Those that know the Nidecker Megalight understand that this is a very fun and unique freeride/powder board. It has a very tapered shape but still rides as well as most slightly tapered or non tapered boards on Groomers. So we’d say it’s a powder board with a strong freeride aftertaste. Its still one of our favorite boards but it’s soo hard to find these days in the US. What a shame!
Positives: Amazing Float, Stable between the feet. Strong Edge Hold, Great Groomer board as well as a powder board. Really one of the more unique powder/freeride boards we have tried.
Negatives: Hard to find in the US and narrow stance width (max width is 22″). Would like a little more camber.
Size: 163 regular camber with Ultimate Grip and 163 Camrock with Ultimate Grip
Days on the board- 25+
Conditions: Everything from very deep thick sierra powder to hard bordering on icy groomers.
Riders: Mary, James, Peter and a few others not on the sit
Bindings Used- Burton P1, Flux SF 45, Burton Diode, Union Force SL
Boots: Burton Imperial, Burton Ion, Salomon Synapse, Burton SLX, Nike Kaiju
We don’t know how they did it but you won’t find a board in it’s class that rides this well on powder and groomed runs. The Megalight is Nideckers most popular freeride/powder board and we at the good ride feel its one of the better freeride boards we tried. Its a shame riders don’t know more about this company in the US. With the exception of the Camrock option little has changed from 2010-2012 but not enough to really talk about. For 2013 and 2014Nidecker added what they call “Swiss Core” which reacts in different ways according to how it’s flexed. So if you are leaning into a turn the edge of the board will point down into the snow to give you a more responsive turn and more edge hold. We unfortunately didn’t get to try this because Nidecker didn’t come to the US this year for demo’s. Looks like for 2014 Nidecker has shipped a few Megalights our way so I’ll be riding the 2014 again. My guess is I think it will help improve the ride but not completely transform it.
Before 2013 you had options for camber and rocker but for 2013 and 2014 the only option is Camrock wich is a hybrid camber profile that has a lot of rocker and a little camber between the feet Shortly after the bindings the board starts to curve up. It’s like a regular cambered board in terms of stability but it doesn’t catch like camber. There is also a ton more effortless float than traditional camber. The only draw back is there is less pop. As the years go by and I have experienced a lot of different hybrid camber boards I’d actually like to see a little more camber going on here with the Megalight. I’d say don’t change the nose but maybe extend the length of the camber towards the tail and maybe give it a little more camber than 1.5mm. If you want the loose catch free feeling that most rockered boards have this doesn’t have that feeling. If you want the same stability as a cambered board and the floatibility of a rockered board try YES and Nidecker’s camrock.Here is a diagram from their site.
We were pretty skeptical before throwing down high end burton kind of money to buy the Megalight for what we thought would be just a powder board marketed as an all conditions freeride board. However the first time we took the Megalight out on groomers we knew it was money well spent and Nidecker was right about this being a great powder and freeride board. The more we rode the Megalight the more we fell in love with it. Each condition we rode this in surprised us. It started getting weird and we even made a few runs through the pipe to see if we could find a flaw. Well the Megalight wasn’t a dream pipe board but it did rather well going in one direction. This unique freeride specific board is one of the best we have encountered. It’s easy and confidence inspiring without being boring.
When it gets super deep the float is practically effortless and super surfy without being twitchy off the tail. A -30mm set back is a lot for an all mountain board but there are many tapered powder boards with a lot more set back than this. It stays surfy and super floaty but still feels stable and centered. There are so many boards with this shape that shine in Powder but few can offer the same experience as the Megalight when the powder is gone. The Megalight is of course very light, really fast and incredibly fun to turn in any kind of condition. We don’t get why it rides so well with this kind of shape. What ever Nidecker did to the Megalight shows that they have taken all their freeride knowledge of making boards since 1984 and put it all into the Megalight. Edge to edge transitioning is easy and surfy without being too washy for a board with this much taper. Carving with the older camber model was a dream. The Camrock models aren’t as good as the camber models but they still hold well and provide more than you would expect for a board with this much rocker in the tip/tail. I think a little less rocker in the tail would really improve the ride and give it a more camber carving flavor without loosing the super easy directional float. What really surprised all riders is how well you could straight line this surf style board. Despite the semi soft flex the Megalight can bomb any pitch with minimal chatter. Usually super light and damp doesn’t go hand in hand but for some reason Nidecker pulls it off.
The Megalight’s edge hold is right there with the old Mervin Cambered MTX boards with the more aggressive/pronounced MTX. It can hold on to anything and can be a little grippy when the snow is super soft. It’s not as grippy as MTX but you feel it grab a bit in soft snow. What is different about the side cut is Nidecker uses a tech they call Ultimate grip. The serrated edges between the feet bite into the snow like a rabid dog. It’s weird and actually doesn’t look like magnetraction but more like a chain saw blade between the bindings. You will not see boards similar to the Megalight hang on to the snow like this unless they have Magnetraction. You often hear from other reviews of tapered boards that if the conditions are hard the tail can wash out much easier than other double ender boards. Not once did we experience anything close to this. The only draw back is Ultimate Grip is so close together that a standard edge tuner will slowly file Ultimate grip away. It’s not tuneable like MTX. If you take good care of your edges it will last a long time but if you use the edge tuner a lot it will be gone pretty quick.
All in all we feel the Megalight is one of the better powder/freeride boards out there. I’d say my only complaint is I’d like to see the camber extended a bit more towards the tail and also see it a bit higher than 1.5 mm. The Megalight is Nideckers most popular board in the US and owns Europe. Everyone we talk to who has ridden this board smiles first before talking about it. You really can’t go wrong with the Megalight for an all conditions freeride snowboard.