Snowboard Review: 11-12 Burton Fortress

08 Jan, 2012

Location: Mammoth, CA

Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to icy conditions.

Setup: I rode the Burton Fortress with Burton Escapades bindings and Vans Ferra boots size 8.

Size: 154cm.

First Impression: Camber compliments the Fortress with a charging handling for the whole mountain.

Weight: Lighter than average.

Flex: The Fortress rode longitudinally stiffer with a slight torsional softness to make it capable of quick turns. The flex is symmetrical from tip to tail for a balanced ride and rode just like that down the mountain. The board is lighter than average but still offers good pop and longitudinally stiffer flex for stability on the mountain. The Fortress is traditional camber for a continuous and consistent ride down the mountain.

Turning: The Fortress offered up consistent turns down the mountain. Short radius were easy to manevuer with the softer torsional flex and longer drawn out turns felt just as fine. Quick stops were no problem and you could definitely spray up snow at someone very easily with this board and the handling.

Stable: I really think the Fortress did the best as speed and stability thanks to the camber. By the time I got on the board conditions were really icy and bumpy throughout most of the mountain but the Fortress still handled them like it wasn’t anything difficult. When I got a rare patch of groomed snow after a snowcat, it was the best carving on what little soft snow there was.

Pop: It held up through the jump line with good pop and a lightweight fun ride. I thought about taking it through the pipe but I’m not Kelly Clark and the icy walls looked rough.

Switch: The Fortress is a directional shape but with a twin flex. I had the board setback a bit so the directional shape was more noticeable but it could still handle switch riding just fine when needed.

Overall Impression: The Fortress is built for charging and gives you camber as your weapon of choice. It’s a good match and gives a consistently good ride down the mountain. It’s built for speed, it rides fast and it charges the conditions ahead of it. The icy hardpacked conditions at Mammoth didn’t stand a chance against the Fortress, it handled through them like it was nothing.

Shay’s Honesty Box: With the directional shape, I wanted to make sure I was riding the board as it was meant to be ridden. The demo guy got lazy and set me up goofy so I ended up setting up the board myself rather than review it with a slight possibility of not riding it right. The end result was riding the board and getting stoked on the handling of camber during some crappy conditions on the mountain.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the Burton Fortress or shop their full line of Burton snowboards


On Snow Photo

Burton Fortress Description


Review Disclosure: I demoed this board at a Burton demo day.

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. Mel
    February 28, 2012

    Looking for a little advice. Starting the initial thought process on a board upgrade. Currently riding a 149 traditional camber Feelgood (2006). Has been a great board for me all the way along. My riding has progressed from never ever to early advanced on it. This year my instructor told me I needed a longer board if I wanted to get more aggressive with my riding. That was the beginning of the season and I have just been continuing on the Feelgood, not wanting to lay out start of season prices. Now that we are mid season the deals are starting and I wanted to keep my eye out for a new board. I am strictly freeride, no park and not ever likely to change my mind as I am no spring chicken and I am looking for a board that will (a) increase stability with speed, (b) facilitate better edging and less washing out, and (c) be able to handle a variety of conditions but excel on ice (I board primarily in the Northeast and currently our “mountain” is a geological survey of layers of snow, rain, freeze for the last 2 months). Conditions can change from day to day though, one day it is bulletproof hardpack and the next it is shin high wet snow. Occasionally we get some fluffy stuff, in the spring we get mashed potatos after noon and you can pretty much count on at least one ice patch sighting per outing. As well I take it with me on occasional trips to fabled Whistler (and this year to Breckenridge) so while that is far from its usual conditions I would obviously want it to fill that niche as well. From reading the reviews I had pinpointed the Burton Fortress or the Never Summer Lotus as good candidates, however, I have also been impressed with the positive press on the Magnetraction technology which sounds like just the ticket for ice mountain and have added Roxy C2 Envi BTX to the mix. Are there any other boards I should be thinking of? Size wise I know I should go up – I’m 5’4″ and 135 pounds and was thinking 152 plus or minus a cm. Thoughts?

  2. February 29, 2012

    Mel, Definitely will try to help you out! Fortress would be a great choice if you want to stick to traditional camber like the feelgood you’ve been riding. Lotus and Envi are great choices as well and as you mention the MTX on the Envi will give you good grip on the icy days. Between those boards you have three great choices. The Reverse Camber in the Lotus and Envi will take some adjustment. For size, 152-154 would suit your riding and weight and skills.

  3. Mel
    February 29, 2012

    How would the new jones mothership fit in this mix? It sounds like I should try to get an opportunity to demo a reverse camber and see how it works for me.

  4. March 06, 2012

    Mel, it’d definitely be a good choice. It won’t offer up the edgehold like MTX does but it’s a great freeride board for women coming out next year. I’d definitely see if you can demo a reverse camber board to see how you like them. There should be demo days from NS on the east coast soon.