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Burton Flight Attendant Split Review

Decent and offers good performance on firm snow and easy to adjust bindings
Burton Flight Attendant Split
Photo: Burton
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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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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 11
  • Powder - 26% 6
  • Firm Snow - 26% 7
  • Climbing - 28% 6
  • Binding Adjustability - 5% 9
  • Playfulness - 15% 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

The updated graphics for the Flight Attendant Split are pictured above. None of the tech specs have changed.

November 2019

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Pros Solid feeling, easy to adjust bindings, good performance on firm snow, stable on fast open alpine terrainDurable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less baseStable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectivesDurable, affordable, versatile, easy to adjust stanceDurable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes
Cons Heavy, expensive, below average powder float, sluggish at slow speedsExpensive, switch ridingExpensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose riseGeneralist, soft for aggressive riding or heavy snowChallenging to smear turns in firm snow at slow speeds
Bottom Line Decent and offers good performance on firm snow and easy to adjust bindingsClimbs like a bird in thermals, rides like your trusted solid boardProvides versatile performance to support daily or ambitious backcountry objectives, the Solution is a satisfying rideA minimalist board that has everything that you need and nothing that you don'tFreeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose
Rating Categories Burton Flight Atten... Weston Backcountry... Jones Solution Spli... Voile Spartan Ascent United Shapes Covert
Powder (26%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Firm Snow (26%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Climbing (28%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Binding Adjustability (5%)
9.0
5.0
5.0
9.0
5.0
Playfulness (15%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Burton Flight Atten... Weston Backcountry... Jones Solution Spli... Voile Spartan Ascent United Shapes Covert
Weight 9.54 lbs 7.33 lbs 7.38 lbs 6.08 lbs 7.45 lbs
Tested Length 162 157 158 158 158
Flex Stiff Medium - stiff Stiff Soft Medium
Weight in grams 4326 g 3325 g 3346 g 2794 g 3382 g
Weight Per Surface Area 0.94 0.74 0.74 0.62 0.75
Available Lengths 154, 158, 162, 168 152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w) 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 154, 158, 162, 166 149,152,158,161,166
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Cap Sandwich
Core Material Wood Wood/ bamboo Wood paulownia, carbon Blended wood
Waist Width 25.6cm 25.6cm 24.7cm 25.7cm 25.7cm
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional twin Directional
Radius 7.9m 7.3/6.5/7.5m 8.5m 7.7m 7.5m
Camber/Rocker Directional camber Rock camber rocker Directional rocker Freeride camber Rocker/ Camber/ 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


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.

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.
Photo: David Reichel

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.
Photo: David Reichel

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



Value


With full retail price, 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.
Photo: David Reichel

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

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