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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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