These days, it’s all too easy to start a ski or snowboard brand with little more than a name and marketing strategy. Whether you’re selling something as simple as a beanie or something as complex as snowboard bindings, you can pretty much pick it out of a supplier’s catalogue, slap a logo on it and away you go.
Spark R&D represent the complete antithesis of this approach. They are a small independent company who don’t have huge budgets, yet they’ve put an incredible amount of time and money into research and development, designing and testing their products from scratch in order to perfect them. The splitboard bindings they sell are genuine feats of engineering, full of clever little features that make being out in the backcountry an easier, and generally more pleasant, experience.
“These are basically the Bugatti Veyron of the binding world, packed with clever little bits of engineering that will save you significant amounts of time and energy on the hill.”
The company was founded in 2006 by a mechanical engineer named Will Ritter from Bozeman, Montana. Ritter had fallen in love with splitboarding but found the bindings – or the binding adaption kits that most riders were using – heavy and clunky. Spotting an opportunity, he began developing his own. Ten years later he’s still at it.
Spark R&D now produce skins and some accessories too, but binding design and manufacture is still the heart of their business. Basically these guys do one thing and they do it incredibly well. Sparks are widely recognised as the best splitboard bindings in the business, bar none.