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Head 2 Head: Burton Custom vs. Ride Algorythm

Published on 02/04/2023 · 7 min readSnowboard Experts Everett Pelkey and Mike Leighton test these boards against each other for carving, freeriding, and freestyling.
By Curated Experts Everett Pelkey and Mike Leighton

On this episode of Head 2 Head in Powder Mountain, Utah, Curated Experts are blasting back to algebra class for a battle between the Ride Algorythm and the Burton Custom. Which board will work out the formula for coming out on top?

Check out the video below or read on to see what happens.

And before we jump in, a quick note that we aren’t sponsored by any brands to create this review. These are our own personal opinions on these boards. Now let’s get to it!

A bit about us

Everett Pelkey

  • Height: 5’7"
  • Weight: 180 lbs
  • Years Snowboarding: 19
  • Favorite Terrain: Anywhere you can bring freestyle fun and turn the mountain into a playground

Mike Leighton

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 185 lbs
  • Years Snowboarding: 23
  • Favorite Terrain: Steeps or trees if the snow is soft. Ripping groomers or the park if it's sunny

Ride Algorithm

  • Asymmetrical Twin
  • Medium Flex (5/10)
  • Rocker / Camber

Ride claims that the Algorythm is a tried and true staff favorite. It is a simple, directional twin board.

Burton Custom

  • Directional Twin
  • Medium Flex (5/10)
  • Camber

If you've been in the snowboarding world, you've definitely heard of the Burton Custom. It has to be one of the longest-running snowboards in the industry. You can see photos of the OG legends ripping hand-dug pipes on this board and olympians in the halfpipe. It is an all-mountain freestyle, directional twin snowboard that anyone can ride.

First up…

[Everett] Carving on both these boards was a ton of fun. The Ride Algorythm has a Quadratic Sidecut that really excels in laying into turns. The true camber came through too. So I had super stability and high edge control, which made it possible to cut through even the most extreme chunder. How did you think the Burton Custom handled in carving, Mike?

[Mike] I'm a fan of pure camber snowboards. Both of these boards are camber, and they both have more traditional sidecuts. So they're really predictable. I found that once you get the custom on edge, it excels, and it's predictable. You can see why guys ride this in the halfpipe. Everything down from the construction to the slight setback—switch, regular, carving, it just felt at home.

[Everett] And it offers great initiation. Honestly, both these boards performed well getting into those turns: starting them, then holding.

[Mike] For carving, it's gotta be the Custom for me.

[Everett] I like the math around here. The Algorythm figures things out. But this is one of the few times that I'm gonna go over to the Custom. It might have been a little big for me. It's a bit too wide, it’s not my board of choice, and somehow I felt really good on that. So, I gotta give props to the Custom and claim it as my board for carving.

Next up…

[Everett] I was never good at math, but I figured out the Algorythm. There's a reason that we're adding freestyle into this. Because, even being a directional, true camber board, it came to play. You can still get over the nose, you can butter it, but it’s also super stable on takeoff and landing. That's what made it so fun. You can cleanly initiate turns to take the benefits of a carving board and put those into a freestyle aspect. You can spin on it for days.

[Mike] There's a reason we pitted these boards head to head. I think the Custom's a bit more stable for my style of riding. It was really fun pressing and spinning around on the Algorythm, but I think the Custom matched more of how I like to ride—which is to pop off things, jump over things, spin off things, and try to hand drag every once in a while. I think the Custom did exactly what I thought it would. It was predictable, it was stable. I think the Algorythm might have been a little bit more playful. But I really had a lot of fun riding the Custom. That added stability really made a difference for me. So I think for my choice, I'm going to stick with the Custom.

[Everett] And confidence is built because of that stability. But, when it comes to the Ride Algorythm, I really liked its playfulness and its true freestyle aspect. So I'm going to give it my choice for freestyle.

Last up…

[Everett] There's a reason why anyone can ride the Custom, and you're seeing it from backcountry riders all the way to pro athletes in the Olympics. You can use this board for almost anything. It's unstoppable when it comes to big mountain stuff, high tree, or uneven chunder.

[Mike] Honestly, the Ride Algorythm surprised me. It's super easy to initiate turns on. So it's really nimble when it gets tighter. It did pretty well with chunder. I think if we had a slightly larger size, it probably would've eaten up that chunder a bit more. But it is a great freeride board. It's slightly setback, so when the snow is a little bit softer, it still gets that little bit of pickup in the nose and it will float. No matter what, once the snow gets hard, you're still gonna be able to get an edge in. I also noticed that the Algorythm felt a lot lighter underfoot. I don't necessarily think it was livelier, but it was nimble and light, and really easy to play and maneuver with.

[Mike] But I think for freeriding, I'm gonna go back to the Custom. At the end of the day, we took some slushy laps, and I was having way too much fun on it. I have never ridden a Custom before, but I have read a lot about it, and it definitely lived up to my expectations of what an all-mountain freestyle board should be.

[Everett] This is a tough decision for me. They’re both so reliable and smooth. You can use them in any condition that's thrown at you. But at the end of the day, I just have to go with my gut feeling: I choose the Ride Algorythm for freeride.

The verdict…

[Everett] After putting these head to head all day, pushing them in all the different conditions, I found there were great aspects about the Ride Algorythm. It was super fun, it carved well, and it was my size, so I was really loving and feeling at home on it.

The 62-wide on the Custom made it difficult, because that's not a size I would normally ride. But I still felt good on it. I felt like I could actually do more than I ever could on a large board. And I got accustomed to it. So at the end of the day, I'm gonna go with the Burton Custom.

[Mike] The Algorythm was fun and really nimble. But for my final decision, it’s the Custom all the way for me. It matches my riding style and it's a very familiar shape for me—even though I've never ridden a Custom before. I just had a lot of fun on it.

[Mike] This decision came down to personal opinion. And a board that works for Everett might not work for me. We know that different boards work differently for different riders and in different conditions. Get connected with Everett, me, or another Snowboard Expert here on Curated, and we'll help you get set up on the best board for your needs.

[Everett] If you like what you saw here today, click the subscribe button on the Youtube video to see more from Curated.

[Mike] And let us know in the Youtube comments what boards you'd like to see in the next Head 2 Head.

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Written by:
Everett Pelkey, Snowboarding Expert
Everett Pelkey
Snowboarding Expert
Hi, my name is Everett and I am a professional photographer who specializes in extreme sports and landscape photography. I love adventuring around the world with my dog. Whether its surfing and sailing the Great Lakes or hiking peaks in Montana, I'm always looking for the next big adventure. I spent time living off the land in the bush of Australia to move back to the U.S. to Colorado where I coached snowboarding for 10 years. I have extensive experience in the outdoors; camping, rocking climbing, snowboarding, skiing and anything that involves me to be active.
29 Reviews
560 Customers helped
Mike Leighton, Snowboarding Expert
Mike Leighton
Snowboarding Expert
After earning First Team All-America Honors in Snowboardcross in 2008 & 2009 at the University of Virginia, I started competing professionally in 2009. From 2009-2016, I competed at the NorAm and Grand Prix levels (finishing 12th at NorAm Finals in 2016), and I competed in the Rahlves' Banzai Tour, as well, in Lake Tahoe. My career took me all over North America and to Japan. ​ I was a Snowboard Professional for Breckenridge Resort from 2010-2017. During that time I earned an AASI Level 2 Snowboard Certification and an AASI Level 2 Snowboard Freestyle Certification. I also coached for Method Snowboard Academy from 2016-2018 in Snowboardcross and Big Mountain, qualifying two of my athletes for USASA Nationals, as well as, multiple podiums and wins in both disciplines. ​ I enjoy riding all over the mountain with an ideal run starting off with steep, fresh snow and ending with a run through the park with friends. I also love skinning to and accessing big lines in the backcountry, when the conditions are right, and have my AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Certification. ​ One of my favorite questions for my students when teaching was, "Who is the best snowboarder on the mountain?" Someone would inevitably ask, "You?" I would respond, "No, it's the snowboarder who is having the most fun!" That's my goal. I want to help each person be the "best snowboarder on the mountain" by helping them find the best equipment for their goals.
32 Reviews
424 Customers helped

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