The Burton Flight Attendant is a super versatile all mountain freeride board. At home all over the mountain and in almost all conditions, the Flight Attendant would make a solid choice for the rider who’s looking for one board to ride across most terrain and snow conditions.
Burton Flight Attendant Review | The Basics
Board → 2018 Burton Flight Attendant 156
Bindings used → 2018 Burton Malavita
Boots Used → 2019 Burton Swath
Camber → Directional Camber
Waist Width → 248mm
Taper → 10mm
Sidecut Radius → 7.4m
Stance → -35mm
Burton Flight Attendant Review | Background
Many Burton boards have achieved legendary status over the years. The Flight Attendant is well on the way to becoming a true classic in the Burton range. It was originally an unofficial Nicolas Mueller pro model. Not a bad start to life eh? I seem to remember the idea behind it back then was to combine float and freestyle performance in a way that mirrors Nicolas’ riding style.
These days the shape remains one that, in theory, should work all across the mountain; in pow, on groomers and in natural freestyle terrain too. The Flight Attendant achieves this versatility by combining the deep snow characteristics of taper and directional camber, with a twin feel. The taper, camber and set back stance help with float and turn initiation but because the board’s sidecut is also set back and directly under the feet, the board feels more like a regular twin when cruising around.
Burton Flight Attendant Review | On Snow
I rode the 156 Flight Attendant with 2018 Burton Malavita Bindings and 2019 Burton Swath Boots. Snow conditions were variable and unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to ride the Flight Attendant in deep snow.
I immediately felt at home on the Flight Attendant, especially on groomers where the board is a smooth and stable turner. Laying down carves and just generally cruising around feels great. Despite the set back stance and taper the board doesn’t feel overly directional. The balanced geometry concept is definitely noticeable; on piste the Flight Attendant feels like a regular all mountain board. Stability and power in the turn doesn’t feel compromised like it sometimes can with a tapered board. I rode the Flight Attendant alongside a heavily tapered swallowtail and it was noticeable how the FA rode like a regular twin-ish deck, rather than something more freeride specific.
That said, when I did encounter softer snow in the tracked off piste I never felt like the board’s nose would catch or sink. The 10mm of taper and slightly set back stance isn’t going to make this a board for really deep pow, but I’d be willing to bet that making big turns in open terrain and moderately deep snow would be a blast.
The 156 has a 248mm waist width which suits my size UK 8 / EU 42 feet nicely. The board felt pretty nimble edge to edge and with a moderate sidecut radius of 7.4m carving turns on piste feels good on the Flight Attendant. The recent trend towards adding more width for extra float works in pow, and when you really want to lay a deep carve. It isn’t always appreciated by those with smaller feet or anyone looking for a more traditional feel though.
I love the channel system. Binding set up on the Flight Attendant is super easy and as there are so many potential stance options finding one that works is really simple. The down side is you are restricted to channel compatible bindings.
I guess the obvious downside to a versatile board like the Flight Attendant is that is doesn’t do one thing particularly well. From my point of view, there are other boards I’d be more stoked to be riding on a pow day. That said, for the rider who goes on a couple of trips a year, pow days may be few and far between and having a deck that works across a variety of conditions is a real advantage.
Burton Flight Attendant Review | Conclusion
What kind of rider should consider buying a Flight Attendant? Well, I’d say it covers a big demographic right in the middle of the snowboarding spectrum. Riders who regularly ride the park but are looking for a more freeride focused deck that still feels familiar would definitely feel at home on the Flight Attendant. Likewise, riders who are used to riding very directional pow shapes who are perhaps looking for a more balanced all round board for resort days are going to love it too.
Lastly, it’s a perfect option for the rider who just wants one board to do it all. If you’re looking for one board to take on a trip where different types of terrain and snow conditions will be encountered, in the resort and in the backcountry, the Flight Attendant would be a solid choice.
Disclaimer – I aim to be open and honest when writing gear reviews. On this occasion, Burton Snowboards loaned me a sample board for review. My views and opinions are independent whether I’m reviewing an item that has been loaned or given to me, or a product I purchased myself.