Nitro is one of the bigger companies out there that sometimes doesn’t get the recognition they deserve. They make some really solid decks, my personal favorite of the line being the Swindle. Though it’s notorious for being a softer urban/jib board, I’ve made a point keeping the Swindle in my quiver since 2008 as a go-to all around deck. This year Nitro tweaked the Swindle to really fit the urban/jib bill. Take a look at some the changes.
Camber Option: 0-camber. Perfectly flat.
Bindings: 2010 Flux Super Emblems
Boots: 2011 K2 Curfew
My Weight: 175 lbs.
Resort: Timberline/High Cascade Snowboard Camp
Conditions: Summer shred. Salted crusty mornings and swimming in slush later on.
Preconceived Notions: I’ve owned a Swindle since the 2009 model (traditional camber). They went 0-camber the next year, and I loved it. Poppy; great on jumps, jibs, shallow pow days and beyond. This year I expected more of the same.
Flex: One of the big changes in the Swindle for the 2011 model was using Nitro’s Reflex profile tech. Basically they thinned the core between the bindings, so this were much, much softer. The Swindle has always been on the softer side of medium stiff, this year I’d say it finally lived up to the urban/jib category it’s always been in. It is a noodle; buttery, playful.
Stability: Pretty chattery at high speeds. I’d say anything up to a 30-foot kicker is doable when there’s not much chop, and same goes for bombing diamonds. In super chop speed won’t be your friend but you can still jump around using the bumps to have some flatland fun all the way down the hill.
Ollies/Pop: Honestly, I wasn’t feeling this years Swindle when it came to pop. Compared to last year’s it just didn’t explode, and I felt like I was working a little harder to get over the rocks and other fun obstacles late-summer Timberline has to offer. I think the Reflex tech they used might have dumbed down the pop.
Butterability: Well, being that this years Swindle is much softer you can butter your way all the way back to the liftline. The Reflex profile gives you more play between the bindings to lift your tail/nose way up there for a truly legit butter/press.
Cruising: This board is a bit soft for ultra-high speed riding. In chop you will definitely notice some chatter when you get going. Edge to edge, the Swindle performs well. You can lay out a decent carve but chop might make you skip out.
Jibbing: This is where the 2011 Swindle excels. The thinned core from Reflex gives you amazing control when setting up, and of course you can lay presses sky high. 0-camber has always been my preferred choice for jibbing because it locks boardslides like no other.
Rider in Mind: Jib kid. Urban underground rail slayer.
Personal Thoughts: I’ve always relied on the Swindle for slaying everything from park to pipe and powder. I have to say that this years model doesn’t fit the bill in my opinion. Nitro really moved this deck from the all-around realm to really jib oriented performance. Not that this deck won’t kill it for most of the park, but if you really like to fly (either down the mountain or into the air) look elsewhere.
What They Say: “The Swindle gets the job done, plain and simple. It has a true twin shape, slightly wider waist and snub nose and tail with a radial sidecut. This board is doing what was not possible in the past for construction and price. The Reflex Powercore II makes it ultra durable yet lightweight and soft. It has a long running length so you can size down and stay in control. Its Zero camber and low swing weight makes it is easy to control at all speeds for technical riding. The Swindle also features our exclusive Scratch & Rip base that when scratched or gouged has another layer of base material that is a different color, so it wears through like a skate deck, showing all your scars from session to session.”