An Expert Guide to Jones SnowboardsPublished on 04/03/2023 · 13 min readJones Snowboards has been a big name in the snowboard world since its start in 2010! Snowboard Expert Tyese Messerman dives into all the details on Jones boards.
The Mind Expander. Photo courtesy of Tyese Messerman
tl;dr More and more snowboard companies pop up each year. That can make the decision of what brand to buy—let alone which model—an intimidating or frustrating decision. If you are focused on high-end performance and sustainability, innovative designs, and hardcore freeriding capabilities, then Jones may be the answer you’ve been looking for. In this article, we will talk about what makes Jones snowboards stand out, and how to find the perfect board for your personal style and ability.
I started skiing at five years old, and switched to snowboarding at 12. For a long time, I had no idea what I was riding under my feet, I just knew it was fun—and many riders out there are the same. As I grew older, I started to delve into the technology behind my gear—and I was amazed at what I found.
As I have tested a lot of boards across the market—including every single women’s Jones board and many of the men’s—I can honestly say that Jones really stands out. They don’t just make boards to inflate their line-up, but rather, each board has a specific role to fit a specific type of rider. And as a Curated Snowboarding Expert, I love helping my customers find the best Jones board for their riding style.
Who Is Jones Snowboards?
Jones was founded in 2010 by Jeremy Jones—an adventurous and legendary freerider. He’s also a founder of the POW (Protect Our Winters) foundation, and that sense of sustainability and interest in the environment is seen throughout Jones Snowboards’ mission.
The three pillars of design that Jones strives to encompass are performance, sustainability, and innovation. Jones makes all of their boards in a factory that runs on 100% solar power. They strive to build durable boards with timeless graphics to reduce their footprint on the environment.
Though Jones never skimps on performance. As they say, "our lives are entrusted to the gear that we ride". They build some of the most hardcore freeride boards on the market, and use some very alternative and interesting shapes in their designs.
What to Consider When Buying a Jones Snowboard
Jones doesn’t offer quite as many boards as some other brands, and because of this, each board serves a specific purpose. There are many factors to consider when buying a Jones snowboard, but we will break these down into four questions you should ask yourself.
What Is My Size and Preferred Waist Width?
When buying any snowboard, it's important to take into account your height, weight, and shoe size. There are many size charts out there to give you an idea of what size is best for you, but take note that each Jones snowboard has its own sizing chart based on its design and the riding style it is built for. For example, Jeremy Jones himself rides a size 147cm in the Storm Chaser because it is a wide, fat powder board. However, he rides a size 161cm in the Flagship because it is designed to rip.
Sizing Quick Guide
|Directional twin||2-3 cm shorter|
|Alternative Freeride||4-8 cm shorter|
|Storm Chaser||6-13 cm shorter|
|Mind Expander||4-8 cm shorter|
What Is My Riding Style and What Terrain Do I Prefer?
Each board in the Jones line-up has its own style. Ask yourself where you like to ride the most. Do you love making tight turns through trees? Then make sure to get a board with a shorter sidecut to make quick turns easily. Do you find yourself frequenting the park? Perhaps a slightly softer flexing true twin board is right for you. Are you strictly a speed demon on groomed runs? A stiff board on the longer side will help you maintain stability at high speeds. Or, do you only make the trip when the snow condition is perfect, and there is a foot or two of fresh powder coating the terrain? Then a medium flexing, fat, powder-specific board is calling your name. Being honest with yourself about where you do the majority of your riding will help you filter through to the best board for your needs, and the rewards are outstanding.
What Is My Skill Level, and What Flex Do I Want?
Because Jones is primarily focused on freeride capabilities and performance, they do not make those popular soft-flexing, lower-end, rocker-style boards for beginners. Rather, they create boards for every ability level that always focus on helping a rider to improve their skills. So, Jones breaks their skill levels down into three categories: beginner/intermediate, intermediate/advanced, and expert.
Due to the high build quality of each, Jones does not price their boards quite as low as other beginner boards. These models range from around $500–$550 MSRP. However, for those who are passionate about learning the sport—and want a board that they can not only learn on, but grow on for a long time without replacing—Jones has some excellent options. Plus, Jones also makes high-quality and well-designed kids’ boards.
Many riders fall into this category, which includes both riders who can confidently make turns and ride on-piste terrain, and those pushing the boundaries on double diamonds and off-piste terrain. The boards in this range are typically priced from $550–$650, and include a ton of options to keep up with this style of rider.
Jones makes a few “ultra” versions of some of their boards that are even stiffer and more hardcore than the original models for the hardcore shredders that need something above and beyond. These are the riders who aren’t satisfied with the local resort, and go out to find untouched terrain that’s steeper and more extreme than the average ‘in-bounds’ lines can offer. These boards typically range anywhere from $700–$1,700.
Do I Want One Daily Driver, or Am I Building a Quiver?
How many boards do you plan to own? If you are a quiver-of-one kind of person, you should most likely be looking in the all-mountain category, or a board that can do it all. When applying that philosophy to Jones, that means a board in their Directional Freeride or their Directional Twin category.
Deciding between these two categories will greatly depend on whether you are looking for a board that leans more towards off-piste riding, speed, and carving (freeride), or if you enjoy riding switch and hitting jumps and kickers more (twin).
Those who are building a quiver can afford to be more creative. Perhaps building a collection of a twin, an alternative freeride board, and a straight-up powder board, and then deciding which board to take out daily depending on the condition or weather.
What Are the Different Types of Jones Boards?
These boards are the most versatile in the Jones line-up. They are directional twin boards that are designed more for on-piste riding, park, and can even handle the pow. These will vary in flex and camber profiles, and a few can be considered top-notch freestyle decks. Examples of the boards in this line-up include:
- Aviator 2.0
- Ultra Mountain Twin
- Mountain Twin
- Airheart 2.0
- Twin Sister
- The most recognized style of snowboard being twin shaped
- Least equipped to deal with deep powder
Directional freeride boards can handle more technical terrain. They thrive off-piste as much as on-, and they feature technology that is stable at high speeds and can move through powder with ease.
Most of these can be considered daily-driver freeride boards. Some are more intermediate-based like the Frontier and the Dreamweaver, while others are very stiff and hard-charging like the Ultra Flagship. Boards in this category include:
- Ultra Flagship
- Project X
- Dream Weaver
- Extremely versatile and can be a ‘quiver-of-one’ board
- Great at both carving and powder
- Someone who has only ridden a twin-shaped board may need to get used to a directional board
Jones doesn't offer too many boards in this category, which features creative boards for riders whose style is a little out of the box. Alternative Freeride boards offer unique shapes, often a wider platform for increased stability, and can handle any part of the mountain. The two main boards in this category are:
- Wide design for optimal float
- Plow through chunder with ease
- The unique shape might not be a ‘quiver-of-one’ board for all conditions
- Not recommended for a beginner
Jones’ surf-inspired pow sticks are a bit more nimble and powder focused. Each features some rocker and uses Jones’ SPOON technology to optimize float in the deep stuff. Some are designed to be ridden quite a bit shorter than usual—like the Storm Chaser and the Storm Wolf—while the Mind Expander is a playful board that blurs the lines between freestyle and freeride. Surf Series boards include:
- Storm Chaser
- Mind Expander
- Storm Wolf
- Ultra Mind Expander
- Mind Expander Twin
- Excellent float in powder
- Unique shapes are fun and surf-like
- These are not ‘all-mountain’ boards and may not be ideal on a groomer day due to their rocker profiles
- May be hard for a beginner to get used to
Jones makes some of the most high-performance splitboards for unrivaled backcountry performance. And many of their boards are also made as splitboards. For the ultimate experience hunting deep, soft snow in the backcountry, an all-terrain splitboard is the way to go. Jones splitboards include:
- Ultra Stratos
- Ultra Solution
- Mountain Twin
- Mind Expander
- Storm Chaser
- Jones makes a ton of splitboard options that are durable and hard-charging
- Make sure you are knowledgeable in backcountry terrain if you choose to purchase a splitboard
Features to Look For When Buying a Jones Board
Jones’ 3D Contour Base, also called their SPOON technology, will be labeled anywhere from 1.0 - 4.0 depending on how many millimeters of bevel it has. Bevel refers to the angle of a snowboard edge. In the Jones line-up. the higher the number, the more bevel the snowboard has, and the better the float will be in powder.
Jones boards that feature V-Core technology are designed to be softer in the middle and stiffer in the nose and tail. When riding, this makes the board feel maneuverable and nimble underfoot due to the softer middle, but provides great stomp-ability, support, and control due to the stiffer nose and tail.
Traction Tech 3.0/2.0
Jones boards hold an edge in even the iciest of conditions, without being catchy. Traction Tech 3.0 features three contact points at the front insert, the middle of the board, and the back insert. Whereas Traction Tech 2.0 features two contact points. 3.0 provides even more edge hold on icy groomers and crusty conditions than the 2.0.
How to Choose the Right Jones Snowboard for You
In order to select the right board for your needs, there are many factors to take into account. In order to better demonstrate, we will take a look at three specific examples of riders on the hunt for a new board:
Patsy: The Intermediate Resort Rider
Patsy rides a lot with her friends at the local mountain and mostly sticks to groomers. She loves when the powder comes and occasionally even tries a kicker or two. She wants a board that is lightweight and stable underfoot, but isn’t so stiff that she has a hard time staying in control. Features Patsy should look for:
- Slightly softer flexing board for easy control and playfulness.
- A board in either the Directional All-Mountain or Directional Freeride line-up.
- A one-quiver board that can do it all.
Two great options for her could either be the Twin Sister, featuring its CamRock Profile and friendly flex if she wants to focus a little more on freestyle, or the Dream Weaver, the solid all-mountain board, if she wants to focus a bit more on freeride. Board examples include: Twin Sister, Dream Weaver
George: The Advanced Rider Who Wants a Quiver of One
George is a highly skilled rider looking for one board to “do it all”. He wants to be able to carve hard on the groomers, but he doesn’t want to be limited in his ability to go off-piste or hit deep pow stashes when the chance arises. He rides the entire resort and doesn’t limit himself to named runs. Instead, he goes through trees, hits the bowls, and even hits the side-hits and windlips when he can. Features George should look for:
- A pretty stiff flexing board to keep up with his hard-charging spirit.
- A directional shape to optimize speed and control.
- A Freeride board that has 3D Contour Base 3.0 for great float in powder.
- Traction Tech 3.0 for great edge-hold.
George would need to look at his riding skills and decide if he wants a really stiff board or something a little more playful. He will most likely look in the Directional Freeride category, and his two best options could easily be the Stratos or the Flagship. Both of these boards would be considered daily driver freeride boards. They both have a directional freeride shape and will rip, but the Stratos is more of a mid-stiff flex while the Flagship is stiff. He might also notice that the Stratos has an even shorter sidecut radius than the Flagship, making it even more ideal for tight turns, trees, and moguls, while the flagship will bomb any bowl with style. Board examples include: Stratos, Flagship
Xavier: The Expert Pow Chaser
Xavier has a quiver of boards already, and he is out to find a new powder-specific board. He loves the deep stuff and chases it any chance he can get. He might take a look at the Storm Chaser or the Mind Expander. The Storm Chaser has a directional rocker profile, is wide, and is designed to be ridden short. It has a little less traction tech and is very powder specific. The Mind Expander isn’t quite as short and wide and might have a few more all-mountain capabilities. It would be more playful, while the Storm Chaser is surfier. Both have the same 3D Contour Base 3.0 tech and provide amazing float, so he will need to look at his needs and decide what he wants. If he already has a quiver, he might choose the Storm Chaser for the surfy pow board that rides deep days with ease. Features Xavier should look for:
- Wide blunt nose for optimal float.
- Rocker profile.
- A board in the Surf Series for powder specific turns.
- 3D Contour Base 3.0 to float through pow.
Reach Out to an Expert
If you ask me, it’s incredibly difficult for me to choose a favorite Jones board. Though I would call the Stratos a true “quiver killer”. It does everything great, and I don’t know anyone who has been unhappy with their purchase.
Though for a better idea of how a certain board might fit your riding style, reach out to a Curated Snowboarding Expert. We offer free, customized advice and gear recommendations to help you get outdoors and start chasing that powder.