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Burton Flight Attendant X 2018-2019 Splitboard Review

It’s testament to the Burton Flight Attendant’s enduring popularity that it’s now inspired a splitboard version. Two versions, actually; as well as a standard take, there’s the Burton Flight Attendant X.

As has been the case with the Burton Custom for years, the ‘X’ indicates a makeover that keeps the essential elements of what makes the original tick, but supercharges them. In the case of the Burton Flight Attendant X splitboard, the difference in the materials used is radical.

“The Burton Flight Attendant X is tough enough to scream down gnarly faces as fast as you dare, but does it with less weight than you’d expect”

Both the fibreglass and the base have previously only been found in the limited-edition (and pricey) ‘Mystery’ release (which this year is the Burton Mystery Fish). Details of the former are kept close to Burton’s chest; all we know is that it involves robots (seriously), and results in a lighter, stronger board than can be achieved with regular fibreglass. Same goes for the ‘Methlon’ base, but it’s said to be extra durable as well as lightning fast.

The result is that the Burton Flight Attendant X is tough enough to scream down gnarly faces as fast as you dare, but does it with less weight than you’d expect. In a splitboard that’s doubly useful, as you’ll feel the benefit on the way up as well as down.

The price tag may well scare some people off, but anyone who appreciates the very best in tech may well be seduced by the Burton Flight Attendant X.

Tester’s Verdict

Sam McMahonwhitelines.com

“The original Flight Attendant is GREAT! Powerful and playful, there are few boards that can balance float, edge performance and snappy pop quite like this. Whilst it wasn’t a total revolution in design when it first appeared in 2014, it was one of those instances where Burton saw where the market was already heading and then brought out one of the best versions of it. Late to the party maybe, but then again Zaphod Beeblebrox always was too.

When the split version came out last year I was fully hyped on it. It tested just as well as the standard version, and was the first splitboard I’d ridden that brought a bit of levity to the touring game. You could now skin up a mountain, but have something fun and lively under you on the way down. A weapon chomping at the bit to slash lips and pop of cliffs. A revelation.

So now, a more carbon-y version, the Flight Attendant X Split? Eh? Because more carbon equals better, I guess. So onwards and upwards I went, thankfully unaware of the price tag at the time of testing.

“It looks like the Flight Attendant I know and love, but it definitely doesn’t feel like one”

On the way up it works fine, has plenty of grip whilst traversing and is well balanced for kickturns. Burton’s collabs on the more niche backcountry accessories (which it’s fair to assume you’ll probably be using if you’re on a Burton board) are great as well – skins good, poles good, bindings great, and the Channel system makes adjustments and switching between modes easy as.

But on the way down… It looks like a the Flight Attendant I know and love, but it definitely doesn’t feel like one. Where the snap once was, the tail is now too stiff to easily load up, and when trying to butter it the nose fights back rather than welcoming play. It’s just… stiff. Someone has taken this board I love so much and made it half the fun for twice the price.

Sorry Burton, but even the guy doing your catalogues doesn’t know why someone would want this board – the ratings for performance and personality fopr this and the non ‘X’ version are identical. The only noted differences are a fractionaly lighter core and ‘Mystery Glass’. If you already score the original 10/10 for powder, why fuck with it and make it €1400?

Seriously, if you’re shopping for a splitboard, take a good look at the regular Flight Attendant Split – it’s amazing. This isn’t bad by any means, it’s still good enough. It just feels a bit… cynical.”

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