buck– great grip and glue and seem to outlast any other splitboard specific skins. Kohla Tirol also makes some amazing skins that are much lighter and thinner than G3 or Voile. I have avoided G3 skins due to the glue… from my experience it degrades the fastest and gunks up no matter how well you take care of them. Another option that seems to work, is to buy black diamond skins (for skis) and cut them to fit your board. You will have to spend a bit more time on the tip and tail interface/fit, but its pretty easy if you can use your old tail clips (or buy just the voile or spark tail clips separately)…

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