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Snowboards

Burton Skeleton Key 2019-2020 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 150, 154, 158, 162
  • Flex: 4
  • Profile: Setback Camber
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: £480 / €500
  • BUY DIRECT FROM BURTON

If you’re longing for a fun board to jazz up your life, the Burton Skeleton Key is the flykick to the face you’ve been craving. Everything’s made to be fun with this board, the Skeleton Key is back to please the every-terrain rippers who prefer a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

This is definitely the definition of a good time board, it’s the ideal blend of loose and playful. The setback camber with rocker in the nose, directional shape and 10mm taper defines this loose cannon as a powder board. The elongated nose will keep you plaining when you score some powder, and the cutout tail has a smaller surface area causing it to sink more to keep your weight over the back leg.

“The Burton Skeleton Key is the flykick to the face you’ve been craving”

Despite its obvious powder-like shape, this isn’t your average powder board by any stretch. It’s superb for boosting side hits and cruising about on piste. The camber profile allowing for powerful riding and dynamic turns.

The Skeleton key is a soft-ish board, which makes it the fun friend you’d take out for a laugh at the weekend. However, as it’s a soft board this maybe isn’t ideal for tackling choppy snow and you might be thrown off balance when facing bumpy terrain. If you’re one to usually charge through any kind of terrain, you might want to take a look at Burton’s Deep Thinker board instead.

This is a lively ride, one which will make sure you won’t get bored any time soon. Not a board to be pigeon holed, the Skeleton Key has an all access pass all over the mountain.

Tester’s Verdict

Paul WoolProfessor

“I guess the name, Skeleton Key, refers to the board’s all mountain credentials, i.e. ‘opening up the whole mountain’. All in all, it is a solid all mountain board but probably not a thorough-bred in the category. It’s simply too directional for me to be considered as such. However, overall it is a great option for an intermediate-to-advanced rider looking for a great freeride and carving board that likes to run fast and isn’t limited to the piste.

I got out on a 158 for one day in variable terrain. In your hand, the Skeleton Key, like all top-line Burtons, looks and feels solid. They’re well-made and look great. It is directional in profile, flex and camber. The Flex is nice and rigid in the tail and the rockered nose is quite a bit softer.

On the snow, this thing likes to move and move fast. The camber and stiffness in the rear is very noticeable. It is very responsive and makes you work hard until you get into the swing of it. Not great for beginners, but a real treat for an intermediate wanting to step up their board control and output.

“Really nice and efficient distribution of energy, there is nothing sluggish about this board”

As mentioned, this board really likes to carve, the large soft nose initiates turns really well, and contact points move in well to engage a premium edge. The camber picks up well giving great pop in and out of turns. Really nice and efficient distribution of energy, there is nothing sluggish about this board. Turning at speed can get pretty wobbly and chatter prone, and this is where the flexible rockered nose loses out. But I like the wide waist, it feels great for getting your hands down via low tight carves. It is very sturdy and mows down choppy and slushy terrain very well. Without adjusting my bindings, it handled the powder very well, offering great float and speed, whilst allowing nimble tight turns more akin to a shorter board.

In the park it stands up reasonably well, but there are all mountain boards that perform better. It jumps nicely, they need a bit of work, but ollies and pumping lips feels pretty good. It doesn’t feel nice riding switch, the blunt swallow tail seems to churn the snow pretty hard. Furthermore, I’d prefer a more even twin for hitting rails and hubbas. It excels at sidehits and moguls, and is great for freestyle action out of the park.

Overall, I would not consider the Burton Skeleton Key a well-rounded all-mountain board. It is too limited in the freestyle and park categories. It is certainly a great freeride board though, one that likes to carve and turn in any snow condition. It looks and feel bulletproof, and I don’t doubt it will last well and provide riders with plenty of good times.”

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