Hands-on Gear Review

Burton Custom Flying V Review

2017/18 Custom Flying V
Price:  $600 List | $389.97 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Nimble and fun at slower speeds, not too heavy, flashy base graphic, slider track (channel) mounting for bindings.
Cons:  Not as stable with speed, narrow for a wide, too soft and rockered which compromised pop, high end price not equal to performance.
Bottom line:  A great option for someone getting into snowboarding, or the occasional weekend warrior.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Shape:  Directional
Camber/Rocker:  Rocker
Flex:  Soft-Medium
Manufacturer:   Burton

Our Verdict

If you are a beginner snowboarder or someone who likes to just get out on weekends for no pressure fun, consider the Burton Custom Flying V. We found this board to be soft, forgiving, and delightfully playful - perfect if you don't plan to push the limits too far. This does not mean that the Flying V can't handle more technical use, it was just the friendliest of all the boards we tested. The combination of reverse camber, directional shape, softer flex, and middle of the road sidecut make for a very pleasing ride. It is, however, the only board our tester slipped out on during a turn, due to having the narrowest waist width of any board tested. The downside: it didn't feel stable enough at speed or hold its edge quite as well as other competitors tested while mashing through turns.

New Look & Redesigned Shaped
For the current season Burton updated a lot of things about this board. New graphics (pictured above), new sizes, tweaked dimensions - read on to get the details.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best All-Mountain Snowboards of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Chris Edmands

Last Updated:
Monday
November 20, 2017

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The Updated Flying V


Burton changed quite a few things about this board for the 2017/18 season, though they told us that the personality remains the same and that most of the changes are quite minor.
Here is a summary of what changed:
  • More Blunted NoseBurton claims this will add a smidge of extra flow in powder.
  • Effective Edge — This dimension was shortened a tiny bit to compensate for the nose. We were informed that most people won't be able to notice.
  • Sidecut Radius — Tiny tweak here, down to 7.9m from 8m.
  • Sidecut Depth — Slightly modified.
  • Stance Location — From -10 to -12.5.
  • Weight Range - The max recommendation was increased a bit.
  • Eco-Friendly Topsheet — The topsheet material has been changed to a more earth-friendly material.
  • Graphics — The fresh new look can be seen below. The white tip is indicative of the size we tested, 158W. Each size comes with a different colored tip.

The 2016/17 Custom Flying V on the left  next to the newest version on the right.
The 2016/17 Custom Flying V on the left, next to the newest version on the right.

We haven't tested this new version, so everything in the review that follows is for the older version.

Hands-On Review of the Old Custom Flying V


When compared to the rest, the Custom Flying-V was simply too soft and rockered to qualify for one of the best all-mountain boards. No big deal for Burton, though. They have so many different styles of snowboards, we bet you could find one that suits you. This board was fun and playful while going slower and it floated well in deeper snow. But, when pushed to excel on high speed turns while popping, and while tracking straight down the mountain, it faltered.

Skateboard-style Frontside air by Kurt Wastell
Skateboard-style Frontside air by Kurt Wastell

Edging and Carving


Although its rocker helped it go from edge to edge easily, it just couldn't hold on to bigger and faster carves. At slow speeds it was a real treat as it was extremely agile. However, you're unlikely to want to go slow all the time — only when you're new to riding or pushing 90 years of age. Scoring 7 out of 10 puts it at the bottom of the barrel in this category. If edging and carving are of particular importance to you, we'd recommend the Lib Tech Travis Rice Pro, which scored the only 10 out of 10 in this metric, or the Jones Explorer or Burton Flight Attendant, which both were trailing closely behind.

Showing the edging details on the Custom Flying V.
Showing the edging details on the Custom Flying V.

Float in Powder


Ahh, now we're talking. Again, rocker takes credit for helping to keep you on top with this board, but its narrower waist took a little float from it, putting it at 8 out of 10 when most of its rockered competitors, such as the Never Summer Proto Type Two, Lib Tech Travis Rice Pro, Arbor Wasteland, and Rossignol One LF, got 9s.

Stability at Speed


Burton Flying V during a slash spray. Kurt Wastell (rider).
Burton Flying V during a slash spray. Kurt Wastell (rider).

Put this board on your hardwood floor at home and you could play "spin the bottle" with it. Its generous amount of rocker made it feel quite loose at speed while flat on the base. It did better up on its edges though, but overall not a contender for top stable boards. 7 out of 10. The Burton Flight Attendant scored the only 10 out of 10 in this metric, maintaining optimal stability at speed and doubling as a military tank.

Playfulness


Nine out of 10 is awesome! This contender was such great fun to ride — as long as you don't ride really fast. Our tester was impressed with how quickly it went from edge to edge, but it just felt too squirrelly off jumps. It felt loose at high speed, too, but fast and loose can be fun sometimes. It's up to you what you're comfortable with. Just try and stay in control with this one while hauling.

Kurt Wastell getting to know the Flying-V.
Kurt Wastell getting to know the Flying-V.

Pop


Forget about it; it's soft and banana'd. You'd likely get more response out of a 2x4. Six out of 10 — the lowest scoring in pop. We'd recommend the Never Summer Proto Type Two, Burton Flight Attendant, or Rome Agent if exceptional pop if something that you just can't live without.

Best Applications


A super friendly board for those just starting out.

Value


Ride-ability comes nowhere close to the $600 price tag for this one.

Conclusion


Some riders might like everything about this board that this tester found lacking. We'd recommend purchasing this board only if you are new and under average weight.

Highlighting the base and edge of the Custom Flying V.
Highlighting the base and edge of the Custom Flying V.

Other Versions


We tested the wide version. There are standard widths, and, the Custom comes in a cambered model as well.

Chris Edmands

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Most recent review: November 20, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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