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Burton is synonymous with innovative, solid boards. For a premium price, you can guarantee you’re getting your hands on some of the best the snowboarding market can offer. The Burton Skeleton Key is no exception.

Ultraviolet graphics from Nick Law adorn the fantastic-looking directional base and top. The blunt and tapered shape draws the eye before it is even seen shredding up the mountain slopes. The Longer tapered nose is contrasted by the blunt, split style on the shorter tail.

This is a board that’s comfortable in the powdery snow of the backcountry and perhaps not so suited to a terrain park. It will be a great addition to any quiver as a perfect daily driver.

burton skeleton key review

The tapered directional camber board might not be suited so much to the shredder who likes to ride switch. It isn’t impossible, but it isn’t quite as easy as perhaps another freeride good all-mountain snowboard.

The shape is geared towards a directional ride which is super fun but doesn’t lend itself to riding switch and throwing 180s.

The Burton Skeleton Key features a directional camber bend placing the camber profile under each foot and a rockered nose that keeps the nose out of the powder and delivers a surfy ride.

The deep underfoot camber forces your feet into the snow allowing you to really shove the edges down into hard snow and carve the board with minimal effort.

Burton Skeleton Key Snowboard

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A Detailed Overview of the Burton Skeleton Key Stats

In this Burton skeleton key review, we’re going to take a deep dive into this exciting freestyle snowboard from a widely recognized brand.

To really get an idea of whether or not this is a good board or not, without actually having the pleasure of riding, we need to break down the performance to see if this suits you as a rider.


burton skeleton key snowboard


burton skeleton key snowboard

It is important to check your weight recommendation and waist width when buying your boards. Also, ensure your width works with your snowboard boot size. You don’t want a board that’s too small and doesn’t work with your boot size.

It’s clear to see from these charts that the Skeleton Key is a board made to be ridden with confidence through fresh groomers, and fluffy powder.

The medium flex pairs with the tapered directional shape to give a board feel that is forgiving and versatile when ridden the correct way around.

The Skeleton Key has placed the rider’s stance remarkably far back on the snowboard. The pushed-back positioning of the new snowboard bindings is further accentuated by the hybrid directional shape.

This interesting shape puts a deep camber profile under the feet and then a huge rocker just in front of the feet.

Rear leg stability will keep your weight right at the back of the board, encouraging it to stay afloat and really get some solid turn initiation from the snowboard.

The nature of the Skeleton Key design does not lend itself to the beginner rider. It is a specifically built board for the shedder who knows what they’re doing and the ride they want.

The performance that can come from such a board is exceptional provided you’re comfortable in your boots.

The medium flex encourages buttery runs through terrain parks and down the piste. The Skeleton Key has a much softer flex than some of the other boards in the Burton range such as the revered Custom Flying V.

Being able to bend and pop the board around your line down the slopes gives a fun riding experience that won’t have you fearing your slightest mistake.

Who Is the Burton Skeleton Key Suited To?

Knowing your own snowboarding style and skill level is important before blowing some serious money on a snowboard like this. The Skeleton Key has the potential to be a very fun board, but only if you can stay in control.

The Burton Skeleton Key can tear up groomed runs, be comfortable riding fast on the best powder day and carve up some serious mountain as long as you know what you’re doing.

Burton has designed a board for the rider who is looking to get knee-deep in powder and float around in some soft snow. The setback camber and big front rocker combination give a much quicker turning performance when you’re trying to keep your nose above the snow.

The Skeleton Key still does have the edge control on groomers too. Despite the tapered design, you are still able to really cut the edges into the piste, mostly thanks to the well-positioned camber.

If you’re looking for a board you can get some nice, smooth turns at good speed then you won’t be disappointed.

Due to the nature of the positioning and the semi-split tail, the Skeleton Key is a bit of a hassle on features. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but throwing 180s off features and jumps isn’t exactly what this snowboard was made for. You don’t feel quite as stable when you ride switch out of a trick.

Opening the Door on the Burton Skeleton Key

So you know the basics. The stats make sense and the snowboard suits you and your style to a T. Why choose this freestyle board over the all-mountain board Jones Mind Expander for instance?

In This Burton Skeleton Key review, we can really break down the performance over multiple different types of terrain and in the most commonly used techniques.

Take a look to see how this lives up to what you expect from your next board.


There is no doubt that the Skeleton Key was built to float through the soft stuff. Riders of powder will immediately feel how comfortable this is in deep fresh snow.

The powder performance is assisted by the far back stance combined with the front shape giving a lift and some weight to the back.

This style has been seen in the Burton Branch Manager which also features a front-end rocker with a relatively pushed-back reference stance.

I found that the Skeleton Key is a slightly better bit of kit across the board and still handles powder in a more satisfying and responsive way.

Sitting right back on the tail really lets you get your weight where it needs to be to push down into some deep snow turns.

As a powder board, the Skeleton Key is a great choice it floats beautifully. A good bit of length sits out in front where you sit off-center and lets you ride nose up.

Uneven Terrain Control

For a board model that’s made for the middle ground of the flex scale, it handles the crud and rubble of the end-of-day slopes like a champ.

It has the nimbleness and responsiveness of much stiffer boards and is still able to forgive the bumps and clips that come with a decent through uneven terrain.

The tapered design leaves more edge hold than you would presume, perhaps due to the setback stance. This allows you to open up the speed when you’re able to and nip around the moguls and boulders when you have to take it slowly.

It becomes a forgiving ride when you need to dial it in for slow maneuverability.

The soft flex definitely works in favor of the Skeleton Key, keeping up with its stiff counterparts even in rubbish conditions.

It makes the icy bumps of October crud pretty simple to surf over. You’ll be surprised how easy and quickly it all becomes doable.


Burton has made a fun snowboard to play around with. Of course, you cant anticipate a freeride snowboard to be the next big thing in the snow park, but it’s got enough going for it to not completely rule it out of a couple of big rollers.

skeleton key snowboard


The Skeleton Key has enough pop to have a bit of fun around the slopes and features. The flex lends itself to really winding in some nice air off the back foot and can hold its own as it lifts its weight off the snow.

Stiffer boards often struggle with getting that lift off the back, but it is possible to drive some pretty powerful pops out of the softer flex.

Popping isn’t effortless but you will be surprised at how capable it is when you want to blast off the sides of the slopes.

You can put your weight into the power tucked away in the tail. This is thanks to the Burton Skeleton Key setback stance and a good bit of medium flex.

Small & Big Jumps

The approach is guaranteed to be straight and true with a directional shape like this one so you know you’ll be able to get the speed you need.

The landings are nice and solid too, despite the lack of stiff flex. This is mostly due to the Super Fly ii core which improves pop whilst lowering the weight.


In the air, it’s a stable flight, but I wouldn’t be putting it through too many spins, especially when you may be landing switch.

If you’re looking for a new deck for taking to the air, then I would recommend the Flight Attendant from Burton. That’s a tool that’s made to hit the stratosphere.


The Burton Skeleton Key is great for speed, poppy rides, and deep powdery snowboarding, but due to the tail, it doesn’t like to ride backward. In my opinion, if you’re looking for a park rider you should look elsewhere.

The medium flex won’t absorb as much of the shock over a big kicker and you don’t want to fall from a big height on a softer snowboard.

The stiffness of something like the Flight Attendant is much more suited to soaking up the big height of a large kicker, in my experience. The stiff build helps you help yourself. You don’t want your knees getting damaged when you’re just trying to enjoy getting airborne.

Carving & Turning on a Directional Board

This board is made for powder, so it makes its control quite specific. Getting quick turns in on light snow is where it excels.

skeleton key snowboard


Carving on the Burton Skeleton Key is a dream. The camber gives a gentle flexible pop to S turns and deep carve. The edge hold becomes very evident despite the softness of the carving snowboard.

It is playful and gives a powder board feel even to groomers. Floaty, poppy and a lot of enjoyment can be had whilst feeling confident in your edges keeping their bite.

Skidded Turns

Skidded turns aren’t quite there with the Skeleton Key. Riders looking to swing their board around and push the tail right out won’t find they have a board that responds well.

You would think that something like the Burton Skeleton Key would have the edge hold to really skid through hard snow, but it doesn’t quite handle the terrain the way you may be hoping.

Skidded turns aren’t quite there with the Skeleton Key. Riders looking to swing their board around and push the tail right out won’t find they have a board that responds well.

Can You Ride Switch?

I have mentioned a number of times in this review that due to the bindings being set so far back and the boards’ cut-out tail it doesn’t really lend itself to being ridden switch. It isn’t impossible, but it isn’t the one to learn on either.

The shape helps you get the board spins down into switch, but the tail isn’t kind to the snow when facing down the mountain. Despite the camber on the back of the board, it isn’t perfect and feels a little twitchy.

With a bit of work, you can come out of jumps and buttery spins in switch, but you won’t want to be tearing your way down a mountain in the wrong direction.


Again, this is a board designed to be ridden much more in the powder and slopes than for the jibby fun of a park board.

The medium flex doesn’t mean you can’t jib around, and it’ll take to features well enough but there are many other snowboards out there that will be much more proficient at it.

Being so far back on the tail doesn’t make balancing over a rail the most intuitive thing in the world.

Mountain Speed

As a softer board, you wouldn’t expect absolute speed and control, but honestly, this surpasses expectations. At slower speeds, it can feel quite flexible and hints at a lack of control when you decide to open it up on the big downhills, but this simply isn’t the case.

Once you get the Skeleton Key flying, the edge control is all there, keeping you upright and throwing yourself with confidence into each turn. It’s a nice surprise.

Buttery Butters

Pulling the tail around and popping about for some buttery riding is not a strong point. It feels odd pushing the board around for buttery moves despite the shape and larger rockers at the front.

A Summary of the Skeleton Key

skeleton snowboard

The Skeleton Key is up there with the Flight Attendant for great choices for a powder board that still excels out there on the piste.

Burton makes boards that will cost you a fair price, but for this, you get yourself a bit of the best snowboarding gear that will not only stay relevant year after year but look and feel excellent.

If you’re comfortable on a board and want to hit the powder get yourself a ride on this bad boy.

A Few Final Words From Me

In my Burton Skeleton Key review, I feel I have been able to take a deep dive into a well-loved and revered model. The Burton Skeleton Key is a name that many snowboarders are familiar with, and it’ll be well-recognized no matter where you prefer to ride it.

Burtons’ name has been hard-earned, and they make some of the best slide sticks for every terrain.

Trees, jumps, groomers, and steep bomber slopes are all well within the repertoire of Burton’s catalog. They have a decent selection and a model for any market.

If you want to get yourself on a decent bit of equipment, you could do a lot worse than a Burton board, that’s for sure. Once you have ridden one of theirs, you never really forget it.

Categories: Snowboarding

Leo Gillick

I am Leo Gillick; a snowboarder, wakeboarder, and wordsmith. If I’m not already busy trying out the newest gear or riding the freshest powder, I’m sitting in the nearest cafe writing about it. I’m lucky enough to have been able to find a job that lets me indulge in the things that keep my adrenaline right at the top. Taking the time to share my discoveries of hidden gems, awesome experiences, and my all too common disasters with you is why I love picking up the pen. I know how important every review is to the extreme sports enthusiast, I’ve read my fair share of articles before every little purchase. Ensuring I have the best gear means I can ride the best my body will let me. I can help you make those next decisions.


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