Niche is another brand proving that camber isn’t going anywhere for 2014. The Theme features a minimal traditional camber that give it that pop and control you would expect. Here’s the full review of this snowboard.
Board: Niche Theme
Camber Option: Traditional Camber. This board has a very mild amount of camber only a few millimeters.
Bindings: Rome 390 Boss
Stance: 22.5 Wide 18 Negative 15 Goofy
Boots: K2 Thraxis Size 10
My Weight: 175lbs
Resort: Arapahoe Basin
Conditions: Sunny bluebird springtime shredding. Frozen death crust early in the morning to warming up to slush in the afternoon.
Flex: This board is a little bit softer than middle of the road. There’s an abundance of play in the tips due to the core profiling which gives it a soft playful feel. Between and under foot it’s a tad bit stiffer but there is a bit of torsional give.
Stability: Riding down steep chundery semi mogul runs was not fun. This is one of those boards you can feel everything underfoot which makes it lively yet slightly unstable. There were times I thought the board was going to wash out if I didn’t slow down.
Ollies: With the minimal camber profile rolling into a natural hit means you don’t have to pre-load the tail like you do with other decks. This gives it more of a skate styled pop which means you can get that last minute boost.
Pop On Jumps: Alas this time of the year what constitutes a jump has become questionable. Hitting the lip you can feel that this board absorbs a tranny and wants to pop up and out. That coupled with its flex pattern and mild camber do make for an ideal board that can jump. Would I hesitate hitting small to large features? Definitely not.
Butterability: The tips are so playful in this board you can really get up on them as you press the snow and play around. The mild camber really helps with center flexing the board and manipulating it to your needs.
Jibbing: The sweet spot in the tips is great for locking into presses, it comes with such ease. The mild camber is enough to give you skate pop on to urban features but not enough to buck you if you come onto a feature weird.
Carving: The sidecut does an OK job of locking into a carve and ripping a turn. Don’t expect to get super low on any Euro-carves but you can still rip a hard turn with ease. Mild set up turns are effortless.
Rider in Mind: Park guy that’s hitting anything from small to large features and still wants a little bit of camber.
Personal Thoughts: Camber isn’t dead it’s just evolving. The mild camber of this board makes it playful to the point it rides like a flat deck. The sweet spot in the tips is so nice for jibbing although I would worry about how thin the profiling is up there as visually you can see there just isn’t anything to it. The Structurn base did its job with reducing friction/suction on the slushier snow in the afternoon and kept me gliding without sticking.
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Disclaimer: This board was loaned to us for review from Niche Snowboards marketing department.