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I bought the burton clash as my first snowboard a few years ago at snowbombing festival in Austria. It just happened there was a sale on as it was the end of the season and I got a very cheap entry level snowboard. It lasted me three seasons and allowed me to develop my skills and know what to look for in my next board.
== The board ==
The Burton Clash is an entry level board. It's designed as an all mountain meaning that is 'average' in all areas including speed, turning, park use, piste use. It calims to be OK for off-piste but I wouldn;t recommend it unless the snow is packed and effectivley just like the piste. The board doesn;t work all that well in powder and I have ended up trapsing out of deep snow before.
The board comes in a range of sizes which are suited to different sized riders. These are:
I have the 158cm which I find is long enough for me being about 88kg (above the rating). It is quite a narrow board and I do find that my toes overhang the edge a bit once in snowboard boots (size 12 UK) which can scrape when moving on an edge or carying out a sharp turn. I learnt to deal with this but found it wuite annoying when I was learning.
The camber of the board is a continuous rocker that makes turning a little easier than a flatter board. I now prefer the 'clever' camber options on libtech boards personally, but a simple continuous camber shape is ideal to learn on and the rocker from side to side helps to avoid catching an edge and ending up with a facefull of snow.
The board has standard Burton binding fittings which allow all Burton bindings to be attached. You find the set up is slightly set back which is ideal for a beginner to place their weight on the back foot and learn that you only shift weight forwards to turn. Having the board set back makes the board directional (more board forward than back) which can be annoing once you learn to ride switch (either foot going forward).
When turning on an edge the edges are not perfect and the hold (how much the board bites into the surface) can slip in icy conditions. This takes a bit of getting used to but is acceptable for an entry level board.
The board has a soft flex meaning it can be bent quite a bit making it good for jumping. This does mean that it is not going to go really fast as you would require a very rigid board for that.
== Build Quality ==
Burton make a huge number of boards and have been on the scene in snowboarding for a long time. They obviuosly know what they are doing by now and this board is well made and has lasted well. Apart from the obligitory few scratches I have picked up the steel edges have not deteriorated much and the board is in good shape after 3 years.
The core of the board is made from wood with the laminates made form fibreglass. These are pretty standard for cheaper boards and you pay a lot more for 'interesting materials' on high spec boards.
I like the fact that the base is made from 40% recycled material. Not something I would particulary look for in a snowboard but a good idea and something that should be applied to more snowboards.
== Price ==
This seasons version of the clash sells for £280 on amazon, which is similar in price to other entry level boards. For a beginner or someone who doesn't use it a lot this is ideal and reasonable compared to the more expensive boards available.
== Summary ==
An all round 'average' board ideal for learning and progressing. I can only bring myself to give it 3 stars even though it suited me well as I really have discovered how much better a more expensive board can be.
People who are coming into the sport of snowboarding, the first name on their lips is going to be Burton. Jake Burton and his company truly dominate the market. In a short space of time snowboarding has gone from a small group of people in the know on the mountains competing against each other to the mainstream, world class sport, biggest growing leisure activity in the world we see today. Burton acheived this by their innovations to improve boards and thereby improve a riders learning curve and make the mountain and the sport more accessible.
The 'Clash' is the perfect entry level board within the Burton range. If you want to try your hand at tricks on the rails or boxes in the park, attempting some air in the pipe, carving down the slopes or hitting the powder then this board covers all the bases. The greatest asset this board has for the new rider is the friendless and forgiveness. The lightweight construction, gives plenty of mid/soft flex and the slighly tapered shape helps a new rider get into carving those turns in a short period of time but also helps in the powder.
The board has been around for a few years and each season Burton manage to do just a little something to try and improve on the last, but as a rule they all look good, they are true all-mountain boards and great to help a new rider progress their skills and confidence.
Price: Normally about the £220 range, but if you are lucky you may pick up a past season one for as little as £120. It pays to shop around.
The Snowboard Asylum offer a 'demo for free' at Milton Keynes Xscape, Castleford Xscape, Braehead Xscape & Tamworth Snowdome. If you try out a new season board and go ahead with purchase they will knock off the cost of your slope time (1 hour). Also worthwhile for new riders getting started with a set up to get them to find your ideal stance on the board. I wish I had this when I was first starting out, as it was a case of trial and error.
Enjoy the slopes!!!