Burton Family Tree Stick Shift 2019
142 centimeters seems short for a powder board. How could a deck of such stubby stature stay afloat in feet of fresh? But bigger isn't always better, as is proven by the all-new female-friendly Stick Shift from the Family Tree division. As soon as we set her up, this was confirmed. Its surf-inspired design features a highly directional shape, scoopy nose, and tapered tail on a wide board that boasts a mid-range flex. Its Directional Flat Top profile and early rise in the nose allowed for a controlled feel with optimal float, complemented by a setback stance. We found it highly playful, as it zipped in and out and trees with ease, while the large nose helped it float through the steep and deep with minimal effort. The tail, though tiny, acted as powerful rudder that sunk into soft snow and allowed the wide nose to plane through pow. This deck had us to shifting into overdrive, confirming that we'll take performance over size, any day.
Specs and Features:
- Directional Flat Top
- Freeride directional shape
- 20mm taper
- Directional flex
- Squeezebox core
While it's hard to have a bad time riding powder, doing so on a board designed specifically for that purpose elevates the experience. Float is the ultimate goal of a powder board, which can be achieved through a variety of characteristics. Taper means the board's nose is wider than its tail, allowing the board to plane easier in deep snow. Setback inserts work in a similar way, creating more nose than the tail. Strategically designed rocker and camber profiles can enhance float by affecting the way the board reacts to powder. Additional surface area, especially in the nose, is an especially importance trait in a powder board and can be enhanced through additional length, width, or a blend of both. We found the ideal venue to assess these characteristics, by way of a place called Baldface Lodge. Nestled in the British Columbia backcountry, Baldface is accessible in the winter only by helicopter—or a combination of boat and snowcat when there are too many flakes falling to fly. It is a powder paradise unlike anywhere in the world. We showed up here to a fresh meter and a storm that piled up deeper and deeper. Reviewing powder boards: It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.