Jones Frontier Review
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|Pros||Great value, pretty easy to ride, versatile, stable, beautiful graphics||Float, precise edging, good construction, playful||User friendly, turning experience, versatile, playful||Loads of pop, stable, fun turning experience||Great value, powder and park, playful, nimble|
|Cons||Plank-like feel, decent edge hold in hardpack||Switch performance, harder to control in uneven terrain||Topsheet scratches easy, topsheet is slippery||Average powder floatation, pop is less user-friendly||Can slip on hard-pack, hard to maintain long radius turns on heels|
|Bottom Line||A great value option for those looking for an engaging ride on a budget||Our board of choice for advanced riders on groomer and deeper powder days||Has a playful merit to its high-performance abilities||A board that we could happily ride every day||One shape that can do it all|
|Rating Categories||Jones Frontier||Yes. Optimistic||United Shapes Cadet||Jones Mountain Twin||Ride Warpig|
|Float in Powder (20%)|
|Stability at Speed (20%)|
|Pop and Jumping (15%)|
|Specs||Jones Frontier||Yes. Optimistic||United Shapes Cadet||Jones Mountain Twin||Ride Warpig|
|Riding Style||All Mountain||Alternative Freeride||Freeride||All Mountain Freestyle||Alternative Freeride|
|Flex||Medium Stiff||Stiff||Medium||Medium Stiff||Medium|
|Weight||6.44 lbs||6.2 lbs||6.22 lbs||6.1 lbs||6.2 lbs|
|Tested Length||159 cm||151 cm||156 cm||157 cm||151 cm|
|Available Lengths (cm)||152,156,158W,159,161W,162,164W, 165, 167W||151, 154, 157, 161||144, 152.5, 156, 159, 162||151, 154, 155, 157, 158, 160, 161, 162, 164, 167||142, 148, 151, 154, 158|
|Core Material||Wood||Carbon-wrapped wood||A11x (poplar, bamboo)||FSC Mountain (dual-density wood, hardwood bamboo stringers)||Aspen, bamboo, and paulownia wood|
|Waist Width||25.4 cm||26.6 cm||25.6 cm||25.3 cm||26.5 cm|
|Radius||7.5 m||6.5 m||7.5 m||7.8 m||5.4/6.5 m|
|Taper||0 mm||6 mm||20 mm||0 mm||10 mm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Year after year, the Jones Frontier has some serious curb appeal, often featuring a mountain landscape painted by artists in mountain communities. The graphics have always been beautiful and a very fitting illustration based on the design intentions of this model. It is sure to attract your attention on the rack. Then you pick up the board and read the back to see that it has a medium-stiff flex, tight sidecut, sintered 8000 base, and edge disruption for added traction. You are hooked and start to think about the price; you are scared to look. Look once, and you see the price tag, then you double-take to confirm. Yep, it's official: the Frontier is an incredible value. How could you put it down after seeing all that? This is a well-thought-out board that excels on edge and at speed while providing good floatation.
The Jones Frontier is a highly capable board that feels incredibly stable mid-turn and offers an average degree of edge hold. It is a pretty stiff board both torsionally and tip to tail, giving it stability but also limiting feedback, feel, and fun. More feedback from the core would make it a more fun ride. One thing the Frontier does well is that it supports different turning styles and ability levels. This is truly impressive, given the flex pattern of the model.
The board has a good balance of fast, tight edging, and drawn-out longer radius turns. Its more comfortable and user-friendly radius are those medium to long-styled turns. The turning character is strong and agile. This is a challenging balance to accomplish, and 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. It can be difficult to enter and exit turns at low speeds on a stiff board, but the hybrid profile exits turns with ease; even while going slow. The rocker supports skidded turns and easier turn initiation, which makes it easier to ride for intermediate riders.
The Frontier was okay in hardpack, but we would slip more than with other models, even on the same day in the same conditions. This slip often occurred near the tail of the board if our weight was in the wrong spot, which leads us to believe the rockered tail was partially to blame. If the board was driven through turns in icy conditions, it could maintain decent edge engagement because the edge has more purchase/contact with the snow surface. But that can be a challenging skill to learn or perform in suboptimal conditions. There is a mellower Magne-Traction called Traction Tech to help with edge hold during these times.
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; it does a solid job for the quiver of one all-mountain / freeride board but won't blow your mind.
The Frontier provides good float for a day of riding powder. It was never our first pick for deeper days, but that's a specific niche to fill. However, it has some key directional features that help in the powder, like a 2 cm stance setback. 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 floats, such as the blunted nose and wider waist width. Its all-mountain design foregoes tapering and leaves a decent amount of tail, which has plenty of benefits. However, neither of the design characteristics support powder floatation. It does a fine job for those seeking a one-board quiver, though. We could definitely enjoy a full day of powder riding on this model but would expect to use more energy and lose the nose more than other models.
Stability at Speed
The Frontier is a very stable board thanks to its camber profile and stiffness. It has been upgraded with a faster sintered 8000 base and has the backbone to support the added speed. If you like to straightline and ride fast through crud, then this board could be a candidate for you.
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 board has an appropriate amount of damping characteristics to keep chatter to a minimum. We wouldn't call this board damp, but it does the job without any excess, which we appreciate. It could track straight and felt secure during straight-line testing, and we felt confident at all speeds. The Frontier also did exceptionally well at maintaining its line when moving fast through bumpy terrain. It was able to power through without relaying any excessive or unpredictable power to the rider. In the few instances where we got bucked off of our line, the board's maneuverability helped us get back on it. Overall, it is a very stable board at all speeds on most surfaces. Given its stiffness, we're impressed with how friendly this board is to ride and maneuver.
Playfulness generally speaks to how fun and user-friendly a board is. We evaluated the board on buttering, skidding turns, versatility, rider effort, and ability requirement. Overall, the Frontier is generally playful as it relates to turn initiation and forgiveness and could appeal to advanced beginners through expert riders — very impressive. It's definitely hard to butter given its stiff flex, and this reduced its playfulness score.
The spooned profile (a gently convexed base profile) helps the fluidity of edge transitions and edge disengagement. This ultimately provides a more catch-free ride and an easier-to-turn board. The Frontier can be playful in its edging style but struggled to butter. We often felt like we were fighting the board to initiate or maintain a butter. The Frontier performed long and medium radius turns well, but short radius turns took more effort. It is very easy to skid turns, which is one of the reasons we feel this board is good for different ability levels. Newer riders can skid turns all day, and advanced riders can make carving turns with plenty of opportunity to slash around the mountain. The Frontier is a versatile board that would shine in the context of all-mountain freestyle and freeride.
Pop and Jumping
Our testers found the Frontier to provide consistent pop that could be loaded quickly. This model has aspects of directional performance but it pops like a twin-styled board and does it quite well. The Frontier is freestyle-inspired shape with freeride all-mountain features and it is one of the best for popping and landing.
The stiffer profile requires more loading and leg strength to get that explosive release of energy. It has a sufficiently sized tail for popping and landings. Even though the tail is rockered, it is stiff and long enough to support successful backseat landings. This board took some breaking in before it felt user-friendly and fluid to pop, which can be common in new boards. 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 is really fun to catch flight on.
This board won our top value award for a reason. If you're a value shopper, then this is your ticket.
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 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. We recommend this well-rounded board for advanced beginners to experts looking for an affordable and reliable all-mountain snowboard.
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