The Burton Fish has been around for many years and it’s a great board for those more on the mid/wide side that want something dedicated for the deep stuff. It’s the kind of board you put away when the powder is gone but it’s a great ride when it dumps.
Conditions: 1.5-2 feet of thick sierra powder. One day of medium to hard spring snow.
Boots: Burton Fiend LTD, Burton Ion,
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Genesis
Set Up: Set pretty far back approximately 23″ wide 18 front -6 back
Approximate Weight: Feels like it’s on the light side of normal but all boards aren’t consistent when it comes to weight.
Flex: Seems medium-ish. It’s snappy and semi-playful but doesn’t feel like too much of a butter board. It’s easier than you would think to butter and it’s great for a powder wheelie off the tail.
Sizing: For a size 9 boot the 156 is just too much board for me. I would have been much happier if they had the 151 for demo instead. I would not want to own the 156 for my specs. I felt like I just couldn’t manage to ride it like it was meant to be ridden.
On Snow Feel: Burton use to call this S-Rocker but now they call it Directional Flat Top which is much more appropriate and goes much more in line with what we call flat to rocker. That means it tracks well when one footing off the chair or going down a long flat cat track.
Edge Hold: Like most Burton Flat-To Rocker it’s not that good if you have to get through a hard patch at the top of a wind blown peak to get to the hard stuff. It really let’s go when the snow starts bordering on medium to hard.
Turn Initiation: Edge to edge transitioning is pretty easy for a mid-wide board but the Burton Fish doesn’t feel fast with my size 9 boots. It shows that even a turny side cut can be slow if you got the wrong boot powering it. If you have more of a mid/wide boot it will be very quick and fun for darting in and out of tight tree runs. However, if you have boots like mine I’d say the turn initiation would be medium bordering on med/fast so it’s not going to blow your mind if you don’t match the specs it’s designed for.
Turning Experience: Not that great for those that like springy turns. It’s all about planing on top of powder as opposed to making all kinds of turns on groomers.
Carving: The Burton Fish is not bad on a carve but it’s boring compared to Burtons Directional Camber Rides. It’s doable but there just isn’t much spring out of the turn compared to all of the other Directional Camber Family Tree boards.
Skidded Turns: Very forgiving and easy to skid a turn. You don’t want to skid turns on this and it’s mainly for advanced to expert riders that can turn well off the tail in powder but you can skid out no problem if you need to.
Speed: The Burton Fish is fast enough for powder riding and I don’t think anything needs to be changed.
Uneven Terrain: If you match it with the right boot size the fish can weave in and out of moguls rather well. For me riding the 156, I’d pass. It did not inspire me to jam through some bumps on the way to a powder stash. Maybe the 151 would be the better call.
Powder: The Burton Fish turns powder riding into a cruisey way to surf powder. If you surfed a fish here you go. Most of the board will sit pretty high above the snow and really make it hard to sink. For us smaller boot riders like Peter and I we would prefer to ride the larger volume of Panhandler 152 a little better but I think we could make the 151 Burton Fish easily work for us too. This is more geared for a mid/wide footed rider too so for me being a size 9 boot the 156 will feel pretty slow edge to edge. However, as you get past the 10+ range this will start to shine as a tree surfer. This short fatty has been around for a while now and a lot of people like it.
Buttering: I thought it would be easier to butter off the tail than it was but it’s still doable.
Jumps: There is some snap off the tail and it’s good for flat to rocker but I’d prefer the snap of boards like the Skeleton Key all day over the Fish. I wish they re-indroduced some new form of directional flying V like they had with the Burton Barracuda because a little camber in the tail would be pretty fun.
Bottom line is if you want a super surfy slashy pow board for a mid/wide foot this isn’t a bad choice.
The 2012 Burton Fish hasn’t changed much from 2011 except Burton did bring back the 150cm size for smaller powder riders.