|Overall Rating||Loved it!|
|Riding Style||All Mountain|
|Riding Level||Beginner - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12, > 12|
|Manufactured in||Dubai by SWS|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Camber|
|Stance||Setback over 20mm|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Jones Hovercraft Snowboard 202
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MEC Explorer/EV1 125 Kayak wit
Jones Explorer 2019 - 2016 Review by The Good Ride
The Jones Explorer is a lower cost ride that’s got more directional float than the Mtn Twin or Ultra Mountain Twin but also it’s less directional and aggressive than Flagship for those that want an easier all day ride.
The 2018-2019 Jones Explorer price is now down from $479 to $449 which now makes it a great low-cost recommendation for those that want a really floaty all mountain ride that borders on being a good freeride board. The 2019 Jones Explorer is the same as 2018. If you are looking for the 2020 Jones Explorer it is now called the Jones Frontier.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
Conditions: Good Spring conditions. Hard in the morning slowly going to slushy in the afternoon.
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV,
Bindings: Union Atlas and Burton Genesis X,
Set Up: Centered one day 15 front -15 back 22.75″ wide. Others 22.5″ wide 18 front -9 back.
Our Recommended Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Burton Imperial, Burton Ruler,
Our Recommended Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Force, Burton Cartel, Burton Mission, Salomon Hologram, Now Pilot, Arbor Cypress,
Approximate Weight: feels normal for a 159.
Flex: It’s got a good flex underfoot that is a mediumish tip to tail and maybe a bit stiffer torsionally.
Sizing: The 159 felt just right for my height and weight. It felt pretty close for my boot size as well. The 159 feels like the equivalent to the 157 Jones Mountain Twin or UMT and the 161 Flagship.
On Snow Feel: Nice and stable underfoot. It doesn’t every auto spin on you one footing or flat basing and doesn’t feel catchy. The rocker in the nose takes care of making it more catch free and the camber between the feet makes the Jones Explorer feel stable and easy to ride. It’s just a little more directional than the Jones Mountain Twin models and a little closer to a twin-like shape than the Flagship. The one thing I would say is compared to the Jones Mountain Twins I rode it feels similar between the feet but it’s more tip/tail heavy. It doesn’t want to spin and swing around as easy as the Twin’s which isn’t as good in the park but in powder, it wants to float a little easier.
Edge Hold: Really strong capable edge hold that borders on being good in ice. Its best in hard snow and below but it can handle the occasional ice patch better than most boards out there. It also doesn’t grab in softer snow either which most of us here prefer over the best grip you can have.
Turn Initiation: The Jones Explorer isn’t a super quick edge to edge ride but the 159 it feels faster than my 157 Jones Ultra Mountain Twin or the 161 Flagships I’ve owned/ridden in the past. I would have no problem surfing through the trees on this ride. I still wouldn’t pair up super mellow bindings with this but any med response binding would be fine for most.
Turning Experience: It’s just fun to turn. It’s not a full camber super springy mind-blowing carver but it’s got a lot of fun in every kind of turn I made from short to wide radius turns. Those who get a board like this will probably get most of your pleasure out of turning vs. hitting kickers, jibs, pipe, etc so it’s good to know it’s a great compromise between being forgiving while still being fun to turn.
Carving: You can lay it out with this board and I didn’t really feel that it was any worse than the Flagship or Mountain Twin. All carved pretty well for the camber they had underfoot.
Skidded Turns: Very easy to skid turns if you get off your game. Especially for the flex. That lifted tip/tail really helps reduced catching an edge compared to full camber. It’s a great time to learn to snowboard compared to the old camber days.
Speed: The Jones Explorer is pretty stable and fast for this price point. It’s not a mega bomber like the Flagship but it’s pretty close to the Mountain Twin.
Uneven Terrain: It’s not bad and can ride a messy Saturday resort all day without punishing you. It’s not the kind of board to get angry on you like the old Jones Flagship made by GST used to be.
Powder: If you are in between buying the Jones Mountain Twin or Ultra Mountain Twin and love easy directional float in powder then here is where the Jones Explorer is a little better. It’s got more set back, a little more nose and a chopped tail. It is as good as many freeride boards that have a little taper going on. Set all the way back at a 22.75″ stance width you can get 4.75″ back on board which is a good bit further than the Jones Mountain Twin and almost in the realm of many Freeride boards. That and the good bit of rocker in the nose makes for pretty easy floating.
Buttering: Buttering is very doable but it’s just a little more fun on the Jones Mountain Twins (even the Ultra Mountain Twin). It seems like the Twins like to spin a little easier and they are easier to throw around. Of course, the Jones Mountain Twin is easier to butter than the UMT but we preferred both MT’s to the Explorer. It feels a little longer than it’s size in the tip/tail.
Switch: Better than the Flagship and not as good as the Jones Mountain Twin. I would get it if you want something like the Flagship but have it easier to ride fakie.
Jumps: There is good pop for this price point and although it is not going to blow minds The Jones Explorer will approach a kicker well and land well. It’s just not ideal for those that like to spin. That again is more for the Jones Mountain Twin models.
Jibbing: Doable but not ideal.
Pipe: Pretty fun pipe board but again we prefer the Twins.
So here is the thing. You hear me writing how we keep liking the Flagship better here or Mountain Twin models here but at this price point, it’s a great compromise between the Two. If you want a little more mountain specific ride that floats almost as well as the Flagship, better than the Mountain Twin and is better than the Flagship for adding some mountain freestyle elements to your ride you have the Jones Explorer.
Jones Explorer Past Reviews
2017 Jones Explorer Review
2016 Jones Explorer Review
Conditions: Some Powder and some groomer time.
Riders: James, Peter, Jimbo
Boots: Burton SLX, Salomon F3.0, Burton Fiend LTD
Bindings: Flux DS
Set Up: Somewhat set back, 23″ 15 front -6 back
Approximate Weight: Felt Normal and maybe a touch on the heavy side.
On Snow Feel: Like all Jones boards it feels stable between the feet, on the stiffer aggressive side but not catchy or like there is much consequence if you have to suddenly skid a turn. So it appeals well to the rider who is aggressive or wants to be aggressive but doesn’t want the consequence associated with that style of riding.
Powder: We only had a little light super easy fluffy CO snow so can’t say for sure but if it’s like the Flagship and Jones Mountain Twin then it’s going to float like a champ. Probably a shade better than the Jones Mountain Twin but a shade less than the Flagship.
Turn Initiation: Very easy to generate a turn properly but not too quick. Feels faster edge to edge than the Jones Mountain Twin but not quite as quick as the Flagship.
Skidded Turns: This board isn’t soft but the rocker in the nose and tail make it easy and rather forgiving if you have to skid your turn when in a tight or steep spot and you get off your game. I think that’s why they call this an entry level freeride board. I wouldn’t call it entry level though and find it’s an aggressive all mountain to Freeride board at a reasonable price.
Carving: Rails out a pretty good carve that we all actually liked better than the Jones Aviator and Jones Mountain Twin and it feels the same as the Jones Flagship.
Speed: Pretty fast and damp. The base has a good glide to it as well despite the fact it’s cheaper than most of the Jones boards.
Uneven Terrain: The Jones Explorer has a little less forgiving of a feel than the Jones Mountain Twin but a better feel in uneven terrain than the Flagship. When we say uneven terrain it’s all about sloppy resort groomers on a Saturday afternoon.
Edge Hold: Really strong edge hold that can hang in icy snow but is best ridden from hard to soft snow. It also doesn’t grab in thicker softer snow.
Flex: It’s not that mellow of a flex and feels definitely stiffer than the Jones Mountain Twin but a little less stiff than the Flagship.
Switch: Doable switch and better than the Flagship but not as good as the Mtn Twin.
Jibbing: No thanks.
Pipe: We didn’t try the pipe but it seems like it would do well here.
Jumps: Not quite as lively as many of the Jones boards but there is a decent amount of pop for an ollie off natural terrain. Not really a board to lap the jumps in the park.
So all in all it’s a solid board for those that want to have an aggressive but still pretty forgiving ride for the flex. Our only complaint is that we’d like to see a little more lively feel under foot but it could still make a lot of riders happy.
Jones Explorer Specs
Jones Explorer Images
Jones Company Information
Jones Explorer User Reviews
Great value all mountain freeride board
This review is for the 2016 version but I think it still holds up to the later models. Mt Hood is my home mountain. Bought this board as a mainly freeride/powder board that I could still ride on groomers. It’s definitely lived up to the challenge. This board is at home charging steeps, hitting natural jumps, and riding pow. It also performs great on park jumps, groomers, and bumps.
The spoon nose along with setback helps with float in powder.
The camber underfoot allows you to hold an edge on hard-pack and even ice.
Decent amount of pop.
Would definitely buy this board again!
Moved from Flagship to Explorer
For 3 years I've been riding the 2016 Jones Flagship 165 Wide. It's a phenomenal big mountain board, holds an edge like no one's business, but I HATED it when conditions were rough and choppy, like at the end of a powder day when the snow is all tracked out. This is probably due to it being quite stiff. After talking to some different people (James here at TGR and a guy at Jones) I picked up the 2018 Explorer 164 Wide. I have put 15 days on it at Park City and Mount Hood Oregon and it is exactly what I want. I enjoy riding challenging terrain, chasing powder and steeps and I look for difficult lines. The Explorer is nimble and forgiving enough to work through trees in tricky snow, yet holds an edge on groomers and floats nicely in powder. Think of it as a more forgiving Flagship.
Mountain twin 160
Want to tell my story with jones- snowboards, mountain twin 160
I'm doing the season at Val Thorens- France, and bought a brand new Jones mountain twin 2019.
Actually it was the best board I ever tried, good at the park, perfect in carving and slopes and good pop.
But just after 4 weeks in a normal park day one of the edge was totally open, crack of 30 cm.
I sent it to jones France and got a negative answer, I fixed it and one day after it was broke at the other side.
Jones aren't answering anymore and I just have to throw it to the garbage.
I'll not recommend on jones anymore...
All around fun board
I ride the 158W Jones Explorer. Bought it at the beginning of last season. The Good Ride review is spot on. I think the point about it being a consistent ride is the most important. It feels the same in all kinds of conditions and never catchy. I was coming from a heavy mag Niche board and felt like it was fighting against me sometimes. The Explorer just cruises in everything, but without feeling washy or too stiff. The edge to edge transfer feels so smooth when doing long, drawn out carves or quick turns through the trees. I got a couple of really good powder days last season and it performed great. I would highly recommend this board if you are like me and don't get to board too frequently, but when you do you can take it out in any conditions and be confident on it.
Was skeptical at its low $$$... BUT DAMN!!!
Been on this weapon for 2 seasons. All East Coast so far with mostly thick woods and resort groomers, bulletproof (ice) days, bumped up days, couple good pow days. I come from probably 10-12 years of Lib Techs and Gnu’s (magna-traction is a must in Maine) and always expected to pay that high price point for a high performance quiver. So, even after reading these reviews I was still a little skeptical on how dynamic and aggressive this board was with the low price point. Pulled the trigger and I can’t thank The Good Ride review enough for swaying me to do so. This board is your $600 freeride bomber and $500 twin ripper for less than half the money. I’m a big fella so I push the 164W and it might be the most fun and conforming board I’ve ever ridden. I too would love just a touch more camber to get a little more aggressive carve, but still super easy to bomb and lay over. Spend what you are saving on Union Atlas bindings, set it back and you have a LEGIT pow board when it dumps. Center it and you have an excellent all mountain ripper that you can still butter around with on those bumpy spring side-hit days. Love it and highly recommend it to all level riders. Park bro? Stick to the Skate Bananas.
Fantastic piece of kit
Good help from James and the crew, tried this, the Flagship and the Hoverboard. Explorer was the least interesting of the 3, but on the snow it just worked way, way better than the rest for me. I simply adore this board, goes thru everything, on piste, off, holds and edge well, stable at speed. Decent edge to edge even with the W spec because of boot size. I live in Switzerland and get PLENTY of challenging pistes, steep and deep off-piste and, seriously, this one board does everything and does it so well. I'm also an old git (50) and so I even appreciate the grown-up graphics on all the Jones boards. Paired with Ride Trident boot which, also, is the best piece of kit I've owned (responsive AND comfortable...how did that happen) and the Ride Capo binding.
2017 Jones Explorer is Awesome!
With Biesty's help, I bought a Jones Explorer (161w) paired with Rome DOD bindings. Love the board! I can really only compare it to my old Ride Fleetwood (165W), but it is both more responsive (quicker turning and better edge hold) AND more forgiving (notably less "catchy" on flat traverses, etc.). I really can't believe the hybrid rocker/camber/rocker profile made such a huge difference-- but who am I to argue! Spent a week at Big Sky, MT with great snow (mostly powder and groomers) and had a ball. The Explorer seemed equally at home ripping down wide open runs and making tight turns in the woods. (I don't love the bindings, but that's a different issue-- the board is awesome!).
I bought the Explorer 162 and paired it with the Union Force bindings and have really liked it so far. I was this close to buying the Flagship but decided to get the Explorer so I could have a freeride board but still use it all over the mountain. The very first time I used it was a 2 day weekend at Crystal Mountain and it didn't disappoint. I was a little nervous to get it because everywhere said it was a beginner board but it performed waaay better than that. Don't look at it as a beginner, look at it as an all mountain/freeride combo. I was very happy with the carving as it did not wash out, but it wasn't catchy either, it just gripped that turn like a champ! It was great on steep stuff, and when bombing it didn't chatter. Also it handled the end of the day chunder very well, I hardly even noticed going through it. My old board would almost buck me off going through that kind of crap. The little powder I did find, it glided very well on top unlike other boards where they sink. I rode set back the whole time and felt great. With the price point you can't go wrong. I honestly had no complaints with it.
Great in Powder!
I have the Explorer Split and really enjoyed the way this board performed in the back country and in-bounds. The Explorer has an aggressive, fast and playful feel to it. I have the 163 and found that to be a good size for me especially in powder. I also ride the Mountain Twin 160 and find that I like the the Explorer 163 better for deep conditions. The rocker hybrid gives it amazing float and a surfy feel in powder and can still keep a nice carve on the hard pack. I find that the split handles just as well as the solids I ride. The Explorer is a bit heavier than most boards but only really noticed while skinning. As for an inexpensive board it is still well made and performs great. This is a great beginner splitboard that you will not outgrow in a season or two.