Burton Free Thinker 2020 Review
The Burton Free Thinker is a medium flexing, traditional camber twin board, which is exactly the type of ride I like. It is one of the two of Danny Davis’ boards, while the other Deep Thinker has a directional shape and directional camber. These sit in the middle of the Burton range, with decent features, and are made at SWS factory in Dubai. It has a very nice ride, with the regular camber feel and pop, with a fast base and a light weight.
Features of the Burton Free Thinker
The original, traditional profile that gives you strong edge hold, a solid feel at speed and plenty of pop.
- Twin Shape
A symmetrical shape, so there is no difference if you are riding it regular or switch.
- Twin Flex
Just like the shape, the board has a symmetrical flex pattern (where some boards might have a stiffer tail but still have a twin shape).
- Super Fly 700g Core
Burton’s middle of the range core, that is made up of a mix of stronger and lighter woods, to give is a light and responsive feel, that is still strong.
- Dualzone EGD
Along the edges of the board, the wood used in the core changes direction, which is made to try and give the board extra strength, especially along the edges.
This is the name of the core profiling that Burton use. It has thinner sections under the bindings and between your feet, and thicker sections outside the bindings for extra strength.
- 45 Degree Carbon Highlights
There is a carbon layer made into the fiberglass layers of the board, that gives the board a more aggressive ride.
- Sintered WFO Base
A hard and fast sintered material, that comes infused with wax from the factory.
- The Channel
The way that Burton mount bindings (as well as Endeavour and some Signal boards), that give you more options for stance widths, and more options for tiny angle changes if you have EST bindings.
- Frostbite Edges
The edges of the board extend out slightly under the bindings, which give you some extra edge hold on hardpacked snow and ice.
- Super Sap Epoxy
The epoxy is made with bio-based materials, that reduces the carbon footprint by 50% compared to the all-petroleum epoxies.
The thinner nose and tail makes the board a little easier to spin and move around.
- 157cm Wide
- 160cm Wide
How it Rides
Board size: 154cm
Boots: Salomon Launch Boa 27.5
Bindings: Burton Mission (Re:Flex)
This review is based on me riding the 2020 Burton Free Thinker, which was set up with my normal binding angles of +12 on the front, and -9 on the back. Although it was a twin board, I rode with the back bindings mounted at the reference point, and the front binding a couple of notches narrower. The snow conditions were quite good, with a little bit of fresh snow around, and nicely packed groomers.
Traditional camber give the Free Thinker a very familiar feel, with a solid and stable feel.
Flex and Pop
It is rated as having a medium flex, and that felt exactly right to me. It never felt like a stiff plank, and it still flexed nicely when I wanted to. The pop that I could get out of the Free Thinker was great, to me it was just the right amount. Pushing hard on the tail would mean the board would snap back nicely, making big ollies really easy.
Although it has the Frostbite edges (extended out under your feet a little bit), I think that it would be the traditional camber profile that is doing 99% of the work. I didn’t have any problems holding an edge at all, the whole way through a turn felt very strong and reliable. After a just a few laps on the Free Thinker I started coming into turns much faster that normal, knowing that it would hold an edge without a problem.
I didn’t get to ride it in proper deep snow, though I wouldn’t have expected much from it anyway. It is on the shorter length of boards that I ride, and the full camber means that it wouldn’t have been doing me any favours in powder anyway.
It has a nice sintered base, and I had just waxed it so there were no problems keeping my speed up, even on long flat sections of cat tracks.
- Sintered Base
- Keith Haring graphics
- No major cons
The Burton Free Thinker is a very solid all around freestyle board. It would definitely suit park riders who want a poppy and stable board that can handle jumps easily, but it still has a nice flex that makes it fun to ride around if you are just cruising. It shares quite a lot of features with the Burton Custom, but being a proper true twin, so it makes sense that it rides so nicely.
Although it uses the Channel, almost all new bindings should be able to be mounted on it without a problem. If you like the sounds of the Free Thinker, but want something that would do a bit better in powder, and don’t ride much switch, the directional version the Deep Thinker is worth having a look at.
Similar boards that would be a good option:
Burton Free Thinker 2020 Technical Specs
|Length||Effective Edge (mm)||Setback (mm)||Waist Width (mm)||Sidecut (m)||Weight Range (lbs)||Weight Range (kg)|