Now in its fourth year, the Hometown Hero is quickly becoming Burton’s most popular all-mountain powder board. Having previously owned the 2021 version of this board, I was keen to take the newest model out for a few laps. Here are my thoughts on the Burton Hometown hero 2023.
A unisex board aimed at guys and gals looking for a board to ride all over the mountain, but where this board really comes to life is in the powder.
What I liked
- Playful flex pattern
- Carving on groomers
- Occasional park laps
- Surprisingly good riding switch
What I didn’t like
- Boring graphics?
- A little pricey
How I tested this board
- My height: 5’9
- My weight:165lbs
- Conditions: Cold, chopped-up powder.
I rode this board in Verbier, Switzerland, a few days after it had snowed 3ft. With cold temperatures, the conditions were still awesome.
I spent most of the time riding outside of the groomers in chopped-up powder, searching out some fresh lines. I also rode the groomers, which were in great condition, laying down some carves and looking for side hits. I was able to test out the edge hold towards the end of the day when things started to get a little icy towards the end of the day. I took the board for a few laps through the park, hitting the small to medium jumps and a few rails and boxes.
Here is an overview of the technical details of the board, for a more detailed view of the specs for each size of board, click here
|Camber profile||Traditional camber with early rocker in the nose|
|Flex||6/10 twin flex|
|Width||standard, available in wide version|
|Sizes||144, 148, 152, 156, 160, 156W, 160W, 165W|
The Hometown Hero has Burton’s Freeride Directional shape. This shape has a set-back stance with a sidecut that is centered on the stance. The result is a board that has more nose than tail creating lift in the powder, but with a centered, balanced feel on the groomers.
The board has 12mm of taper, meaning the nose is 12mm wider than the tail. This helps create float in powder by allowing the nose to ride up above the snow whilst the tail sinks a little deeper. 12mm is a significant amount of camber, and some of the most in the Burton freeride range. The downside of lots of taper is that it can cause the board to wash out a little when you really lay them into a carve.
The Hometown Hero has traditional camber between the bindings, meaning the boards rises up in the center between bindings and touches down at the tip and tail contact points.
In front of the front binding, early rocker lifts the nose up out of the snow. This is great for powder, giving extra float over the snow.
Back on the hardpack, the rocker in the nose lifts it clear of the snow, so that the rest of the board that is in contact with the snow is a little shorter and feels much more like a twin.
You get the power and the precision from that camber without any of that directional feel that you have up in the nose. Also, because the stance is centered on the board’s contact area, riding switch feels super easy.
On Burton’s flex rating scale, the Hometown Hero comes in at a 6 out of 10. For an all-mountain/freeride this is a little on the soft side, and there are certainly stiffer boards out there, but the Hometown Hero remains stable at high speeds whilst still retaining its playfulness
The fiberglass layers that wrap around the wood core are beefed up with carbon and set at a 45-degree angle which gives it a really nice torsional rigidity.
In between the feet, it’s still relatively soft flexing making it pretty confidence-inspiring to ride at slower speeds or even just to make quick adjustments when you’re in a tight spot in the trees.
The wood cores that Burton produce are quite different from what you’ll find from a lot of other brands. In addition to the vertical stringers running through the board’s length, the dual-zone construction also places stringers horizontally along the edge, so this gives you some added feel right under your feet, and it allows you to transfer power directly out to the rails of the board.
It’s not just the configuration of the wood stringers but the actual thickness of the core itself that has also been optimized. Burton has milled out the core to varying thicknesses throughout its length, with thinner, more naturally flexing zones directly under foot and then thicker, more reinforced sections outside of both the inserts.
The result of this is a board with improved natural flex, increased ollie power, and loads of stability wherever you find yourself on the mountain.
Underneath all of this is a high-grade sintered base that not only slides really well, but is tough enough to withstand knocks and holds wax.
How it rode
Before I get into how this board performed in different types of terrain and snow
I started of the day with a couple of laps on the groomers to see how the board performed in different types of turns before getting into the soft snow.
For carving I loved this board. The twin flex of the Hometown Hero gives it a really nice, balanced feel in the turn, and the torsional rigidity helps the edge lock into the snow. It’s not a board for really high-performance carving, but for cruisy carve turns around resort, it’s really fun.
For lower-speed skidded turns, it also performs well. The slightly softer torsional flex between the feet allows you to steer the board through tighter turns easily.
This board loves the powder! The wider, longer nose lifts effortlessly out of the snow, giving a really fun, maneuverable ride. Again, it’s maybe a little soft in the tail to be a real hard-charging board, but I can’t think of many boards that I have ridden in the powder that are as much fun.
It’s super maneuverable if you get in a tight spot between the trees. And is stable enough for big blower turns in an open bowl. Maybe not the board to be straight-lining Alaskan chutes…but how many of us get to do that!
Chopped up snow and chunder
These were primarily the conditions that I was riding in when I tested this board, riding lots of chopped-up snow in the search for a fresh pow turn!
The Hometown Hero plowed through mixed conditions effortlessly. The floaty nose rides up and over the snow, and there is enough torsional rigidity to absorb the bumps and hold an edge through the turns.
Before testing this board, I had heard that it performed pretty well in the park. Nonetheless, I was pretty surprised at how nice it was over jumps. As long as you don’t look down at the longer nose, it’s pretty hard to tell if you’re riding switch or not.
It is stable enough to take on the big jump line, and I felt confident enough to throw in a couple of spins.
Not a dedicated park board, but definitely versatile enough for a few park laps once all the powder has been tracked out.
This is one of my all-time favorite snowboards. I can’t think of another board that is as playful and versitile as the Hometown Hero. Whilst Burton classify this as a freeride board, I would say it is more of an All Mountain board that excels in the powder.
I would recomend this board for anyone from intermediate to advanced that is looking for a daily driver board to take all over the mountain. I would only say steer clear of this board if you really are looking for a park-specific freestyle board or if you ride a mountain where there is almost zero chance of getting a powder day (poor you!)