Expert Review: Burton Deep ThinkerPublished on 04/11/2023 · 7 min readThis review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard which I bought with my own money in December 2018.
Photo by Fabio D.
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.
Not a beginner board by any means. With early 90s roots and throwback graphics, the Burton Deep Thinker is a super fast, nimble directional board that resembles classic powder boards for advanced to expert riders. An already iconic model board with a touch of Burton throughout, this classic snowboard shape ripper boasts balanced freeride geometry perfect for powder and a more aggressive ride in the backcountry.
- 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
- When I bought these: December 2018
- Days tested: 150 days
- Where I’ve used it: Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Switzerland
- 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-friendly performance, can handle steep and deep freeriding lines, lays trenches on groomers, and will be fast on banked slaloms. The medium to extreme stiffness makes this the perfect board for experienced riders on deep days.
Why I chose this gear
I was not able to test the Deep Thinker before buying, but I knew from its specs and unique shape that it had the exact mountain abilities I was looking for. I’ve ridden many Burton snowboards before, and I knew they would deliver a high-end board. Also, watch Danny Davis ride! This is his pro model; you get a pretty good idea about what the Burton 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 board with just a touch of taper a little better. The Mullair felt a little sluggish to me. I wanted a quick-turning, fast board with snappy pop, so I went for the Deep Thinker.
What I love
- Speed: Super fast. The directional shape and specially formulated wax on the WFO base are perfect for bombing down the mountain. Sintered material on the base has pores designed to soak up board wax perfectly for long-lasting slickness. Built using lighter woods, bio-based materials, and carbon highlights, this super light board is ready for hot laps!
- Turns: Very fast edge to edge. If you are an expert rider that loves carving, the turn initiation is super fun and very quick, thanks to the responsiveness of directional camber in the base. There are better boards for mobility, but overall, the directional camber bend and directional flex make the men's Burton Deep Thinker snowboard 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 drag or have a heel hanging off your heel edges.
- Powder: The Burton Deep Thinker has plenty of float in powder pillows! The big early-rise rocker nose, freeride directional shape, setback camber, and the 7mm taper in the tail help with float. There are more specific pow surfers out there, but I was very surprised at how well it handles deep-diving turns. 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. The Burton Deep Thinker is extra-poppy and has very easy turning capabilities.
- 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 thinner sidewall apart and cracked a layer of the fiberglass matrix top sheet. No board would handle that kind of impact uninjured, though. As a whole, this is a high-density board that boasts a full tip-to-tail carbon layer that provides extra strength.
- Switch riding: You’ll be surprised how well this board 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 hard pack and 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 the frostbite edges hang on in hard snow. The full camber profile offers pretty decent grip, but this board definitely is missing consistent 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. The multizone edge sidecuts catch more easily than other boards. Beginners will not be happy!
- Park: As you would imagine, this is not a jibby board built for side hits or freestyle performance. It doesn’t like pressing boxes or riding rails because of its longer nose. I can still spin off kickers switch and take it into the half pipe despite its directional shape and upper medium to stiff flex, but a true twin board would be ideal for those features. 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 rockered nose easily, even with my 115lbs overall weight, 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 of 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? Pro-tip: Mounting your bindings further back than the recommended twin freestyle stance will help fine-tune your floatation and avoid sore back legs. A twin freestyle stance is better on boards with a twin freestyle feel like the Burton Ripcord, Dragonfly, Hometown Hero, or the Burton Custom X.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Burton 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. As a bonus, the board graphics are works of art.
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 have reverence for its stiff side effects. It is catchy, snappy, fast, aggressive, and wants to charge with a pair of major bindings. Ask your Curated Snowboard Expert about the Burton Deep Thinker to see if it would be the right fit for your needs. Also, make sure to ask them about any promotions and price matching to make sure you get the best price!