Hello and welcome to my Burton Free Thinker review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Free Thinker as an aggressive all-mountain-freestyle snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Free Thinker a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other aggressive all-mountain-freestyle snowboards.
Board: Burton Free Thinker 2018
Price: $579 (USD recommended retail)
Style: Aggressive All-mountain-Freestyle
Flex Rating: Medium-Stiff
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Rating Score: 84.1/100
Compared to other Men’s Aggressive All-mountain-Freestyle Boards
Out of the 16 aggressive all-mountain-freestyle snowboards that I rated:
- The average price was $530 (USD)
- The average score was 84.4/100
- The highest score was 90.9/100
- The lowest score was 75.6/100
- The Free Thinker ranked 9th out of 16
Overview of the Free Thinker’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Free Thinker’s specs and available sizes.
|Style||Aggressive All-Mountain-Freestyle||Flex||Medium-Stiff (7/10)|
|Ability Level||High Intermediate to Expert||Feel||Locked In|
|Camber Profile||Traditional Camber||Shape||True Twin|
|Stance Setback||Centered||Edge-hold||Medium snow|
|Waist Width (mm)||246||248||252||255||260||263|
|Weight Range (lbs)||120-180||120-180||150-200||180-260+||150-200||180-260+|
|Weight Range (kgs)||54-82||54-82||68-91||82-118+||68-91||82-118+|
Who is the Free Thinker Most Suited to?
The Free Thinker is best for anyone at a high ability level who likes to ride aggressively but also likes to ride freestyle, whether in the park or over the whole mountain.
Definitely not for the beginner (too stiff and too much camber) and definitely not for riding powder.
But if you like to carve up the groomers, find every natural hit you can, pop over rollers and generally bomb whilst also getting freestyle along the way, then the Free Thinker is definitely worth checking out.
The Free Thinker in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Free Thinker is capable of.
Board: Burton Free Thinker 157 (252mm waist width)
Date: April 16, 2017
Conditions: Sunshine! And plenty of it. Snow conditions were a great mix of hard spots and soft-pack on the groomers and plenty of powder to be found off-groomer, making it the perfect conditions for demoing – a bit of everything. Quite cold in the morning but got quite warm in the afternoon (it was spring after all, but you’d never have known it with the amount of snow around and how cold it was in the morning!)
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Not really a board designed for powder in my opinion. Of course, you can ride it in powder but as it gets deeper, you’ve got to put a lot of effort in to keep the nose afloat.
But that was expected after riding it for a bit. And expected from it’s specs – it’s Traditional Camber – that and being true twin and centered. So not expected and not what it’s designed for.
Carving & Turning
This was a fun board to carve on. It’s quite stiff, and has a good spring to it. All that camber helps to make for a nice carve.
It felt feisty on a turn and preferred short sharp aggressive turns to mellow long turns.
Not one you can really get away with skidding your turns on – not very forgiving of skidded turns, one big reason it’s not beginner appropriate.
You couldn’t call it aggressive, if it couldn’t bomb at speed. And it can. It’s something you can ride at good pace and still feel really stable on. It felt better riding fast than it did slow – and again this is no surprise given it’s flex and camber profile.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
You want to be blasting over the top of it on this thing. It’s not one that really absorbs the bumps easily (of course using good technique you can but it’s just not that easy, especially if you’re not adept at uneven riding) – but it’s got the power to power through or over most. Just not that great at hugging the crud.
Really fun for jumps – and apart from speed and carving, this is the other thing you really want out of an aggressive all-mountain-freestyle deck.
It’s got good snap to it for ollies and popping off lips, rollers or jumps. It’s stable for landings and really suitable for large jumps too. It’s also a great board for spinning.
The only reason, I haven’t given it 5/5 is that I prefer something with just a little more forgiveness for when you’re hitting smaller side hits that require some more agile exits after landing at slower speeds. But other than that, it’s a ripper for jumps – very feisty.
It’s a true twin (twin in every way – flex, nose and tail width and length the same etc). So, it’s pretty much ideal for riding switch. You’ve still got to be on your game riding switch – because it’s not forgiving of skidded turns in that direction either, so not necessarily the easiest to learn switch on, but if you’re switch game is decent, this is a great board to ride and land in both directions.
Too stiff and too much camber to be a great jibber, in my opinion. Not undoable but not a jib dream either.
Changes from the 2017 Model
This model is new for 2018. It’s closest equivalent was the Custom Twin (now no longer being made) but not quite – the Custom Twin was Pure Pop Camber (a bit more forgiving) and had some asymmetry going on.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
|TOTAL after normalizing||84.1/100|
The Free Thinker is a take no prisoners all-mountain-freestyle ride for those aggressive riders who like to jump/spin all that they see and like to lay down a good carve and ride at speed.
If all that applies to you, and you like the feel of Traditional Camber and a stiffer flex, then the Free Thinker is definitely worth checking out.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you’re interested in learning more about the Free Thinker, are ready to buy or want to research current prices or availability, check out the links below.
If you’d like to see how the Free Thinker compares to other aggressive all-mountain-freestyle boards or want to check out other options, check out the next link.