The Hometown Hero and the Custom are two of Burton’s most popular boards. While the Custom has been around forever, the Hometown Hero is only just entering its 4th year.
Not only are these two boards some of the best-selling in the Burton line, but they are also some of the most widely ridden by the Burton pro team. So what makes them so good, and how are they different from each other?
An All-Mountain board with a directional shape. Suitable for more aggressive, advanced rider
Perfectly balanced powder board that rides like a twin on the groomers.
|Camber||Traditional Camber||Camber Rocker|
|Shape||Directional Twin||Freeride Directional|
Read my full review on the Hometown Hero
The Hometown Hero has a directional shape with a setback stance, giving it a longer nose than tail. The nose of the board is also wider than the tail, with a taper of 12mm from tip to tail.
Although it has a very directional shape, it is surprising how centered and twin it feels on hard snow. This is achieved by centering the sidecut with the stance so that the narrowest part of the board is right between your feet.
The Custom’s shape is what Burton are calling All-Mountain Directional. The board has a slightly longer nose than tail, which gives it more float in powder and soft snow.
However, between the contact points (where the edges come into contact with the snow), it’s actually a true twin. This means, on groomers, you will feel no difference riding in you your natural stance or switch.
Both boards have traditional reverse camber profiles between the bindings, meaning both boards rise up in the center between bindings and touch down at the tip and tail contact points.
The Custom has a traditional camber shape, giving greater control and precision at higher speeds. The downside of this shape is that you have to work harder to keep the nose up in the powder.
The Hometown Hero has camber between the feet but with rocker in the nose so that it lifts up out of the snow. This makes it great for powder, but shortens the effective length on hardpack.
Both boards have a twin flex, meaning the rigidity is symmetrical along the board’s length, so the board’s tail is as stiff as the nose. This gives both boards a more freestyle, playful feel.
Both boards have the same construction
- Top glass 0°/UDG & +/- 45° stitched
- Bottom glass 0°/ carbon & +/- 45° stitched
However, the glass layers on the two boards are slightly different, creating two different feeling boards. The Hometown Hero is slightly softer, torsionally between the bindings than the Custom. This makes the Hometown Hero a little bit more maneuverable and easier for quick turns at lower speeds.
Both boards have a high-grade, WFO sintered base that runs super fast, holds wax well, and is tough enough to withstand a few rocks.
How the riding compares?
As we have discovered, there are quite a few differences in the shape and camber of the two boards. The Custom is a directional twin, camber board, whereas the Hometown Hero is a fully directional board with rocker and a nose that is 12mm wider than the tail.
However, because the boards have a very similar flex, and are both camber boards under the bindings, they can feel quite similar.
The Hometown hero is a nice ride on groomed snow. The camber gives it a nice pop and allows it to carve well. The early rocker in the nose shortens the effective edge length making it easy to turn, and reduces the chances of you catching your edge.
I found the flex to be a little softer than the Custom making it easier to turn at low speed or to link up quick turns if you are riding in the trees.
The Custom is a much more high-performance board on the groomers than the Hometown Hero. Its full camber and stiff flex make it one of the best all-mountain boards available – and one of my favorite all-time snowboards.
The Custom definitely comes out on top when it comes to freestyle and riding the park. Its twin shape means it rides switch the same as your regular stance, and its balanced, twin flex gives it a nice, predictable pop.
Although the Hometown Hero is not designed for the park, it is surprisingly versatile for what is essentially a powder board. Like the Custom, it has a twin flex allowing it to ride switch better than you would expect. And although it’s not a park board, you can definitely take a few laps through the jumps. If you are looking for a more park-orientated all-mountain board, the Process would be a better choice.
The Hometown Hero is one of my favorite boards in the pow! Its wide nose floats easily above the snow, meaning you give your back leg a rest. Some powder boards can feel a little lifeless, but this board has loads of pop and feels snappy out of the turn. For a board that performs great all over the mountain, I would still rate it as one of the best powder snowboards available!
The Custom has a slight setback stance, so it cuts through the snow a little easier, but you will have to work a little harder in deep snow.
Which one would I choose?
These are two of my favorite boards, so choosing between them is not easy! I owned several Customs over the years, and for me it is the ultimate do-everything board. I’ve ridden the Hometown Hero on a few powder days, and I’d say it beats the Custom hands-down in the deep stuff. So ideally, I would have one of each; the Custom for everyday riding and the Hometown Hero for powder days.
If I had to pick just one, It would come down to the type of resort and snow I’d be likely riding. I live in Switzerland, where we have awesome mountains but don’t get that many powder days in the season. So for me, the Custom is the obvious choice.
However, if I lived in the Whistler, or Mount Baker or Japan, where it seems every other day is a powder day, I would go for the Hometown Hero.