Gear Review: 2016 Burton Socialite & Lip-stick
Burton is one of the largest companies in snowboarding, and undoubtedly one of the most recognized names in the industry. Their lineup of soft goods and hard goods is enormous, and with over 10 female boards for 2015/16, it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we were able to try out a couple help narrow down the decision. We tested both the Lip-stick, an all-mountain board, and the Socialte, a park-oriented stick. Shannon broke down the performance of both boards in several categories as she tested them out in slushy spring conditions at Killington.
A little about the reviewer:
Name: Shannon Prior
Reviewer Size: 5’ 9”, 140lbs
Board size: 149 Lip-stick, 147 Socialite
I’m a relatively large rider–coming in at 5’9 and 140lbs with a shoe size of 8.5-9. My preferred riding style is definitely a mix between freeride and freestyle (aggressive).
What they say:
“Put a creative spin on all terrain with a playful and stable board that charges ahead and inspires confidence. For the lady who takes her freestyle skills to the upper echelon of the mountain, the award-winning Burton Lip-Stick brings grace and power to progressive freestyle. More playful than the Feelgood and an upgrade in performance over the Social, the Lip-Stick and its Flat Top Bend offers the forgiving freedom and stability to transform your multi-board quiver into a one-hit wonder. It’s innovative true twin shape makes it really fun to ride in both directions, while a sintered base keeps it fast, strong and less dependent on wax sessions.”
The “flat top” camber profile (a flat profile between the feet with an early rise outside the feet for rocker-like feel) is super stable in both cruising and carving and even though I couldn’t test it out in actual pow, the twin-tipped tapered nose/tail provided the smoothest ride I have ever had! It literally felt like I was surfing the slush and I can only imagine how it would cruise on a pow day. Despite being incredibly smooth, however, the tapered nose/tail proved slightly limiting when trying to sharply dig in an edge or do nose/tail pivot tricks. All in all, I’d say it would perform best in powder or carving though may not be ideal for those hard, icy groomers we see sometimes on the ice coast. I wasn’t able to check it out in the park at all so I can’t say for sure how it would behave there.
The overall stiffness wasn’t too much and it wasn’t too little. Being twin tipped, the stiffness was equal in nose and tail, and was there when you needed it for stability purposes, but the board still felt totally relaxed when poppin’ ollies and pressing. The only time the stiffness was lacking was when I tried to take really sharp turns or use the nose/tail to initiate spins. This is most likely due to the tapering of thickness on either end and the lack of a wide nose/tail design. The torsional stiffness was just right though—a little flex when you flex your feet in different directions but not enough to lose stability. Perfect for cruising!
As mentioned before, this board has Burton’s “flat top” camber profile. This provided a super sturdy ride where weight was distributed evenly, but the tips were lifted enough to be forgiving and floaty (similar to the reverse camber design).
I really preferred this flat top design to traditional camber when playing around with ollies and small spins—due to the conditions, I unfortunately couldn’t hit anything even remotely large so I can’t really discuss how solid it was in that sense. This board has the smoothest ride I’ve ever felt though, and that may certainly be, in part, from the design of neutral weight distribution. As far as edge hold, it wasn’t entirely up to the standard of my current traditional camber board but it certainly wasn’t slacking. If anything, the reduced swing weight made it way easier to carve but I think the more pointed nose/tail slightly took away from the effective edge, and as a result, edge hold.
The only problem I had with the board (and this could be due to my relatively large feet) was the narrowness. My feet are quite angled and yet they still protruded off the ends of the board. I am not sure if this effected my riding, but I certainly feel sturdier with boards on which my feet do not hang off the sides!
What they say:
“For those who like it extra flexy; step up your game with the hardest-charging “soft” board on the mountain. With an extra poppy flex, the souped-up Burton Socialite is for riders who charge. Looser than the Lip-Stick and with more oooomph than the Social, it’s the perfect recipe for your no-hold-‘em quests. The flat, ultra-thin, and skate-like profile improves the ride, thanks to Filet-O-Flex design, yet rips harder than any soft board out there. Ramped-up grip and a fast yet low-maintenance sintered base offer control and durability in variable conditions, while the NEW Off-Axis construction perfectly aligns the board’s design to your body’s stance and positioning for board feel that fits like a glove.”
Fun, fun, fun! This board also has the “flat top” camber design that proves incredibly solid in doing just about anything. This board also had a greater amount of flex to play around on than the Lip-stick. Compared to the Lip-stick, this board is much wider and provides a much more “sturdy” feel when aggressively riding. The asymmetrical design was perfect for my duck-footed stance and although I was only able to sesh a corrugated pipe with it, it seems absolutely perfect for park riding. I honestly think this board is a wonderful all-around board that would be great at just about every type of riding (and for progression)! It seemed to dig in and carve much more than the Lipstick too, perhaps due to it’s width. I wasn’t able to try it out in a pow, but in the slushy conditions I did ride in it handled great. It definitely did not take as much effort or energy to control as compared to my current traditional camber board.
The stiffness in this board was so on-point. It is stiff and sturdy when you need it, but put a little effort in and you can press massively for days. I love the wider nose and tail design, that allows you to really lean into and hold your presses but also hold deep carves when you’re cruising. It’s super fun to ride because it seems like the stiffness varies in different areas—it’s super solid in the center but super playful at the tips. The torsional stiffness is also on-point. One of the most playful and responsive boards I have ever ridden!
I feel like this board has all the perks of traditional camber (pop, edge hold, fast riding, stability) without any of the downfalls (too much stiffness, less playful, less forgiving). I would feel just as confident hitting a large jump on this flat top as I would my traditional camber. I would also feel way more confident hitting park features on this “flat top” profile due to its stable playfulness. Sometimes with my traditional camber board I feel like I just don’t have the control I want. That certainly wasn’t the case here. In terms of edge hold, this board wasn’t lacking at all. With its asymmetrical design complimenting my stance, I felt like I was 100% in control. Burton definitely adequately addressed the issue of non-traditional camber boards losing edge hold when they designed this guy (*girl)!
The “flat top” camber profile really contributes to the ease of riding this board. Your weight is even along the entire contact area of the board, but the tips lift to just the right height to allow for the looser and more playful feeling of rocker. The lack of effort it takes to ride this board is incredible (though I must reiterate that is isn’t overly flexy!)—it’s a perfect progression board.
No problems at all! I actually loved the added comfort of the Fillet o’ Flex pads! Didn’t impede my riding at all and possibly provided a little extra control! (Hard to tell in the slush)
Posted by Gabby Rainville on 09/13/15