Expert Review: Burton Deep Thinker

This review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard, which I bought with my own money in December 2018.

Photo by Fabio D.
Published on

About this review This review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard, which I bought with my own money in December 2018. I was not paid by the manufacturer to write this review.

My take

Not a beginner board by any means. The Deep Thinker is a super fast, nimble directional board for advanced to expert riders.

Photos by Fabio D.

About me

  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155lbs
  • Model: 2018 Burton Deep Thinker
  • Size: 157cm
  • Boots: Burton Tourist and K2 Aspect
  • Boot Size: 10.5
  • Bindings: Burton Malavita EST and Spark R&D Arc Pro
  • Experience: 27 years

How it performs

Star ratings
Ease of turn initiation - 5 stars
Carving - 5 stars
Durability - 4 stars
Versatility - 4 stars
Flotation - 4 stars
Stability at high speeds - 5 stars

Test Conditions

  • When I bought these: December 2018
  • Days tested: 150 days
  • Where I’ve used it: Alaska, Switzerland, Montana, Idaho
  • Terrain: Hard pack and icy pre-season conditions, groomed slopes, terrain parks, powder, backcountry, banked slaloms

What I was looking for

I was in the market for a responsive, directional and snappy daily driver that excels in pow, can handle steep and deep freeriding lines, lays trenches on groomers and will be fast on banked slaloms.

Why I chose this gear

I was not able to test the Deep Thinker before buying, but I knew from its specs that it’s made exactly for what I was looking for. I’ve ridden many Burton boards before and I knew they would deliver a high end board. Also, watch Dany Davis ride! This is his pro model, you get a pretty good idea about what the Deep Thinker is made for.

At the time I was also considering the Gnu Mullair and the Burton Flight Attendant. I like the versatility of a less tapered tail a little better. The Mullair felt a little sluggish to me, I wanted a snappy quick turning and fast board. So I went for the Deep Thinker.

What I love

  • Speed: Super fast - directional shape is perfect for bombing down the mountain.
  • Turns: Very fast edge to edge. If you are an expert rider, the turn initiation is super fun and very quick. There are better boards for finishing full speed carving turns, but overall, it’s a great turning board. You need to be a good enough rider to handle it though. Make sure to buy this board wide enough for your boot size. You won’t unlock its full potential if you have even the slightest bit of toe/heel drag.
  • Powder: The big early rise nose and the 7mm taper in the tail help with float. There are more specific pow surfers out there but I was very surprised how well it handles deep pow. Especially on steep shoots and in tight trees. I have to work my back legs a little harder on flat deep terrain. If you are mostly riding flat powder terrain, you might want a less aggressive, more powder oriented board.
  • Trees: About as nimble as a board can be whether blasting full speed through trees or hitting natural features.
  • Backcountry: Awesome - this is my go to for boot-packing out of the resort days.
  • Durability: High quality as expected from Burton. Landing on a solid rock after some good airtime did rip the sidewall apart and cracked the top sheet. No board would handle that kind of impact uninjured though.
  • Switch riding: You’ll be surprised how well this rides switch. I can spin switch off kickers in the park and land switch in pow. For a tapered, directional board it does really well switch.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Edge hold: There seems to be an unexpected release point on very hard to icy conditions at high speeds. It’s happened to me that I lost an edge full blast without seeing it coming. Otherwise, I find that it hangs on in hard snow. The full camber profile offers great edge hold.
  • Groomers: It is a very aggressive board that can catch an edge if you are not fully in control. An expert rider will have an amazing time on any type of groomers. Beginners will not be happy!
  • Park: As you would imagine, this is not a jibby board. It doesn’t like pressing boxes or riding rails. I can still spin off kickers switch and take it into the half pipe despite its directional shape and upper medium to stiff flex. For riders looking for a board more on the freestyle side of things, I would recommend the Burton FREE Thinker.
  • Snowboard stability (pop/dampness/buttering/underfoot chatter): It is not a very jibby board. I can press and butter off the nose easily - even with my 115lbs, but doing this off the tail needs a little more commitment. You definitely need to be an expert rider to unload everything this board has to offer. If you are, you’ll get an incredible amount of pop out if its tail. Overall it’s a snappy, not very damp board. You’ll have to work hard when riding through heavy, thick uneven snow. It’s not the most absorbing or forgiving board out there.
  • Any workarounds? Mounting your bindings further back than the recommended stance will help with flotation and avoiding sore back legs.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Deep thinker is certainly not a cheap snowboard. It is performance driven and made with high end materials. If you are a beginner/intermediate rider, the Deep Thinker might be too much for you and not worth the money – it simply wouldn’t be fun. Expert riders that can handle an aggressive camber board will appreciate the quality and materials used. I’ve tested other decks in its price class and in my opinion, the Deep Thinker is worth every penny.

Final verdict

Bottom line, the Burton Deep Thinker is not a beginner board by any means. It might buck you off at times if you don’t pay attention. It is catchy, snappy, fast, aggressive and wants to charge.

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Written By
I am a Swiss snowboarder living in Alaska and Montana. I grew up in a mountain town in Switzerland and was on skis for the first time before my second birthday. When I was 9 years old I started snowboarding and immediately was obsessed with it. I’ve snowboarded for over 25 years. In the early days,...

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