The Amplid Creamer Splitboard is the workhorse split in the German brand’s range. Based around an all mountain freeride shape, the Creamer is built to perform across a wide variety of snow conditions and terrain types. Amplid kindly gave me a 2016 / 2017 Creamer Split 163 to take to the Lyngen Alps for a week. So, although I haven’t had the chance to ride this board extensively, I still logged enough hours during some pretty big days, in a variety of conditions, to get a good idea of what the Creamer Splitboard is all about.
Size – 163 (158 and 168 also available)
Profile – Directional Cruise Camber (trad camber with early rise nose)
Taper – 4mm
Weight – 3.3kg (at least that was the weight of my sample. Amplid claim 3.2kg)
Waist Width – 253cm
Hardware – Karakorum Clips / standard insert pattern
Made in – Austria
RRP – 750 Euro
Rider stats – 76KG, 170CM, size UK 8 / EU 42 feet.
Ridden with – 2017 Spark R+D Surge bindings.
Shape and Profile
There’s a story behind the Creamer’s shape – a couple of years ago Peter Bauer, Amplid owner and designer, wanted to celebrate both the 10 year anniversary of Amplid and his 30 year anniversary in snowboarding, by developing a snowboard that represented what he regards as the ideal shape for freeriding. That board became the B10/30 and although the deck itself doesn’t exist anymore, Amplid took the shape and profile and based both the Creamer, Creamer Split and their high-end splitboard, The Milligram, around that shape.
Unsurprisingly, the board is based around a combined camber / rocker profile. Directional Cruise Camber, as Amplid call it, has moderate trad camber under the feet with an early rise rocker towards the nose. It’s designed to provide stability and power through the camber along with flotation in deep snow as a result of the early rise in the nose. The Creamer Split also has a little taper – just 4mm overall. The stance is set back 15mm. The idea is to improve turn initiation and provide enough float without affecting the stability, power and balance that a proper tail and more centered stance can provide.
I stuck my 163 Creamer Split on the scales and it came in at 3.3kg. Amplid claim 3.2kg, but who cares. The bottom line is that this is a very light board, especially considering the solid feel and the fact that it doesn’t come in at a crazy price. I have to admit that once on my feet, I didn’t necessarily notice how light the board was compared to the other split I rode that week which weighed 4kg (a Burton Landlord, incidentally), but the difference is there and over a long day it’s got to be a bonus. It’s testament to Amplid’s commitment to using advanced construction techniques and materials that they can create such a solid split at this weight.
In the Skintrack
I fully expected the Creamer to excel on the ups. The combination of the waist width and the camber / rocker profile should mean good performance in the skintrack and that’s exactly what you get with this board. On dodgy traverses (let’s face it, most traverses on a splitboard feel a little dodgy at times, at least to me!) I felt I could really lock the outside edge into the skintrack which give an added feeling of security. The under foot camber and stiff-ish flex all combine to give a stable and solid platform. And, although I didn’t find myself forging too many skintracks in fresh powder, the nose shape and rocker stayed above any soft snow I did encounter. Another member of my crew, who usually rides a pow specific split with a big nose and shorter tail, also spent a day on the Creamer. He commented on how kick turns were easier on the Creamer than on his regular board due to the more centered stance. The other feature I appreciated on the ascent were the Creamer’s inside edges. They are bevelled, sharp and again add to the general feeling of security on hard snow and steeper ground.
The only real negative where the Creamer is concerned in this area is the amount of snow that stuck to the topsheet. To be fair this isn’t a problem exclusive to Amplid or the Creamer. Ascending in a skin track made by skiers, on a splitboard, means some snow is always gonna accumulate on the topsheet and the issue is even worse if the snow is the kind of dense pow that’s pretty heavy and seems to stick to everything. My wife rides a 4-year-old K2 deck with a topsheet that is really effective when it comes to shedding snow. I’d appreciate a split that does the same, it would save a huge amount of effort during a long day.
Amplid supplied the Creamer Split with skins made by Kohla which are shaped specifically for the board. They seemed to work pretty well. I’ve yet to find a perfect set of skins but these were as good as any I’ve tried. Both the nose and tail clips are easy to fit to the board without too much struggling and they dried out fairly quickly when wet, despite the fact we were in a camper van. I had a couple of issues when snow worked its way under the skin at the edges and balled up underneath a little. That was after a long, flat skin home down a valley with wet spring snow though and I wasn’t the only one in the group to have issues.The Kohla skins are available to buy through Amplid but as far as I know don’t come supplied with the board.
On the Descent
The Creamer Split feels like the all terrain deck that it’s designed to be. In hard snow conditions it holds an edge well and handles crud and choppy stuff with aplomb, helped no doubt by the basalt stringers which work to dampen vibrations. On some pretty horrific wind blasted snow in Norway the Creamer felt safe and solid. The snow was hard and uneven and the slope was fairly steep – in short it was the kind of thing you wouldn’t want to be ridding a noodle on. The board providing a stable platform and let me ride over the nasty stuff without worrying I was going to get bucked off too bad. I was pretty impressed considering I had a split rather than a solid board under my feet.
A couple of days later I rode the Creamer in dense, fresh pow and it felt great – the slight taper was barely noticeable when riding but turn initiation was good. I wasn’t fortunate enough to ride any really deep snow on the board but flotation was ample when cruising mellow untracked pow through the trees at the bottom of the peak. I think this is primarily down to the nose shape – it’s smooth and rounded and rises above the snow really nicely. It also gives the board a nice easy going feel in flatter terrain. The nose isn’t quite a pow specific as Amplid’s powder board, the Morning Glory, but it still works well in pow. It’s the thing that gives the board its versatility I think – on steep difficult ground the camber provides the solid feel but in more mellow terrain the board’s nature is calmed by the smooth, catch free nose.
After riding more pow orientated boards recently it was interesting to get onto something with a proper tail. The Creamer’s back-end definitely felt stable and solid and helped me ride steeper stuff with more confidence than perhaps I would have done on something with a shorter or more tapered tail. I imagine the solid version of the Creamer would carve really nicely on piste too as the board locks into a turn well and feels pretty powerful on exit.
The Creamer is supplied with Karakorum Clips to lock the board together. One of the clips on my Creamer was a little loose and sloppy. If it hadn’t been a sample I would have adjusted it. It didn’t prove to be a problem though. In fact, due to the beveled inside edges on first glance it’s easy to think that the Creamer’s 2 halves don’t join quite as tightly as you’d like. Get it locked together with bindings in place and it’s nice and tight though. Overall the workmanship seemed pretty high. The Creamer is European made in a renowned Austrian factory, so I’d be confident in the overall quality and durability of this board.
The Creamer felt like what I expect a traditional big mountain snowboard to be but with the addition of some nice shape / design details that make a difference. The nose profile and low overall weight in particular are features I like. I’d recommend the Creamer Split to riders who look for their splitboard to have a solid, dependable feel combined with a high-tech lightweight construction. And let’s face it, they are good characteristics for any split to have.
Splitters who prefer a board to have a little more flex and flow should perhaps look elsewhere. As should those looking for something more pow specific for really deep snow. The Creamer Split’s characteristics means the emphasis is on solid, all terrain versatility. Overall I’d say the Creamer Split is well made, well thought out and would make a super solid choice for anyone looking for a lightweight split that can handle the variety of snow and terrain that a typical day’s splitboarding can throw up.