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Burton Snowboards – “Built on Boards”

The B's epic R&D Facility has lead to some killer boards for 2017

Terje Haakonsen getting his hands dirty at Burton’s R&D facility, Craig’s.

When it comes to making snowboards, Burton couldn’t take anything more seriously. It’s their bread and butter and has been since 1977.

In 2011, to further fine-tune their board building nous, Burton opened a state-of-the-art prototype facility – simply titled ‘Craig’s’ in honour of their legendary team rider who passed away in 2003 – which is located right next to the brand’s HQ in Vermont. The most sophisticated snowboard R&D facility they’ve ever built, Craig’s is where Burton are now able to take rider feedback, construct a fully-working prototype using their custom machinery, and have it ready to be stress tested on snow by the team the very next day.

“The technology, knowhow and experience living and breathing within Burton’s R&D facility, Craig’s, pushes us forward,” say Burton. “And while we didn’t invent the idea of prototyping and testing, what we put behind everything we make is unequaled in snowboarding then, now, and the future. It’s all in that search for the next best thing.”

Their 2017 line benefits from the knowledge garnered from testing prototypes built at Craig’s, so we decided to dive in close up on some of the backcountry-focussed Family Tree line to see how Burton truly are ‘Built on Boards’…

[Below: L to R: Men’s Burton Gate Keeper; Men’s Burton Skeleton Key; Women’s Burton Day Trader; Women’s Burton High Spirits, from the Family Tree line – dive deeper below.]

Burton Family Tree Gate Keeper snowboard
Burton Family Tree Gate Keeper

Men’s Burton Gate Keeper

When it comes to charging big lines way out in the beyond, this board – designed with input from some of the world’s leading backcountry guides – is on another level in terms of pure speed and float.

The Gate Keeper is, unsurprisingly, a fully directional board with powerful directional camber that delivers the reliable response you need for tackling hairy descents. As mentioned, float and speed were paramount for this board, so it also has a 15mm taper in the tail to cause the nose to rise up in pow, turns super easily and maintain momentum blasting through flat spots.

Inside you have an FSC Certified wood core that’s laid up with 45º Carbon Highlights fibreglass for snap and response, bio epoxy to lower your carbon footprint, Squeezebox tech to improve stability and flex, and on the bottom the recycled sintered base is lightening quick.

The Gate Keeper is certainly stiff – though not super aggressive – so you’ll need to be a confident rider to appreciate this, but if you are and you like riding powder fast, this could well be your ticket to tackling the big lines.

DETAILS

BEND – Directional Camber
SHAPE – Directional Shape, 15MM Taper
FLEX – Directional Flex
CORE – FSC™ Certified Super Fly II™ 700G Core, Dualzone™ EGD™
FIBERGLASS – 45° Carbon Highlights
BASE Recycled – Sintered WFO Base
MOUNTING – The Channel™
FEATURES – Squeezebox, Balanced Freeride Geometry, EcoZen® Topsheet, Super Sap® Epoxy, Infinite Ride™
BURTON WARRANTY – 3-Year Warranty

More info on the Burton Gate Keeper

Burton Family Tree Skeleton Key snowboard
Burton Family Tree Skeleton Key

Men’s Burton Skeleton Key

If there’s one board that could be said to embody the spirit of what Craig’s is all about it’s the Skeleton Key – it was developed and hand-shaped in Burton’s R&D facility.

This fully directional Swiss Army knife of a snowboard has been designed to unlock whatever kind of forward-facing riding you want to do. Described as “An offspring of a one-night stand between the Con Artist and Flight Attendant,” the all new Skeleton Key has swiftly become a team and tester favourite thanks to its full spectrum freeride versatility: be it in back bowls, groomers, Japanese tree runs or Riks Banked Slalom berms this thing straight up blasts through anything you point its nose at.

A hard charging directional tapered shape with camber is blended with a slightly increased waist width to give you a board that carves like a butcher, and floats like a butterfly. As with all the Family Tree line, it uses FSC certified wood core, and the Skeleton Key draws response and stability from traxial fibreglass and Squeezebox technology. Perfect for freeriders who want to do it all in any situation.

DETAILS

BEND – Directional Camber
SHAPE – Directional Shape, 10MM Taper
FLEX – Directional Flex
CORE – FSC™ Certified Super Fly II™ 700G Core, Dualzone™ EGD™
FIBERGLASS – Triax™ Fiberglass
BASE – Recycled Sintered WFO Base
MOUNTING – The Channel™
FEATURES – Squeezebox, Balanced Freeride Geometry, Pro-Tip™, Super Sap® Epoxy, Infinite Ride™
BURTON WARRANTY – 3-Year Warranty

More info on the Burton Skeleton Key

Burton Family Tree Day Trader snowboard
Burton Family Tree Day Trader

Women’s Burton Day Trader

Developed with the input of Burton’s all-mountain ladyboss Kimmy Fasani, the Day Trader is all about letting girls step their game up when conditions are blower.

Sure, this is primarily aimed at riding powder, but the Day Trader’s tapered directional shape is super surfy and will happily lap up groomers when the tide’s a little lower, too. Get it in deeper conditions, though, and you’ll be rewarded with effortless float and excellent control thanks to its zero camber Directional Flat Top profiling and early rise kicks. These allow the pop and response of camber, yet with a more rockered feeling of forgivingness and lift, to cope handsomely whether you’re taking mellower laps or going a bit more all-in with your riding.

Features like a sustainable FSC certified wood core and bio-based Super Sap resin ensure the board is easy on both you and the environment, and in terms of flex the Day Trader sits pretty much bang in the happy medium between stiff and soft, meaning that any women wanting to search out stashes or tear up the hardpack will find this board a solid and dependable steed.

DETAILS

BEND – Directional Flat Top
SHAPE – Directional Shape, 12MM Taper
FLEX – Directional Flex
CORE – FSC™ Certified Super Fly II™ 700G Core, Dualzone™ EGD™
FIBERGLASS – Triax™ Fiberglass
BASE – Recycled Sintered WFO Base
MOUNTING – The Channel™
FEATURES – Squeezebox, EcoZen® Topsheet, Infinite Ride™, Super Sap® Epoxy
BURTON WARRANTY – 3-Year Warranty

More info on the Burton Day Trader

Burton Family Tree High Spirits snowboard
Burton Family Tree High Spirits

Women’s Burton High Spirits

What the Gate Keeper is for men, the High Spirits is for women – a dedicated powder machine engineered for performance riding in the backcountry.

As with all Burton’s women’s boards, the shape and flex are fine-tuned for female riders, and in this case for more aggressive female riders looking for awesome powder potential. It’s still surfy, just a more quick-turning, aggressive kind of white wave riding. If you’re the kind of snowboarder who wants to hack, charge and boost off features like Kimmy Fasani or Kelly Clark, this board will have you stepping your game up in no time thanks to some focussed Burton tech.

The High Spirit has a Directional Flying V base profile for the float and fun of rocker but the pop and response of camber, a medium flex, 60º Carbon Highlights and tapered shape – all of which is engineered towards getting you slaying the backcountry. There’s also environmentally respectful features like an FSC certified core and bio-based Super Sap resin to reduce your footprint. Progressive female powder fiends will love this.

DETAILS

BEND – Directional Flying V
SHAPE – Directional Shape, 20MM Taper
FLEX – Directional Flex
CORE – FSC™ Certified Super Fly II™ 700G Core, Dualzone™ EGD™
FIBERGLASS – 60° Carbon Highlights
BASE – Recycled Sintered WFO Base
MOUNTING – The Channel™
FEATURES – Squeezebox, Balanced Freeride Geometry, EcoZen® Topsheet, Super Sap® Epoxy, Infinite Ride™
BURTON WARRANTY – 3-Year Warranty

More info on the Burton High Spirits
Below: Hats off to Burton staff photographer Blotto for his awesome tree shots that grace this year’s Burton Family Tree line

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