Though I don’t ride terrain parks very much, I did quite a bit of jumping at Snowbird on the Antler—the number of natural jibs on Chip’s Run make it the best park in the country as far as I’m concerned.
As I said above, the Antler is incredibly poppy, and has the best ollie snap out of any reverse or hybrid-camber snowboard that I’ve ridden. Snapping frontside 360s and cab 540s off cattracks quickly became the norm, and I was ollieing around so much that I started to experiment with new grabs (e.g., Sage Kotsenburg’s newest creation, the Holy Crail (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQHQRd_7R40&t=1m28s)).
Landing spins is difficult on any reverse camber board—the margin for error is just smaller and washing out is a common occurrence, at least for me. The Antler was no exception, and I was initially less comfortable landing spins at high speeds. Staying balanced and stopping spins on hardpack landings took a little getting used to, but after changing my riding style to accommodate a softer, more playful snowboard, it hasn’t been a problem.
“Playful” vs. “Forgiving”
I would say that the Antler is more playful than forgiving. It did what I wanted it to, it’s really quick edge to edge when making quick turns on hardpack or in the trees, and it gets bucked fairly easily when I was out of position or riding lazily. Uneven ice and cruddy snow overpowers the Antler, not surprisingly; its light weight and twin flex aren’t designed to plow through crud at high speeds.
Overall, I’d say the Antler is completely capable of riding steep, technical terrain, as long as the rider looks at that terrain as a playground rather than a freeway.
While we at Blister are all about performance, we always appreciate a good graphic. The Antler’s topsheet graphic is awesome, and Burton should be commended for it. Two-layer art and using matte and gloss to define the skulls, knives and other random images that litter the topsheet makes for a rad overall look.
The Antler, like all high-end Burton boards, features their Channel mounting system. It allows for miniscule adjustments in stance width and is said to decrease weight from a traditional mounting system. I have no complaints about the Channel thus far- several of my riding buddies have complained about bindings coming loose with the Channel but I’ve experienced no such problems.
The Burton Antler is a snappy, playful, all-mountain board that wants to turn quickly and jump off everything. It’s responsive on hardpack and doesn’t have a loose feel, yet it’s far from stiff. It’s really easy to ride, and though it’s not a hard-charging big mountain board, I was having way too much fun making surfy turns and cracking ollies to worry about charging. It’s a directional board that behaves like a twin and is happy in the park, as an all-mountain fun board, or as part of a quiver with a big, freeride gun for mellow days.
I’d recommend the Antler to any intermediate to pro rider looking for a playful, snappy all mountain snowboard that’s capable of all-mountain freestyle riding.