|Overall Rating||Loved it!|
|Riding Level||Advanced - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10|
|Manufactured in||Dubai by SWS|
|Camber Profile||Continuous Rocker|
|Stance||Setback over 20mm|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Jones Mind Expander 2020 - 2018 Review by The Good Ride
The Jones Mind Expander gives you unbelievable directional float, an incredibly fast base, a super quick turner, great edge hold and It’s even pretty fun when the powder is gone. We have had up to 4 feet plus of powder on this and it still didn’t feel topped out.
Ethics Statement: We don’t do reviews in exchange for compensation from the manufacturer. No one is perfect but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders perspective.
The 2019 and 2020 Jones Mind Expander are pretty much the same rides. They both have a carbon fiber strip throughout the center of the board giving it a little more long-term snap/resiliency and a slightly updated core. It still has a very similar ride to the 2018 model. In addition to the minor tweaks, they now offer sizes starting at 146 and going up to 166. Some of this review has been updated for 2020 to reflect what is out there now, but overall, what we said about the 2019 model we own still stands.
The 2019-2020 Jones Mind Expander production model is just as stiff (maybe a touch stiffer) as the 2018 model so disregard what we talked about regarding the softness of the demo model we tried.
How This Review Happened: We spent our precious Good Ride dollars to buy the 154 to do a review for you, good readers. Then we liked it so much we asked for a 158 (we only do this with our favorites) and are stoked to have it in the quiver.
Size: 154 (2018 & 2019) and 158 (2019)
Conditions: Everything from a little powder and groomers to a few light fluffy powder days to a few thick wet powder days and an early morning slackountry time with Drift Boards 4+ feet in some places.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 180-190lbs),Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs), Grant (Size 11 6’ 160lbs)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Strata, Union Falcor, Union Superpro, Burton Genesis X
Set Up: 22.5” a little wide or narrow of reference stance to set all the way back 15 front -3 back. 22″ wide 21 front 0 back. 22″ wide 24 front +6 back and set almost all the way back.
Similar Boards (but not the same) That We Compared This To:
Capita Spring Break 158 Powder Glider, Capita Spring Break 161 Tree Hunter, Jones Storm Chaser, Gentemstick Mantaray 156, Korua Dart, Korua Pencil, Rome Pow Division MT (153 and 157),
Jones Ultra Mind Expander, Jones Flagship, Never Summer West Bound, Rossignol XV, Lib Tech BRD, Lib Tech Lost Round Nose Fish
Approximate Weight: Feels like it is on the light side of medium.
Flex: As I talked about in-depth in the vid, the 2019 Jones Mind Expander demo board I had in a 154 seemed to have a softer flex but the production model was actually the same or a touch stiffer/more poppy than the 2018.
Buttering: Super easy to butter either way and you wouldn’t think so when flexing it in the shop.
Sizing: One thing to caution bigger footed riders about with the Jones Mind Expander is this has 2cm of taper so the tail is not the same width as the nose by a good bit. That means that the waist width isn’t the best way to size up these boards to your boot. None of these are true mid/wides so after size 10US be very careful with the size you choose. Take a look at my size 9 feet on the 158 I own in the way I set up my stance just so you can get a general idea. This isn’t perfect because bindings aren’t mounted but it shows the difference between the width of the front vs. back foot.
For my specs, 154 feels like almost the perfect tree cheetah and is one of the fastest turning boards I’ve come across but it feels a little small in deep open terrain or as my dedicated powder ride. The 158 definitely feels like a lot more board but I really like the incredibly easy glide and how easy it keeps its speed. Both sizes are pretty unsinkable but the 158 doesn’t want to stop moving which is really key on long traverses or long flat run-outs to get back to a chair. The 158 is still super quick in the trees and it’s not much slower than the 154. If they made a 156 that would probably be the perfect size for my specs but of the two sizes I tried the 158 is the best fit for the specs you see for me (James) above.
On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: It’s kind of loose and atypical compared to most Jones boards with their hybrid camber tech. There is a little flat between the feet but it still feels like it can auto spin a bit when in the firm snow that you can often see when getting off a chair with lots of wind that blows away the powder. In comparison to a continuous rocker or hybrid rocker profile, it feels stable but when comparing it to the hybrid camber boards in the rest of the Jones line it feels a bit lose. Overall the Jones Mind Expander has a very playful easy riding feel to it that really can slash hard. Incredibly easy to skid a turn and while this isn’t a cheap board I think riders of any ability level could get on this and have a decent time. Instead of powder days being scary and hard for beginner/intermediate riders that don’t have the right equipment this could make it way more fun.
Edge Hold: Despite the massive rocker the Jones Mind Expander has really good edge hold that’s great for those hard snow routes that are often necessary to get to the deep stuff. Mountains have wind and wind can blow away all the powder on the peaks so often times you find yourself riding hundreds of yards of ice before powder. This mellow mag really makes a difference grip wise compared to so many powder boards out there.
Turn Initiation: The 154, for my specs, is super quick. Quicker than quick. It’s one of the most nimble tree boards I’ve ever ridden.The 158 is really fast too but not quite as quick as the 154. Both are great for slaloming through trees and both sizes made it really easy to change direction or even make hard right or left turns.
Turning Experience: So the Jones Mind Expander can make some super fun turns on groomers but as you get into more committed turns or wider radius turns it’s a little less interesting. If you just want something to have fun making quick turns, slash things and not really get too aggressive on the carving side this does great and it’s a real added bonus for a powder board. I can see why Jones marked this as not just a powder board because it’s not bad at all on groomers. However, if you want to sacrifice some float for camber the Jones Ultra Mind Expander is the better call as it turns much better on groomers.
Carving: The Jones Mind Expander does much better than you would think for a board with so little flat and soo much rocker in the camber profile. However, it pales in comparison to the feeling you get out of the Ultra Mind Expander, Hovercraft or the Flagship or many other boards that have some camber going on. It just doesn’t have the resistance into the turn and then that rewarding spring out of it. The Jones Mind Expander hurries you out of the carve but at least it holds an edge really well.
Speed: The Jones Mind Expander isn’t going to blow minds and the nose does chatter. It’s super far from being something like the Ultra Mind Expander or Flagship but in powder, you can point it without it being super sketchy. The one thing though is the base is super fast. It’s one of the fastest bases I’ve tried in this price range and it glides incredibly well. The 158 really keeps its speed well and I often had to check my speed on cat tracks that I would normally have to straight line to get through. It builds momentum fast. So for dampness at speed it’s not that great but when it comes to base glide it’s a Spinal Tap 11 out of 10.
Uneven Terrain: Man I could weave in and out of moguls all day with this board. It’s so easy to navigate bumps. This is where I like the Mind Expander over the Storm Chaser because of how it doesn’t buck around as much when there are bumps below the powder. I think it’s the extra tail length that helps it keep its line better where the Storm chaser can sometimes bounce you right out of your line.
Powder: Yeah this is one of the floatiest rides I’ve ever been on. It’s not a short fatty like the Storm Chaser so there isn’t a lot of volume for the board’s size but it’s still wider than most standard all-mountain rides, has more tail and has that same massively turned up surf rocker that allows this board to float incredibly easy and it has a base that is one of the fastest I’ve personally been on in this price point. The Jones Mind Expander base has the glide to get you out of more flat spots than most and it’s one of the best out there when it comes to keeping its speed. There is soo much effortless float in the nose that when set all the way back that I could even lean forward in 2′ of powder on the 154 and I didn’t go cartwheeling. The 158 takes it up another level and although it picks up speed almost too fast (almost…) it wasn’t even trying in 1-1.5 ft of thick powder and it even felt like it was topped out in 4 plus feet of powder we were lucky enough to ride this in. On top of that, the Jones Mind Expander always got us out of these flat awkward traverses back to a chair at the end of a run where the other boards we compared it against didn’t always do the same. When setting the 158 all the way back at 22.75″ the difference between nose and tail is about 10.5″ and the true set back on board is just about 5.25″ which is very far back. Then you combine the taper in the tail and the big ass nose with that super rocker starting before the front binding, you have some real directional float going on. Lots of powder boards have these specs but the real differentiator for the Jones Mind Expander is the super-rocker in the nose they call surf rocker that rises up significantly higher and earlier than most boards. That and the lifted sides near the top of the nose make this one of the easiest floating boards I’ve ever tried. This is one of the first boards I’ll grab when it’s super deep.
Switch: Very doable but not ideal. You can land switch and it’s better than a lot of super directional powder boards.
Jumps: There is a good bit of pop and, unlike the Storm Chaser, there is a little more tail for landings with the Jones Mind Expander.
Jibbing: I guess you could if you wanted to.
Pipe: I like the edge hold enough and I did take it into the pipe. It was super forgiving and fun but not ideal for those that like that drive camber can give you going from wall to wall.
So to sum it all up, the Jones Mind Expander is the choice for people that love to make super quick turns in the deep deep and want some of the easiest float out there at the time I write this. The more I compare the 154 and 158 to other boards the more this ride impresses me.
Here is a bevy of comparisons we have done with the Jones Mind Expander 154 and 158.
Jones Mind Expander 154 vs. 158.
Jones Mind Expander 158 compared to the Capita Spring Break Powder Glider 158
Jones Mind Expander compared to the Capita Spring Break Tree Hunter 161
Here is a comparison between the Jones Mind Expander 158, Gentemstick Chaser HP, Rossignol Sashimi, Rome Powder Division 153 and Yes Optimistic 151
Here is a detailed review and comparison between the Jones Mind Expander 154, Rome Powder Division 157 and the Rossignol Sushi.
Jones Mind Expander Past Reviews
2018 Jones Mind Expander Review
Conditions: Spring Groomers and practically perfect light fluffy Mt. Bachelor Powder.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Adidas Acerra,
Insoles: Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers, Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Superpro with team ankle straps (similar to the contact but with taller straps), Burton Genesis
Set Up: 22.5” Centered 15 front -16back
After getting the Storm Chaser in some deep, thick Sierra snow, this similar rocker and directional float changed my perceptions of how a board can float in powder. The Mind Expander, in my humble opinion, takes it a step further than the Storm Chaser in the deep stuff. This floats like a much bigger board and turns like a board it’s size or even smaller. Even though I’d much rather ride the Hovercraft on most groomer days this wasn’t that bad at all and I will say I wish the Hovercraft turned as quickly as the Mind Expander.
Jones Mind Expander Specs
Jones Mind Expander Images
Jones Company Information
Jones Mind Expander User Reviews
Jones mind expander
I effing love this board! To make sure we are all on the same page, I have 5 setups all with their own beauty and function. This board literally changed the way I charge the mountain and has given me huge amounts of confidence. I’m 6ft and 160 lbs and before
The beautiful 150 mind expander I’m riding now I was on a 167 arbor A frame. I’m not even kidding when I say it changed my whole riding style for the better. I typically hit the mountain on deep days with riders more experienced in backcountry than I am and was always falling sort. (Legs tired, digging out of holes, and avoiding thick trees.)(this also frustrated me to no end) I shit you not, I am now the leader of the pack because this board allows me to do everything I know I’m capable of. This board changed the rider I am over night, and I couldn’t be helper with it.
Just got back from Fernie, BC where I had two chances to try out the mind expander. The first was cat skiing with Fernie Wilderness Adventures. I can't recommend these guys enough. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience that I hope happens more than once in my lifetime. It was the maiden voyage and it performed even better than advertised. I've never had that much fun on a board. The next day there was 13 inches of snow at the top of Fernie alpine resort but it rained on the bottom of half. The first few runs were in amazing snow but it got tracked up quickly. I knew at the end of the day the conditions on the bottom half of the mountain would be terrible. I was afraid it would be nothing but ice but I got lucky with slush instead. I was worn out and not looking forward to the ride down. The mind expander was stable, smooth, and held and edge the whole way. Highly recommend this board. I'm an average at best rider and I felt like Jeremy Jones himself on this board.
Very surfy. Fun
I bugged the hell out of James about this board with questions, which he was very kind to answer. I demoed the board first at Mammoth during a 1-2 feet dump.
I purchased the 158 after the demo, because I felt that size for my weight and riding style fit best. I need a power board that is unsinkable in deep snow, fast base to help in cat tracks and long traverses, and will not stall out if the run is not that steep. Also I do a lot of cat skiing. I needed to ability to ride great in wide open bowls and ride trees. It rides GREAT in trees.
So in my opinion its definitely surfy and fun, but not a all mountain powder focused board. Carving on groomers is just ok if the snow is soft. I really won't ride this board unless there is a foot or more of powder. To me its a quiver board for deep pow.
There are better options for a all resort powder focused stick.
Mind Expander 154
I got the 2019 version this year and this last weekend I got to test this boards ability on about 14” of fresh and soft pow. I had the board mounted on the centered stance and this was great on days when the pow didn’t exceed 6”. I set my bindings all the way back on this reasonably deep day cause I felt that the board wasn’t getting as much float as I thought it could and had a couple tomahawks after dropping off some drops into pillows. Once I set the bindings all the way back the Mind Expander became a new board, it absolutely ripped and floated through the deep stuff without effort and rear leg fatigue. It’s an absolute tree ninja and opens up lines that sometimes are too tight on another board. Keep this board waxed and you’ll have no problems traversing or powering through cat tracks. I’d love to try the 158 but I would tell anyone worried about the 154 being too small that it isn’t. All in all I recommend this board if you want a VERY nimble tree slaying, high floating, loose and surfy pow board. It also lays down a very tight trench on the groomers and is fun long after the pow is tracked out. If I had any negatives on this board it would be that it doesn’t like chunder too much, by this I mean the dense, semi-mogul type stuff and it tends to want to buck around a bit. It plows through tracked out powder like a champ, but the harder day old type stuff not so much.