The economy may be in a seemingly never-ending slump, but you’d never know it when looking at the snowboard market. Over the past few years, several manufacturers have been tinkering around with ultralight, high-tech boards that approach –and sometimes surpass –$1,000. With designs like the Vapor, Burton has been one of the biggest promoters of the trend. The Burton Mystery is its most extreme build yet, pairing cutting edge design with throwback heritage styling. The board will cost nearly as much as a cat-skiing vacation.

In January of 2011, Burton opened Craig’s, a new R&D facility in Burlington, Vermont. Named after the late Craig Kelly, a Burton rider and iconic snowboarding pioneer, the facility was built for researching and prototyping new designs, thereby keeping Burton at the front line of snowboard development and technology.
The Mystery Snowboard has the distinction of being the first board to find its way out of Craig’s and onto the market. It comes as no surprise that the board is both super techy and designed in honor of Kelly.

As its name implies, Burton doesn’t give away much of the formula behind its most advanced board, but it does say that the Mystery is its lightest board ever. In fact, some folks are calling it the lightest snowboard, period. A carbon fiber matrix combines with a precision milled Ultrafly wood core to keep weight minimal while delivering a sharp, snappy ride.

Beyond its light weight, the Mystery is honed for full-mountain dominance. Burton’s Flying V construction plants camber beneath your feet for full edge control and rocker between the bindings and out at the tips for superior float. The Methlon Base, which Burton describes as its highest grade sintered base, is ultra-fast, easy to upkeep and exclusive to the Mystery. Stainless Frostbite edges provide superior hold for powerful riding, and the Pro-Tips cut swing weight for quick, sure maneuvering.

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To ensure that you’re completely dialed in, Burton equips the Mystery with its super-tweakable Channel system. The Channel replaces the screw-based mounting inserts used on just about every other board with dual channels grooved into the board. You can mount your bindings in seconds and micro-adjust settings on the fly.

While the board’s components and design are up-to-the-minute, its graphics are a throwback honoring Kelly. Burton describes the design as Kelly’s “first unofficial base graphic.” The black and blue pattern is simple and unassuming, concealing the “mystery” below.

As any astute student of the snowboarding market knows, there’s nothing cheap about building a cutting edge board in your new, state-of-the-art prototype facility. The Mystery’s $1,500 price tag is one of the highest that we’ve ever seen and, quite possibly, more of an investment than your season pass. This finely tuned piece of machinery is definitely not geared for the weekend-commuting masses. Those wishing to pilot it will require a substantial bank account and should have the skills necessary to put its meticulously crafted features to use.

Much Awesome Verdict:

For advanced riders with a big budget this board is off the scale.


Burton Mystery Snowboard Tech Specs

Length: 155 cm, 158 cm, 162 cm
Shape: twin
Flex: medium (5 of 10 on Burton’s scale)
Camber: Flying V (hybrid)
Effective Edge: [155cm] 1192 mm, [158cm] 1222 mm, [162cm] 1262 mm
Waist Width: [155cm] 247 mm, [158cm] 250 mm, [162cm] 255 mm
Sidecut Radius: [155cm] 7.6 m, [158cm] 7.8 m, [162cm] 8.1 m
Stance Width: [155cm] 21 in, [158, 162cm] 22 in
Stance Setback: 0.5 in
Core: UltraFly (wood, Mystery Glass)
Base: Methlon
Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years


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