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Burton are one of the established brands in the snowboard world and there seem to be divided views about whether the price is reflective of the quality or just the fashionable name. I was looking for an entry level women's board with a narrow length range, and ended up getting a good deal on a Feather 149, so went with that and it's been great. I have only been away about 4 weeks plus a few days on indoor slopes, over the last few years. So I can compare this board with hire boards I've used but not a whole load more. I hope this review is useful to someone else nervous about getting their first board!
- I went for a woman's board as they are slightly narrow and lighter than men's boards and meant to be easier to turn. I do find narrower boards easier to turn (but always make sure your toes don't hang off the edge)
- Burton have a patented way of fitting bindings to the board using 3 pins, which gives a greater range of angles and positions. However the way the screw holes are, you can mix and match other brands' bindings. Obviously if it's important that all the colours match, you would need to get bindings of the same range/year as the board you're getting.
- The board has plenty of flex so is forgiving on mogals - as an entry level board is designed to be. This is a million times better than any hire board I have ever used. I can wiggle and jump into position at the top of a run and have even been over a few little jumps.
- The board turns well. Some of this comes down to having sharp edges which are often not kept in some good nick on hire boards. But I assume a lot of this is down to the shape.
- I've taken the board through fresh waist deep powder - leaning back a little to keep the nose up worked a treat and the board was perfect (shame about the ability of the rider!)
- I haven't found myself limited by this board, nor I do I see that I'll grow out of it any time soon. From what I've read, unless you start to get really good, this type of board should happily last a good few years. Stepping up a level, you start to consider boards designed more for freestyle (flexible, like this one) or apline (longer and rigid).
I can't recommend highly enough that you get your own board if you find you like boarding. It helps you learn much more quickly and fall over a lot less. There seem to be a lot of good deals on nearly new women's entry level board - I think as over-enthusiastic boyfriends buy them for their other halves before they have even tried a day of boarding, only to find they don't like it. (My best investment yet though is in a pair of impact shorts!!)