TGR Tested: Chimera Sceptre Split
Touring on this board was great because of how light it was. It also handled the crud and variable conditions I brought it into with no real issues. - Blake Hunter
Conceptualized and constructed by a close-knit collective of engineers, designers, and craftsmen based out of Utah’s Wasatch range, Chimera Backcountry Snowboards has been dedicated to producing hand-built splitboards that ride just as well as their solid competitors. Built in small batches since the brand’s inception, every board is shaped with a close attention to detail, prioritizing high-end products for riders dedicated to the backcountry culture and experience. A flagship model in the 2019/2020 lineup, the Sceptre aims—and achieves—to be a well-rounded spark plug of a touring rig that makes any backcountry terrain fair game. From low-angle pow to steep and variable spring conditions, the Sceptre proves to be equipped to excel at it all.
The Sceptre immediately stands apart from the crowded pool of competitors thanks to its prominent blunted nose and subtle crescent-shaped tail. Between the large surface area of its early rise front end, and the incorporation of a mild taper that extends to the flat-cambered backend, the Sceptre’s profile begs to be ridden in deep, mid-winter conditions. But thanks to a medium flex and classic feel underfoot, it’s also more versatile than those quiver oriented boards that only get dug out on the deep days. Plus, thanks to the bright pink base found on our test model, tester Blake Hunter even commended the Chimera for its ability to “stand out in the huge population boost of people who like to tour the backcountry these days.”
Chimera bills the Sceptre as a powerful and agile splitboard designed for all-season backcountry use, and that’s essentially what our testers found. From crispy, early morning hardpack to choppy, late afternoon corn, the Sceptre was capable of maintaining a smooth, surfy, and stable feel throughout. Tester Blake Hunter noted that it did feel slightly more forgiving than advertised, labeling the board as “soft, but poppy,” and adding that it possessed a “lively and playful flex pattern.” Where it truly stood out was on the skin track though, with Hunter praising the Sceptre for its lack of weight. “The lightweight build will let you make that extra lap at the end of a long day, or, at the very least, make it easier getting back to the parking lot.”
Who is it for?
“For any playful rider just stepping into the touring game, this board would not disappoint,” said Hunter. With its lightweight construction and medium flex pattern, the Sceptre proved to be a versatile and viable option for those looking to enter the backcountry for the first time, while also catering to the experienced riders who appreciate a softer and more forgiving ride. It’s still by no means a board that backcountry enthusiasts will grow out of, so long as stiff and aggressive are not a priority. As Hunter mentioned, “ You can butter down the whole run you just hiked and feel the smooth turns beneath you, or you can set the board up a little more directional if you need more nose on those deep days. All without messing up the functionality of its design.”