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Brand: Burton
Model: Fish
Year: 2018
Size: 161 (319.1/262/289.1)
Sidecut Radius (m): 6.4
Bindings: Genesis EST™ (large)
Boots: SLX
Wax: Hertal FC739/Vola cold temp -25C to -12C
Rider: 191cm/95kg (kitted up)

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Well as that ol' saying goes, you can never have enough boards in your quiver. So with that in mind as well as reading tons of positive reviews out there, I ended up grabbing an '18 Burton Fish 161 as I wanted a powder specific ride for my annual trips to Hokkaido. Scored so well on this deck at almost 40% off RRP due to it being last season stock..., lucky as. Being 191cm/96kg kitted up, the 161 (180 - 260lbs/82 -118kg) is a perfect fit for my size.

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This year Burton only ran with the '19 Mystery Fish which feels absolutely mind numbingly gorgeous under arm when you pick it up, but at $Au2k RRP a pop, it's a really whopping big financial commitment.

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Okay, let's look at what you get with the '18 Burton Fish. The first think you notice is it's got a whopping big fat nose and really short swallow tail. Burton gave the Fish a big 50mm of standard set back added in with 30mm of rear taper from the nose. This sets the Burton Fish purposefully up as a fully directional tapered ride. This is built in here allowing the Fish the ability of dreamy effortless float over the powder. I set my Fish up with '18 Genesis EST with even more setback at -10 front and -20 at rear. Angles are +15/-8 degrees. Waxed up with Hertal FC739 and riding on Burton SLX.

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So jumping out of the Furano gondola the most noticeable thing you feel with the Fish on those first few runs is how frigging light and surfy the arse end of this board feels. Mate, it's just so damn easy to whack this baby around 180 degrees side to side. This makes the Fish so maneuverable around the mountain, on top of the powder and through the tree lines. It's also a really quick ride as well. The big volume of this board gives you plenty of area and you notice it easily burns past other riders across the flats. Checking off that unwarranted speed is no big problem here as it's so easy to wash this momentum away with maneuverability.

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The Fish is fitted with what Burton call their directional flat top camber profile that does a pretty solid job with edge hold on the firmer groomed piste. When laying super hard euro like carves over on its edge you can feel the Fish holding soooo tight to its physical limits and just allowing the generation of the faintest amount of side slippage. So the Fish is by no means in the same ballpark as say a Custom/Custom X as a pure carving machine but you'll find yourself still able to hold some pretty solid lines out of the powder stashes back to the lift bases.

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The Burton Fish has a Carbon I-Beam™? through the middle which gives it just the right amount of directional flex you need. In my view it feels overall moderately stiff at around a 6 to 7 and slightly stiffer in the tail than the nose.

Anyway, when grabbing the Fish you're really after its ability to slay powder......, so how does it go here?

Well...., it's just freaking awesome.

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And this is where the Burton Fish truly comes to life. You can instantly feel it's in its zone when you're banging it through the untouched powdery side pockets. The Fish really just eats these fresh areas completely up. I trekked and rode a couple of back country drop offs through lengthy fresh waist deep + powder and this thing floats like a feather. You look down and notice that big rocker in the nose beautifully planing up that silky green tip out from the powdery deep gulping for air. With freeride boards you've generally got to be mindful of where your weight distribution is through the deep stuff even with a dialed back stance. The Fish mostly does this all for you. Forget that rear leg burn as you'll only going to get that from blasting powder showers all over yourself on every turn.

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So the Burton Fish is one of those boards you'll instantly fall in love with from that first day of riding. It can carve a decent solid line but most importantly float like a real angel over powder. It's so damn surfy and maneuverable thanks to its directional tapered flat top design.

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The Burton Fish is a 100% keeper.

An easy 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So now the question is, do you ride the Fish or the Archetype in powder?
This is my take. The Fish is so much better in the powder than Archetype. But the Archetype is much much better on piste. Was showing my son Mystery Fish 151 and he loved it. I told him Stun Gun 155 is the way to go. $$$$
 

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This is my take. The Fish is so much better in the powder than Archetype. But the Archetype is much much better on piste. Was showing my son Mystery Fish 151 and he loved it. I told him Stun Gun 155 is the way to go. $$$$
Haha, so really, on resort POW days, which board are you going to take up? Or, if you could only keep one for POW, which one would you keep?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is my take. The Fish is so much better in the powder than Archetype. But the Archetype is much much better on piste. Was showing my son Mystery Fish 151 and he loved it. I told him Stun Gun 155 is the way to go. $$$$
Haha, so really, on resort POW days, which board are you going to take up? Or, if you could only keep one for POW, which one would you keep?
Pow = Fish
Pow/piste = Archetype

To me the Archetype feels like a better carving Dump Truck. Loved the Archetype in Australia but Fish has really made a mark on me. I think I've got too many boards???
 

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Haha, so really, on resort POW days, which board are you going to take up? Or, if you could only keep one for POW, which one would you keep?
On resort pow days, both would be overkill unless you are talking about Mammoth 3 feet snow in a day type of powder. I rode my park twin board with centered stance on 16 inches days and don't really notice any difficulty or leg burn.

However if you are in somewhere that constantly has over 3 feet of fresh snow, you will appreciate Fish. It just has a different sensation while gliding through the bottomless surface and feels laid back while riding.

Personally I still prefer freeride type of pow boards, Landlord being my favorite, where you know you can power through the deep stuff and attach technical chute at the same time. Fish's short tail takes some getting used to when landing on powder, and landlord feels more natural. And Fish is also limited on pow freestyle as you cannot really ride switch on it.

However with these being said, I added a 156 Mystery Fish to my quiver this year and I am very happy with my decision.
 

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Cool feedback man.

Yes, Fish is a unique experience in pow.
Archetype is great in pow, but it just floats ok and is fine... Fish is something else.

And yeah carving and piste on the Atype is mind blowing. Waaaaaay better than on the Fish. Also the AType is pretty much like a twin.

That said... like Lalune, my fave board ever is Landlord. Rips.

For your son, he will really dog the Stun Gun. Feels fishy, but really capable on piste...
 

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Went to Rusutsu today. About 10 to 15cm overnight. The fish absolutely blitzed it here. Plenty of off piste tree runs with heaps of deep powder. Love how you can take on the steepest gradient in powder without fear and the Fish just runs riot here. It's just so effortless throwing that tail 180 degrees side to side. I've never had to worry about the nose as it's always plaining up by itself. Love this board. I'm absolutely spent from a full day charging.
 

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Just got back on the desktop so I can attach a few photo's of the Fish in action. I'm not much good downsizing resolution on the mobile. Was surprised, I'm like waist deep in some of the shot's. That's like over 3 feet for me at 191cm. This is truly where the fish schools the Mountain.

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Just got back on the desktop so I can attach a few photo's of the Fish in action. I'm not much good downsizing resolution on the mobile. Was surprised, I'm like waist deep in some of the shot's. That's like over 3 feet for me at 191cm. This is truly where the fish schools the Mountain.
look Ma no legs!!

Awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just going through a few pic's from last season I thought I'd add in. Love the Fish >O}
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Discussion Starter #13
Cool feedback man.

Yes, Fish is a unique experience in pow.
Archetype is great in pow, but it just floats ok and is fine... Fish is something else.

And yeah carving and piste on the Atype is mind blowing. Waaaaaay better than on the Fish. Also the AType is pretty much like a twin.

That said... like Lalune, my fave board ever is Landlord. Rips.

For your son, he will really dog the Stun Gun. Feels fishy, but really capable on piste...
Yep, suggested to my nephew to grab a stun gun as he wanted to grab a powder/freeride board for Japan. He ended up getting a Skeleton Key instead. Do you think there are much differences in the performance purposes between these 2.
 

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Yep, suggested to my nephew to grab a stun gun as he wanted to grab a powder/freeride board for Japan. He ended up getting a Skeleton Key instead. Do you think there are much differences in the performance purposes between these 2.
Yes very different boards.

Skeleton Key is a lot better at speed and on groomers. Good in pow but not outstanding. And a lot more damp and stable than Stun Gun. So kind of a 1board quiver for a carver/pow rider.

Stun Gun is playful, poppy and floaty. Good on groomers and excellent/outstanding in pow. Good on groomers, but not a speed demon board, more on the playful/slashy side (which makes it great for trees and little side hits fun). So a quiver board for a playful/pow guy.
 
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