Expert Review: 2023 Jones Flagship Snowboard [with Video]
Snowboard Expert Yuri Czmola tested the 2023 Jones Flagship snowboard on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Expert Yuri Czmola got his hands on the 2023 Jones Flagship and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories. But don’t forget, each rider is unique; if you have any questions about the Flagship, or would like recommendations on what board is ideal for your needs, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated.
Before we jump in, an important note that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Jones claim about this board? Jones claims that this is a great board for free riding and tackling technical, steep terrain—and it definitely delivered for me today.
What is your overall impression of this board? At first, I was a bit worried due to its size. It is a 161, and I run a size 13 boot, so I wasn't sure how technical I was going to be able to get. I was proven wrong for the right reasons very quickly.
This snowboard also has a contour base, which allows for smooth edge transitions and great float and pow. And the tapered shape with the large nose allowed me to handle anything I threw at it.
All in all, this board is great at high speeds. The waste width was not an issue. I would love to try the wider one as well, but this one definitely helped me out riding steep terrain today. I do feel that I will end up owning this at some point because I think it is a great option for steep lines.
How does it turn? I was pretty impressed that I was able to tackle trees and do some large-radius turns on this thing. Despite the stiffer fluctuating, this snowboard was very lively. It didn't really require as much effort as I thought it would. Now, mind you, I am 6'6", but it was really a fun ride. It was able to handle those nice carves, and tree riding was a blast on this board.
Is it easy to control at speeds? At speed, this was a very stable, very comfortable ride. It is designed for technical, steep lines, and it definitely shoots. It felt great moving from edge to edge at top speeds as well.
It also had a very smooth transition. I could really feel the smoothness of the contour base. I think this is a board that is the epitome of free riding.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? In terms of playfulness and pop, I had a blast with this thing. I was hitting every side hit and trying to tap every tree. This is a board that is definitely designed to make turns and handle steep lines. And it was a fun ride as well exploring some of the intermediate terrain here. It didn't feel as if it was too stiff.
How is it for buttering? I was able to butter it a lot today. This definitely requires a little bit of work and energy put in, but you're definitely able to reap the benefits. If you really want to get into buttering and spinning, the contour base actually works out pretty well. Despite the tapered shape, I had some fun playing around on this thing today.
How is it riding switch? It is definitely not a twin snowboard. Due to the larger nose, you can feel the drag when it gets put behind you, but it's definitely not impossible. I had some fun riding a taper board switch today. But this is not something I would use if I was looking for the same feel in both directions, or if I was looking to explore switch for the first time.
What about on jumps? All in all, this is a very stiff board. I feel like it's a great option for jumps. If you are free riding and riding technical lines, and there are mandatory drops, you could probably have a great time with this thing on some cliffs.
How would it be in the park? I don't think this would be my first park option. It's not something that I would necessarily look to ride urban rails with. I feel like it is a better option to explore the entire mountain, and I’d maybe pick a different option for the terrain park.
How would it perform in powder? Due to the shape of the nose and how easy the contour base feels, I feel like this would do a great job in powder. It held up very well when the terrain got sticky and was able to plow through those conditions. So, if the snow were to get lighter, this would be a great option that I would love to test out in that type of terrain.
Any locations it would be ideal for? For me, at a larger size, this board has “Alaska” written all over it. I think that Jones Snowboards has a great option here, and I can see why they call it The Flagship. I've ridden in Alaska before, and this happened to check off all the boxes of free riding: technical lines, shoots, and steeper terrain. Though this isn't something that I really would buy if I was hanging out in the Midwest. But I do think that this is a great option if you were looking to tackle steeps—maybe riding Stowe on the East Coast or something wild like Jackson Hole in the West.
How would you compare this board to the Jones Stratos? Well, I was concerned about the directional shape after coming off the Jones Stratos, but this board is a lot more free flowing and surfy. The Stratos has more of a locked-in feel. I feel that’s great for making sure you get the right turns in a chute-type scenario. But this board seems to be at home at steeps and popping off of things in general. Not that there wasn't pop on the Stratos, but you can feel the difference in inserts when riding this for sure. And it's a very playful board, which I didn't expect. I feel that the Stratos is meant to mostly ride in fourth gear. Meanwhile, I think the Flagship is a bit more playful and can be just as much of a social snowboard as it is a high-speed carving, ripping machine.
Who would you recommend this board to? I feel like this is a great option for those who are looking to tackle steeper lines and are concerned about whether or not they have the right option for big mountains. This is, by far, one of my favorite boards today, and I really do think they have a great thing going here with the shape.
Who should avoid this board ? This is not a great investment if this is your first snowboard. I think this is something where, if you look for free riding early and often, this is a great snowboard to have. But I don't think this is a great option if you are looking to figure out how to link turns or introduce carving into your repertoire.
Snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you have any questions about the Jones Flagship or want help finding the right board for you, reach out to Yuri or any other Snowboard Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations.