Burton Free Thinker 2020-2021 Snowboard Review

  • Price: $600
  • Category: All-Mountain, Park/Jib
  • Ability Level: Intermediate, Advanced
  • Size: 154, 157, 157w, 160, 160w
  • Flex: 7/10
  • Shape: True Twin
  • Profile: Camber
  • Base: Sintered

The Burton Free Thinker and its brother in arms, The Deep Thinker are leading the charge in Danny Davis’ two-pronged assault on snowboarding. The Free Thinker is your all-mountain freestyle option, built around a balanced true twin chassis and absolutely brimming with the kind of life and energy that Travelin’ Dan has made his trademark.

When you want to send it within the resort boundaries, the Free Thinker is your super playful partner in crime. Its al dente flex and versatile shape are begging boost high and carve low.

“No rockered tips to ease you into things, this is old school do or die snowboarding”

Danny made a name for himself tearing it up in the pipe, and like most boards built for catching big air, the Free Thinker employs a full camber profile. Poppy and powerful when you’re heading up the wall, precise and locked in when you’re landing, it’s a no brainer really. No rockered tips to ease you into things, this is old school do or die snowboarding. It’s not for everybody, especially those who are still getting to grips with the whole sliding sideways thing, but if you’re an experienced rider then the Free Thinker will make you tingle in ways you’d all but forgotten about.

To back up its freestyle chops the tip and tail are both blunted and milled out to reduce weight in those crucial zones, making it easier to manoeuvre in the air. Although there’s nothing more stylish than a lofty cab 1 (except a well-executed method), with the Freethinker you’ve got no excuse not to work on your alpine aerobatics.

“This is joie de vivre encapsulated in wood and fibreglass”

The Freethinker is a heavy hitter, its lightweight core uses Burton’s signature Dualzone EGD to deliver more power to the edges between the contact points. The core in those areas sits perpendicular to the rest of the wood, driving power from your heels and toes to engage the sidecut. Carbon infused laminates ensure rapid response when you’re pushing it, with minimal input garnering max output.

No fear getting lost when you’re riding, your pals will be able to spot you a mile off when you’re riding the Freethinker- either they’ll get an eyeful of the sexy sixties acid trip graphic or they’ll get an earful of your whooping and hollering. This is joie de vivre encapsulated in wood and fibreglass.

When you’re yearning for turning and pining for pillow drops, the Deep Thinker’s got your back, but for your in-bounds bonanzas the Freethinker should be top of your Christmas list.

Tester’s Verdict 2019/20

Rob McCreathWhitelines

“This is exactly my kind of board: twin shape, medium to stiff flex, full camber, classic outline, no funny business.

For the competent, all-mountain freestyle riders out there, it’s an absolute blinder. Probably the stiffest true twin I rode all season and paired with a full camber profile, it’s not the kind of board you’ll want to get caught napping on.

“If you’re committed to riding hard, fast and aggressively it’s the kind of deck that will just supercharge your performance over the mountain”

Then again, if you’re committed to riding hard, fast and aggressively it’s the kind of deck that will just supercharge your performance over the mountain.

First thing in the morning on the groomers, it sliced into the piste with ease, and that twin shape made it a little more nimble and agile compared to a big freeride stick.

Through the slush and crud it was really stable, just hammered through it. Every bump on the piste turns into a launchpad on the free thinker. After riding a camrock snowboard most days this season, you forget just how much extra pop is in the ol’ classic profiles!

Obviously it’s super solid on the takeoff and landings in the park, too. I’m not much of a rail rider, and it’s won’t inspire confidence if you’re just getting into freestyle, but if you’re stepping into the bigger lines it’s the perfect tool for the job.

Burton describes it as a pow-friendly all-mountain board. I never rode it in any deep snow, but I’m a little sceptical that a full camber, twin board like this is going to blow you away in the backcountry. The Deep Thinker would be your go-to choice if you’re spending more time outside the ropes than in.”

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