Jones Stratos 2020-2021 Snowboard Review

  • Price: £500 / $580
  • Category: Freeride/Powder, All-Mountain
  • Ability Level: Intermediate, Advanced
  • Size: 153, 156, 159, 161w, 162, 164w
  • Flex: 7/10
  • Shape: Directional
  • Profile: CamRock
  • Base: Sintered
  • New for 2020/21

Why we chose the Jones Stratos Snowboard: This little wizard has a few tricks up his sleeve.

At first glance, the Stratos looks like it was built for bombing hills, tearing up corduroy and point and shoot missions, which of course it is, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a board that boasts a surprising amount of all-terrain versatility. Despite being one of the new kids on the block, the Jones Stratos has already nestled itself firmly in the upper echelons of the all-mountain freeride old boys club.

Unlike other Jones offerings, the Stratos doesn’t really have a specific place in the line because of its appeal on such varied terrain. Like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the Stratos encapsulates two very different sides of the same coin. On the one hand you’ve got a tapered directional charger with a powerful core and rocket-fuelled base that’s yearning for turning, and on the other hand you’ve got playful biax laminates, a middle of the road flex and floaty rockered tips begging to freewheel and butter.

“Like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the Stratos encapsulates two very different sides of the same coin”

The shape alone marks out the Stratos as a board that thrives in the deeper snow, the elongated diamond nose and notched tail ready to sniff out powder stashes all day long. Jones’ new Float Pack inserts give the ability to set your bindings back even further for the days when it’s been non-stop spewing. 10mm of taper create disparate surface area between the nose and tail, forcing the back of the board to sink down and seesawing the nose up and out of the snow.

Where the Stratos really comes into its own is when it’s up on it edges, digging fat trenches on hardpack. Every part of the carve is thought through and aided by the board. The 3D Contour Base features bevels in the nose to smooth out turn initiation, transitioning into an aggressive camber dominant body to power up the sidecut through the arc of the turn, with the Traction Tech edges increasing bite and gripping even when the conditions are less than ideal.

“Where the Stratos really comes into its own is when it’s up on it edges, digging fat trenches on hardpack”

The benefits felt with the 3D Contour Base are tenfold, from flowy edge to edge transitions to added float in the deep stuff. V shaped basalt stringers work in conjunction with this spoon like shape, transferring energy from the inserts out to the contact points in the nose and tail, right where the edges start to lift.

It won’t ride switch as well as something like the Mountain Twin but set your stance to centre and thanks to the full-sized tail you can certainly bust out a few runs. This is where you’re getting that little bit of extra freestyle flair that you don’t always get with a board of this calibre.

The Stratos is an amalgamation of concepts, combining top shelf materials with the wildly innovative manufacturing methods that created the Project X, just specc’d down slightly to avoid the eye watering price tag. With recycled edges and ABS sidewalls, bio resin and a castor bean topsheet, the Stratos has all the hallmarks of Jones’ sustainable manufacturing methods. Jeremy’s practicing what he preaches with his aims to reduce the carbon footprint in the industry.

After rave reviews following an initial late release last season, the Stratos has shot up our list of best buys. Variety is the spice of life, and the Stratos can do a bit of everything, you can line up the narrowest of chutes and bomb the iciest pistes with sangfroid when you’ve got the Stratos strapped to your feet.

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