WHEAT RIDGE — Adam Browning, the founder of Oz Snowboards based in Wheat Ridge, has secured his first patent for a split snowboard that permits the board to be split into skis. “There’s not a whole lot of things you can do new,” Browning said of the snowboarding industry. “We’ve done our part to move the sport forward.” BusinessDen reported that the patent allows Oz to produce its newest iteration of splitboards — snowboards that split into ski shapes, so a rider can easily manage mountains in the backcountry. The patent is for a locking system that holds the two pieces of a splitboard together, prohibiting the boards from flexing too much and hampering downhill riding. “It rides like a solid board, not a splitboard,” Browning said. Browning said he first started working on the locking system during summer 2015, after realizing his splitboards had too much flex while riding downhill. Oz started making prototypes using the new locks and testing them at St. Mary’s Glacier near Idaho Springs. It then made a few boards for the firm’s sponsored riders, but otherwise waited until the patent came in before going full-throttle on the product. Browning, 43, grew up in Colorado and attended Colorado State University. Browning works out of a 2,600-square-foot warehouse at 4880 Robb St. in Wheat Ridge, employing four people during the busy winter season. He said 60 percent of Oz’s sales come from regular solid snowboards and 40 percent from splitboards, and that splitboard sales have increased 20 percent annually.