Why did they call it the “Joystick”? Probably because “Burton X-Box Wireless Game Controller” doesn’t have the same ring to it. Burton’s Joystick is an all-mountain freestyle deck that is supposed to bring a new level of fun to the mountain. It’s name reminds me of playing Moon Patrol on the Atari 2600 in 1987. Fun times! So how did it stack up?
Stance: 24″ regs 15/-15
Shape: v-rocker, twinnish
Bindings: Burton Cartel
Dave’s stats: 6′, 210 lbs
Leo didn’t ride the Joystick so I did this review solo.
Conditions: Boyne Mountain, cold, overcast. 17 degrees not too windy. dust on crust about 1″ of natural snow but mostly hardpacked groomers.
Flex: Maybe a little stiffer than middle-of-the-road directional flex, with the v-rocker it felt a little looser. Still definitely stiff enough to be stable at speeds and for landing jumps.
Ollie/Pop: Burton’s “jumper cables” tech worked wonders on this board, ollie/pop was superb. Of the 4 or 5 Burtons I rode at Test Fest this one stood out to me.
Handling: the Joystick was pretty stable at speed which is one factor I always look for in all-mountain freestyle board. It didn’t have the best edge-hold but you could rail your turns pretty well without worrying too much about losing the edge or washing out. I rode the ‘wide’ version which was a little more sluggish rolling over edge-to-edge than the normal width should be, but if you’re a bigger guy with big feet the tradeoff would be worth it.
Jibs/Playfulness: It’s not a park board but with the v-rocker profile, a bit of flex and good pop this board lent itself pretty well to general jibbery. Combined with the scoop nose & tail you could definitely lay in to some wicked presses and/or butter this deck all over the place and it handled well on the rails, boxes and other features, too.
[buybtn brand=”Burton” deck=”Joystick” ptext=”The Joystick comes in right at $500 which is the price point that starts maxing most people’s wallets but I’ve got no complaints with this board, it was solid.”]
Summing it up: The Burton Joystick is a really nice all-mountain deck with just enough freestyle influence to be a really versatile board. Good handling and grip, and still playful enough to take in the park. I’d recommend it for the all-mountain guy who dabbles in park but wants to spend most of his time on buttering groomers, hitting jumps and natural features.
Here is a short on-hill video that I did while working with the Snowboards.net crew.
You can read more about the tech in the Joystick from Burton, currently still the 2011 model but they should be updating their site soon.