Hands-on Gear Review

Burton Flight Attendant Split Review

2018 Flight Attendant Split
Price:  $800 List
Pros:  Solid feeling, easy to adjust bindings, good performance on firm snow, stable on fast open alpine terrain.
Cons:  Heavy, expensive, below average powder float, sluggish at slow speeds
Bottom line:  Sadly this board is not up to speed with the Burton Landlord, our 2017 Editor's Choice.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Tested Length:  163
Flex:  Stiff
Manufacturer:   Burton

Our Verdict

A solid if slightly underwhelming splitboard from Burton. Fans of the discontinued Burton Landlord take note, the Flight Attendant is a significant departure in terms of ride character. Better suited for heavier and more powerful riders, this is a stiffer split that requires some muscle, especially at slower speeds.


RELATED REVIEW: Best Splitboards For Backcountry Snowboarding


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
David Reichel

Last Updated:
Thursday
April 19, 2018

Share:

Hands-On Review


Replacing the discontinued Landlord, the Flight Attendant veers in a different path. While the Landlord was an exceptionally fun board with strong freestyle tendencies that still got the job done all over the mountain, the Flight Attendant is a much more serious ride. Burton apparently wanted to make a change from the Landlord and they definitely did.

Performance Comparison


Powder


Powder testing the Flight Attendant.
Powder testing the Flight Attendant.
Despite testing a relatively long length (163cm, the longest in our test), the Flight Attendant was poor at powder flotation. After several powder test days, we ultimately moved the bindings much further back than we are accustomed to in order to achieve adequate float. This resulted in decent powder performance, but with a somewhat awkward ride quality. Many powder specific shapes (think of Burton's own Fish, Skipjack, or Cheetah models) are designed to excel in powder by creating a directional board with a longer nose and a shorter tail. While you can crudely approximate this by moving the bindings back on any a more twin tip type board, the result is much more plodding and less nimble. The primary benefit of this tradeoff for the more twin tip boards is the improved switch riding performance. Riding switch can be nearly impossible on some extreme directional boards, but definitely an option with the Flight Attendant. The Flight Attendant's nose is 10mm wider than its tail. This 10mm of taper should help with powder floatation, but it wasn't very noticeable when riding. The minimal amount of taper also is not enough to negatively impact its switch abilities.

In steep sustained alpine powder conditions the Flight Attendant was more adept, as we were able to consistently maintain the higher speed necessary to achieve float. In the terrain that we tested this split, that open alpine terrain would eventually end, and we found the board more challenging to navigate through the tight forest or gully exists below.


Firm Snow


The beginning of our testing season was characterized by very little snow and scary drought conditions. Soft snow was rare and firm snow abounded. The Flight Attendant was solid at holding an edge in steep firm snow. On tight steep firm terrain, often found in couloirs, its weight makes hopping from one edge to the other physically demanding, but the edge hold is reliable. On longer icy traverse the edge hold was quite good.

Climbing


Burton Flight Attendant 163 weight in pounds: 9.86
Burton Flight Attendant 163 weight in pounds: 9.86
Being on the heavier end of the spectrum, the Flight Attendant is taxing to haul up the mountain. The camber underfoot does help maintain solid skin grip on the snow. The stiffer overall flex is also beneficial when climbing, especially on steeper side hills. Additionally, the longer overall length of the board we tested adds more edge contact which can be advantageous traversing steep slopes.

Binding Adjustability


The channel system works well and makes altering one's stance fairly simple. With most angles you can access the bolts through binding which allows for convenient fine tuning of width and angle setup. If you are someone who frequently shifts your stance around, the channel system makes sense.

Playfulness


We did not find Flight Attendant to be very playful. It was quite stiff, which for us limitedits freestyle potential.

Karma Score


This is totally subjective but we really like the top sheet and base art of the Flight Attendant.
Flight Attendant catching evening light on Carson Pass.
Flight Attendant catching evening light on Carson Pass.
It doesn't magically prevent snow from sticking to it (which basically nobody has figured out how to achieve), but it looks cool. Plus the artist, Jonathan Zawada, is from Australia and his website is amazing: http://www.zawada.art

Burton 2020
Burton 2020
Additionally, Burton has set impressive Sustainability goals for itself to hit by 2020. Good work Burton!



Best Applications


Folks who are bigger and/or stronger than average and prefer stiff freestyle boards are good candidates for the Flight Attendant. Additionally, living in a region with bounty of alpine terrain would be ideal. Basically big burly Alaskans who love to go fast and occasionally get a heli bump into the alpine and then splitboard tour from there are great candidates for the Flight Attendant. Alternatively, anyone who likes to ride hard and appreciates a stout board.

Value


Burton Flight Attendant base.
Burton Flight Attendant base.
With a full retail of $799, the Flight Attendant is one of the most expensive splits in our review. If you place significant value on the Burton brand then the cost can be justified, but there are significantly cheaper splits available if your brand loyalty is low.

Conclusion


The Flight Attendant is a sturdy splitboard from one of the biggest snowboard companies in the world. If you prefer stiffer boards and a freestyle shape this one is worth consideration.
David Reichel

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 19, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...