The Burton Panhandler is an evolved Mod-Fish and it takes a shorter fatter approach to riding powder than the regular Fish. Overall it’s a fun pure powder board that we think could make a lot of riders happy in the deep deep. It’s not really a dynamic snow surfer on groomers but there are many other great boards, like the Skeleton Key, for that.
Conditions: soft wet snow that was better than we thought.
Riders: James, Jimbo, Tim, Peter
Boots: Burton Almighty, Adidas Tactical ADV
Bindings: Burton Genesis
Set Up: Set back a bit but not a ton. 22.5″ wide 18 front -6 back
Our Recommended Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Burton Imperial, Burton Ion,
Our Recommended Bindings: Union Atlas, Burton Genesis, Burton Genesis X, Burton Cartel, Union Force, Salomon Hologram, Now Pilot
Approximate Weight: Felt light until you factor in you are on a size 152 then you would say oh it’s normal for its size.
Flex: Pretty mediumish flex that butters pretty well and feels like what you need for a powder board. Not too stiff and not too soft.
Sizing: The 152 felt good for Peter and me at size 8.5 and 9. We could do the 156 too but it felt like it rode big enough and synced up well turning wise with our feet which is always more important than height and weight. The 156 would for sure be better for our size 11ish friends Tim and Jimbo. With the old Mod-Fish the 156 was the call for Peter and I but now with the new short fatty specs the 152 would be a much better call for us.
On Snow Feel: The Burton Panhandler is very true to the personality of flat to rocker profiles like this. It’s a nice, stable and catch free ride. It’s made for powder but it’s easy one footing and flat basing off the chair.
Edge Hold: Not much going on. We didn’t get to do much hard snow testing with the Burton Panhandler but this isn’t made for hard snow days. It’s only important here and there like in windy mountains when you need to traverse some icy shit that’s blown off at the top to get to the deep stuff a little bit below. Be prepared to have the edge want to skid out underneath your feet in those situations.
Turn Initiation: The Burton Panhandler is a very good turner for us and it was pretty quick for how fat it was. We felt the 152 was a much faster board edge to edge compared to the old Mod Fish 156 I owned. Peter and I could dart in and out of trees with the 152 but with the 156 we would have to be a little more careful about how to approach tighter spots.
Turning Experience: The Burton Panhandler feels like a grubby miner or as Peter thought a dirt twirler trying to rally money to get to the next show when compared to the strong poppy feel you can get from almost all directional camber rides at Burton. You can go out and make some good turns but 10 times out of 10 I’d rather be on a board like the Dump Truck or Skeleton Key over this.
Carving: Super boring. It can carve in soft snow and look good but the feeling just isn’t there compared to Burton’s directional camber. When it comes to turning and carving it’s best to just leave the Burton Panhandler at home and save it for a powder day.
Skidded Turns: The Burton Panhandler’s flat to rocker profile is super easy to skid a turn. It’s fine when you get off your game and need to skid out. You can still catch an edge if you are out of control enough but it’s a far cry from the camber days.
Speed: Decent but not great speed. All you need for surfing powder.
Uneven Terrain: We all would be fine weaving out of bumps to get to some good stuff as long as we had the right size board.
Powder: Now we didn’t get in the deep deep with the Burton Panhandler but I did with the Mod-Fish 156 and that’s what this board replaced. The 56 Mod-Fish could float all day no matter how deep. I personally think this will be a touch better but both are super great cruisey super deep powder surfers. Rocker in the really big nose, a big set back on side cut as well as board and a very tapered tail makes this float well. It has less set back on side cut than the Mod-Fish (-35mm vs. -50mm) but it seems like it’s about the same set back on board which is what really counts. The 152 has a lot of surface area compared to the old Mod-Fish and Peter and I would be fine on this.
Buttering: Doable for sure and if you like to butter off the tail or nose you can.
Switch: Not very good.
Jibbing: Doable…..I guess.
Pipe: not ideal.
Jumps: The flat camber off the tail does make for decent pop but we like that more loaded feel that Directional Camber boards from Burton offer.
So, all in all, we like the Panhandler and it does what it should well. Just don’t get this thinking it’s more than just a powder board. If you realize it’s just a snow surfer in powder then you will probably be pretty happy with this ride. It’s a fun powder short fatty.