Snowboard Review: 11-12 Jones Hovercraft
14 Feb, 2011
Location: Winter Park, CO + Mammoth, CA + June, CA
Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to softpacked to icy groomers to leftover powder to deep powder. This board has ridden every condition possible.
Setup: I rode the Jones Hovercraft with Union Milan bindings (and my Union Team bindings in CA) and Vans Veil Boots size 8.
First Impression: At first glimpse, you don’t think the board will handle non-power conditions but it does and it’s a totally fun way to ride the mountain. In powder, you feel like you don’t even need to stay afloat with much effort.
Flex: Softer nose on the hovercraft, stiff tail and the stiffer flex between the bindings towards the tail of the board, giving you a powerful board because except for the nose you feel like you are riding camber down the mountain. The hovercraft features rocker towards the nose of the board with camber underfoot. In powder, the rocker on the nose noticeably helps the board float in the deeper powder.
Turning: Despite how the hovercraft looks, it actually handles like camber and has an effective edge for holding turns on groomers and hardpacked conditions. This was the second board of the day, during still very hardpacked snow. It was quick edge to edge response and held both long and short radius turns comfortably. In powder, the hovercraft floats and is quick to turn which means riding trees isn’t an issue.
Stable: For just cruising it felt fine, better than fine for how it handled. In some really choppy conditions at June with heavier snow, the softer nose was noticeably not cutting through the crud. On the groomers, held an edge just like a camber board and secure on the edgehold. I found some leftover power that was choppy but still powder and that felt amazing on the board, floated, quick turns and just rallied through. At Mammoth Mountain I ended up riding the hovercraft in deep pow for fresh lines and my god…the lines were amazingly good. Since the board was setback already I could stand centered over the bindings and float no problem.
Pop: Um did not test pop on this board whatsoever.
Switch: I wouldn’t recommend riding switch on this board. But just to test it, I did and laughed the whole time because it has no tail. Do-able, not recommended and the whole time I was ready to switch back.
Overall Impression: The Jones Hovercraft looks like that board you only take out on powder day but looks are deceiving, it can handle the resort and groomed runs just as much as powder turns (but the powder turns are heaven of course). Riding it in the deep powder at Mammoth was the best for the conditions, I didn’t want to put the board away. It floated, smooth lines in the powder and was just a blast in the conditions.
Shay’s Honesty Box: I love reviewing boards while riding with friends because they can see my reaction to a board I get on and have fun on. My friend Steph rode with me during the Hovercraft and saw me totally stoked on the ride, having fun and laying down turns down the mountain next to her on the mountain twin. It held up, made it fun and on those conditions…you know it’s gonna be a damn good ride on the better days when it does good on the crappy days. After being able to ride it again in mammoth, it really proved the point that the board was damn good in pow but could handle the groomers too.
On Snow Photos
Myself on the Hovercraft
Getting deep with the hovercraft
Riding pow at Mammoth (view full post here)
Jones Hovercraft description
Review Disclosure: I rode this board at the SIA on-snow. Please be aware boards may change, this review was done in February 2011.