The Burton Free Thinker is a pretty aggressive, stiff, camber mountain freestyle twin that isn’t for everyone. Some will like it and it pairs well with the Deep Thinker for those aggressive mountain quiver riders.
Conditions: Wet, semi-messy snow
Riders: James, Jimbo, Tim, Peter
Boots: Burton Almighty, Adidas Tactical ADV
Bindings: Burton Cartel
Set Up: Centered, almost 23″ 15 front -15 back
Our Recommended Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Burton Ion,
Our Recommended Bindings: Union Atlas, Burton Genesis, Burton Genesis X, Burton Cartel, Union Force, Union Contact Pro, Burton Mission, Salomon Hologram,
Approximate Weight: Felt normal and maybe a touch heavy for its size but weight varies from board to board in the same model/size.
Flex: The Burton Free Thinker is very stiff for a twin and it really likes a strong rider underfoot.
Buttering: Not very easy. None of us could butter it well except for Jimbo and even Jimbo couldn’t bend the board like he could most others.
Sizing: The 157 felt right size wise for Peter and me. Jimbo and Tim would be much better off with the 157w or 160w
On Snow Feel: It’s a locked in, mean aggressive old school camber twin made for riders who are very technical but also like to go big. It doesn’t like being mellow or cruising and wants to make you pay if you get off your game. It prefers an aggressive expert but can tolerate an advanced aggressive rider most of the time without hurting them.
Edge Hold: Even Burton Camber boards don’t have the strongest grip game these days but the Burton Free Thinker seems like it will grip a touch better than most camber rides in their line. We didn’t have much hard snow to test with so can’t say for sure though.
Turn Initiation: The Burton Free Thinker is very quick slapping it back and forth edge to edge but then it slows down when you are engaged in the turn. It seems to like long narrow S turns and straight lines best. Once on edge, it doesn’t like to turn a tight radius.
Turning Experience: It’s camber so it pops well and it’s pretty fun to turn but it felt so stiff for a twin that it didn’t really have an amazing turning experience. Burton makes a ton of great turning boards so it’s up against really high expectations though. I’d say it’s more for straight lining than making good turns.
Carving: It’s a pretty good carver because it’s camber but it felt like it didn’t carve in a tighter radius turn the way we wanted it to.
Skidded Turns: If you aren’t a good rider and skid your turns a lot the Burton Free Thinker could fuck you up like a closed minded bigot.
Speed: It’s a fast twin and right on par with the Deep Thinker for it’s size.
Uneven Terrain: Not super forgiving in uneven terrain and I wouldn’t like to go riding in messy resort snow with this on a Saturday.
Powder: It would be scary. Get the Deep Thinker for that.
Switch: It’s a true twin so it’s great both ways.
Jibbing: One of the last Twin’s I’d personally like to jib with.
Pipe: Could be a good pipe board but we didn’t try it.
Jumps: The Burton Free Thinker requires some strength to pop this. However, if you give this some strong ollie power it will respond in kind and give you some big air. It doesn’t like riders who aren’t strong and it acts plankish and dead if you aren’t.
All in all the Burton Free Thinker isn’t free and easy like the name but instead encourages aggressive free thinking for that mountain freestyle rider. So not for everyone but some could like it if they want a bomber twin from Burton.