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Burton Hometown Hero 21/22

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Until now I've always used my Kessler SL 156 at resorts, because it rips like nothing else, and it's at least ridable in 30cm of fresh on a resort base. I'd not take it into heli terrain, because it's terrible in bottomless powder. On the other hand every powder board I've ridden to date has been ugly on piste. Mostly they feel too wide to edge well on hardpack, unhelpful at speed and even in bumps. That's left me carrying two boards, one of each type.

Until now.

The other week Covid changed my plans and left me at a resort without my Kessler. A mate saved the day and lent me a brand new stock Hometown Hero. We waxed it up and headed for the first chair on a powder day...

  •  Category: Freeride + Powder
  •  Sizes: 144, 148, 152, 156, 156W, 160, 160W, 165W
  •  Shape: Directional  Profile: Setback Camber Base: Sintered
  •  Rider: 45-68Kg


Ridden with F2 race/ Atomic Backlands/ Phantom springs/ 35-45

They offer a lot of sizes, something I'm a big fan of as I think matching rider and board flex is critical. Fortunately the 148 was perfect for my 62Kgs of hard boot aggression. I use a slightly narrower stance than Burton's reference, and ride centered on reference for Burton boards.

In 20+cms of fresh and steep Whistler "powder" the board ripped fresh tracks whilst the wannabes queued for Spanky’s. That's not really much of a test though: I could ride that on the Kessler after all.

Once that was tracked out we retreated to the cut up snow of Blackcomb's pistes where to my surprise the board ripped. The last powder board I'd ridden here (the Dump Truck) was ridable but not even close to the feel of the Kessler. This was much closer. I'm not sure why it was so much better: if you put the Dump Truck and the Hero back to back their profiles are remarkably similar. Perhaps it's the "carbon" construction. Whatever, it took a while to adapt to it, but over a few days I found I could push the board harder and harder. It ripped at everything from short hard turns through long to carved circles... and it didn't miss a beat. I'm sure the Kessler is sharper and quicker, but this is entirely viable as a piste board.

All that made me concerned for how the board would work in "proper" powder, the sort which isn't on top of a piste or base made by thousands of Epic Pass holders. My heli had Covid (seriously), so I wasn't sure I'd get to work this one out this trip. Fortunately an old mate who drops bombs at Big White came to the rescue with a few days of fresh and dry snowfall and no crowds.

As my mate opened the pistes we ran multiple laps off Gem Lake, easy with 30cm or so of fresh. The trees there were ridable but in need of a bit more in-fill to be safe. The next day we opened pistes off the Cliff Chair in classic Big White Out conditions - freezing fog and challenging visibility. The top sections were "heli like" - steep, deep, no obvious bottom, dry snow. Proper powder. By then I'd forgotten about the board, so it definitely works there too.

So there you go. A board which can do both on and off piste in style. I'm keeping this one, and look forward to not having to carry my race board around quite so much any more.


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  • 2 months later...

A minor update... I just took the Hometown hero out for a spin to Lake Louise/ Blue River/ Sun Peaks/ Whistler. That's the first time I didn't carry my Kessler SL and enjoyed riding hardpack. 

My heli operator happened to have a 148 Hometown hero just like mine, so I took theirs out for a week or so of heli terrain (boards get scratched in the baskets, so it's better to use theirs if you can - you pay for it anyway). The snow was warmer than the best, but we had everything from "upside down" snow through a bit of wind crust through creamy stuff and more than enough face shots .... and the board ripped. I didn't feel inclined to swap it for anything else. 

I'm not sure why this one works better than previous generation Burton powder boards, and specifically that it works in both "bottomless" powder and on piste... but it does.



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Double Dog: well it's a good name. Looks a bit fishy, but there's one way to find out (and there's nothing wrong with a Fish). I was never a Flight Attendant fan, but the others I rode (Super Model v1 only) and none of them seemed any good on piste... even my last "Dump Truck", which has a shape not dissimilar to this, was rubbish on the piste. The Skeleton Key was like this in powder, but I never tried it on piste.

But this thing... I'm not sure why, but it works really well for both uses: powder and piste. That said, I was riding with someone the other day and he was a good rider on a Fish, but didn't like the HH, so it's all what works for each....

I look forward to hearing if the Double Dog is good... and I'll try to ride one if someone has one handy somewhere 😉

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  • 1 year later...

One more on the Hometown Hero... I was riding this in Verbier a few days ago and bumped into Steve Klassen, who was mucking about with the FWT comp they were setting up. Anyway, he said he'd designed the HH, pretty much as a "Verbier" board. Not sure if that's true or not, but it certainly works well on everything there from the hardpack to the untracked. I think hard boots were made for this flex pattern. Still on the 1.44 here. 



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Guy in my area is selling a lightly used “Mystery Hometown Hero” but he’s asking an astronomical fortune. Looking on their website it seems crazily priced. Have you tried a Mystery version?

I’d love to grab any HH and give it a try, but being more expensive than a Coiler hasn’t let me pull the trigger as of yet….

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I have not had the chance. I don't think I'd be paying extra unless I'd actually had an A:B comparison and knew what the difference is - and they don't say. I'm a big fan of the standard board, but I'd not pay extra without knowing the deal. I think some of those esoteric boards may be give-aways for people who are connected, I'm not sure.

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