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Jones Mind Expander 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

The Jones Mind Expander snowboard was launched last winter, and while not exactly a sea change for the brand, it was definitely something different. Taking heavy inspiration from the world of surfing, and roping in expert shaper Chris Christensen on the design, Jeremy Jones had sought to create an “alternative all-mountain board”.

It’s a neat description; whilst the Jones Mind Expander strays far from the usual characteristics of an all-rounder, it can still do anything and everything with aplomb. Aside from a couple of tweaks, including the addition of carbon in the nose for extra stability, this remains largely unchanged from last year’s version.

“Whilst the Jones Mind Expander strays far from the usual characteristics of an all-rounder, it can still do anything and everything with aplomb”

The biggest difference to what you’d get from, for example, the Jones Explorer, is the profile. The Mind Expander features a full rocker profile, which rises through the extended nose. There’s also a pretty serious bevel at the nose and tail, making it look more like something you’d find in the water than on a mountain.

No prizes, then, for guessing how well this deals with a powder field. Floatation is always at hand with minimal effort required, and the mid-stiff flex makes it terrific for all kinds of blasting (stopping short of boss-level Alaska, perhaps).

It goes without saying that it’s also a great fit for digging trenches and blasting side hits on a slushy day, so we’ll move on to its piste chops. Thanks to the wavy edges, the Jones Mind Expander grips a groomer better than most rocker boards, and the sidecut is fairly tight to allow for nippy turns. The bevel smooths out every edge change, and while the tail is short relative to the nose, there’s still plenty there for powering out of turns. The sintered base is top-shelf too.

“The Mind Expander grips a groomer better than most rocker boards, and the sidecut is fairly tight to allow for nippy turns”

Of all the relatively new snowboards out there, the Jones Mind Expander has the most potential to be a long-serving modern classic. The brand certainly has faith in its design; as well as making the original available in more lengths, this year also sees the launch of the women’s, kids’ and splitboard versions.

After a few turns, whether in pow or on the piste, we bet you will too.

Tester’s Verdict

Chris Sturgesssnowfit.co.uk

I am very lucky, in that most of my time on snow is spent testing boards – to the point where I don’t really need to buy one. I am saying this not because I want to rub your noses in it, but to help put into context just how good this snowboard is.

“For me, this is not just a powder board – this is THE powder board”

From the first run I knew I had to own one. I have ridden the Mind Expander in bottomless powder, gromed pistes, tight trees plus end-of-season slush and crud. Every single time I have left the hill thinking, ‘fuck me, that was a good day!’

I am not much of a freestyler so directional boards have always been more my thing, but the surf-inspired shape just makes everything effortless, yet still exciting – to the point that I felt invincible and started trying new things, stuff that you would not expect me or the board to be able to do. Laid-out carves, spins off side hits, even presses on boxes.

“The surf-inspired shape just makes everything effortless, yet still exciting”

Sorry this is not a tech review explaining the boards finer points; If you want that, check out the Jones website. I just wanted to get across what this board feels like to ride. For me, this is not just a powder board – this is THE powder board. In fact, I think that this is the best snowboard I have ever ridden! It truly will Expand your snowboarding Mind.”

Tester’s Verdict

Ed Blomfieldwhitelines.com

Within minutes of stepping onto this thing I’d rechristened it The Cadillac. Smooth, stable and fast, it is a badass at cruising, although like a Caddy it is not exactly made for navigating traffic.

“Smooth, stable and fast, it is a badass at cruising”

It’s stiffish, and likes to be ridden via the back foot in deep snow, surf stylee. In fact powder is where the Mind Expander really excels (as you’d expect from a Jones), providing effortless float and long, flowy turns – you can sense the input on this thing from legendary surf shaper Chris Christenson.

“It’s stiffish, and likes to be ridden via the back foot in deep snow, surf stylee”

Hardpack riding is a little further removed from the ocean, however, and for me this is where the Mind Expander wasn’t quite as adept. Its shallow profile – featuring heaps of rocker at the nose – left me feeling a little disconnected when things got properly icy.

Trade Secrets

Forrest Shearer – Team Rider, Jones

“The Mind Expander is a board like no other. It rips like a directional board, but it’s easy to ride switch and it’s quick to respond to fast freestyle moves.

Whether you are freeriding in the backcountry or riding freestyle around the resort, the Mind Expander is that rare alternative board shape that works exceptionally well in any environment.”

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