The Landlord has been Burton’s premier freeride stick for a few seasons now. Part of the very successful Family Tree line, the Landlord is available as both a split and a solid and is well-regarded as both. The shape is designed to offer performance in powder but also be versatile enough to take over the whole mountain too.
- BOARD → 2017 Burton Landlord Splitboard 159
- BINDINGS USED → Burton Hitchhiker Splitboard Bindings
- LENGTH → 159 (also available in 154, 163, 168)
- CAMBER → Directional Camber
- TAPER → 17mm
- WAIST WIDTH → 253mm
- STANCE → 56mm set back
- SIDECUT → 7.5m
- WEIGHT → 4KG
- HARDWARE → Voile hooks and clips
Set up and Stance Options
The Landlord Split features Burton’s excellent Channel System which offers limitless stance options. It’s also very easy to set up and use. Instead of being limited to screwing down the pucks into a standard 4 x 4 hole pattern, the channel means that both the front and rear pucks can be maneuvered up and down channel until a desired stance is found. Burton’s Channel System really does make total sense on a splitboard. The Landlord Split comes complete with a set of Burton Channel compatible pucks too.
In the Skintrack
No problems where this board is concerned in the uptrack. The Directional Camber profile provides that little extra bite underfoot that gives confidence on traverses. At 4kg, the Landlord doesn’t come into the ultra light class of splits, nor is it particularly heavy either. Despite the fact it was a test pool board had been used many times previously, base glide was still good.
The Landlord uses Voile hardware to mostly good effect. I have to admit to generally being a fan of Karakoram clips over Voile hooks – they pull the board together better I think. However, Voile Hooks do work really well to stop the two sections of the board from shifting vertically (as opposed to pulling apart) and the tip and tail clips are solid and tight. In fact the tip clip on the Landlord I tested was perhaps a little too tight at times. Better tight than sloppy though, and once the board was connected it felt as sturdy and tight as any other split I’ve ridden.
On the Descent
I didn’t get to ride the Landlord as much as I would have liked, but my experience combined with feedback from a member of my crew who rode the Landlord, lead to pretty much universal praise. The board feels nimble, yet stable. It is quick edge to edge and turns with ease yet still has a solid, confidence inspiring feel that I think is an essential characteristic in any splitboard.
Burton talk about ‘balanced freeride geometry’ to explain how the board’s shape and profile add up and I think the word ‘balanced’ really sums up the Landlord well. Although the deck is clearly directional, it doesn’t feel extreme in any way. The board’s characteristics seem to interact with each other perfectly – a long-ish moderately wide nose, set back stance with sidecut underneath, the short-ish powerful tail and the camber / nose rocker profile all combine to produce a deck that floats in deep snow yet is really fun on hard snow too. I’m pretty sure the solid Landlord would be a blast and I’d love to give one a try.
The tail feels particularly awesome. A set back stance of 56mm means it’s relatively short but there’s enough oomph there to provide power out of the turn. Front side turns on banks and berms are a real joy on the Landlord – it feels great to snap off quick heel side turns and slashes.
Although testing conditions weren’t epic, feedback of the Landlord in powder was good. The nose isn’t huge but it does have early rise rocker which helps float considerably. The board also has 17mm of taper which further increases pow performance.
Although the Landlord has pow specific features I wouldn’t call it a dedicated powder board. More of an all mountain powder board. In deep snow the nose rocker and overall taper provides adequate float and control. That said, there are floatier decks out there. If you’re looking for a board to take to Niseko for the winter, let’s say, I’d probably go for something more pow specific. But for anyone who wants a deck that is a joy on powder days, yet still rips in other snow conditions and on variable terrain too, then the Landlord could be an ideal choice.
The Landlord is a beautifully balanced all mountain pow board that felt right as soon as I strapped in. Versatility is a major advantage for any split to have and the Landlord works great in hard or soft conditions. It feels sturdy and well made. Plus the graphics by Burton legend Dean Blotto Gray, the kind of which are a feature across other boards in the Family Tree line for 2017, are cool too. It’s good to see that the Landlord is available in a wide range of sizes. The 153 will be great for many female riders and I imagine the ’63 and ’68 would be awesome decks to take into big mountain terrain.
Thanks to Burton Europe for providing a sample to review.