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Jones Frontier Review

Porsche performance at Honda prices
Jones Frontier
Photo: Backcountry
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $480 List
Pros:  Great value, versatile, stable, beautiful graphic
Cons:  Can slip on hardback
Manufacturer:   Jones
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 29, 2020
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 16
  • Edging - 25% 8
  • Float in Powder - 20% 7
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 9
  • Playfulness - 20% 7
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 8

Our Verdict

You'll be doing double-takes when you look at the price tag of the Jones Frontier. Its consistent performance allows it to thrive in almost all conditions but had a tendency to slip on hardpack. For a board of this stiffness, it maneuvered through bumps very well and had a powerful and athletic edging character. This board provided above-average powder flotation thanks to its rockered and blunted nose. It's a great choice for just about anyone looking for a capable ride on the hill while saving some cash; it's quite a deal.

New Graphics and Base
The 20-21 Jones Frontier has a new and faster sintered 8000 base in addition to aesthetically pleasing new graphics. Aside from these two changes, the model remains largely the same as the previous years. The review below discusses the 19-20 Frontier.

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Jones Frontier
This Product
Jones Frontier
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award    
Price $480 List$502.46 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$598.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$500 List$580 List
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Pros Great value, versatile, stable, beautiful graphicFloaty, precise edging, good construction, playfulResponsive, snappy, maneuverable, durable topsheet, powder performanceLoads of pop, stable, fun turning experienceManufactured with 100% hydropower, beautiful graphic, playful
Cons Can slip on hardbackSwitch performanceBackseat landings, switch ridingAverage powder floatation, pop is less user-friendlyBack half of the heel side edge feels like it can slightly disengage under certain circumstances
Bottom Line Porsche performance at Honda pricesOur first choice that we would recommend to anyone on the hunt for a new rideAgile like a Peregrine FalconA board that we could happily ride every dayBuilt for riding every condition with power and finesse
Rating Categories Jones Frontier Yes. Optimistic Weston Backcountry... Jones Mountain Twin Capita Kazu Kokubo Pro
Edging (25%)
8.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Float In Powder (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Stability At Speed (20%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Playfulness (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Pop And Jumping (15%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Jones Frontier Yes. Optimistic Weston Backcountry... Jones Mountain Twin Capita Kazu Kokubo Pro
Riding Style All Mountain Alternative Freeride Freeride All Mountain Freestyle All Mountain Freestyle
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional Directional
Camber/Rocker Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Directional Multi-Radial Camber Rocker CamRock Hybrid- Rocker/Camber
Flex Stiff Stiff Medium Stiff Medium Stiff Medium
Weight 6.44 (lb) 6.2 (lb) 6.63 (lb) 6.1 (lb) 5.4 (lb)
Tested Length 159 cm 151 cm 157 cm 157 cm 157 cm
Available Lengths 152,156,158W,159,161W,162,164W cm 151, 154, 157 cm 152, 152 wide, 157, 157 wide, 160, 160 wide, 163, 163 wide, 167, 167 wide cm 151, 154, 155, 157, 158, 160, 161, 162, 164, 167 cm 151, 154, 157, 160 cm
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Wood Carbon-wrapped wood Slayer (bamboo, poplar) FSC Mountain (dual-density wood, hardwood bamboo stringers) Wood
Waist Width 25.4 cm 26.6 cm 25.6 cm 25.3 cm 25.5 cm
Radius 7.5 m 6.5 m 7.5/6.8/7.8 m 7.8 m 8.4 m
Taper 0 mm 6 mm 18 mm 0 mm 9 mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Jones Frontier has replaced the Explorer for the 2020 Season. Not much has changed between the two boards. If you loved the Explorer, then you will continue to love the Frontier. Much that we loved about the board has stayed the same, but there are some subtle differences. It's built with Super Sap Bio Resin epoxy, and the wood core is FSC certified, with different stringer positioning.

The first thing you might notice about the Frontier is its stunning graphic. The mountainscape is beautiful and a very fitting illustration based on the design intentions of this model. Then you pick up the board and read the back to see that it has a medium-stiff flex, tight sidecut, and mellow Magne-Traction. Now, your mind shifts to think about your wallet and how much it costs; you are scared to look. Look once, and you see the price tag, then you double-take to confirm. Yep, it's official; it's an incredible value. How could you put it down after seeing all that? The Frontier is a thoroughly thought-out board to excel on edge and at speed while providing good floatation.

Surf-styled and athletic edging from the Jones Explorer. Photo By:...
Surf-styled and athletic edging from the Jones Explorer. Photo By: Ryland West
Photo: Ryland West

Edging


The board has a good balance of fast, tight edging and drawn out longer radius turns. The turning character is strong, energetic, and agile. This balance is challenging to accomplish, but the board employs a consistent flex to achieve this. This combo also makes for efficient edge to edge transfer on a platform that manages heel drag for the average boot size. Stiff boards can be challenging to enter and exit turns at low speeds, but the hybrid profile exits turn with ease; even while going slow.


The Frontier tends to slip on hardpack surfaces. If the board was driven through turns in icy conditions, it was able to maintain decent edge engagement because the edge has more purchase/contact to the snow surface. But that can be a challenging skill to learn or perform in suboptimal conditions. To help out the intermediate rider, there is a mellower Magne-Traction called Traction Tech 2.0 to help with edge hold during these times.

Slashing and turning on the Explorer.
Slashing and turning on the Explorer.
Photo: Ryland West


Float in Powder


Float in powder is one of the most important attributes of a stand-alone quiver of one. It does its job and will keep you above the snow but won't blow your mind.


It has a mostly cambered profile with rocker in the tip and tail to help keep the nose above the snow. It also has a few surface area boosting design characteristics to promote additional float, such as the blunted nose and wider waist width. This model is beginning to do some of the floatation work for you but not all the heavy lifting resulting from a more powder-centric board.

Stability at Speed


The camber profile between the feet and gently setback back stance limit nose chatter and promote rider confidence when straight-lining or high speed edging.


This model was able to track straight and feel secure during straight-line testing. Our testers felt confident at all speeds. The main threat to rider security was the edge hold at high speed in hardpack conditions.

The mostly cambered profile and the effective edge of the Frontier...
The mostly cambered profile and the effective edge of the Frontier allow for a very stable ride at speed.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Playfulness


The Frontier performed tight radius turns well and is a versatile board that would shine in the context of all-mountain freestyle and freeride.


The spooned profile (a gently convexed base profile) gives it catch-free riding and buttering ability. Additionally, the Spoon enhanced the efficiency of edge to edge transfer. The Frontier can be playful in its edging style but was struggled to butter and provide a loose feeling due to its flex pattern.

The model was hindered by its stiff profile that made butters and a playful riding style physically difficult to perform and thus enjoy.

Pop and Jumping


Our testers found the Frontier to provide consistent pop that could be loaded quickly. This model has directional performance, but it pops like a twin styled board. This is because the model doesn't have a set back stance.


The stiffer profile requires more loading and leg strength to get that explosive release of energy. It has a sufficient sized tail for popping and landings. Even though the tail is rockered, it is stiff and long enough to support successful back seat landings. This model took some breaking in before it felt user-friendly and fluid to pop. This can be common in new boards, depending on the manufacturers. Give it some time to break in. Based on the amount of loading required, pop generated, and landing stability, the Frontier performed well in this metric and supports jump or side hit enjoyment.

The freestyle tail of the Frontier makes it very easy to pop of...
The freestyle tail of the Frontier makes it very easy to pop of rollers and jumps.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Value


It won our top value for a reason. If you're a value shopper, then this is your ticket.

The Frontier uses a bio-based epoxy as opposed to the standard...
The Frontier uses a bio-based epoxy as opposed to the standard petroleum-based epoxy.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Conclusion


Everyone loves consistency and diversity. It's a theme that is present in all great athletes. The Jones Frontier was one of the most well-rounded models in this review. From groomers to powder, this board will provide a high quality of experience at an affordable price. With all the savings from purchasing this high performing board, your snowboarding ability may increase because you can spend more money to get on the hill. In short, if you're looking for an affordable board that performs well in every condition, we don't think you will regret buying the Frontier.

Jones uses a flip flop base which allows the excess material from...
Jones uses a flip flop base which allows the excess material from one board to be used on another. This ultimately reduces p-tex waste and lowers the carbon footprint of the board.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Isaac Laredo