Expert Review: 2023 Burton Territory Manager Snowboard [with Video]
Snowboard Experts Everett Pelkey and Mike Leighton tested the 2023 Burton Territory Manager snowboard on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Experts Everett Pelkey and Mike Leighton got their hands on the 2023 Burton Territory Manager 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, every rider is unique; if you have any questions on the Territory Manager or would like recommendations on what board would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated.
Before we jump in, a quick note that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Burton claim about this board? [Everett] So this is Burton’s new backcountry freestyle board.
[Mike] The Territory Manager is a new shape for Burton. It is billed as an all-mountain freestyle snowboard. It's really designed to have a heavy freeride influence while also keeping some of those park roots. It’s a unisex board that’s offered in everything from the low 140s to 165. So there's a full size range that this board can be ridden, from the big guys all the way down to the much smaller female riders.
What's your overall impression of the board?
[Everett] This board definitely lives up to the backcountry it needs to be in. It's definitely a board that's a little bigger for my size. I would generally ride something a little smaller. But it can handle much bigger, more aggressive riders. And it can fit to your ability perfectly.
[Mike] When I first heard about the Territory Manager, my first impression was, “I really want to ride this board.” I grew up riding park, and now I live in Colorado, and I absolutely love riding fresh snow. So, when I heard about this board, I thought this might be the perfect board for me. It's a directional twin, so it has a slightly longer nose than tail. It also features directional camber, and its equally at home riding switch. So if you're looking to hit, drop a cliff, switch or regular land on that fresh snow, this is going to be an awesome board. With the directional camber profile, it holds an amazing edge. So it's really confidence inspiring and comfortable.
How does it turn? [Everett] Once you figure out where your body needs to be on this board, you're able to really lay in turns as you're cruising down anywhere. I would definitely say I had a lot of control on this board. With its bigger profile, you're able to lock things in.
[Mike] This board is actually a ripper. It's on the stiffer side, and it features directional camber, so it is a little bit of early rise in the nose, but under your feet is full camber. So if you're out there ripping groomers, this board is really fun.
I will say that I did feel like I had to put some energy into the turn to really liven it up. It wasn't just springy the whole time, but it also wasn't like I was riding a plank of wood. There was good feedback on here with how the core is made. It's designed to give you some good feedback while also maintaining a solid edge.
How is its edge hold? [Everett] So charging is what this board handles super well, surprisingly, when it comes to resort riding. I know this is really meant for more backcountry freestyle, but when you are able to lay into those turns, you really feel the edge hold. So you can really charge harder than you expect as you're going down the mountain.
[Mike] The edge hold on the Territory Manager is great. One thing that I've always really enjoyed about riding Burton Boards is their camber profiles have always been very confidence inspiring when turning, and the Territory Manager is no different.
How is stability in turns? [Everett] So this board feels super stable underfoot. The true camber that goes all the way through is what's going to keep you locked in no matter where you're going. And there's an eight millimeter taper that's going to change it out. So it's going to get a little bit of a directional feel, but the true tone is what carries it through. So as you're bringing it into any sort of turns, it's able to just carve them out as you're going. You can really lean into this.
[Mike] I would describe this board as very stable and very damp. It does feel a little bit heavier than some similar boards, but I think that really plays into the stability—especially when you go to start into some choppier terrain or at higher speeds.
How is it in terms of speed? [Everett] This board is super great at high speeds. That's really when it starts to open up. With its profile being a true twin, it always comes back to the camber that gives you that stability. You can start charging harder, ride it bigger, and really push the limits of riding on this board.
[Mike] This thing is fast. It's got their centered base. It wants to go pointed downhill. Doesn't matter how fast you're trying to go; you can hit it. It's really comfortable at speed. I would say there are some boards that are livelier when it comes to energy and acceleration at speed, but once the board is up on edge, it is going to hold an edge. It is going to maintain the speed. It's going to carry the speed. So, this is a great board for that more advanced rider that really likes ripping carve turns and, at the same time, might want to point it straight downhill and point it through some choppier chunder.
Is there any chatter? [Everett] Surprisingly enough, this board did not feel like it had any chatter underneath it. We were put through some pretty tough conditions today. They were not the most ideal, and I did not feel this thing waiver at any point. I was pushing it harder than I thought I should have, but yet it was able to handle it with its stability in a more wider profile. It kept me super locked in at any point.
[Mike] I really didn't notice very much chatter, and that was in riding in everything from more groomed terrain to some more choppy, springtime kind of chunky stuff. It was pretty confidence inspiring, whether it was in high-speed turns or when it got choppy, mogul runs, or some tree stuff. I felt perfectly in control pointing this thing straight. With that directional camber, little bit stiffer flex, and that dampness, overall, you are in control no matter what your speed is.
How is its pop? [Everett] I would say this board has a higher flex rating. It's still going to be playful and responsive, but that true tune camber is what's going to make it pop where it needs to.
[Mike] I personally feel that there is a lot of pop in this board. It is not the springiest, but it's also not dead. So, if you want to take this in a jump line or start ollieing over some side-hit stuff, this is definitely a great board for that.
How is it riding switch? [Everett] This is a directional twin. You get a little bit of a setback. Your nose is slightly longer than your tail. But it's a true twin camber all the way through. That's what's going to give you the ability to ride switch whenever you need to, but still float anytime there's those extra deep days.
[Mike] In some comparable boards like the Burton Flight Attendant—which is a little bit more directional and also features directional camber—one of the things that I always struggled with is that it felt really scary riding switch at speed with the directional camber. But what Burton did with the Territory Manager is give it an overall twin profile. So even though it's designed to be ridden with a slightly longer nose than tail, that profile is going to encourage switch riding as well.
How is it for buttering? [Everett] This board is surprisingly good at buttering. Again, with its larger profile, it takes a second to really press into it. It's not as good as maybe a rocker board, but this still will hold you up there once you can really lean into that press. That’s definitely why this is geared for a more advanced rider.
[Mike] I wouldn't say it's the best at pressing or buttering, but with this twin profile on it, it is really fun to just pop around. I was throwing some big floaty threes, a lot of 180s, landing switch, taking off switch. Whatever playfulness you want to do on it, it's not going to excel anywhere, but it's also not going to hold you back.
How is the board on jumps and how is its stability on landings? [Everett] It really shines when it stomps landings. The super big profile is what helps make sure that you could hit the biggest cliff, throw the biggest spend, and it will ensure that you're riding away smoothly. I’m able to pop super big off almost anything, which makes it a ton of fun. It gives me plenty of time to work on anything I’m trying to get down.
[Mike] It’s a great board for spinning the jump line. With how damp and how stable it is, it is going to be just as good at landing. So, overall, this board is the freestyle freerider's dream.
How would it be in powder? [Everett] Traditionally, in deep powder you wouldn't think a directional twin camber board would excel. But you can feel the way that it's set back just enough and the taper on this board is going to give you that float, but also the stability, which is almost rare to find in a lot of boards. This is where you can get that extra freestyle momentum out of it. You can really pop into it and land slash turns as you go and really take charge of the whole powder day.
[Mike] It’s designed to be ridden in fresh snow with a little bit more of a freestyle flavor. But one of the things that does feature is an eight millimeter taper on this tail. You don't notice it because the shape is an overall twin shape, but it does have a little bit of taper. So when the snow is softer, this board is naturally going to want to float more. It's going to kind of surf over the top of that fresh snow, and then that eight millimeter taper in the tail is going to allow the tail to sink a bit more. So it's even going to pull that nose up even more. So riding this board your regular direction in powder is going to feel like any other freeride pow board.
How is it riding in the trees? How is its maneuverability? [Everett] Moguls and trees are a bit more difficult. This board requires a little more room. But if the snow is softer, you're definitely able to push in those turns really quick and dynamically. This board is a little more harder charging, so it does take a second in those tight sections to really make sure you’re on top of it; otherwise it will take off on you.
[Mike] I think the one place that this board might not be perfect is once you get into some very tight trees, some tighter moguls, or bigger moguls, because it does feel a little bit heavier edge-to-edge. It doesn't have a super-springy edge. It can be a little bit less nimble in those tighter terrain conditions.
To sum up, what terrain is this board ideal for? [Everett] This board is necessarily meant for a little more backcountry style, but when it comes to hard-packed groomers, it surprisingly rides the resort pretty darn well. But in the backcountry is where it shines—trying to hit every feature possible and just really boost as big as possible. Get those big spins going and get those soft landings, this is where this board wants to be. It wants to take off in the backcountry and really push the freestyle limits in the freeride world.
[Mike] Overall, there's not many places this board is not going to be comfortable in. It is a board that excels on groomed terrain, harder-packed snow, pow day, or when things get soft and slushy. And if I want to take it through the jump line, it's going to be fun, too. It's damp, it still floats. As a result, that float that you see in fresh snow is also going to transfer over to chundery, uneven terrain. And you're going to be in control in pretty much any condition. Even in icy conditions, you're still going to feel in control.
What terrain should riders avoid with it? [Everett] So on uneven terrain, it's not the most ideal board, but it handles it better than expected. The dampening on this really softens the blow of hitting those spots, and it'll charge right through it. I would not necessarily put this on more mellow groomed terrain, either. It's not going to do super great in there. Or tight trees and moguls. That's not typically where this thing is going to be the most fun and easy to use. But it is still able to handle those as you go down the mountain.
[Mike] I do think that if you're riding a ton of tight trees, or if you spend a lot of time just riding the rail line, this probably isn't the board for you.
Any location in the world that it might be good for? [Everett] Jackson Hole seems to be the sweet spot for this board. It's got the steep and deep terrain, but the freestyle aspects to really push the abilities of the Territory Manager. It wants to take charge and be the top dog out there while still looking cool while you're in the air.
[Mike] For where I live in Colorado, this could be a one board quiver for me. In Colorado, Utah, the Pacific Northwest, and the Sierras, this is going to be a great snowboard. If you aren't getting a ton of fresh snow, you might not need that directional camber, or that taper in the tail. But if you're just a freerider looking for an overall fun board, this could be a great thing for you.
Who would you recommend this board to? [Everett] This board is great for expert riders really looking to push the limits in the freeride world while taking the flare of freestyle into it. It gives you more stability than most boards to really stomp everything you're going for, but still get enough float when you need to. With this board, stability is key. And this thing covers that super well.
[Mike] If you are a high-level intermediate rider, and you're starting to really explore the whole mountain, this could be a great board to grow with. This board is really going to shine in the hands of advanced and expert riders, especially the people that rely heavily on freestyle all over the mountain. But because it comes in a wide variety of sizes, it can fit a lot of ability levels and also a lot of different-sized people.
Who should avoid this board, are there better options for them out there? [Everett] I wouldn't recommend this board for someone who's still trying to figure out where exactly on the mountain they want to be. It's really designated for someone who's going to be pushing the back and side country limits and really open this thing up.
[Mike] So I rode this board at 160. If I was riding a lot more freestyle, solely, I would want something a little bit smaller. But for a bigger, heavier rider—guys that like to charge—this board is a great option, just because of how stable and how damp it is.
I wouldn’t recommend this board to a beginner. They don't need everything that's in this snowboard.
Snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you want help finding the right board for you, reach out to Everett, Mike, or any other Snowboard Expert here on Curated.