The 2013 Burton Custom Flying V has all the great features of the cambered Custom, but with a hybrid rocker. The rocker provides a slightly looser, more playful feel and allows for extra easy float in powder. The hybrid camber adds stability and spring loaded pop. Overall, the V-rocker allows for a fun-and-easy-cruiser or a hike-it-till-you-get-the-shot kind of day. Mikkel Bang’s ride of choice, the Burton Custom Flying V is a great snowboard for the all mountain ripper.
What really makes this board amazing is that it will ride any where you want it too. Burton snowboards feature the Infinite Channel System that allows the bindings to have an endless range of stance set ups, and is very easy to adjust. Paired with an Burton EST binding, these boards have the ultimate in board feel and control. Although the Custom is directional with the stance set back 10mm, the flex and shape are both twin, which allows this board to be ridden switch easily.
The brighter graphics of the Burton Custom Flying V allow you to actually see some of the tech that is put inside the board, something I always like. On the yellow 156, you can actually see the entire Super Fly II wood core and the different woods that are used to give the board just the right amount of flex, response and pop. The Frostbite edges give a bit of extra bite when needed on the hard pack or ice and you can see the slight bump where they stick out. Short black lines near the edges are the carbon “Lightning Bolts” that shoot out from your feet to the edges of the board to increase toe and heel response without increasing stiffness.
The Burton Custom Flying V also has a few features a little harder to see. Squeezebox construction creates a balance in the core by varying the thick ness of the board, which transfers power from the nose and tail easily while maintaining a strong flex. Triax fiberglass also helps balance versatile flex and response. The WFO sintered base is super fast and super durable. Finally, Infinite Ride is an exclusive Burton Snowboards factory break in technology that ensures that your new board will feel the same on day 1 as it does on day 101.
The Burton Custom Flying V is not a beginner board, but is a good choice for the rider that has grown out of his starter package and is looking to get a setup that will take him to the next few levels. While really comfortable in the park, the Custom is not really designed for street sessions as it has a flex rating of 5. The Custom is an all-terrain free-style board that will rip in pipe, pow or park.
Let us know what you think of the Custom Flying V in the comments. If you have one tell us where and how you like to ride it.
This year’s Lib Tech Skate Banana keeps to its roots with the BTX reverse camber profile. It also has magne-traction, twin geometries, a medium flex, H-pop core, power transfer internal sidewalls, sintered base and tons of awards. That is quite the mouthful, but it all adds up to be a fun ride that floats in the powder, bonks off of tree stumps and locks on to rails with ease. Great for the beginner and solid enough for the advanced freestyle rider, the Skate Banana will fit just about any ability level, and make sure that rider is smiling all day long.
The Skate Banana comes in a range of sizes and Eternal has two colors to choose from: gray/black and yellow/green. Skate Banana BTX Wide is also available. Stiffness and flex is based on the length of the board and each size also has a recommended weight range, although the range is not too restrictive. The 152 recommends riders to be at least 60 pounds while the 159 Wide suggests 80 pounds plus.
This is the board that started the reverse camber revolution and it is an excellent choice if you are looking to get your first rocker. It is priced at $489, so it is definitely not a low end board, but it is a solid investment that won’t break the bank.
Eternal Snowboard team rider Alice Gong says this about the Skate Banana:
“This is one of the most fun snowboards I have ever ridden!!! My first day on onw was a 6 inch dust on crust day but on the skate banana I just floated. And the magna-traction holds an edge on anything. I was stunned! Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to ride a 156(I usually ride 148-150s in the park) on a chest deep pow day and decided it is the ultimate powder board! The banana profile makes it super easy to control, feeling like a shorter board while still giving you all the stability of the actual length. Get this ride, you’ll love it!”
All Lib Tech boards are hand crafted in the USA, near Canada, and utilize the most environmentally friendly methods available. Lib Tech Snowboards come with a 1 year warranty against manufacture defects.
Three words describe the Burton Imperial snowboard boot: snug, firm and light. The Imperial challenges all other snowboard boots in the $300 range to pack as many features into it without breaking the bank. Not the high school park rat’s jib boot, the Imperial is the a name-taking, butt-whooping, big-stomping freeride boot that will never leave you blaming your boots. Burton calls this the boot you have been waiting for, so lets check it out.
When I first put the Burton Imperial on, the Speed Zone lacing and Imprint 3 liner made it quick and easy. Sliding my foot in, I could feel the heat moldable foam welcoming my foot to the party. But this isn’t no hang out in the corner and watch the hot chicks not talk to you kind of party. You remember that scene in Can’t Hardly Wait with Guns Roses’ “Paradise City”? It’s that kind of party, and these boot won’t stop putting the vodka in the watermelon.
But like any killer party, you have to be prepared. The Imperial has a stiffness of 7 of 10, so if you are a lightweight or just looking to cruise this may not be the right boot for you. As I flex and wear the boots for a few minutes, I can feel how much they hold my feet, especially my heel. There is no sliding or slippage in any direction. And with the Speed Zone lacing, I can get them extra tight in seconds. Moving in these boots definitely feels better than standing still.
There are tons of other technical parts to the the Burton Imperial as well. Footprint reduction keeps the boot fitting true to size, but shrinks the profile of the boot to reduce toe/heel drag. The Rad Pad is put above the top of the in step to keep it cozy where the laces exert the most pressure. The outsole features a Vibram Ecostep sole, B3 Gel and EVA foam, making it light, cush and grippy. There is also the EST mid sole that keeps the foot as close to the board as possible for feel and response. S4 shell panels hold it together with the Speed Zone laces; together they wrap the boot around your foot for and extra snug and even fit. The level 2 EVA foot bed has extra support with the ESS support shank and is coated with Aegis Antimicrobial to keep the stink away.
If you are ready for a Burton Snowboard boot that will rock and roll all night and party everyday, then the Burton Imperial is a great choice. Solid, snug and light, the Imperial will shred as hard as you can.
Tell us what you think about the Burton Imperial snowboard boot in the comments below.
Psst. Hey buddy. Yeah, you with the bigger than average feet. Lemme show you something, something you really need to check out. It’s the Lib Tech Skunk Ape C2BTX. And its suped up brother, the Skunk Ape HP C2BTX. Tired of toe drag when you lay into a good carve? Have you given up on finding a board built for a lumberjack? Well, the Skunk Apes are the answer to all your snowboard woes. Built by and for the guys that work in the Lib Tech Snowboard Factory up near Canada, this is a real man’s snowboard.
Designed for the rider with size 13+ feet and weighing in over 200 lbs, the Skunk Apes allow the big guys to have fun too. The smallest Skunk Ape is 157cm and has a waist width of 26.8cm and the longest is 180cm. The C2BTX gives these boards the pressure needed between the feet from the rocker and stability outside of the bindings from the camber. Magne-Traction lets the rider dig in with either edge on ice or hard pack without compromising control. And the Columbian Gold wood combo core with the basalt and fiber glass mix keep the Skunk Ape a solid 7 out of 10 on the stiff stick scale.
The horsepower construction adds a bit more tech to the mix. Lib Tech uses an all basalt glass and pure Columbian Gold core make the HP Skunk Apes lighter and stronger. The bio beans sparkle top sheet also shows that the board is somewhat magical. Available in 161cm, 165cm and 169cm, this is the board for that big guy that is able to charge hard all season long and wants his board to keep up with him.
The Skunk Ape is one of Eternal‘s best selling big guy boards, and for good reason. Just because you were a linebacker in college, doesn’t mean you should have to compromise on the snow.
The Union Contact Pro binding is designed and ridden by GiGi Rüf and is a great snowboard binding for the lighter, powerful rider that does not want to compromise between flexibility and response. The Contact Pro looks amazing as well, and is one of my favorite bindings in the Union Binding Company line up.
Using the Contact as it’s starting point, GiGi has enhanced key areas of the binding to create the Contact Pro. A medium flex binding, the Contact Pro’s baseplate is the same minimal footprint as the Contact, but the Dupont Zytel ST nylon also has carbon fiber injected to increase stiffness and response without adding weight. The heel cup has been milled out as well to reduce weight with out compromising integrity. At $220, the Contact Pro maintains Union’s lifetime warranty on the heel cup and baseplate.
The highback is probably my favorite parts of the Contact Pro. GiGi designed this to not only look rad, but also to have the softer flex at the top and stiffer flex at the bottom, just where he likes it. This allows for endless possibilities of tweakage when grabbing stalefish, while keeping the landing gear solid.
The straps are also upgraded on the Contact Pro to make the ultimate high performance free style fit that GiGi wants. The multi position toe strap lets you strap your boot in where it fits best. The ankle strap features the upgraded multi-layer foam and air bubble combo and is tapered for a better fit. Union calls it True Fit technology. I call it snug as a thug in a rug. No matter what you call it, the magnesium buckles will keep you locked in and on point in the park, powder or street.
Although the Contact Pro has me sold just on how good it looks, the upgrades from the Contact are definitely worth the extra $40. Union and GiGi have worked together to create a lightweight, all terrain dragon slayer of a binding that will incinerate just about anything you put before it. While the price and features may be a bit much for the absolute beginner, this binding is an excellent choice for the seasoned veteran, especially the powerful riders that hover around the welterweight class.
Which color do you like? Let us know in the comments and send us your own review and thoughts on the Union Contact Pro binding.