Expert Review: Burton Skeleton Key Snowboard · 2022Published on 11/28/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
All photos courtesy of Nefi Rodriguez
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
The Burton Skeleton Key Snowboard is an all-mountain snowboard geared toward intermediate and advanced riders who want a directional carving and pow-floating board. There are no significant changes between the 2020 and 2022 versions.
About the snowboard I own
- Model: 2020 Burton Skeleton Key
- Size: 154cm
- Height: 5’5”
- Weight: 155lbs
- Experience: 15 years of snowboarding
- When I bought it: November 2020
- Days tested: 60+
- Mount position: Duck, slightly back on board
- Boots: 2020 Burton StepOn Photon
- Boot Size: 8
- Bindings: 2020 Burton StepOn Re:Flex
- Where I’ve used it: White Pass, Crystal Mountain, WA; Winter Park CO; Schweitzer, ID
- Terrain: Groomers, tree runs, park, powder
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a one quiver board that could do nearly everything from carving to powder to stability at speed. I was on an old Salomon board that, while it functioned fine, did not keep up with me at speed, let me float in pow very easily, and was simply getting very old.
Why I chose this gear
I chose this on a recommendation from my manager at the ski shop I worked at, as well as due to the camber design and it being a directional board. I was not considering any other options at the time of purchase.
What I love about it
- Speed: The camber underfoot, being rear mounted, and having a directional pattern allow for great stability at high speed. Not once did I feel uncomfortable while straight bombing down a face.
- Edge hold: The camber provides springiness and good edge control while doing hard carves on the mountain.
- Turns: Both slow and high speed turns are initiated very easily on this board thanks to its shape.
- Groomers: I love being able to carve on a dime and having excellent speed and edge control.
- Powder: I had the pleasure to test this on many powder days. The rocker tip and fatter nose allowed for easy sailing over deep powder upwards of 8–10in.
- Trees: Snappy feel and easy turn initiation due to the camber underfoot profile allowed for easy turns in and out of trees.
- Durability: After two years of riding on all terrain, the board is nearly like new except for some scuffs on the top side from getting hit by other boards on the lift. Overall the body of the board is in like-new condition.
- Weight: Its light weight makes it easy for me to control and turn/carve at any moment.
- Stability Excellent stability with decent pop thanks to its medium flex.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Moguls: Due to it being lighter weight, hitting moguls without avoiding them causes rattling to the legs.
- Park: It’s not great for spins or rails as one is generally mounted a bit back on the board. It is directional, making it a bit harder to spin versus a true twin. It does well with straight air jumps, as I have plenty of pop due to the camber profile and excellent stability when landing.
- Switch riding: A directional board is a bit harder to ride switch, especially when mounted towards the back of the board. It’s not impossible, but a bit unstable.
Favorite moment with this gear
One of my favorite moments on this board was traveling to Winter Park, where a buddy that lives in Denver took me out to some wild tree runs. That run had it all, from tight pack trees requiring quick movements to more open areas with trees around and fresh powder for my board to float over.
Value for the money vs. other options
Excellent value for the price. It compares very well to other boards at a similar price range like the K2 Instrument, which I also own. The skeleton Key is lighter, carves better, has easier turn initiation, and I feel that it floats better on the pow days I get to ride in. The channel system also gives me many more options on binding mounting and mounting position.
For snowboarders who are all-mountain rippers looking for a board that will do well in nearly any situation, and who aren’t just park riders, this will let them do it to their heart's content. From nimble carving to speeding down a mountain and after a heavy snowfall gliding over powder, this board will let one do it all comfortably.