Story by Tyler Macleod 2019.04.10

TGR Tested: Burton Family Tree Stick Shift

This board goes fast! It’s got extremely surfy vibes and holds an edge through those tight tree weaves. It would be epic on a deep pow day. - Jaime Vincent

Burton Family Tree Stick Shift
Powder
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In recent years, Burton’s Family Tree project has built a strong reputation for churning out some of the industry’s most innovative powder shapes. Surf-inspired, and paying homage to the freeride prowess of the legendary Craig Kelly, these boards prioritize the search for smooth turns and deep conditions. One of the collection’s flagship female offerings, the Stick Shift is a board meant to be ridden in high gear from the resort to the backcountry. Featuring a distinct directional, swallowtail shape, this daughter of the Family Tree proves to be a worthy addition to any quiver for the advanced intermediate to expert freerider.

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Design:

At just a quick glance, it’s easy to see where the Stick Shift’s strengths lay. A healthy 20 mm taper transitions the wide, powder sniffing nose into a prominent swallowtail, and the flat-to-rocker camber profile complements the board’s overall affinity for deep days. By utilizing Burton’s signature Squeezebox core, which balances thicker sections with thinner, lighter zones, the Stick Shift is able to remain lightweight while still proving snappy and stable. The recycled Sintered WFO base (it stands for Wide F!#@ing Open, by the way), gives this Family Tree Member its signature speed and performance, and also proved to retain wax extremely well. Thanks to the Burton-pioneered Channel System, it’s a breeze to slam the Stick Shift’s stance back when conditions become all-time.

Performance:

Although Burton advertises the Stick Shift as a medium flexing board that leans on the softer side, it actually seemed to rest on the more aggressive end of the spectrum, according to our tester. As Jaime Vincent commented, “The Stick Shift is definitely a stiffer board, so it demands a powerful powder rider for maximizing fun.” And despite its lack of camber, Vincent found the flat-to-rocker shape to feel just as stable, if not more, than other positively cambered boards on the market. Overall, the Stick Shift proved to be a full-throttle board that simultaneously exudes a surfy demeanor. It’s a ride that can slash around in lower gear, while still having the performance under the hood to open things up when needed or desired.

Photo by: Eric Parker
Photo by: Eric Parker
Photo by: Eric Parker
Photo by: Eric Parker

Who's it for?

Like the majority of Burton’s Family Tree boards, the Stick Shift is meant to complement your existing daily driver or round out a full quiver. It’s a board that is designed from tip to tail to excel on the most epic days, but still has the versatility to navigate through the variable terrain that you’ll regularly encountered at the resort. While Burton describes it as a mid-to-soft flexing board for the intermediate to advanced rider, it would be best suited for the confident freerider who has a need for speed and enjoys a non-traditional length and wider than average waist in their powder boards.

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