Burton Easy Livin Flying V Snowboard Review: Some Big Shoes to Fill

It was a sad day when I found out that the Uninc team would be dissolved, and the iconic snowboard that pushed the envelope of possibilities would be mothballed. 9 out of 10 legit snowboarders will tell you that the Burton Uninc was a game-changing board (or hyped as such).

From a Burton perspective, I view the Uninc series as a serious quantum shift similar to when they went from Performer to Mystery Air or the introduction of the first Custom. Naturally, when I heard that the Easy Livin would replace the Uninc, I had some serious expectations. Siriouz! Unfortunately, I was let down.

So I was very curious to try the Easy Livin Flying V (the cool kids call it the “ELFV”), the version that Danny Davis (one of the last remaining Uninc riders) rode all last season to some serious pipe and slopestyle wins. The board is fully loaded with Burton’s latest technology, including the Flying V hybrid rocker, which combines camber and rocker. I’m a pretty big fan of the idea of the hybrid rockers based on my experience with the Never Summer SL-R. And to up the ante, for 2011, Burton will be including Flying V on many of its popular boards.

Locations: Wachusett, Stratton, Bolton Valley
Conditions: I rode the ELFV a few times. Conditions were a mixed bag from corduroy to bulletproof ice to foot-deep pockets of powder in the trees.
Set-up: Easy Livin Flying V 155, Malavita ESTs, Burton Jeremy Jones

Initial Thoughts: 

This board won Transworld Snowboarding’s Good Wood for 2010 (so it must be good, right? Riiiight). Out of the wrapper, it looks slick. Like any Burton board, the topsheet glistens and the base looks fast with a super slick graphic. The board also incorporates Burton’s GMP program to recycle and reduce waste. In my opinion, the rocker is pretty massive/extreme for a hybrid camber board. When I flipped over the board over and took a look, I almost mistook it for V-rocker.

Day 1:
This board is light. The base is fast. It feels pretty good once you strap in. Riding the board is pretty fun. The board is easy to ride right outta the box. It doesn’t catch or hook up when spinning on flat land or in the air. And it felt pretty comfortable in the park, on a few boxes, and off some logs.

As expected, ollieing and high speed carves took a bit of a technique adjustment, but they were doable. After my first day, I found myself riding comfortably, but I wasn’t overly impressed. I had hyped this board up a lot in my mind ever since I peeped Danny Davis’ at the Dew Tour, and sad to say it wasn’t quite living up to my expectations.

Day 2:

Brought the board up to Stratton for a little bit of posh shred. Conditions were perfect groomed corduroy with some small stashes of mini-pow on the sides, no ice to be found. Again, did the usual stuff: high speed carves, slashes, ollie pops, 180s, some flatland 3’s and a few trips through the mini-SBX course that they had set up. The board performed, but I still found myself yawning at the bottom of each run, yearning for more. The rest of my time at Stratton was spent on a YES.

Day 3:
It’s been snowing constantly for the last few days at Bolton Valley. Before that, there was a big storm so there was a lot of snow in the trees. I immediately beelined it to the trees. Things were tight with some unexpected drops and some secret (and not so secret) log jibs. The Flying V allowed me to ride through the pow (with some pockets of foot deep snow) with a centered, 23″ stance on a 155 board. That’s pretty awesome. It had a nice, skatey feel in the pow. I wouldn’t call it quite a surfy feel. I will say, that I found myself needing to lean back more than I’ve had to in the past on a hybrid camber or full-on reverse camber board.

Summary:
The board performs pretty well in all conditions. On the ELFV, I found myself throwing more and more flatland 360s with no fear of scorpions. As the jumps get bigger, I can’t wait to try this thing off some serious hucks.

I expected this board to be an 09 Uninc (one of my fav boards) on steroids with the benefits of a hybrid rocker aka railing through turns yet the forgiveness of rocker for pow and spins. It didn’t quite hit that loft goal.I can’t really complain about the board, but I also found this review really hard to write because there were no clear distinguishing traits, good or bad. I’d say that most snowboarders will be really happy with this board. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the hype. If I had to give it a “star rating” or anything like that, I’d give it an 7.5 out of 10 with some serious “yawn factor.”

The Hoon scouts report that supposedly the 2011 version has all new Flying V and is a blast to ride. We’ll let you know as soon as we try it out.

Tech:
Frostbite edges
PDE
The Channel
Negative Core Profile
Park Fly 2 Core
10:45 sidewalls
Sintered Vision Base
Elliptical kicks
Pro-tip
Directional core, twin shape
Scoop tip and tail (interestingly not listed in the tech specs on Burton.com)

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