|Overall Rating||Liked it!|
|Riding Level||Advanced - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12|
|Camber Profile||Directional Camber|
|Stance||Setback over 20mm|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Nidecker Mellow 2018 Review by The Good Ride
The Nidecker Mellow is kind of an oxymoron just like my last name might be too. It’s Biesty (pronounced Beasty). Regardless it’s a lively, set back semi-surfy, carvy, wideish board that we had a pretty good time on. It’s got a nice well rounded ride for those that like to make good set back, directional turns and we’d like more time on it than the quick taste at the demo’s we had. It would be great to put on bindings we know, compare it to some of our favorites and really put it through it’s paces.
Nidecker Mellow Specs
Nidecker Mellow Images
Nidecker Company Information
Nidecker Mellow User Reviews
A very good snowboard!
Nidecker knows something about snowboard construction that a lot of other manufacturers don't seem to know. I don't know what it is exactly, but there's some sort of Swiss magic going on that I'll try to explain here as best as I can (talking about the 160!).
The profile of the board is quite different from other hybrid camber bends. On this one Nidecker do a fairly short early rise in the tips, which blends into a fairly long flat section, which then goes into the camber in the center of the board. BUT: the camber is more like a bell curve rather than like an arc! It's quite high in the very center of the board and it doesn't go all the way into the tail contact points, although Nidecker say so.
I've been riding this board quite a bit this season. Starting on hardpack in somewhat bumpy, crappy conditions early season the first thing I noticed was how easy this board was to ride. Torsionally it isn't overly stiff, which makes for easy maneuverability through the ankles and feet. With that first impression and knowing about the lack of camber in the tail, I thought I would probably not hold an edge very well.
On the first good hardpack day with good grooming I had to learn otherwise! I don't know why, but this board has two faces! It is in deed "mellow' in its flex and so easy to ride, but when you go for it, when you really tilt it over, the edge just tracks and cuts like a steak knife... I do ride an 88° edge angle, which is sharper than what most people ride, but since all my boards are like that, I do have a lot of references... The Mellow is a carving dream! Never takes you for a ride, always predictable, will work for all rider levels - truly!
Keep in mind that it is pretty wide! A 265mm waist on this 160 requires at least a size US 10 boot to be an all conditions board. If you have smaller feet than that, you might struggle on hardpack, as the exaggerated width will tend to cause lots of deflection due to the lack of torque coming from your foot (smaller lever, less torgue).
This board has the word 'surfy' in it's manufacturer description! Be sure you really understand what that is and reflect on it for a second before you buy into the new hype of 'surfy everything!'. Surfy could be translated as 'off the tail / more backfoot heavy riding' like when you turn on a surf board! A snowboard can be 'surfy' in two different ways: lots of taper in the tail to reduce the surface area of the tail, which makes the tail very easy to slash around, or on less tapered boards applying a lot of setback! Being very far back on any board reduces the relative length of the tail, which also makes it easier to slash around, but it's not quite the same as lots of taper! On hardpack lots of taper tends to feel 'washy' - not holding an edge that well at the end of the turn, not wanting to turn up the hill so much! So the Mellow only has 6mm taper, which doesn't make it surfy at all! 6mm are just about noticeable, but not surfy! What makes the Mellow somewhat 'surfy' is the 60mm setback, which is massive! This kind of surfy is only noticeable in soft snow. On hardpack the lack of too much taper simply feels like a solid tail that holds its line, which is awesome!! People, who tell you something about 'surfy to carve' are not really aware of their words... Surfy and carvy are basically opposites! Surfy is slashy, carvy is precise!
Anyways, in pow the Mellow is pretty fun, but when it gets really light and deep I find the nose profile doesn't make for that much float. The surface area of the nose is not that big and the early rise not that early... The kink of the nose is also a bit to sharp for my taste. A slowly rising nose over a greater length will always glide better than this one here (less friction!). Think of K2 "Tweak End" (on a Joydriver, Turbo Dream, Ultra Dream or Simple Pleasures), Jones (Flagship, Hovercraft, Storm Chaser, Mind Expander), Korua Shapes, Fullbag... those brands have very flat, slowly rising long noses, and they all float with less effort than the Mellow. That being said, those boards are partially excellent in pow, which leaves the Mellow still as a great pow board, but just not THAT good.
The most impressive thing about the Mellow is the balance between dampness and pop! Carving on it is such a great pleasure, because the core actively helps holding an edge through its dampening properties. It just feels smooth! Amazing! But then it's not dead when you pop an ollie! It's still super lively, snappy and quick edge to edge. All the Nidecker boards have that feeling, which is what I call the Swiss magic sauce, ha! ;-) Most Burton boards are poppier, but they don't hold an edge like Nidecker! Carving needs dampening, which helps with traction of your edges (like suspension on your bike...), but also snap to change edges quickly. Nidecker has that dialled ( and so does Jones, which is - surprisingly - made with the help of Nidecker, hahaha...).
Over all the Mellow is a fully directional all conditions board, which i.m.o. performs better on hardpack than in pow. For someone, who loves carving and doesn't want an extra pow board, this can be it! The base is stupid fast and seems fairly durable, and the overall value for money is truly unbeatable. Totall winner for me!