Question – Hey, I am an intermediate rider and have been looking at getting a new board for this season. I have an old board that I think is a rocker. So far I have narrowed it down to the Burton Custom or the Burton Process, and I want a board that is going to be fun to ride everywhere, and I do want to start riding in the park and learning some tricks. Which one do you think would be better?
There isn’t an easy answer, just because there are quite a few versions of each board, with each one going to suit a different style of riding.
Quick run down
The Custom comes in a few versions – the regular camber version, Flying-V and the Twin (though they have gotten rid of the twin for the 2018 season). The camber Custom is one of the most famous snowboards, that has hardly changed of the last 20 or so years because they the design right then and it still works just as well as ever. Being camber, it has a more responsive ride, which means it has better edge hold on ice, more pop and is very stable when you are riding it at high speed. If you haven’t ridden camber before, it has a “catchier feel”, which doesn’t suit beginners.
The easier version to ride is the Flying-V, which is a hybrid design that has sections that are camber and sections that are rocker, to try and give you the best of both worlds. You end up with a board that is easier to turn, easier to move around, but has less pop and is less stable at speed. Basically just a toned down and easier to ride version of the popular original Custom.
Both of those versions of the Custom have the same directional shape, twin flex and are made to be an all-mountain board that can be ridden anywhere.
Although it isn’t in the 2018 line, you would still be able to find the Custom Twin, that is different again. It is focused more as a park board, and has a few small features that give it some advantages in the park compared to the other models. Like you would be able to guess from the name, the Custom Twin is a twin board, which means that it will ride exactly the same in the regular direction as it does in switch. The twin shape is going to help people who ride more park and spend a lot of time riding or landing switch. The Custom Twin has the PurePop camber, which is a slightly mellower version of traditional camber. It has the traditional camber profile between your feet, that changes out to flat at the contact points, which gives the board a looser and more forgiving ride, but still keeps its pop and stability.
Special for 2018, there is the Custom Kilroy edition, which is a version made by the Kilroy team. It has a different design, and a different nose and tail. Overall it is very similar to the normal camber Custom, but is a whole lot cheaper.
So that is nice and confusing, before we even look at the Process.
Comparing it to the Custom, the Process is a softer flexing board, that has a twin shape.
For the 2018 season, the Process comes in 4 versions. There is the regular camber version, the Flying-V, Off-Axis and a special Kilroy model.
Burton Process Camber
Burton Process Flying V
Burton Process Off-Axis
Burton Process Kilroy
The regular camber version is the most aggressive of the lot, that has the most pop and stability. The Flying-V has a more forgiving ride, but the trade off is you get less pop. The Off-Axis version is different again, in that it has the PurePop camber profile, but also has the their Off-Axis core profiling. Last of all is the Kilroy Process, which is a camber version, that has a much different look and a cutout on the nose and tail of the board.
How do you choose between them?
No matter the versions, the Customs have a stiffer flex than the Process. If you are looking for an all mountain board, you might want to lean towards the Custom, which has the directional shape and stiffer flex which is going to help your riding at high speeds. Don’t be sacred if you want to ride it switch though, the directional shape isn’t going to give you any problems if you are riding it switch.
In terms of difficulty to ride, the Flying-V versions are going to be the easiest, the PurePop a little harder and the Camber versions the hardest (though most rewarding). It’s good to be honest with your riding ability, but don’t be afraid to get a board that is going to help you push your riding to the next level. Even if you don’t have much experience with camber, it’s a great style to ride and will give you back as much as you put into it. If you don’t want to make the leap to full camber, the PurePop versions are a nice in between style.
In terms of park riding, if you want to spend more time doing jumps in the park, the stiffer Custom might be a better choice, and if you want to hit a few more rails than jumps, the softer flex of the Process will be easier. Don’t get too confused, both boards can easily ride anything, and a quick search will show you people riding either who are killing it. Chances are you have seen Mark McMorris doing triple corks on his Process.
All the boards have a sintered base, so there are no clear winners there. The Custom has a Sintered WFO base, which is better, but not by a huge amount.
If you want to save a bit of money, the Kilroy versions in each of those boards are definitely the best value for money – they get the same overall features, but with a different graphic/design, and a cheaper price tag.
Out of all those versions, I would choose the Burton Process Off-Axis. The PurePop camber profile gives you the good parts of camber – it keeps the board stable, still gives you plenty of pop for ollies, and the flat sections give it a bit more forgiveness for when you mess up a spin or are learning a new trick. The sintered base will keep the board moving fast, especially if you keep it waxed, and the price is reasonable. If you are looking for any of these boards, have a search on this page to see what shops are selling them for the cheapest price.