Expert Review: Jones Mind Expander Snowboard · Women's · 2022Published on 01/21/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested for two days in December of 2022.
Mind Expander in Utah. Photo by Tyese Messerman
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested for two days in December of 2022.
The Jones Mind Expander is an awesome board for any intermediate or advanced rider looking for a playful powder board. The new 2023 version is more stable than years past, but it still has a fun and quirky vibe that is definitely unique to Jones and the Mind Expander.
About the snowboard I tested
- Model: 2023 Jones Mind Expander
- Size: 142 (This was too small for me but still fun to test.)
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 130lbs
- Experience: 23+ years of snowboarding
- When I tested this board: December 2022
- Days tested: 2
- Mount position: +15/-12
- Boots: Salomon Ivy
- Boot Size: 8.5
- Bindings: 2023 Union Trilogy
- Where I’ve used it: Utah
- Terrain: Groomers, Chop, Icy Groomers, Powder, Trees
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was out to help a friend find a good second board to pair with the Jones Stratos. I was looking for a board that was great in powder and pretty playful to cruise around on.
Why I chose to test this gear
The Mind Expander has a fun tapered design that excels in powder. Now with the new bit of camber added, it also can hold its own when carving on groomers, so it seemed like a good choice. I considered the Burton Family Tree Pow Wrench and even the Ride Twinpig, but I ended up trying and liking the Mind Expander before ever demoing these others.
What I love about it
- Edge hold: The Mind Expander has the Jones Traction Tech 2.0 compared to the 3.0 that the Stratos has. It holds a decent edge, but it doesn’t have the locked-in feeling that a board with more camber and a lot of traction tech might give me.
- Turns: I felt like this board was really fun to make slashy turns and was nimble enough to make quicker, tighter turns when necessary. It held an edge enough to make longer, bigger carves, but it didn’t have an overly stable feeling once I went faster.
- Groomers: The Mind Expander is “fine” on groomers, but this isn’t where it excels. It was fun to hit little side hits on the side of the groomed runs and play around. It would be a fun board if I were riding with someone slower than me as well. It handles groomers better now that it has the camber added, but it still isn’t my top pick for a groomer day.
- Powder: Ah, powder—the reason to buy this board. The wide nose filled with rocker just floats through the pow. It has a very tapered design, so it doesn’t feel like much pressure needs to be applied by the back leg, just ride the set-back stance and steer with one’s back foot, and the board does the rest. Even riding this board well too small for me, it still floated great, so I can only imagine what the proper-sized board would feel like in powder.
- Trees: Riding in trees with a little bit of powder is super fun on this board. I find it nimble enough to throw around and playfully hit the pillows of snow that build up near the trees. However, when the snow gets crusty in the trees, it feels a little too loose and out of control to trust that the tight turns needed will stick.
- Moguls: Similar to trees, if the moguls are steep and icy, this isn’t my favorite board to ride, but if the moguls are blanketed in powder, they can be ridden like a tiny terrain park with the Mind Expander slowly cruising through.
- Park: I found this board quite playful and easy to get air, but the take-off on larger jumps felt a little bit out of control. I had to ensure the line was just right to lock in the take-off and feel secure in the air. The board is pretty forgiving on landings, but it thrives much more on side hits and kickers than in the park.
- Durability: Jones puts a lot of effort into their boards to make them high-end and durable, and this is no exception. The topsheet is ever so slightly textured instead of the shiny-smooth of some, which feels more high-end and durable. Jones is also known for having the highest breaking point of all boards. Jones boards will bend the farthest before snapping when pushed to the limit in tests. Pretty durable, I should say.
- Weight: This board feels pretty lightweight and nimble. It felt light on the lift, super lightweight while riding, and easy to pop off jumps and ride playfully through pow.
- Stability: I would put this right in the middle of chattery and dampness, and I highly suggest using Jones or NOW bindings to dampen it further. The bit of camber it has provides good pop, and I can get good spring out of it when I try.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Speed: I wouldn’t call this board a speedy board. It uses a Sintered 8000 base compared to the Sintered 9900 of the Stratos, and while that doesn’t mean much to most people side by side, this board just doesn’t cruise as fast. There is also a lot of rocker on this board, so it started to feel a bit squirrely when I began to get up to higher speeds on groomers. I had just come off riding the GNU Barrett, a speed machine, so it felt especially slow compared to that.
- Backcountry: If the backcountry day is a powder day, then by all means, take it. However, I wouldn’t take this as my one splitboard, though, since often coming down mountains on spring snow, it can get crusty and unpredictable, and I wouldn’t trust this board to handle intense ice and crud.
- Switch riding: This is a pretty tapered board, and the nose is quite a bit fatter than the tail. That said, it is not ideal for switch riding and feels weird when riding it switch for any extended amount of time.
Favorite moment with this gear
I got to ride this board at Solitude in Utah. One day there were about six fresh inches of powder, and it kept coming down. So we got to ride the back canyon through some of the trees, and it was a super fun day with friends. Value for the money vs. other options The Mind Expander is a truly unique board, and for that, it is worth its price. The Burton Family Tree Pow Wrench and Ride Twinpig are both a bit cheaper, but their profiles weren't as interesting and unique to me.
The Mind Expander would be a fun addition to any quiver for a playful powder chaser. For an intermediate to advanced rider, this board floats in pow, makes quick turns, and is playful on side hits. With the new camber added underfoot this year, it is also way more stable than its previous version on groomers so that it can hold its own in all conditions now.