The Jones Aviator is a mostly camber board with a good bit of the sides of the nose/tail bent up. It’s kind of a sits in between the Flagship and Mountain Twin in terms of ride personality. Other than the slightly washy feel on a carve its a pretty good board. In our opinion this board is light enough and the Ultra Aviator isn’t necessary.
The 2014-2016 Jones Aviator Review
Almost every Jones Board this year got an upgraded core. For some it felt better but didn’t really change the personality too much. For some reason the Aviator’s personality changed a lot with the new lighter and snappier core. You could call this an aggressive more directional Mountain Twin or a more mellow more double ender Flagship.
Size: 160 (wish they had the 156)
Conditions: Really good groomers with some chunky snow here and there.
Riders: James, Peter, Jimbo, Mike,
Boots: Burton Imperial, Burton SLX, Nike Lunarendor,
Bindings: Salomon Defender
Set Up: Set back a bit approx 23″ wide, 15 front -6 back
Approximate Weight: Felt lighter than 2014. It’s not like the Ultra Aviator but it’s pretty light.
On Snow Feel: So this feels like a forgiving camber board. It might be some un mentioned tweaks, the new core or it might just be in our head but it feels a little more mellow and forgiving than last year. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a board for those who like to charge and go straight but it feels like it will let you live if you aren’t on your game at all times when charging.
Turn Initiation: Kind of middle ground. It’s not slow but it’s not super fast either. I bet the 156 would of been much better for all of us and our boot sizes. Especially Peter and I. It’s not super quick edge to edge and the 160 wouldn’t be the first board I’d take in the trees but I think I’d be much happier with the 156 for that job. It’s kind of in that Jones Mountain Twin realm where it’s not hard to turn but it’s just not quick either.
Flex: The flex seemed to have more snap this year and be more lively under foot. It’s not easy to butter but it’s definitely doable. Especially if you are a strong rider.
Edge Hold: Same great edge hold as before.
Powder: No powder but there is definitely a lot more going on in the nose than the tail and it seems like the nose has some early rise rocker as well as lifted sides.
Carving: It’s fun to carve but the more you commit to a layed out carve the more you can feel the turned up sides of the tip/tail make the turn a bit washy and kind of hurry up the turn. Some might be ok with this but I was not. It’s kind of similar to how the Bataleon TBT boards would feel like camber but then fail a bit on the carve. This was less exaggerated than Bataleon’s TBT tech but wasn’t as good at the Jones Hybrid Camber (Camrock) boards I tried. They at least give you a feel of the boards limitations where the Aviators Camber board with lifted sides leads you to beleive you can use all of the boards contact with the snow but in reality the tip and tail aren’t there to hold the rest of the boards effective edge on the carve. It’s a weird sensation and not for everyone. If you don’t make harder carves it doesn’t matter but if you do it sure does.
Speed: Pretty fast here but I’d probably not own the 160 for my specs so take it with a grain of salt. Based on my experience with the Ultra Aviator the 156 felt more like my size so I don’t think the 156 would feel as fast as the 160. Regardless of sizing It’s got a very stable feel at higher speeds and a fast base. It feels faster than the Jones Mountain Twin but not in the realm of the flagship. The base with all Jones boards, when waxed, really glides though so it picks up speed well. It’s great for a long flat cat track on the way back to the lodge.
Uneven Terrain: Not quite cranky in bumpy snow but not forgiving either. Like we said in the video the Aviator doesn’t act super unforgiving or anything but it just feels like it’s bored and wants you to pick it up. It’s not going to weave in and out super quick in bumpy end of the day snow but it is going to bust through a chopped up powder line pretty well.
Switch: This board is pretty directional compared to the Twin and less directional compared to the Flagship. You can for sure ride switch with it but it definitely feels different.
Jumps: There is more spring out of the board this year. It snaps better and it likes to spring off natural terrain well. If you take off or land switch a lot then you would like a better board but the general pop of this board is pretty good.
Jibbing: Don’t even want to jib with this.
Pipe: I like this concept for directional pipe riding and wouldn’t mind lapping the pipe in this board. That being said we couldn’t access the pipe when we rode this.
So all in all this is a board that could make the right aggressive all mountain rider pretty happy. It’s got a nice combo of aggressive and forgiving when it comes to taking on the mountain. I had some time on the Ultra Aviator and felt that although it was an exceptional board liked this board better. It had more stability at speed and felt like it was more durable.
2014 Jones Aviator Review
Conditions: Packed Rocky Mountain Powder with many hard snowment areas. Really good soft perfect groomer sierra snow.
Riders: James, Peter
Boots: Burton Ion,Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju
Bindings: Burton Diode, Now Select
Set Up: About 23″ wide 15 front -6 back and set back a bit.
On Snow Feel: Jones calls this positive camber but we call this mostly camber hybrid camber. There is definitely more camber with this board than any other in their line. It seems like there is a little early rise rocker in the nose but it still feels like a camber board on the hill. Despite the lifted points along the rails there is still a locked in feel similar to what most people experience with a camber ride. It’s the kind of aggressive all mountain board that want’s to ride fast, carve and has good pop if you are strong enough to get it to flex. The 160 we rode had a pretty wide 25.6 cm waist for riders like Pete and I with a 9 and 8.5 size boot. We probably would of been happier on the 156 with its more friendly width but regardless this is an aggressive board.
Powder: We had no powder but it should have a pretty solid directional set back floating ability. It doesn’t feel like the shape would be great for riding switch like the Mountain Twin will but it’s about the same for directional riding. There is also a very slight taper of a few milimeters to make the board sink a little better in pow.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Really fun to carve and felt like a board you could really lay into. Turn Initiation for us was not too quick. It took a good lean into the board to get it to engage but that’s probably because of the waist width of the 160. I bet the 156 would of been a little quicker and snappier edge to edge. Medium to wider radius turns are fun and committed. It’s funny because the Jones Mountain Twin 160 has the same waist width but it was much easier to turn.
Speed: The Aviator is stable and fast. This can bomb. It’s definitely in the higher end of the speed spectrum. It’s not as fast as the Flagship models but it’s close and a lot more stable than the Mountain Twin. It doesn’t have that little bit of chatter in the tip/tail.
Uneven Terrain: What little bumpy terrain we came across felt easier on our bad Knee (peter) and Hip (Me) than the Flagship so you can probably deal with moguls and bumps rather well. This is still a pretty stiff aggressive board though that isn’t going to make the end of a crowded groomer feel easy. It’s a chunder buster and bomber that’s more suited for good powder and well maintained groomers.
Edge Hold: Same great edge hold that we would expect from the Jones team. Even with the lifted contact points on the side it’s still got great grip without being grabby in soft snow.
Flex: Pretty Med/Stiff. Not really a board to butter or play around with. We’d much rather be on the Jones Mountain Twin here.
Switch: This was set back a bit when we rode it so it didn’t feel totally comfortable switch but I bet if it was centered it would be something you could get use to. If you like the idea of the Flagship models but like to occasionally ride switch this is a much better choice because it’s better than the Flagship models here but not as good as the Mountain Twin.
Jibbing: Didn’t even think about it.
Pipe: The 160 didn’t give us the lets go hit the pipe kind of feeling. So we didn’t go but I bet the 156 would be pretty fun for Peter and I. Maybe next time….
Jumps: It’s not easy to get the board to spring but if you have good technical strength you can make this board spring and pop very well. It would be better hitting kickers on the mountain but hitting the kickers in the park wouldn’t be bad at all for those aggressive riders.