Burton Skeleton Key 2020 Review
The Burton Skeleton Key is a directional shaped board, that has a pretty good mix of camber and rocker which makes it a good board for all-mountain riding.
Features of the Burton Skeleton Key
Rocker on the nose for extra float in deep snow, and smooth entry to turns. Traditional camber throughout most of the board for a solid and stable feel, with good edge hold and pop.
Freeride Directional Shape
Burton’s name for their more shaped boards, which have a wider and longer nose, and a shorter and narrower tail.
The nose of the board is 10mm wider than the tail, which helps make the start and end of turns smooth and easy, and also helps the nose float and the tail sink in deep snow.
A stiffer flex in the tail of the board.
Super Fly II 700G Core
A medium range core, that is a mix of light and strong woods.
Along the edges of the board, the wood grain runs from edge to edge (rather than from nose to tail), to help add to the strength of the board and help the edge hold.
The name that they use for profiling the core, which means that there are thick and thin parts throughout the board. The idea is that it reduces weight where the board doesn’t need it, and adds strength and pop in the thicker sections. It is thinner under your feet, with thicker stronger areas just outside of the bindings.
Three directions of glass, that give the board a bit more torsional (twisting) strength.
Sintered WFO Base
Except for one crazy one, this is one of Burton’s better sintered bases, that comes with wax infused in the base.
On pretty much every Burton board, the channel gives you more options for stance width, and if you use their EST bindings you can pretty much choose any angle that you want for your bindings. Almost all major bindings will be able to be mounted to Channel boards without a problem now.
A more friendly resin, that means there is less of a carbon footprint when comparing it to petroleum based epoxies.
Thinner nose and tail thickness, which helps make the board a little lighter.
The boards are “broken in” on a machine that flexes them in the factory, which means that your board shouldn’t change too much the more you ride it.
How the skeleton key Rides
Board size: 158cm
Boots: Salomon Launch Boa SJ 27.5
Bindings: 2020 Burton Mission (Medium)
This review is based on me riding the 2020 model, in a mix of deep light snow, and on soft groomers.
Technically, the board has regular or traditional camber throughout most of the board, and then rocker on the nose to help turns and float in deeper snow. When I had a close look at the board I rode, it seemed almost like a completely regular camber board, putting pressure on the board on a flat surface didn’t raise the nose any earlier, so it looks like the rocker or float is just being helped buy the length of the nose.
As for how it rode, it felt just like a regular camber board, and very similar to how the Burton Custom rides.
Flex and Pop
The combination of regular camber, and a stiffer tail gives the Skeleton Key good pop, and means that riding fast, or in deep snow you can push the board hard and rely on the tail to hold everything together.
Although there is definitely enough flex to handle harder riding on chopped up snow, it never feels too stiff or restrictive.
I was able to ride the Skeleton Key in nice conditions, so although the groomers were fairly soft, it held a very good edge even at high speed. I would guess that a board like this with regular camber, taper and a stiffer tail to hold a good edge when the snow gets hard or icy.
The Skeleton Key was fun in deep snow, you can see the longer nose doing its job in deep snow. The shorter tail means that it isn’t hard to make quick unplanned turns in deep snow without it feeling like you are getting forced into a wide turn, and it means your back leg doesn’t get too tired either.
The Sintered WFO base is nice and fast, and I had no problem getting my speed up or keeping it, even in light and dry snow.
- Good medium flex
- Solid camber feel
- Nothing major that gave me any problems, I really liked the Skeleton Key.
I think that the shape might turn some people off the Skeleton Key, just because they might assume that it is a pretty full on powder board with the long nose and shaped tail, but that isn’t the case at all. Even with the super directional look, it has a very similar feel to the much more regular looking Burton Custom.
The big nose doesn’t really seem to chatter, and riding fast on groomed runs you don’t notice the shorter tail, the extra stiffness makes it ride just like a twin board.
Smooth turns, good float in deep snow and a solid but not catchy camber feel make it a good choice for someone who wants one board to ride everywhere.
Burton Skeleton Key 2020 Technical Specs
|Length||Effective Edge (mm)||Setback (mm)||Waist Width (mm)||Sidecut (m)||Weight Range (lbs)||Weight Range (kg)|