The Niche Story is a very fun board with lot’s of edge hold and a pretty stable ride for a hybrid rocker profile. After 2 seasons now of riding this in all kinds of conditions we like it just the same as that first day we got stoked on it.
Conditions: Messy Powder and chewed up somewhat thick eastern Washington snow. Perfect Utah Groomers after a storm. Spring conditions going from hard to slush.
Riders: James, Jimbo and Peter
Boots: Burton SLX, Salomon F3.0, Burton Fiend LTD, Burton Imperial, Nike Lunarendor,
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Genesis, Union Atlas, Ride Rodeo
Set Up: Set back a bit approx 23″ wide 15 front and -6 back, 23″ 15 front -15 back and 15 front -9 back
Approximate Weight: Felt normal and right in the middle.
On Snow Feel: We were in pretty soft snow but it felt mostly stable. I’d like to learn more about it in other conditions and see how it feels in hard snow. It seems like it would be semi-stable but I don’t know for sure. The camber profile is mellow all around. What I mean by that is the rocker between the feet isn’t that pronounced and it almost seems like there is a little flat between the feet before it rockers up. Then the camber isn’t to exaggerated either. All of this makes for a pretty stable ride between the feet and my guess is it would only be slightly loose between the feet in harder snow.
Turn Initiation: I was really surprised when I looked at the specs and noticed that the waist width was 26.2. It didn’t turn like a mid/wide but instead had a medium bordering on easy turn initiation. I would of guessed 25.3cm to 25.5cm instead. It’s got a nice moderate turn that’s not too easy and not too hard. It felt like there was a decent spring between the feet transitioning from edge to edge. If you are more like a size 11 rider you will be able to turn this board much easier than our smaller feet could. However it did not feel like a mid wide board for our regular feet so it could easily be ridden by regular footers like Peter (Size 8.5) and I (Size 9)
Flex: The board felt medium/stiff but still butterable with a nice snap off the tip/tail.
Edge Hold: There is a very different magnetraction thing going on than what you see at Lib Tech and Gnu. It’s much more pronounced. It’s Really grippy edge hold without being grabby. We were expecting The Story to grab in the soft snow but it wasn’t very grabby. This is a great board for those that see everything from Ice to soft powder.
Powder: We had a little bit of powder and this has very easy directional float. It’s got a set back of -20mm and combined with that hybrid rocker it makes for a really easy directional float in powder to where it’s good enough to be a one board quiver. That’s the real advantage of getting a board with a set back is it can double for a more directional powder board when set back. Is it as good as a dedicated powder board? Hell no but you have a board that will set much further back than a centered stance board.
Carving: The edge hold is here to carve even in harder conditions and the camber in the tip/tail gives it a little spring out of the turn. I’d like to carve more on it and get to know this better on perfect clean groomers but it was fun enough for sure in the uneven tracked up powder we had.
Speed: Seems pretty fast and stable at speed. It doesn’t get very chattery and it has a good glide going on in the base. It seems like you can bomb a wide open mountain for sure.
Uneven Terrain: We had no problem negotiating with bumpy snow and it worked around moguls pretty easy. It also handled chunder pretty well so it seems like a first tracks to last chair kind of board.
Switch: This felt like it was a directional twin even though it’s kind of in between a directional board and a twinish board. It felt pretty similar either way even though we were set back a little.
Jumps: The Niche Story had a lot of nice pop off the tail for ollieng over little bumps on the messy snow we were riding on and it seems like it can handle kickers of any size.
Jibbing: Not really a jib board because of it’s stiff flex but it’s fine for a wide box or bonk.
Pipe: We didn’t have a pipe at the mountain we tried the Story on but it’s edge hold and forgiving camber profile are ideal for riders of most styles and ability levels. This would climb icy mid winter to soft spring snow pipe walls without any issue and I would of loved to take it in the pipe.
So all in all we liked this board and we’d really like to get to know it better in different terrain and conditions. Usually Mid/Wides don’t really appeal to Peter and I but if it’s this good for a smaller foot it will be even better for the foot that fit’s this board.