Price US $649

Burton Skeleton Key 2017 Snowboard Review

Burton Skeleton Key 2017 Review by The Good Ride

The Burrton Skeleton Key is a board I’ve wanted to try since it came out but didn’t get to.  Dan, a guy I met on the chair, let me try it so thanks Dan! It was pretty much everything I was hoping it would be and now I’m not sure if I like the Branch Manager as much as this.  After riding this I straight up bought one. I would say go Branch Manager if you can’t find the Skeleton Key and it’s really close but I like the Burton Skeleton Key better. .   It really is a great way to surf powder but it’s also got the ability to ride groomers.

Size: 154
Days:  1
Conditions:  About 2 feet of powder with some groomers on the way to the chairs.  Pretty stormy.
Riders: James
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV
Bindings:  Burton Mission
Set Up:  about 12 front -12 back and about 22″ wide

Approximate Weight: Felt normal bordering on light

Flex: Nice flex that feels pretty firm between the feet but it was pretty easy to butter the tail.

On Snow Feel:  The Burton Skeleton Key got that same great stable feel that  so many of the Family Tree tapered directional boards have.  I wouldn’t of thought that it had 10 mm of taper.  It’s not wash proof but a lot less washy than you would think for a tapered board.  It’s a very off the tail kind of surfy ride that’s got a super quick lively feel underfoot.  It’s just pure powder surfing fun.

Edge Hold: Didn’t really get to test this out but my guess is it’s like all the Burton Family Tree boards that border on being good in hard snow but really shine in good conditions.

Turn Initiation: So quick and snappy edge to edge. It’s like the Branch Manager and a real tree cheetah.  It’s super quick in tight situations and I could react so quickly that it made me feel like I was a better tree rider.  The board just went where you wanted it to go with minimal effort.  With other boards I could do the same line but often there is an awkward moment getting the board where you want it and I loose my poise but with the Skeleton Key I felt like it was setting me up to be cooler than I am on every turn.

Skidded Turns: Not ideal but not as bad as camber.  You really want to know the mechanics of turning otherwise you could catch an edge on the tail if you get off your game.  Still its pretty forgiving for having this much camber going on.

Carving: Nice springy surfy carve with the Burton Skeleton Key.  I could really lay it out as long as I put a little more weight on the back foot.  It would be great for groomer riding after the storm is passed.

Speed:  It could handle some decent speed but it’s not quite a bomber.  I rode the Burton Flight Attendant after and I could feel that offer up a much more damp ride.

Uneven Terrain:  Just about perfect and I could hammer turns in moguls all day.  The only minor complaint is it’s a little bucky if you try to power over bumps instead of around them.

Powder:  This is what the Burton Skeleton Key is all about.  It’s probably the best tree board I’ve tried in a long time.  Yes I’m on the 154 and the 158 is a better fit for my specs but it still jams in and out of trees. I really want to do a head to head test with the Branch Manager to see which one comes out on top but man this is a fun ride. It has almost 10″ of setback on board with a 22.75 inch/58cm stance width which is really insane how far back it is for a 154. That’s more than the Branch Manager, Landlord and Flight Attendant.  It turns small and floats big.  That get’s my pants tight and makes for a fun but sometimes awkward ride if I don’t tuck correctly.

Switch: nah…

Jibbing: nope….

Pipe: Maybe to slash the walls on a softer day.

Jumps:  Really good spring off the tail and it boosted me higher than I thought each time I hit a little natural feature.  Really great for a directional air.

So all in all I’m now intrigued by the Burton Skeleton Key and really want to get more time on it.  After this review I’m going to try to find one and buy it so I can spend more time on it.  It might unseat the Branch Manager as our tree board of choice.

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Burton Skeleton Key 2017 Snowboard Review SKU UPC Model

Feb 09, 2017 by Ryan
Ability Level: Uh…pretty good, I guess? • 
Riding Style: All of it • 
Days You Ride A Year: 10-20 these days, =( • 
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 5'9", 185 lbs, 9 

Disclaimer: this is my first powder board, so I'm comparing to not-powder boards (I can't believe I didn't get on this bandwagon 20 yrs ago)

I have the 154. Good god is this board fun! Effortless float, quick turns in the trees, stable opening up in the steeps, carves a hard edge on groomers, and is still fairly snappy for a powder board. It's butter-able if you're trying to get silly, though a bit catchy for tweaked-out presses (this is really the wrong board for that kinda thing). It's a little slow edge-to-edge on groomers, but nothing bad — just not as quick/effortless as the Parkitect I usually ride. In powder and chop, it's perfect. I have never yelled with joy so much!

Note: I pushed the recommended weight range considerably, and still get tons of float — I've gone from a dead back leg after half a day in the deep stuff to riding open to close and still having energy left, and that's with close to reference stance! Pushing the weight range also probably makes flexing the board easier, which I prefer anyway.

Perfectly tuned board

Jan 16, 2017 by Dominique Isabelle
Ability Level: Advanced • 
Riding Style: All mountain freestyle • 
Days You Ride A Year: 35+ • 
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 5' 10", 190 lb, size 10 boot 

I bought the 158.
I have used this board 10+ days in pretty much all condition besides big spring crystals and slush.
The SK is awesome!!! It carves really well on groomers and even icy conditions and excels in the pow and trees. Even has a bit of surfy / slashy feel to it to get that end of day snow on the side of the runs. It is a mid wide making perfect for my size 10 boots (I don’t catch my toes compared to my others boards: custom twin FV, mod fish, T6) but affects slightly the edge to edge transition speed. Well worth that compromise. Compared to the Landlord 163, the SK has significantly more torsional flex, making it more \"surfy\" and better for tree riding.
In the used up pow, the SK seems to just plow through it. Really stable board.
Snap on the tail is good for its size. This board is for powder/trees and directional fun on the piste hitting rollers and the occasional jump.
If you can find one, get it! Or wait till next year when it will be in the regular line-up.

5.0 5.0 2 2 Disclaimer: this is my first powder board, so I'm comparing to not-powder boards (I can't believe I didn't get on this bandwagon 20 yrs ago)I have the 154. Good god is this boa Burton Skeleton Key 2017 Snowboard Review

Riding Style


Riding Level

Advanced - Expert

Available Widths


Manufactured in



Tapered Directional

Camber Profile

Directional Camber


Setback over 20mm

Approx. Weight

Feels Normal

On Snow Feel


Turn Initiation




Edge Hold

Medium Snow







Uneven Terrain