2013-2014 Burton Antler

review of the Burton Antler, Blister Gear Review
Burton Antler

2013-2014 Burton Antler 157.5

MSRP: $650

Shape: Directional

Flex: Twin

Camber: Flying V

Dimensions:

Waist Width: 251 mm

Sidecut Depth: 21.6 mm

Nose Width: 294.2 mm

Tail Width: 294.2 mm

Effective Edge: 1205 mm

Sidecut Radius: 7.8m

Reference stance: Centered, 550 mm (21.6 inches)

Features (with Blister’s translations):
• Sintered WFO Base (wax-impregnated base that is durable and easily absorbs wax long after)

• Dragonfly Core (Burton’s highest-end wood core, utilizes hundreds of laminates for a responsive, snappy core)

• Multizone EGD (the wood core’s grain runs perpendicular to the rest of the core in four distinct zones under the feet)

• 60° Carbon highlights Hi-Voltage (a tip-to-tail layer of carbon/glass. Fiberglass is at 60° angle to other layers to increase playfulness, and a matrix of carbon strands on top of the glass increase snap and board lifespan)

• Jumper Cables Hi-Voltage (carbonated rods from the feet to tip and tail increase energy transfer and pop)

• The Channel (Burton-exclusive mounting system that utilizes one continuous channel rather than set inserts)

• Squeezebox (variable core thickness from tip to tail to maximize response)

Reviewer: 6’2, 165 lbs.

Stance: 23.5 inches, set back 1 inch

Angles: 15° front -12° rear

Boots / Bindings: K2 Ender / Burton Genesis, size M

Test Location: Snowbird, Utah, Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Days Ridden: ~10

When checking out Burton’s 2014 line, the Antler immediately stood out to me. Billed as a lightweight, playful, all-mountain board that can ride anything, it seemed like the perfect board for everyday lapping on less-than-perfect snow days at Snowbird.

In the past, I haven’t been a fan of hybrid-camber systems like Nitro’s Gullwing or Never Summer’s R.C. These camber patterns have rocker between the feet, and two camber sections under the bindings. I always felt like I was riding a saucer, either on my front foot or back foot. Burton’s Flying V camber is similar to these two, but with an added twist. It features 5 individual zones: V rocker between the feet, camber under each binding, and a final rocker section at the tip and tail. The overall profile is rocker. Being somewhat of a camber purist, I doubted that I would like this camber pattern. I was wrong.

After a few weeks on the Antler, I’m definitely impressed. Soft yet snappy, lightweight, and quick from edge to edge, it’s clearly a very playful snowboard that can hold its own in variable snow and all-mountain freestyle riding. The Antler is a solid choice for someone who wants to ride the whole mountain like a park and make quick, surfy turns down everything.

review of the Burton Antler, Blister Gear Review
Jed Doane, Taos Ski Valley.

Flex / Shape

I’d rate the overall flex as medium-soft, but the individual camber zones and corresponding Squeezebox core thicknesses are definitely noticeable when riding. Burton engineered Squeezebox to be easier to manipulate at the feet, where the core is thinner, and transfer that energy to stiffer, thicker sections outside the feet. With so many factors contributing to the pop of a snowboard (fiberglass, carbon, core materials, and camber to name a few), it’s hard to discern what individual tech features are actually contributing the most. But the Antler succeeds in producing a good amount of pop with minimal effort.

The torsional flex is slightly stiffer than the tip-to-tail flex, likely due to the 60° angle of the glass and carbon layers, which means 30° when looked at from edge-to-edge and would result in increased stiffness.

The Antler is directional, but it rides really well switch. I ride switch about 30% of the time, and the sidecut is remarkably smooth coming in and out of turns switch. I paired the Antler with the Burton Genesis bindings, a medium-flex binding that pairs well with the responsiveness level of the board.

Groomers / Hardpack

Quick, high-edge angle carves both switch and regular were incredibly smooth, and I could really feel the snap coming out of turns. I found that the Antler prefers carving to dynamic skidded turns, and felt more comfortable controlling my speed by carving back up the hill than lowering my edge angle and skidding out the turn. This contrasts with hybrid camber profiles like Rossignol’s Amptek and Capita’s Flat Kick that have camber between the feet and an early-rise tip and tail, where I’ve been more comfortable in skidded turns.

The Antler’s edge hold was decent on icy or scoured snow, about what I’d expect from a softer board with reverse camber between the feet. The contact points experience less force from the weight of the rider and the orientation of the core, so it’s bound to become a problem when edge hold is a question.

The Antler also has a “scooped” nose and tail, raising the contact points for a more playful feel (and providing less edge hold in really hard conditions). The Antler is definitely a little washy and unstable at high speeds. When straightlining Anderson’s Hill at Snowbird, a serious test of stability for any board, the lightweight and snappy Antler was bucked around fairly easily by small ruts and bumps. In those and most other very high-speed situations, I tended to just shift my weight almost completely onto my back foot and ride it out.

This instability may be due in part to the size—157.5 is a relatively small board for me, though I’m well within the weight range of 135-175 lbs. If I was looking to charge a little harder, I’d definitely size up to a 160.5. Overall, the Antler is a really fun board on hardpack, and has a speed limit like any playful board.

Powder / Chop / Crud

The Antler is a really fun board in powder. The low weight makes it very maneuverable, and I found myself making quicker turns than I would normally when riding in open areas like the Lower Cirque.

In chopped-up powder, wind affected snow, and other variable snow conditions, I spent a lot more time in the air than I normally would. Popping off soft lips and catching tranny was much easier and more fun than driving through the variable snow, and I found that the Antler generally held up during high-speed runouts and shutting down speed fast. The reference stance is centered, but after one run I set my stance back an inch—I personally prefer to have a longer nose than tail, and in any new snow, it just felt better. It’s a great board for two or three days after a storm, maneuvering through tight trees and slashing small leftover patches of pow.

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