The Burton Custom is a design classic, which struts everywhere on the mountain with deserved confidence, albeit in a bit of a ‘vanilla’ fashion. So, what happens when you stuff just about every next-gen piece of snowboard tech into it, while switching out it’s traditional camber profile for a hybrid, Flying V?
I borrowed a Burton Custom X Flying V from my friends at Burton, added a set of Burton Genesis X Re:Flex bindings and set off for the Austrian resort of St Johann to find out…
The manufacturer says that the Burton Custom X Flying V is its most hard charging snowboard. I always found you could charge like a berserker on their Custom in any case, because the traditional camber profile really locks into the piste.
But a board that holds onto an edge as hard as Alex Honnold free-soloing with no feet, inevitably leads to the other of the coin where an unguarded moment of daydreaming leads to you catching an edge and being body slammed into the cold, hard ground.
Cue hybrid profiles, such as the Burton Custom X Flying V’s which has camber under your feet but rocker between them and outside them. As soon as you strap into the board you realise the feel is of overall rocker.
So, I am surprised when I point the Burton Custom X Flying V down the hill and let rip. The packed powder/ hardpack conditions on my first day in St Johann lend themselves to some serious carving and this directional board really performs here.
In fact, the edges claw into high-speed hardpack like a badger digging up bugs in your lawn, while the board feels super-stable, even when blasting through lumpy chud at the edges of the piste.
The other thing you notice when carving is that this board is seriously fast – it almost vibrates under you with demonic speed thirst, and you find yourself going along with it – it’s great fun!
But all this macho aggression is tempered by a sense of float and playfulness that the Flying V profile gives you. Yes this board is stiff, but it can also get loose AF too.
This split personality is probably down to some well-thought out tech in the deck, from the carbon fibre complete layer as well as highlights in each sheet, to edge-hold zones where wood grain has been placed perpendicular to the rest.
Edge to edge, the Burton Custom X Flying V feels super responsive and snappy, so initiating turns takes very little effort.
The twin flex construction means that I feel comfortable riding switch and despite the stiffness of this stick, the rocker profile encourages you to seek out side hits as an antidote to all that charging.
I find that the pop is still there under my feet due to the mini camber – the Flying V doesn’t neuter it – and the stiffness of the board means you get energy back when you load up the nose and tail. Predictably, my butter doesn’t spread like it would have done on a softer board, but you can’t have everything, right?
By the end of a day’s hard charging I’ve hit the 40mph mark, without even trying, which tells you that this is truly a high performance ride (my amazing guide Julee Jenfeldt made navigating the lifts easy!)
And the Flying V rocker comes in very handy when speeding down a blue run, which has flattened out and is a bit laggy with slushy snow – I feel the edge grab at the slush, but with a little shimmy the V floats on through, saving my ass from an embarrassing slam to flat.
The Burton Custom X Flying V is the kind of board that will boost your confidence, lead you down the path of maximum shred but at the same time will have your back, even as it urges you to floor it like a Tesla. It’s a pricey option, but given the effective tech you’re getting, I do think it’s a fair one.
Photos ©Matt Ray. Ethical Statement: I was loaned the Burton Custom X Flying V and bindings for this review and returned them after my trip – Burton Snowboards did not pay for or contribute anything to this review.
An advocate of powerful turns and poppy precision, camber speaks to the core values of board design. Offering a snappy suspension, camber distributes weight evenly over the entire length of the board for smooth, continuous edge control from tip to tail.
The classic snowboard shape, designed to be ridden with a slightly longer nose than tail to concentrate pop in the tail while still giving you plenty of float, flow, and control to rip any terrain or condition.
The flex is perfectly symmetrical from tip to tail for a balanced ride that’s equally versatile regular or switch.
Use of end-grain woods in impact zones allows us to swap heavier woods for lighter weight species without sacrificing strength.
If you want to read more about the amazingly friendly Austrian resort of St Johann, where I travelled to write this review, then check out the full story at RSNG.com.