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Snowboards

Jones Storm Chaser 2019-2020 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 142, 147, 152, 157, 160
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Rocker
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: £529/ €600
  • BUY DIRECT FROM JONES

Before the Mind Expander and Lone Wolf were added to the series, surf designer Chris Christenson and Jeremy Jones put their heads together and created what remains the most experimental shape in the lineup to this day – the Storm Chaser.

About the same size as a shot of tequila, it works in much the same way: things start off just fine, but before you know it you’ve lost your friends, have powder all over your face and the last four hours have become one huge blur. Regardless, you’re having the time of your life.

The outline gives enough of a clue as to what the Storm Chaser was made for, but closer inspection from a few other angles reveals just how well it was made to float. The 4D Contour spoons the nose out and creates a subtle channel in-between the swallowtail for spewing snow out the back. Coupled with a full rocker profile, it literally bounces and skims along the surface.

“The outline gives enough of a clue as to what the Storm Chaser was made for, but closer inspection from a few other angles reveals just how well it was made to float”

Obviously, it’s a pretty girthy number. To counter that cumbersome feeling from edge to edge, Jones have kept the flex more torsionally soft and introduced disruptions along the edge. This won’t transform the Storm Chaser into a samurai sword, but it will make things easier when you’re darting across the piste to find the next stash of freshies.

While the shape and flex have been left untouched this year (good news), some changes come in the form of sustainable materials that also serve to enhance performance ratios (great news).

No doubt about it, this one’s going to be a tough sell on the shop floor, especially if you’re only planning a couple of weeks to the Alps this winter. It’s a quiver stick, through and through. The Storm Chaser is pure indulgence, but that’s true of all of the best things in life. Besides, it’s hardly taking up room in the board bag, is it?

Tester’s Verdict

Rob McCreathWhitelines

“Is it just coincidence that the surname of the surf shaper who helped design the Storm Chaser contains the word “Christ”, or is this board genuinely a form of divine intervention? Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime. But just give a man a Storm Chaser and he’ll say “to hell with fishing I’m going pow surfing!”

This was one of the boards I was most excited to try out. I’ve ridden a few short and fat decks, but none quite as stubby or chunky as this. It’s reserved for only the deepest of deep days and the surfiest of slashes. Fortunately, I got the Storm Chaser right into its home environment – tight trees runs the morning after a squall had passed through. You beauty.

In these conditions, the board excelled beyond anything I’ve ridden. It’s so easy to pivot under the back foot and put about three turns in the space you’d normally only put in one. There’s about two hand-sized sections of swallowtail behind the rear binding, but it’s enough to wheelie your way through the woods and leave a smokescreen of snow behind you. When it’s cold and bottomless, I defy anyone to have a better time on another board.

“In these conditions, the board excelled beyond anything I’ve ridden. It’s so easy to pivot under the back foot and put about 3 turns in the space you’d normally only put in one”

Then it warmed up. Holy Hell, it warmed up. The snow soon turned heavy, the powder became bumpy and I became the laughing stock of the Espace Killy. In a matter of 45 minutes, the Storm Chaser went from the floater that wouldn’t flush to the phantom jobbie that shot under the surface and out of sight without so much as a trace.

That big wide planing nose is only manoeuvrable when it’s smashing through champagne powder. Anything less and it starts to feel like pushing a shopping trolley over a sand dune. I made it home, switched out the board and returned to something a little better suited to the conditions.

Long story short, it started as the best powder day of my life and soon descended to one of the worst. That’s mainly down to the conditions though. If you’re off to Japan or guaranteed to score sub zeros and several feet of snow, extravagant purchases won’t come much better than this.”

Tester’s Verdict 2018/19

Chris MoranHere Be Treasure

“Well! If there was ever a week to test the Jones surf-inspired powder stick, then once-in-a-lifetime Morzine – where literally every home run was blitzed in cold, fresh powder – was it. The Storm Chaser was the first board I set up, and I could have happily ridden it every day of that week. But would it be any good for everyday use?

“This was so, so, so rad”

I’ve tried a fair few powder boards in my time, and this one is pretty far out. Nug-ified (I mean, 147!?) which I love; virtually no tail to speak of, and what stubby bit of board there is behind your back binding is swallow-tailed, meaning, in the deep stuff, you can wheelie it to slow down. This was so, so, so rad. It’s perhaps the one missing dimension in snowboarding that snowboarding needs.

And the spoon nose means you only have to think about turning it and it’ll zip through the trees like you’re a stormtrooper chasing down some Ewoks. Anyway, my review is that this is a great, great board. I’d buy one in a heartbeat. Yes it’s a one-trick pony, but, you know, what a freakin trick!

Do you really need it? Well basically, if you lived in a cabin in the woods, and snow-shoed everywhere, and were allergic to pistes, then this is the board for you. For everyone else, it’s an extreme quiver addition, but a damned sexy one. Stand in a lift queue with it and you’re saying to the world “fuck yeah bitches, I’m about to get shacked”. Unless it’s icy conditions of course, in which case you’re gonna make everyone feel a bit awkward.”

Tester’s Verdict 2018/19

Kieron Black@kieronblackart

“It is unfair and perhaps a little naive to expect a fair, impartial review from me on the Jones Storm Chaser. I was going to love it no matter what. And I did. It is perhaps even more unfair that I got to test it in exactly the conditions it was designed for. Virgin pow and clean corduroy.

This injustice is compounded further by the fact that I’m a surfer and I ride fishes. I shouldn’t be allowed to write this review. But this wouldn’t be the first thing I’ve done which I’m not supposed to do, so here we go.

“I can’t remember exactly what happened or where I was. But I do recall a lot of white room, a lot of choke, a lot of spray. It was insane”

Another tester had managed to snag it the previous day, much to my irritation, and he rode it like he stole it. This inspired but also worried me a little, as the board looked a touch petite under him (someone shorter and lighter than me). I had a genuine concern that it might be way too small for me.

I should learn to chuck it in the fuck-it bucket and worry less. The board was a dream, start to finish. The tail is tiny, hardly there at all, but beautifully formed. And even though I had placed my bindings on the manufacturer’s recommended setting it still drew comment from the crew that that was a ridiculously small amount of tail showing behind my foot. But that wasn’t a problem, at least not for me.

Maybe, like some of the other fishes on the market, the Bataleon Surfer and the K2 Cool Bean for example, the Storm Chaser might have a slight tendency to ‘wheelie out’ when dropping off anything with more than four feet of free-fall to it, but honestly you’re just having way too much fun to care about that.

Seen from afar the board has that 1950’s Flash Gordon Ming the Merciless rocket ship vibe. It wouldn’t have surprised me to see that firecrackle fizz of smoke coming out of the back of it as it cruised across the mountain.

“The board was a dream, start to finish”

In powder I can’t easily describe how much I enjoyed it, probably because I was having so much fun I can’t remember exactly what happened or where I was. But I do recall a lot of white room, a lot of choke, a lot of spray. It was insane. And it was just as good on piste, carving, gliding, slashing, and miraculously, an ability to chop through lumps and crud. How, Jeremy, how?

However, I must give it a healthy less-than-zero rating for switch. Even the Cool Bean has a little bit of switch in it’s game. Not so the Chaser. It just bites in like it’s digging for gold. End of ride.

Who is it for? People who like fun, really. Specifically, pow hounds who also dig a corduroy day. And maybe not the park rats or anyone looking to spin cab off a big kicker. But, yes, pretty much everyone else.”

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