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Burton Flight Attendant Split Review

The Flight Attendant is decent, offering good performance on firm snow and easy to adjust bindings.
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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
Manufacturer:   Burton
By David Reichel ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 19, 2018
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 5
  • Powder - 30% 6
  • Firm Snow - 25% 7
  • Climbing - 25% 6
  • Binding Adjustability - 10% 9
  • Playfulness - 10% 6

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.

New Graphics

See the updated graphics on the Flight Attendant Split in the photo above.

November 2018


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $800 List$764.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$674.21 at Backcountry$650 List$699.95 at Amazon
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Pros Solid feeling, easy to adjust bindings, good performance on firm snow, stable on fast open alpine terrainStable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, exceptional performance on powder and while climbing and descending firm snow, the use of Mellow MagnetractionFun, lightweight, solid, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great float, powder performanceVersatile, lightweight, affordable, ease of binding adjustability, strong overall ride with a solid riding experience, highly versatileFreestyle fun, the most bang for your buck, lightweight, impressive performance on powder, playful, the use of Mellow Magnetraction
Cons Heavy, expensive, below average powder float, sluggish at slow speedsStiff, expensive, harder to adjust bindingsDifficult to adjust the bindings, slightly soft tailCap construction, performance on firm snowSoft for larger riders, performance on firm snow, difficulty to adjust the bindings
Bottom Line The Flight Attendant is decent, offering good performance on firm snow and easy to adjust bindings.Winner of our Editors' Choice Award, the Solution takes the cake, especially in powder and firm snow.Impressive all mountain splitboard that excels in powder.One of the most affordable in our review, this Best Buy winner earns high marks across the board.Winner of our Best Buy Award, the Explorer is an outstanding, lightweight option.
Rating Categories Burton Flight Attendant Split Jones Solution Venture Storm Voile Revelator Jones Explorer
Powder (30%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Firm Snow (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
Climbing (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
Binding Adjustability (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
5
Playfulness (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs Burton Flight... Jones Solution Venture Storm Voile Revelator Jones Explorer
Tested Length 162 158 157 159 159
Flex Stiff Stiff Medium Stiff Medium Stiff Medium Soft
Weight 9 lb 8.6 oz 6 lb 4.5 oz 8 lb 0.6 oz 6 lb 6 oz 6 lb 15 oz
Weight in grams 4326 2849 3645 2891 3147
Weight Per Surface Area 0.94 0.65 0.84 0.65 0.7
Available Lengths 154, 158, 162, 168 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 157,161, 162, 166, 171 159, 162, 165, 169 152, 156, 158W, 159, 161W, 162, 164W
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Cap Sandwich
Core Material Wood Wood Wood Wood Wood
Waist Width (cm) 25.6 24.7 25 25.7 25.2
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional twin Directional
Radius (m) 7.9 8.5 8.48 8.8 7.5
Camber/Rocker Directional camber Directional rocker Straightline rocker Camber/Early rise rocker Directional rocker

Our Analysis and Test Results

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


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.

Powder testing the Flight Attendant.
Powder testing the Flight Attendant.

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


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.

Burton Flight Attendant 163 weight in pounds: 9.86
Burton Flight Attendant 163 weight in pounds: 9.86

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 limited its 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 a 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


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.

Burton Flight Attendant base.
Burton Flight Attendant base.

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