Jones Snowboards reflects the riding style of owner Jeremy Jones’ “big mountain” and backcountry riding career which began around twenty-five years ago. The company started just a few years ago with a focus on splitboarding and freeride oriented snowboards. Jones also threw in a transitional freestyle board called the Mountain Twin, which has a softer flex and a twin shape for dialing in those switch tricks- but it can also rip up steeper sections of the mountain. This year, Jones Snowboards’ 2014 line-up includes an upgraded carbon version of the very popular Solution splitboard called the Ultracraft (a carbon Hovercraft splitboard)and a newly designed board called the Aviator. They have also added a women’s Hovercraft in sizes 148 and 152- something that I think is totally awesome– and I’m a dude! So let’s take a look at these new models and see what sets them apart from the rest of the pack.
The first board that sticks out is the Aviator because it uses a new profile design not found anywhere else in the snowboard industry, 3D Power Camber, which we will cover in a bit. In general, the Aviator has a directional (2cm set-back) twin shape, blunted tips and is cambered with a medium flex that accomodates freestyle riding. It is reinforced with a Triax fiberglass lay-up and carbon fiber stringers that, together, add torsional stiffness giving the board a lively feel in a variety of snow conditions. In addition, Jones has reinforced the Aviator’s edges with 35% more hardened steel making them more durable and extending their life.
The Aviator’s new 3D Power Camber (3DPC) complements the board’s full camber profile. As discussed in an earlier post, full camber boards have a lot of great assets such as excellent edge control and maximum pop and snappiness. But, they can also be what is commonly referred to as “catchy”, meaning the contacts points of the board can dig into the snow and not release. Sometimes a rider will “catch an edge” hard enough that he/she will fall. And speaking as one who has caught plenty of edges I can tell you it can really knock the stuffing out of you from time to time. 3DCP is designed reduce the chances of catching an edge by putting a 2 degree bevel on the base of the board in the area of the contact points. So with 3DPC, the base of the board allows the rider to release his/her edge when turning or landing spin tricks and other maneuvers without having to worry about getting hung up in a rut or on highly uneven terrain. This gives the Aviator a looser, more skatey feel while still benefitting from aggressive nature of a full camber board- meaning you can still charge the steeps and hit the icy pipe- stuff that is not usually suited to a flexy full rocker board.
Next board, the Ultracraft, which is a carbon version of the Hovercraft Split with some added features. The Ultracraft is immediately recognizable as fully directional pow board (although Jones claims it rides very well on harder snow also) due to it elongated rockered nose and super short fish tail. This carbon Hovercraft weighs in at only 5.5 lbs! That is incredibly light for a splitboard. The most notable feature of the Ultracraft is that the two halves of the board are independently manufactured with their own separate cores. This means that the whole board was not made and then sawn in half down the middle, like every other splitboard on the market. This allows Jones Snowboards to shave off 25% of the weight of the board and increaseits structural integrity and durability at the same time. That is some very technical and very innovative stuff going on there. The tapered fish tail sinks into soft snow as the nose of the boards floats above it making for a very surfy-feeling, “soulful” ride. It is perfect for those great powder days or backcountry trips to places with lots of snow.
The women’s Hovercraft has the same features as the men’s Hovercraft including a 3D base beveled tail that is similar to the Aviator’s 3DPC tech and allows the contact points of the board to be less catchy when riding through crusty terrain and hard pack. The main differences with the women’s version are the dimensions of the board, which come in a 148 and 152 lengths with slightly narrower 24.7 and 25.6 cm waist widths respectively. And since the nose on the Hovercraft is about twice as long as the tail, rockered, and a bit wider, this board will float effortlessly through any amount snow no matter how deep. It also has a stiffer flex rating and that makes it a great board for women who want to ride through natural terrain.
There are a few more features you will find on Jones Snowboards 2014 line up.
- Blunted Noses: Blunt noses help the board ride easier and faster in untracked snow by directing the back wash away from the contact points. This allows the board to ride over the snow rather than plowing through it.
- Mellow Magnetraction: Jones has been using this serrated edge technology since they first started because it keeps the rider locked into their turns when riding in icy and steep terrain. Most importantly, it helps offset the side-slippage that may occur when riding a board with a rocker design.
- Flip-Flop Bases: Jones Snowboards has been one of the industry’s leaders in environmentally friendly snowboard production. By flipping the base graphics Jones is able to reduce the amount p-tex used in the manufacturing process.
So there’s a look at a few of the new Jones Snowboards 2014 line. I will add, that this year’s boards are very light and the new 3DPC tech is barely noticeable to the naked eye. Whatever the advantages of it are in actual riding terms, I am sure it will make a fantastic ride.