|Overall Rating||Pretty Good|
|Riding Style||All Mountain|
|Riding Level||Advanced - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12|
|Manufactured in||Austria by GST|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Camber|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Light|
|On Snow Feel|
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Jones Ultra Mind Expander Snow
Jones Ultra Aviator 2016 - 2015 Review by The Good Ride
The Jones Ultra Aviator is a lighter version of the already light Aviator that isn’t for everyone but for those that are really into having the lightest gear around might be really into this board. It’s a fun snappy playful board and my only issue were it’s weird somewhat washy feel on a carve. Here is a shit ton of unedited videos of me just talking about it on the chair and at the car. The ride is very much the same from the 15-16 models.
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.
Some more thoughts….
Even more thoughts…..
Conditions: End of the year conditions in the Sierras with a firm to really good snow in the morning slowly transitioning to wet melting inconsistent snow with slush in some spots.
Boots: Burton Imperial, Burton Hail
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Diode, Flux SF
Set Up: A little setback, about 22.5-23″ wide 15 front -6 back and 15 front -15 back just about centered
Approximate Weight: Super light and it’s the kind of board that defines the top of the light board spectrum. If you geek out on weight this is your board. I thought the 2015 Aviator is light but the Ultra Aviator is insanely light. It’s probably the lightest board I tried this year.
On Snow Feel: Nice stable ride that feels aggressive but not catchy. It’s got more of a hybrid camber feel than camber even though it’s mainly just a camber board with the sides turned up in the tip/tail. It might just be me but it seems like there might be some rocker in the nose in addition to the lifted sides. It also feels like it’s a little less aggressive than the regular aviator.
Turn Initiation: Lively and semi-quick edge to edge. You have to know what you are doing and have the right size as I did with the 156 and then you will be able to turn this board pretty quick. It almost borders on being easy turning. Short radius turns to wider radius turns are pretty fun and it’s the kind of board that never makes turning all day boring.
Flex: Feels a little softer but just as lively as the regular aviator. It actually butters pretty well for me but I’m not too light for my height. I think I was pushing 205 about this time.
Edge Hold: Nice grip even in hard morning spring snow. Also, it didn’t grab at all even in thicker messy soft snow.
Powder: This is a pretty good powder board. It’s not as easy as the Jones Mountain Twin but it’s got some good float for a mostly camber board.
Carving: So this is a fun board to carve but it’s a little washy the more you lean into it. It seems like the turned up sides of the tip and tail take a little bit out of the carve. It’s hard to explain but it feels like it’s going to take more effort to turn but then it turns easier than the effort you put in the turn. That can lead to it washing out with the tip/tail lifted on the sides. It’s not as bad as Bataleon’s All Mountain to Freeride TBT but it’s missing something that the hybrid camber Jones boards have as well as any true camber board has.
Speed: Didn’t feel as fast as the regular aviator. The base had a nice glide to it but there are sacrifices to make a board so light.
Uneven Terrain: Pretty easy in uneven snow or end of the day chopped up groomer snow.
Switch: Better than I thought switch but it’s definitely different.
Jumps: This isn’t really a board to lap the park with but it’s got really snappy pop to it and it’s fine for launching off on a cliff.
Jibbing: No thanks!
Pipe: I didn’t get to try this in a pipe but it seems like it would be really fun for directional riding. It’s just not ideal for those that really rip the pipe and prefer to land or take off switch.
So all in all this is a really fun lively board but Ultralight boards always worry me. Most of my experience with boards like this is you pay a big price for this weight. You get more chatter, it’s less reliable and it’s more expensive. If you have knee issues or are a real weight geek then this could work for you. However, most riders who are into this board would probably be better off with the regular Aviator.
Jones Ultra Aviator Specs
Jones Ultra Aviator Images
Jones Company Information
Jones Ultra Aviator User Reviews
Good where it needs to be (Ultra Aviator 156)
So I bought this board, around April 2015 as an end of the season sale. I work at Windward Boardshop in Chicago, and my boss went to SIA that year telling us at the store how this was one of the boards he liked the most. I kept his feedback in mind, and once this board went on spring sale for 40% off, I snatched one. I have never owned a board that high end before and I was really hoping it would be worth the hype.
On the Snow feel: As Jones claims, this board is very light indeed. Light in the right places though, the tip and tail are super light and flexible while the core of the board seems to be pretty stiff. When riding, this really comes in handy on uneven terrain, such as moguls, bumps etc… All the extra flex on both ends of the board make the ride a little more maneuverable and adaptable to not-so-ideal situations. I have never ridden the regular aviator, but based on others reviews I assume this board would be a lot easier to manage in bumpy/chundery conditions. I have owned a Flasghip in the past though, and I can say that the Ultra Aviator is a better resort board than the Flasgship, giving you a lot more flexibility while maintaining a high performance level on groomers, trees and powder.
Turn Initiation: Owning this board for an extended period of time, made me understand it a lot better. During my first days with the Ultra I set my bindings with the recommended regular stance width (around 23') and I really did not feel the board responded that great. So one day while preparing for a powder day at Copper I decided to shorten my stance to 22' and set it back a little. Huge difference! While riding groomers to get to the good fluffy stuff, I noticed the board being super quick edge-to-edge on both low and high speeds, and the same thing happened when I was riding powder. I am not that tall (5'8 and boot size 9), so the shorter stance and the set back really helped. At first, I thought this board was going to be too wide for me, and it would not turn as fast as I would want to due to its 25.3cm waist width, but after adjusting the stance everything changed for the better. Therefore I would strongly recommend for those who are going to ride this board or even the regular Aviator, to set it back and not follow the suggested stance that Jones suggests (if you want a more responsive ride).
Speed: One of my fears was that this board would get chattery when riding fast. I come from a racing background, and I need a board that is VERY stable going fast. Some say that this board is not as stable as the regular Aviator, and even though that might be true, I would say it is definitely stable enough. When at A-basin riding icy morning groomers early April I reached 62mph on this board, riding with confidence. The edge hold was also precise and trustworthy without being catchy or too grippy (thanks to Jones’ mellow magne-traction). If you like to bomb down the hill, relax and enjoy the ride! The base is super fast, I believe Jones calls it Sintered 9900 or something like that. That is their higher-end base, the same that they use on the flagship and some other models, so traversing through cat trails with this board is as easy as it gets.
Powder: No problems here, great float and response as long as you set it back. It felt very above the snow, and the little extra width definitely made things easier for me.
Carving: Super fun. All that camber gives you a great spring out of the turn, and euro carves are also a blast. This board is a great carver and loves morning groomers.
I am not a park rider, jibber, or a guy that loves to ride switch therefore I am not comfortable giving folks any feedback regarding that.
Conclusion: Great one board solution if you can bring (or own) only one board to the hill, as long as you set it back. If you do, enjoy the powerful, speedy, surfy ride and have a blast! Cheers!
I have been snowboarding for 20 plus years on an ageing Burton Charger 156 board that I have dearly loved. But time was catching up with the board (as it is me) so I decided to look for a new board. I spent many hours researching (including a lot of time watching the Good Ride videos and reviews) and narrowed it down to the Jones Ultra Aviator or the Ride HighLife UL. I couldn't get the Ride HighLife UL anywhere in Europe, so the Jones Ultra Aviator it was.
Next the size. I was influenced greatly by James from the Good Ride reviews and even emailed him for advice. After a few very helpful emails I went with the 156 rather than the 161 (everyone said get the 161 except James). What a great choice.
This board is light, which really helps me as I have dodgy knees. The 156 is very quick edge to edge and turning is a breeze, even in tight situations or uneven snow I found it very responsive and quick. The edge hold is amazing. Speeding down steep icy blacks was no problem and I never felt that the edge would give or give me trouble, which was great. In deeper snow my time is limited so far, as we just haven't really had the snow in Italy yet, but the few runs I have managed it has been run and responsive and fairly easy to go through the powder without me feeling that I am fighting the board.
The board is fast enough for me. I like speed and often board between 85kmph and 100kmph when given the chance and an empty run and this board feels very stable. You do know you have a board on your feet but nothing bad. I have never felt like I have ever even come close to pushing this board to the maximum, which is great and hopefully this board will last me a while!
One thing to note is that you do have to be on your game most of the time. Even with 20+ years snowboarding this board has dumped me on my arse a couple of times when I have not been fully engaged.
Overall this is a truly excellent board, great responsiveness, good speed, great edge hold and a board you can take all over the mountain.
A special thanks to James from the Good Rise team for taking the time out of his day to provide me with some excellent advice.