The Burton Tough Cat is very much it’s own board but the best way to describe it would be to call it a mid/wide alternative to the very well liked Burton Flight Attendant.
2016 Burton Tough Cat Snowboard Review
The Burton Tough Cat is one of those boards that seems to have some some roots with the old Burton Guru but got completely made over with a lot of new personality. It’s kind of on the border between an Aggressive All Mountain and Freeride kind of ride. Like I said it’s a mid/wide alternative to the Flight Attendant but it’s got less taper and less set back which gives it a little less float in powder but more of a double ender feel which many prefer over a tapered feel.
Conditions: Really good Colorado Snow
Riders: James, Peter, Jimbo
Boots: Burton SLX, Salomon F3.0, Burton Fiend LTD
Bindings: Burton X Wing EST
Set Up: A little set back 23″ wide 15 front -9 back
Approximate Weight: Feels normal. Nothing heavy or nothing light.
On Snow Feel: The Burton Tough Cat is one of those mostly camber hybrid camber kind of boards. It’s got a healthy dose of camber from the Tail all the way past the front binding. After that there is a mellow early rise rocker for better float in powder. The feeling of this board is very close to camber and it requires you to be on your game and make your turns correctly. It’s also a Mid/Wide so if you are in the size 10.5 range and under you most likely will prefer the Flight Attendant. However if you are an 11 to 12ish US size boot then this could really be a fun board. It’s the kind of board that’s got that semi-catchy camber like stability that makes one footing and flat basing easy if you know how to ride but catching that tail edge is a possibility.
Powder: Not much powder but you can tell this is going to be close but not exactly like the Flight Attendant here. The camber profile is the same with that big nose and early rise rocker so it’s going to float really well but it’s not as tapered (5mm less) and doesn’t have as much of a set back (19mm less). Still it’s got a massive shovel nose and early rise rocker before that Shovel nose so it should still float really well. I think it will appeal to those that like a set back directional ride in powder but at the same time don’t want to be too close to the tail.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Even though we aren’t best suited for this board you could feel it’s potential to really own it on a carve if you have the right size feet to power this board. Still it seems like even if you have the right size boot for this board it’s not going to be a quick turner. It seems like it prefers going straight and making longer drawn out turns than making quick snappy turns. It’s got lot’s of camber that really let’s you work to bend it into a carve and then lots of spring when you come out of it. Now regular turns require skill and if you depend on skidding your turns in any situation then the Burton Tough Cat isn’t for you. If you want Camber but with more float then this is a good call.
Speed: Very fast and a little faster than your average all mountain board. We could feel this pick up speed well and it keeps it’s speed in the flats too. As long as this is well waxed you will be quite happy with it.
Uneven Terrain: Not the easiest in uneven snow but it sure can bust through Chunder on a powder day. Still it’s not going to be that bad when it comes to end of the day weekend resort snow.
Edge Hold: The Burton Tough Cat’s edge hold is good but just missing something from being great. The edge didn’t want to grip in harder snow like many other boards do with a little something extra in the side cut. We aren’t saying Magnetraction Extra but more compared to boards with a mellow wave or bump here and there. We’d like to see something a little more but it does hold well enough to be borderline good in hard snow.
Flex: Borders on stiff but still lively and by no means a plank. Very strong and mean and not a board for buttering unless you can bend stiff camber boards.
Switch: Doable switch for sure. Not the same but doable. You can feel the taper and bigger nose for sure but it’s something you can get use to.
Jibbing: No thanks. Not even going to try it.
Pipe: This would be a night mare for our smaller feet but a real treat if you are a mid/wide footer looking to do some directional pipe riding. The Tough Cat has a nice drive from wall to wall.
Jumps: The Burton Tough Cat isn’t really a lap the park kind of jump board but you can center it up and make that happen. However it really shines launching off natural terrain and there is a ton of snap off the tail when it comes time to ollie.
So all in all this is a highly recommended board for those aggressive all mountain to freeride style riders that like the idea of the Flight Attendant but have bigger feet.