Expert Review: Jones Stratos Snowboard · 2023Published on 01/21/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested in November and December of 2022.
All photos courtesy of Devin Johnson
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested in November and December of 2022.
The Jones Stratos is a poppy, mid-stiff directional board with a lot of taper that rides like an extremely responsive twin. Park, trees, pow, dropping cliffs, or ripping the groomer, it likes to go fast, rail turns, and float over everything.
About the snowboard I tested
- Model: 2023 Jones Stratos
- Size: 159cm
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 160lbs
- Experience: 16 years of snowboarding
- When I tested it: Nov-Dec 2022
- Days tested: 7
- Mount position: Setback 1.5”
- Boots: 2022 Burton SLX
- Boot Size: 9
- Bindings: 2022 Union Falcor
- Where I’ve used it: Tahoe and Utah resorts
- Terrain: Powder, groomers, moguls, cliffs, traverses, tree runs, off-piste
How it performs
What I was looking for
I typically look for boards that excel in one or two areas, so riding a deck that is more of an all-around board was nice.
Why I chose to test this gear
I chose to test this board because my roommate owned it and was nice enough to let me borrow it on multiple occasions. It had fallen in my lap, so I had never researched it. I would highly consider purchasing this board if I were looking for a one-board quiver. However, I see this as a great daily driver if I had a dedicated pow board for the deep days. It floats great in 6-8”, but once it gets into the super deep, it starts to dive.
What I love about it
- Speed: This board has an insanely long effective edge, which makes it able to really drive the board at speeds, and the flex pattern holds up well against chatter. At high speeds, this board feels very comfortable. I feel like I need to drive the board hard to hold the edge, it can’t be ridden fast without really pressing into the edge, or else it gets bucky. It takes effort to ride this board, just like most other Jones boards, but it will return the energy fully.
- Edge hold: This board has good edge hold to trench on groomers, and for someone like me who enjoys high-speed carving, this board is a great mix of traction and a catch-free feel. With the 10mm of taper, it can lock in over most choppy terrain and hardpack. I made some turns on the ice and felt right at home.
- Turns: This board turns incredibly well and is very lively underfoot. It just springs in and out of turns and is very enjoyable to make turns on. I have no problems laying this board over. It really makes the groomer laps a lot of fun.
- Groomers: This board is fun on groomers. It’s snappy and playful like a park deck, but the taper and the sidecut allow me to really lean it over and trench some turns. It’s buttery and snappy. I can pop it super hard. Jones built this board for side hits.
- Powder: This board has a huge nose, so it floats really well in 6-8”. I rode it on an 18” day, and it submarined sadly. I think the shape of the nose hurts the floatation when it’s that deep. I could stomp cliffs easily on lighter pow days due to the giant nose and the twin-feeling stance. The Spoon Technology in the nose is great. It just rolls the board from edge to edge in the powder, but being on the stiffer side, I still have to work to drive the board. I also rode some switch pow and was amazed at how well it floated.
- Trees: In the trees, this board is solid due to how snappy it is. I can get into some tight spots and not have to worry about changing direction. I could pop back and forth so quickly that I started taking riskier lines, and it delivered all the way. Super stable in the choppy tree runs, the board is so lively that I want to hit every hit and slash every turn.
- Moguls: Like most big, directional boards, it cuts through the moguls like a scalpel. It felt great turning through the moguls. It’s so snappy that it just bounces through them. The Spoon Technology on the nose and tail helps with that. It feels catch-free.
- Park: With 10mm of taper, it’s no park deck, but it is flexy enough to have some fun in the park. It's very poppy and responsive. I think it spins well, and when landing switch, it’s not too bad. It rides like a board with 4-5mm of taper. I’m very surprised at how well this board does with freestyle.
- Weight: The Stratos is light for its size. I was expecting it to feel heavier.
- Switch riding: Switch riding is way better than I expected. Obviously, it doesn’t feel like a twin, but I’d say it felt like a board with half the taper and setback. I was blown away when I rode it switch in pow. It lifted up and turned with no problem. I would feel comfortable landing switch in pow on this board. It has the perfect tail for a freestyle-focused board.
- Stability: The Stratos is very stable. I didn’t really feel any chatter at speeds. The board can pop like no other, and it butters pretty well, also.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Durability: The durability is very low on this board; my roommate actually damaged the edge pretty badly the first day he got it. Jones boards are notorious for being fragile, and this one is no exception. The topsheet they used on this board is much more durable than many other boards in their lineup, but the base and sidewalls are very susceptible to damage compared to other board brands I’ve owned.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this board was when I rode switch in pow. I couldn’t believe how well it floated, and I laughed in disbelief and made turns.
Value for the money vs. other options
I think this board is at a really good price point, especially with the Sintered 9900 base it has and the internal materials. Most brands don’t use high-end bases on their $1,000 boards. Jones uses very high-end materials that are also eco-friendly. I think this board is a bargain compared to many boards on the market. I have the LibTech EJack Knife, which is close in price. The base on the Jones is a Ferrari compared to the base on the LibTech, which resembles a minivan. I also have a GNU Gremlin comparable in price. The base is great but still not as good as the Stratos. The downside to Jones is that they break easily; the GNU and the LibTech will last for years.
Overall, this is a great one-board quiver for someone who’s not picky and is interested in a board that is comfortable anywhere on the mountain. This board can shred pow in the morning and then hit the park in the afternoon after it's chopped up. It's fast, it's eco-friendly, and it's playful. I really enjoyed riding this board. The lively feeling underfoot and the poppy flex pattern combined with a stiff core to rail turns and eat bumps had me grinning from ear to ear.