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Brand: Burton
Model: Custom X
Year: 2018
Size: 166W (312/266/312)
Sidecut Radius (m): 8.4
Stance Location: -12.5mm
Bindings: Genesis EST™ (large)
Boots: Imperial
Wax: Hertal FC739
Rider: 191cm/95kg (kitted up),

Well I've been riding a few generations of the Burton Custom 165W for just under 10 years now and decided to grab a new upgrade after I sold my old one.
I've always loved a directional traditional full cambered ride as my board of choice for Australia's crappy wet winters and gloriously groomed mountains???
With 37 years of skiing/riding under my belt (advanced rider) I felt like it's about time to venture into "The Twilight Zone"; the 2018 Burton Custom X.

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I've read and watched a lot of reviews about the advanced level of riding expertise along with the necessary healthy dose of caution required before thinking of stepping onto this monster. This initially, left me a little bit hesitant with taking this step......., was I about to take on "A Bridge Too Far".

I sort of felt like I'd ticked most of all the boxes off before taking on this ride, so being 191cm/98kg kitted up, I went out and grabbed the 2018 Burton Custom X 166W. I've paired this board up with the Burton Genesis EST and riding with Burton Imperials. My set up had the Custom X dialed back -15mm from reference on the front and -20mm from reference to the rear. This on top of the boards already 12.5mm of directional set back. Being an avid tuner, I waxed and rotor brushed her up prior to riding with Hertal FC739 LF......., you can never have enough speed. I left the edges as standard which I believe out of the factory are 89 degree on the side with a 1 degree base bevel. I couldn't help myself in doing a bit of tinkering on the Custom X so I did a little deburring on the front and rear just ahead of the effective edges. Just wanted to get my tuning tools out.

Out of the plastic this board feels a little heavy in weight compared with my previous Custom 165W. But it's a big board, the biggest they make at 166 in length and 266mm across its guts. Looking closely at the Custom X you can just see through the side of the top sheets edge, a wide layer of carbon in a diagonal X pattern over each of the reference points. This board is also fitted with Burton's additional 45 degree carbon highlights over the entire board. So it's got lots and lots of carbon going on in here.

So having spent 3 days of riding the Custom X in Furano on the bluebird days when it hasn't dumped I thought I'd give my thoughts. Well after being instantly blown away with my '18 Dump Truck 163 the second I jumped on it, I was dearly hoping for this same experience with the Custom X.

Jumped off the Kitanomine Gondola and strapped in......, sitting on the bench, getting my head around all of what was about to happen before I dropped down. I've been a little nervous and been thinking about this time for a few days now. So here I go.

I was mindfully cautious with my first few runs as I've read numerous times that the Custom X will bite you hard if your technique is not spot on. Well, what I instantly felt on the 1st run is that this board is wickedly stiff. It's rated an 8 but it feels like a 9 on the snow. As a result you can feel that you're losing that level of forgiving playfulness from the slightly softer Custom that I've been so comfortable with over the years and have grown to love. Could this be seen as a bad thing with a rider of my mid 50's vintage???

So after a few runs I was starting to get a bit familiar with the Custom X. Hit a few wide groomed blue level runs and shit...., this thing is so freaking fast. Was throwing turns edge to edge at a phenomenal speed, the fastest I think I've ever been. I find that as it's so fast, you're constantly transferring from heal to toe-side in order to keep that speed in check. This leaves you thinking if I go down here catching an edge, I'm going to get rag dolled so fucking hard on the piste before then getting air lifted off to the I.C.U. at the nearby Hospital.
Important warning...., please check your health care cover?



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Well this board just absolutely loves the groomed piste....., the smoother the better. This is where you want to be with this ride.
You can set a carve down and it will just lock in that edge with scalpel like precision and drive you out with speed. I found that I had so much more fun on this board on the wider blue run areas where I could dial in a carve and run it flat out without any worry at all. On the steeper black runs you're always mindful that the Custom X is running away and wanting to ride you instead of the mountain. In more critical areas of terrain you will be trying to hold this baby back from galloping too far away from you. How do I explain this....., well you know when you're hammering it around all day and all of a sudden get missile blasted past by one if those Olympic level guns on a board or set of skis....., this is now going to be you.


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After a few runs at mach 1 the lactic acid started burning hard in my quads so hard that I had to have a minute break every now and then just to get my legs back. This is part of the joy in riding the Custom X.

Time to trek off the piste into a little bit of backcountry. Hit a few stashes of steeper powder through the trees and was able to get the tail to slash about playfully. You've still got to put a little muscle in here to combat the stiffness in the Custom X as it's nothing like that lightly presented surfy freeride handed to me on a plate from the DT.



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So after 3 days of riding what have I found? The Custom X leaves me with a sort of love hate relationship with this board. I now know it's a board that definitely needs a familiarising and learning curve. The more you ride the Custom X the more comfortable you'll start to feel with it. The biggest thing I found with this board is that it becomes so much lighter and easier to ride the faster you go........, and that's the real problem you're faced with the Custom X in the control and mastering of it's design. It's definitely like they say...., a board for the advanced level rider. It can take you to a level you've never been before with its phenomenal speed, carving performance and edge hold ability. But this comes at a cost with the Custom X's loss of forgiving playfulness. You sort of feel that you have to be totally on point, concentrating 110% all of the time as you're traveling at some ridiculously fast speeds. That really is my only real concern with this ride....., the focus it requires. But that is really what this board is all about, it's like that frisky wild stallion that is hard to tame but you feel you need to do it anyway.


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So, I really rate this board. The 2018 Burton Custom X does everything it's designed to do with sheer excellence. It's a fantastic board specially suited for rigid velocity, brilliant scalpel precision edge hold for high speed piste carving. However it's incredible stiffness is a traded off with a definite loss of playfulness. Just remember if you're not mentally dialed in when riding the Custom X, you'll pay for it big time in being its crash test dummy.

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Definitely glad it's in my quiver. Truly, a 100% advanced level ride.

4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐
 

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Am a Custom X fan and have owned a few over the years namely the 2009 -2011 - 2016(as my second boards having freestyle board for most of the time)

brutally fast acceleration ... no relaxing when you're riding this beast-(have broken a few shoulders)

I agree most fun racing down a well-groomed run slashing speed checks every so often .. a real macho man board.. you certainly don't fear any snow conditions ..
 

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Couldn't agree more with you OP.
It's powerful, it's brutal. It got to be push and rode aggressively and it love it. From what it left me as impression after I've took out for demo last year.

That board is the demon itself, can be very rewarding and treacherous. It's like playing with fire. Like you said, got to be focused on this one or it can take you down badly.

I wouldn't buy it as first board, but in a quiver, taking it out early on groomed slopes...not at the end of the day with burned legs with fatigue.

Envoyé de mon SM-A520W en utilisant Tapatalk
 

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Couldn't agree more with you OP.
It's powerful, it's brutal. It got to be push and rode aggressively and it love it. From what it left me as impression after I've took out for demo last year.

That board is the demon itself, can be very rewarding and treacherous. It's like playing with fire. Like you said, got to be focused on this one or it can take you down badly.

I wouldn't buy it as first board, but in a quiver, taking it out early on groomed slopes...not at the end of the day with burned legs with fatigue.

Envoyé de mon SM-A520W en utilisant Tapatalk
Agree...., you don't want to be say like me, mid 50's, getting bit tired in the quads at the end of the day, catching an edge and getting tomahawked into oblivion.
 

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I just got the new model in 162W and paired it with the Xbase bindings and photons. Been using the Custom, after reading the post, i am a little nervous. No pain no gain, i'll find out friday. (health insurance is up to date)
 

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I just got the new model in 162W and paired it with the Xbase bindings and photons. Been using the Custom, after reading the post, i am a little nervous. No pain no gain, i'll find out friday. (health insurance is up to date)
haha.

hey gents, there is much talk about having to be on it 100% of the time, which is cool. do you reckon it'd be an option to size down [eg from a 162W to a 158W], detune it, and use it as a responsive, poppy jump deck?

or is that misguided?

[background - the best park riding i've done in my life, and granted i was a much younger punter, was on carbon-loaded Option decks that were relatively stiff. kinda thinking of going back to that, after years on non-100%-camber boards]
 

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haha.

hey gents, there is much talk about having to be on it 100% of the time, which is cool. do you reckon it'd be an option to size down [eg from a 162W to a 158W], detune it, and use it as a responsive, poppy jump deck?

or is that misguided?

[background - the best park riding i've done in my life, and granted i was a much younger punter, was on carbon-loaded Option decks that were relatively stiff. kinda thinking of going back to that, after years on non-100%-camber boards]
That's like buying a Ferrari and putting eco low rolling resistance tires on it...Just get a regular Custom if you're that worried.

If you are confident riding camber and have good edge control, there's nothing to be scared of riding a Custom X. I used to own a 164W and I'd still take it for a few laps through the park most days, edges kept very sharp. The only reason I don't still have one is that I don't need a board that stiff, and unless you're regularly hitting XLs or Superpipe there's no need for something that stiff in the park either. Carving as hard as you can and bombing through freeride terrain, sure thing. Regular Custom is a far more accessible board to ride everywhere, your legs won't be done by 2pm hah.
 

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i thought that board would be too stiff for park, but Red Gerrard won slopestyle gold on the Custom x

I love carving groomers on it, I would not pay full retail for that board though ($800 wtf)
 

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i thought that board would be too stiff for park, but Red Gerrard won slopestyle gold on the Custom x

I love carving groomers on it, I would not pay full retail for that board though ($800 wtf)
How many guys in your local park do you see hitting 10 foot rail to rail transfers, and back to back triple corks? Bigger the features, stiffer the board.
 

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yeah, if we're just talking about burton decks, most park riders seem to be on the Process or one of the Kilroys

I think he was the only team rider for slope and pipe that was on the X
 

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yeah, if we're just talking about burton decks, most park riders seem to be on the Process or one of the Kilroys

I think he was the only team rider for slope and pipe that was on the X
Smaller/more creative park features yeah I'd say Process or Kilroys. Slopestyle type set ups or pipe is almost exclusively Custom or Custom X. Mark McMorris isn't using a production level process. Danny Davis has gone back to an older Custom X with Thinker graphics. Ben Ferg rocks a Custom I think, so does Ayumu Hirano, Mikkel Bang, Roope, Marco Grilic. If you're going bigger, you need camber and stiffness.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited by Moderator)
Well had the first semi bluebird day at Perisher today so broke out the Custom X for a full day assault of the mountain.

I've spent the last few days ripping comfortably around on my trusty Custom in light snowfalls which felt so great. It's a board for me you can jump on and go to town on the mountain without a care in the world. I guess this gave me a good warm up for the CX.

On my CX I have my Genesis X EST dialed in at -15 from ref front and -20 from ref rear. Angles at +18 front and 0 rear (which I've been trying for the last few days and really like it from my previous -5 to -8 rear set up).

So I absolutely had the best day I've had for ages on the piste. Helped having it straight off the wax bench FC739. She felt like a bit of a Ferrari off the first lift but the Custom X was just so brilliant. I think from my first time riding CX jumping from a freeride board to a super stiff cambered ride was a big contrast, but today the CX felt pretty damn unstoppable. Grabbed some pretty good pics that I'll attach when I get home from my desktop.

So I'll stand buy this statement...., the more you ride the CX the more you get a handle on it's design. I really felt like today it's just a faster more aggressive Custom...., which is what it really is.

I really love this board and will make it my number 1 pick from my quiver now for riding and destroying piste.
I'd say my main focus with my riding style is super aggressive turns and freeride powder carving so the Custom X fits absolutely perfectly with in this position.

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited by Moderator)
Spent last few days banging around CX (GenX/SLX) in Aussie spring conditions. So found it pretty solid, just having to muscle it around in slushy slower areas. I'm probably now more inclined to grab this board over the Custom as my first choice all mountain ride.

Taking the Custom out tomorrow for my final day of the season. Snow is probably on its last now and starting to get thin in some areas. We only get a few hours in each day till lunch then it gets pretty slushy and slow as the temp's rise.
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited by Moderator)
Well I finished off our Aussie Season for 2019 jumping back on my trusty '19 Custom (Genesis/SLX). Instantly you can feel that more comfortable softness the Custom brings back into play after a few days of hammering hard around on CX (GenX/SLX). So much more relaxed or should I say, "User friendly" than the aggressive stiff precision the CX provides.

So I really loved jumping back and forth between the Custom to CX over last week of solid riding.

I'd still probably stick with my original comment that the CX requires that little bit more of focused concentration...., however it definitely rewards you with this nicely.

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