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Jones Hovercraft 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 148, 152, 156, 160, 164
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Setback Camber
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: £465 / €529

It’s been a long time since Jeremy Jones learned to turn a snowboard, but that hasn’t stopped him refining it every winter. The same can be said of the Jones Hovercraft snowboard – a model that hasn’t ever seen any radical overhauls, but continues to be perfected by Jeremy and his team.

The Jones Hovercraft is as instantly recognisable as any shred product you care to mention, thanks to its shape and topsheet. As the name suggests, it’s ideal for floating over the top of big, deep powder fields; the stubby crescent tail can sink in and take the effort out of the ride while the rockered, spoon-like nose does the rest.

“The Hovercraft hasn’t seen any radical overhauls, but continues to be perfected by Jeremy and his team”

It’s quite wide through the waist, so you can ride this a little shorter if you like to really make the most of its quick-turning ability in the trees. Like all Jones boards there’s a wavy edge for gripping firmer snow when it comes. Carving is definitely on the table, even if it’s not this board’s raison d’etre.

Under that timeless bamboo topsheet is a strong, even-flexing poplar core, followed my a carbon-infused sintered base. The absence of a big, powerful tail won’t suit everyone, so make sure the Jones Hovercraft is the kind of pow stick you need. If it is, you’ll wonder why you rode anything else.

Tester’s Verdict

Sam McMahonwhitelines.com

“You’d have to have spent the last four years being very bad at your job testing snowboards to have never stepped on a Hovercraft until now, but somehow it’s eluded me. Such is its draw that our test team is never short of someone who’s ridden the latest, plus our dear leader actually owns one, so inevitably it’s fallen by the wayside for me.

Which is weird, because it’s so much like the kind of boards I like (and has probably inspired a few of them): set-back camber, nose rocker, stiff, rides shorter than a trad pow board, with emphasis on float and turning. This year, that ends. With fresh powder in the forecast, I elbowed my way to the front of the queue at the Whitelines Selection and secured one for the next day.

“It is a very good powder board. I can see why it does indeed have the ‘cult following’ Jones claims”

After a day of riding the trees I can confidently report that yeah, it’s good. It works. It floats really well with minimal leg burn and face shots ahoy, and it even holds an edge on piste, all as advertised. No complaints. It is a very good powder board. I can see why it’s so popular, why it does indeed have the ‘cult following’ Jones claims. I think the trick it pulls is that it makes riding powder incredibly easy, which I must stress is no bad thing.

The only thing is, it’s not 2010 anymore – there are a tonne of boards out there that have taken inspiration from this leap forward in design and pushed it further, even in the very same catalogue! The Storm Chaser and Mind Expander have taken the surfy feeling from the Hovercraft and done something monumental and exciting with it, taking risks with more rocker and tighter sidecuts. In comparison, the Hovercraft seems like a safe choice. Again, nothing wrong with that.

Safe bets pay off, and you’ll no doubt have a good time on this board just like I did. I just can’t help but feel that the best thing Hovercraft did was to do things differently, to pave the way for an explosion in creative board design. There are now lots of boards that float in pow and rip on piste, and whilst they may be riskier bets than this, when they pay off the winnings are massive.”

Tester’s Verdict

Jon Birdldmountaincentre.com

“The Hovercraft certainly has that ‘big-mountain powder’ look to it. Riding it in the deep stuff it felt smooth with float and stability, as well as reasonably nimble in trees.

“The Jones Hovercraft may be a powder board, but it works well on varied terrain”

On the groomed terrain the Hovercraft had great grip, and felt at home cruising the trails. The mellow Magne-traction really works too, especially when things get dicey and that extra contact is needed.

The Jones Hovercraft may be a powder board, but it works well on varied terrain, making it ideal for the rider looking to progress towards their big-mountain dreams.”

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