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.

Size: 156cm.

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.

Weight: Average

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.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the Jones Hovercraft or shop their full line ofJones snowboards


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.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. February 14, 2011

    I didnt realize the offset was that far back!

  2. ble
    February 21, 2011

    just to add to this, i got to take this board (the ’12) out in 5+ ft of fresh the other day and can attest that this is one bad ass ride. i didnt get bogged down once, every drop i popped right out of it and i was blown away by how good it was in chop and groomers. this is a huge board in a tiny package, im 6’2 with a size 12 foot and riding a 156 in trees was a liberating experience. great board def recommended.

  3. zakk the bear
    February 22, 2011

    I have the ’11 model and had it out on a 4+ foot tahoe snow day and the board dominated the mountain. Soooo much float. One of my friends was sick of me kicking his butt on this board and went out and bought one. It is much better than the Fish and a great value for the amount of board you get as well.

  4. WeekendSurfer
    March 25, 2011

    I’m looking to rent a powder specific board in Mammoth this weekend.

    Looking into finding a Burton fish, burton malalo, rossignol jones, or this jones hovercraft. Preferably this hovercraft if I can find one for rent. Any tips or other models worth checking out? I rarely ride powder so I don’t feel a need to buy one.

  5. March 25, 2011

    Will be updating this review with footy and updated pow review soon!

    Weekend, give a call to P3/Wave Rave or Canyon/Main Lodge Demo Shops and see what powder boards they have. You might have a hard time finding one with all the snowfall and I’m guessing the increased need for them.

    The 11-12 snowboards won’t be out till fall so you won’t find those for demo yet.

  6. March 30, 2011

    I rode my 2011 Hovercraft for a month at Jackson Hole and absolutely loved it in all conditions. It’s without a doubt my favorite board i’ve ever owned. I normally get a new board every season but i could happily ride this board forever.
    I agree with the review thats it’s sketchy to ride switch on, but it was never meant for that kind of riding anyway.
    The only reason i’ll get a new board this year is because i want a splitboard for the backcountry days, and without a doubt it’ll be the 2012 Hovercraft.

  7. March 31, 2011

    shay, i love your reviews, they are always worth reading! thanks for reviewing this board, as i’m looking into buying a powderboard / splitboard for the next season!

    greetings from austria!

  8. lonerider
    November 02, 2011

    How damp was the Hovercraft compared to say a NS SL or Proto CT? I can believe it is great in powder… but can interested in it’s viability as a general freeride board. Was the MTX very noticeable?

  9. December 04, 2011

    Lonerider, not as damp as the SL and similar to the proto for dampness. Held an edge, that’s where it’s noticeable but yeah def a good powder board you can ride on the hardpacked.