Story of a Splitboard Binding Made in the USA

Story of a Splitboard Binding Made in the USA

I was just born in North Bend, Washington, but where did I really come from? These guys designed me, but many more people helped bring me to life. I’m proud of my Washington roots, 95 percent of my parts are made by suppliers around the Puget Sound and the Greater Northwest. Here is my story:

Split30 saying hello copy

Tyler and Bryce at Rainier

Bryce and Tyler, creators of Karakoram

Washington Ferry UPS

Washington supply chain, ferry across Puget Sound, and Cedar waiting for Patrick (our UPS guy)

My journey begins in a little town on the west side of Puget Sound, a short ferry ride away from Seattle. Here the chips fly and flood coolant rains down as a monster horizontal mill sculpts my CNC’d components from aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum- a new part brought to life every 5 minutes. These precision machined parts are my backbone.

Horizontal Mill

Horizontal Mill cutting heelstays

Back on the other side of Puget Sound in Kent, Washington a Swiss Screw Machine precision turns and mills high strength stainless steel bar stock into my custom hardware and pins. These parts are the inner workings of my attachment mechanism.

Screw Machine and pins

Screw machine turning and milling pins

Just up the road, in Woodinville, gigantic molding presses the size of a trucks shoot all my plastic components out of SuperTough DuPont Zytel. These parts include my Airflow Highback, tour mode base, climbing risers and a few others.


A few miles away in Bothell, my heelcups are waterjet and bent into shape. Then my heelcups are shipped up to Mukilteo for powder coating to bring a little color into my life.

powder coating

Heelcups travelling through a powder coating oven

These and a few other components are trucked into Karakoram headquarters in North Bend, Washington where Robert, the Karakoram Production and Process Engineer, receives my parts for final assembly and packaging. Snowboarders and backcountry enthusiasts assemble each binding, building every set as if it was their own.

Parts are meticulously assembled into the heelstay and riveted closed. Each lever is checked for the perfect over-center snap.

Stacks of heelstays ready for rivets

Stacks of heelstays ready for rivets

Heelstay

Final pressing of rivets on heelstays

Russell is particularly fond of assembling heelstays.

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Russell has a banana peel on his head

Axles are lubricated and sleeves are assembled into toestays.

toestays

Toestay assembly

Tour modes are riveted together.

Riveting tour modes

Riveting tour modes

A jigsaw style layout table ensures that every part is included in the interface kit.

Layout table for packing

Layout table for packing

Now the exciting part begins, final assembly! Zip, zip, zip. An assembly fixture holds parts in place as a skilled binding technician (Russell, Robert, Tyler, or Bryce) torques screws to hold me together. I’m slid down the assembly line and my anticipation builds, one more step before I’m ready for snow.

Robert assembles a Split30 Splitboard Binding

Once finally assembled my builder runs me through a fit check jig and then puts me in a box to wait for a partner to climb and shred mountains with.

Test fitting binding on fixture

Test fitting binding on fixture

I could be your bindings, but I’m actually going to Jeremy Jones! Alaska, Europe, Japan, the Arctic adventures here I come! I’m manufactured and assembled in the USA, built for your adventures.

Jeremy 1

Where will you take me? I’m particularly fond of long walks in the mountains…

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