The Jones Carbon Flagship is a lighter more aggressive version of the wood top Flagship. The 2014 Jones Flagship is a great ride but the 2015 Carbon Flagship is a little lighter, snappier and a lot meaner. Is it worth bumping up $300? For some yes but most will be almost as happy with the 2014 and especially so with the 2015 wood top Flagship with a new core.
The 2015 and 2016 Jones Carbon Flagship has a new and better core than before but the rest of the board is the same. There is a little more pop and it’s got a little bit more of a livelier snappier ride. Over all though the ride is pretty similar and this is just a slight improvement on the armored Ferrari feel it has. The 2014 and 2013 Jones Carbon Flagship are almost exactly the same. Overall the 2016-2013 Carbon Flagship has a very similar ride to it.
Size 161 and 168
Conditions: Firm but decent Rockies Snow. Softer clean Sierra Snow with some left over soft but pretty thick powder.
Riders: James, Peter, Kyle, Jimbo, Eli, Tim and Dylan
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju, DC Judge
Bindings: Flux SF45,Now Drive and Now IPO
Set Up: Set back a little bit about 23″ wide 18 front 0 back and a few other stances close to this.
The Jones Carbon Flagship addressed all the complaints of the Wood Top Flagship and also changed up the personality of the ride. It doesn’t feel any less aggressive than the Wood Top but just more lively and a little more easy to manage. Jones took the same carbon fiber weave that Nidecker uses on the Megalight to make the board significantly lighter and much more snappy.The board is now light, fast and mean. Just because this shares the same Carbon Fiber as the Megalight it doesn’t mean it rides like it. This is more aggressive than both but at the same time it feels much more lively than the Wood Top Flaghship. It’s not for everyone but those that can handle it will love this board.
On Snow Feel: Same great ride as the wood top but the lighter livier feel makes the ride more enjoyable taking on high speed or carving assaults on the mountain.
Powder: What a fun powder board. We had a lot of time on it’s wood top brother in the deep stuff and the shape is exactly the same specs except for the top sheet. It has incredible float and really easy turn initiation for a board of this flex when it comes to negotiating steep chutes or tight trees. Again this feels livelier and more fun in all powder situations compared to the Wood version. Powder can often thicken up or on weekends get really tracked or rutted out and in these situations the Carbon will perform better than the wood. When the powder tracked but not rutted both Flagships can handle it like a champ. If it’s thicker grippy powder that didn’t settle smoothly due to wind both will also dominate here.
Turn Initiation and Carving- Very similar to the Wood here but to us it felt easier to transition from edge to edge. Maybe it’s the significantly reduced weight.makes you feel like the turn initiation is easier. Engaging into a carve is the same fun feeling and you can lay it out as far as you can if the conditions are right. The Carbon Flagship shines with medium, wide and big carving turns but it’s also about the easiest board of this flex we came acrooss to negotiate tighter radius turn situations.
Speed: It’s flex feels about the same as the Wood top and we felt no difference in chatter between the two. The base for both is exceptionally fast. This is the perfect combo of base and build to make this board pick up speed, keep speed and handle chatter at super fast speeds.
Uneven Terrain: One notable thing is the Carbon Flagship handles reverse chatter better. What do we mean by this. When the conditions start to suck like a crowded Saturday afternoon does, the runs get rutted up and slow you down. You are fighting to maneuver the board between uneven snow and the beginnings of moguls and the board makes you feel like you are getting the same nasty chatter a noodle board would get at high speeds. This is what can happen with the Flagship Wood Top and to a lesser extent the Flagship Carbon. This is still a very aggressive board meant for good groomers and all kinds of powder but the second half of a Saturday is much more manageable than with the regular Flagship. So it’s better with bumpy snow but it’s still not great.
Weight- This is significantly lighter than the Wood Top Sheet board. Still it’s no fly weight but it went from heavy to light….. maybe borderline featherweight. This still has a lot of strength in it for the way Jones rides so it’s not like the Megalight. Their is enough weight reduced
Edge Hold: The mellow magnetraction side cut makes for borderline excellent edge hold. You can handle a hundread yards or so at the top of a windy icy peak but we wouldn’t say it would be great for a dedicated ice board. When you get past the ice into maybe thick powder like sierra cement it won’t have that overly grippy feel of regular magnetraction.
Flex: The flex is a step lower than the Wood Top and we felt it improved performance instead of hindered it. We definitely like the feel of the flex with the Carbon over the Wood. The 2015 Jones Carbon Flagship has the same flex but just a little more snap.
The rest of these categories aren’t really meant for the Jones so we’ll skip them. The only thing worth mentioning is this board ollies pretty well (better than the wood version) and is great for any natural feature as long as you don’t want to land switch. It’s a very directional ride.
All in all this is one of our favorite freeride boards and even where though many ratings are the same as the wood top the loss of weight along with the more dynamic feel of carbon makes this a better board to ride in every category we rate this. It can be a bit aggressive like we joked about on the video review but it’s also more forgiving than you would think for something of this flex.
A Look up Close