- Price: £400
- Sizes: 148, 152, 156, 160, 164
- Flex: 7
- Profile: Setback Camber
- Shape: Directional
Much like its stablemate the Flagship, the Jones Hovercraft didn’t require a massive overhaul for 2016/17. Some changes have been made, but it still meets the needs of the most discerning powder riders, while also holding its own on piste.
The camber section of the profile sits right under your feet, so when you want to grip the firmer snow it’ll gladly oblige. The Magne-traction edges do their bit to help out too, making contact at multiple points along the sidecut. The shape is pretty pow-centric though, so ideally you want to get that long, rocker nose and stubby crescent tail out into the backcountry.
Whatever you’re riding, the new ‘Spoon’ design will come in handy. Taking inspiration from the world of surfing, Jezza has altered the shape of the base; there’s now a 7mm bevel at the nose, 4mm at the points of the tail, and a 2mm “Speed Channel “in the middle of the crescent. The new nose and tail shapes allow for a subtle rocking motion as you change edges, which make initiating and linking turns on hard-pack smoother than ever. It also further increases the Hovercraft’s pow-friendliness, as the nose’s convex base will skip over deep snow with ease. Meanwhile the Speed Channel is concave, directing the snow from underneath your base and out the back.
"The shape is pretty pow-centric, so ideally you want to get that long, rocker nose and stubby crescent tail out into the backcountry"
Hell-for-leather chargers are probably still better off with the Flagship, as the Hovercraft has less tail to play with and isn’t as stiff. However, it has the edge when it comes to manoeuvrability, so ducking in and out of tree glades is right in its wheelhouse.
The natural wood veneer topsheet is as handsome as ever, and is more environmentally-friendly than synthetic alternatives. All 2016/17 Jones boards score highly on that front actually; as well as recycled steel in the edges and ABS material in the sidewalls, they now come pre-prepared with Wend Natural Wax which is flourocarbon-free.
Anyone looking for a powder board that’s ideal for surfy turns simply must have the Jones Hovercraft on their shortlist. Smaller riders should consider the new 148cm length, and there are also splitboard and female-specific versions available.
If you’ve never ridden a Jones board in powder, you’re really missing out!
I was lucky enough to ride this board in some fresh during a trip to Mayrhofen in late January, and the first thing I noticed was just how little effort it took to make it float. It needed next to no weight on the back foot to keep it up.
"This needed next to no weight on the back foot to keep it up"
The spooned nose is a welcome addition this year as it made the board feel totally surfy, and meant I could tuck the board into any pocket of snow I wanted! It felt super stable on any terrain, steep-and-deep or flat-and-choppy.
Don’t think of the Hovercraft as a one trick pony though; I was surprised how much this board ripped on piste too! A welcome addition to anyone’s board bag.
Jeremy Jones - Owner, Jones Snowboards
For years I’ve been on a quest to design a snowboard that has the glide and edge-to-edge fluidity of a surfboard. The feeling of an effortless surf turn is what inspired the development of the Spoon rocker profile on the new Hovercraft.
Instead of having to abruptly tip the board, Spoon lets you roll your edge into a turn. The Hovercraft also features a Speed Channel like a surfboard, which pushes loose snow out from under the board for added glide and speed.
Our new Spoon base contours on the Hovercraft finally cracked the code on how to achieve this next level of snow surf performance.