Chamonix Gear Guide: Jones Hovercraft

Neil McNab product testing. Photo by Jez Wilson.

Neil McNab is the consummate mountain man: mountain guide, badass climber, talented author, and a big mountain destroyer whether on skis or on his snow-sliding device of choice, a snowboard.

Over the many years he’s been out there shreddin’ the rad, he’s had more than a few boards beneath his feet and he’s come to know the subtle differences between what works and what doesn’t. So when I read the following review on his McNab Snowboarding blog it made me realize that the Jones Hovercraft is not just another cookie cutter snowboard. And what’s really surprising is that the board only comes in a 156cm and is recommended for riders weighing less than 65 kilos. What?! Neil is well over six feet and I’d say he’s carrying at least 85-90 kilos. Just sayin’, don’t let the girly length of this board push you away until you’ve tried it.

Date: 22/12/2010

Oh my God!Just back from a days charging steep and deep in the trees at Courmayeur on my new Jones Hovercraft 156! 

I played around on this board a few days ago on hard pack and crud and it felt amazing. It carves like a big gun with the turn-ability of a 156!

I was pretty impressed.

Today, however, (the last day of my first course the 3 day tech clinic) I rode the Hovercraft in fresh untracked (and tracked) steep and deep powder in the trees in Courmayeur and I was just blown away!

I don’t think I have ever ridden like that before. The speed and manoeuvre-ability through the tight trees was amazing. The stability in the powder, down pillow lines, drops, anything I could throw it at it just handled like nothing else I have ever ridden.

I seriously don’t think snowboarding has ever felt that good and been that much fun!

I feel reborn!

For sure, check out the Jones Hovercraft!

This is a pure freeride board, not a one trick pony like the Burton fish or a swallow, this board can carve it up with the best on the hard pack, steep ice and blasts through the chop. In powder its simply comes into its own, its like standing on a big gun, floating on air and then you just tilt your front foot, slam the power into the tail and it changes direction like f**kin road runner, release the tail and it charges back into the fall line as you disappear into the wave of snow kicked up from your edge.

For me today is what snowboarding is all about, riding with a great crew who are all going for it and eager to learn, having a good laugh in the process and riding some amazing snow. As a bonus, Courmayeur was pretty much deserted except for a few other Chamonix guides skiing with clients.

Well done to the guys this week, they have worked hard, improved loads and reaped the rewards.

Nice one!

Looking forward to trying the Jones Flagships 163 and 168 which should arrive Friday.

All is good in Chamonix!


Learn more about Neil and McNab Snowboarding by clicking here.

Neil McNab


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