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
- 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
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
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.
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.
-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.