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Jones Mind Expander - Women's Review

This experimental powder board is great if you want a surfy ride but calling it all-mountain is a bit of a stretch
Jones Mind Expander - Women's
Photo: Jones
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Price:  $600 List | $509.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Experimental powder profile, extra surfy
Cons:  Not ideal for beginners, lacks versatility
Manufacturer:   Jones
By Marissa Fox ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 13, 2019
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 13
  • Edge Hold - 25% 7
  • Powder Performance - 20% 9
  • Stability - 20% 7
  • Playfulness - 20% 6
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 6

Our Verdict

If you want your snowboarding experience to feel as close to surfing as possible, then you should consider the Mind Expander by Jones. This board has an experimental profile that is designed to make it as surfy as possible in deep snow. Unfortunately, this makes it somewhat of a one-trick board, and we wouldn't recommend this for beginners or for anyone who is just going to own one snowboard. It is a solid addition to your quiver of boards, but it for sure isn't a quiver-killer.

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Price $509.99 at Amazon
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$500 List$579.99 at Amazon$549.99 at Amazon$550 List
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Pros Experimental powder profile, extra surfyFantastic all-around board, great in powderUnmatched pop, great edge hold, supremely stableWell-rounded, great edge-to-edge transition, fastGreat value, supremely stable at high speeds
Cons Not ideal for beginners, lacks versatilityNot the best beginner boardNot the best board for powderNot the best for jibbingNot as much pop as other boards
Bottom Line This experimental powder board is great if you want a surfy ride but calling it all-mountain is a bit of a stretchIf you want the best of the best all-mountain board, it’s hard to find a better optionEarning the highest honor, it did exceptionally well in all our testsA versatile all-mountain board for intermediate to advanced riders with a more aggressive riding styleA fantastic all-mountain snowboard that won’t break your budget
Rating Categories Jones Mind Expander... Yes. Hel Yes - Women's Gnu Ladies Choice Never Summer Lady West GNU Klassy
Edge Hold (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Powder Performance (20%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Stability (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Playfulness (20%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Pop And Jumping (15%)
6.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Jones Mind Expander... Yes. Hel Yes - Women's Gnu Ladies Choice Never Summer Lady West GNU Klassy
Shape Directional Directional Twin Asymmetrical Directional Twin Directional
Camber/Rocker Rocker Hybrid Hybrid Fusion Rocker Camber Hybrid
Flex 6/10 7/10 4/10 3-5/10 6.5/10
Tested Length 150 155 148.5 153 155
Measured Weight (Tested Length) 5.8 lbs. 5.4 lbs. 5.6 lbs. 5.8 lbs. 6.2 lbs.
Available Lengths 142, 146, 150 146, 149, 152, 155 142.5, 145.5, 148.5, 151.5, 153.5 144, 147, 149, 151, 153, 156 145, 148, 151, 155
Core Material Bamboo Surf Core Poplar, paulownia, and bamboo wood Aspen, Colombian Gold, and poulownia wood NS SuperLight Wood Core Aspen and paulownia wood
Waist Width 24.8 cm 24.4 cm 24.2 cm 24 cm 24.7 cm
Radius 6.5 7.3 8.2/7.9 7.42 8

Our Analysis and Test Results

Updated 19/20 Mind Expander


New for the Mind Expander this year is an updated core and new stringers and sidewalls. Surfboard-inspired, the core is constructed of bamboo wood, and the sidewalls are now rounded recycled ABS. The rounded design helps prevent the top sheet from chipping. Also, no board update would be complete without fresh graphics, and Jones delivered there as well. The updated Mind Expander is pictured first, followed by the version we tested last season.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Photo: David Wise

Edge Hold


The Jones didn't do amazing in our first and most important metric — edge hold — which accounts for one-quarter of its final score. We waited until the iciest days, then took the Mind Expander down steep terrain, gradually increasing our speed until the board began to slip and awarded points accordingly.

Photo: David Wise

This board does a great job of biting into skier packed powder and in off-piste terrain, but it feels quite loose in icy conditions or when riding in chop or crud. It does have Jones' Traction Tech edges, which do help mitigate the rocker in the nose, but the Mind Expander is by no means a carving board.

The Mind Expander is super stable in deep snow but isn't our top...
The Mind Expander is super stable in deep snow but isn't our top pick for harder snow at faster speeds.
Photo: David Wise

Powder Performance


While the rocker in the nose is a detriment when it comes to edge hold, it proved quite beneficial in this metric. We took the Mind Expander to the mountain after the biggest storms to evaluate and compare just how well it floats and how it handles the deepest powder stashes. This metric accounts for a fifth of its total score, with the Jones delivering a fantastic performance. This snowboard is super fast, super floaty, and is an absolute blast in powder. The Mind Expander has a Spoon 3.0 base with 7 mm of spoon bevel in the nose and tail.

Photo: David Wise

Its unique surf rocker profile gives it unmatched float and glides in a way that you could almost imagine that you are actually surfing if you closed your eyes — not that we would recommend you try that. This board was designed in conjunction with the renowned San Diego surfboard shaper Chris Christenson so its roots are in surfing, and it shows.

Photo: David Wise

Stability


While the surf rocker profile is great for powder, it isn't necessarily a benefit for our next set of evaluations. For our stability metric, which accounts for 20% of the final score, we took each board as fast as we could down the steepest terrain on the mountain, looking for any instabilities to arise or any unwanted chatter. The Mind Expander delivered a so-so set of results. Jones added web fused carbon into the nose to reduce vibration and make for a smoother ride and we did find that this board was less prone to chatter than some of the other powder-specific boards in the group.

This board is decent on steep ice and chop, but we wouldn't recommend this board for riders with a hard-charging or overly aggressive style, and we don't feel that it is an excellent carving board. It is super stable when going fast in deep snow though.

The Mind Expander was surprisingly playful and really shined in...
The Mind Expander was surprisingly playful and really shined in powder.
Photo: David Wise

Playfulness


Our next metric — playfulness — also is worth 20% of the total score for the Mind Expander. We rode the Jones throughout the entire resort, rating and evaluating how it flexed and turned, how maneuverable and agile it is, and how it did in the park and the trees — basically how much fun the board is. The Mind Expander didn't do the best.

Photo: David Wise

This medium flex board is a bit on the stiff side, making it less playful overall than some of the softer and springier boards. We wouldn't pick this board for rails or the park. This snowboard is decently fun to ride switch but just isn't quite as fun on hard-packed snow. However, it is exceptionally fun on deep snow days, giving a freestyle feel to riding in the trees or backcountry.

Pop and Jumping


The Mind Expander also delivered a bit of a wanting performance in our pop and jumping metric, meriting another 6 out of 10. We based this on how much spring the board has and how easy it is to catch some air, whether we were launching off a kicker or ollieing on flat ground, with these tests accounting for the remaining component of the total score.

This board has a surprising amount of pop given its experimental surf rocker design. You can ollie with it, but you aren't going to be setting any height records. However, it does amazingly well launching off natural features in deeper snow, once again highlighting its powder-specific design.

Value


This board isn't a great value, given its lack of versatility. You would be much better served by an all-in-one board for the same price that performs well across a wider variety of snow conditions if you are shopping on a budget.

Conclusion


If you want a snowboard that feels as surfy as possible, the Mind Expander is the perfect choice for you. Its experimental surf rocker profile is undeniably fun in powder days; most people don't get to ski powder every single day — we're envious of people that do — making this board more of a niche product than most people want when they are getting an all-mountain board. It's a great — but expensive — addition to the quiver if you can afford it but not the best if you only plan on owning a single board.

Marissa Fox