The influence of splitboard bindings and touring-specific boots on muscle activity, stride length, and joint kinematics during splitboard touring
Valentin, Celine McShea
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Splitboarding is a form of alpine recreation that involves using a snowboard that splits into two skis to tour in backcountry terrain. At the summit, the skis are attached together and used as a normal snowboard to ride downhill. As splitboarding has grown in popularity, manufacturers have developed splitboard-specific equipment, such as bindings and boots. This crossover study investigated the effects of highback lean settings on Spark R&D splitboard bindings and two Burton Snowboards boot models while touring uphill. Subjects toured on a treadmill at a 10% incline in four test conditions: the Driver X boot with positive lean, the Driver X boot with negative lean, the Tourist boot with positive lean, and the Tourist boot with negative lean. Lower limb muscle activity was recorded as average root-mean-square (RMS) for gluteus medius (GM), biceps femoris (BF), rectus femoris (RF), medial gastrocnemius (MG), and tibialis anterior (TA). Kinematics variables of stride length, and ankle and knee range of motion (ROM) were also measured. The effects of the boots and bindings were determined using a two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (alpha < 0.05). The main effect of binding on average RMS was not significant for all muscles except MG (F = 8.821, p = 0.018, f = 1.05), with the negative lean having higher average RMS than the positive lean. The main effect of boot on stride length was significant (F = 15.791, p = 0.003, f = 1.33), with the Tourist resulting in a 3.56 cm longer stride length that the Driver X. The main effect of binding on stride length was also significant (F = 9.875, p = 0.012, f = 1.05), with negative lean resulting in a 2.21 cm longer stride length than the positive lean. The main effect of boot model on ankle ROM was significant (F = 36.325, p = 0.000, f = 2.00), with the Tourist having a larger ROM than the Driver X. There were no significant effects or interactions for knee ROM. The results of this study demonstrate that boot model and binding settings can affect biomechanical and physiological variables while splitboard touring.