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Jones Hovercraft

posted Feb 13, 2013, 11:29 AM by Italo Balestra   [ updated Jan 23, 2014, 4:15 AM by GoOut Project ]

Every snowboarder dreams to have the right board for the big day.... 
the very deep-powder day! 
However, most "powder boards" (boards designed to perform well in deep-powder snow) are often limited and work well only in those particular conditions. Among a large range of powder boards available today, one gave us the impression of offering a good compromise between high performances in deep snow and versatility on various terrains: the Jones Hovercraft.

We tested the Jones Hovercraft for a whole season in different snow conditions, from powder to more compact snow. Here we give a short overview of the design and performances of this board. 


Beyond the expectations, thanks to its well-studied shape and its compact size, the Hovercraft turns out to be a true all-round board always maneuverable in all snow conditions.

The shape is highly directional. An almost non-existent tail is opposed to a very pronounced nose with a very large surface, which has been dubbed Blunt Nose (BN).
The BN, patented by Jones Snowboards, is a special design of the nose, very massive, almost stumpy, which provides better floating when surfing deep snow.

The rocker is very pronounced and it is only on the nose. The setback is only 2 cm with respect to the center of the camber, but the difference between the nose and the tail is really huge (20 cm)! The design of the Hovercraft, unlike that of many boards devoted to powder, adopt some solutions that allow it to be fairly performing even on hard/compact snow: the stiff tail, the camber, and the well-chosen sidecut radius, for example, contribute to make the Hovercraft an almost "normal" board. This is a peculiarity that you'll appreciate very much if you end up on steep icy traverses searching for powder. 

The construction is a traditional sandwich, robust and easy to repair if damaged. It also features a Mellow Magne-Taction that increases grip on icy or compact snow.


In deep powder the Hovercraft is pure pleasure! You can forget about laying back. The board glides on powder even at minimum speed, thanks also to the rocker. The feeling is similar to that of riding a surfboard on water and, when you look down at your feet, it seems amazing that you can float like that on such a small board! The nose always sticks out of the snow, which also helps a lot in landing jumps. 
The Hovercraft is definitely the board for the Big Day!


Off the field which it is specifically designed for, the Hovecraft amazed us, responding really well. The board curves almost like a "normal" board, the camber makes it distinctly "alive", and thanks to the design of the Mellow Magne-Traction, even on icy slabs it has a very good grip, difficult even to imagine on a board of this kind. On
hard snow, it suffers a bit in the rapid changes of direction. The width
 of 26 cm at the center of the board, which certainly helps floating in deep snow, is not ideal for fast edge transitions. On steep and icy terrains the edges always perfectly stick to the snow giving great confidence, good stability, never sliding unexpectedly, also thanks to the rocker. The short and rigid tail enables safe and powerful braking in all snow conditions.

....Jones Hovercraft Testing...


Simone: I tried the Hovercraft (160 cm) on its favorite ground: a lot of powder snow! What I can say is that you always ride in a very central position without any effort and with no need to lay back on the tail. You never get tired! 
It is a very agile board, even in the woods, with a very long effective edge. On the piste it is also fantastic: fast, reliable, and sufficiently reactive for a camrock. A very easy board!

Franco: I tried the 156 cm on a day of abundant, although a bit "wet" snow. Despite my doubts on the floating ability, given the small size of the board for me (I am 190 cm!), the particular shape of the Hovercraft has proven to be nothing less than exceptional in those conditions. It kept floating beyond expectations and allowing lightning-fast changes of direction even in dense woods, where it has demonstrated to be particularly at ease. Even on the pistes the behavior was better than I expected. In this case, the rather stiff tail coupled with the Magne-Traction allows more than satisfactory performances also on a terrain that is certainly not its favorite.
The fact that I got a positive response despite the undersized board for me, in a sense it was an even more tangible proof of the value of the Hovercraft.
As Jeremy says...."I love Hovercrafting"!

We like Jones snowboards more than many others because they are made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood! The FSC® trademark identifies products that contain wood from forests that are managed responsibly according to strict environmental, social, and economic standards.