|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|
Niche Maelstrom 2020 Review by The Good Ride
The Niche Maelstrom is a good old traditional freeride board with a modern camber profile that has a little early rise. It’s a pretty versatile one board quiver for those that lean a little more on the more directional side of riding but don’t want to go super tapered and set back.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
How This Review Happened: We borrowed this for an extended demo and then returned it.
Conditions: Pretty good spring conditions
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Zobel (Size 11.5, 6’ 180lbs), Jimbo (Size 11, 5’11” 160lbs),
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Adidas Response
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Strata
Set-Up: 22” Wide. 21 front -6 back. Close to Reference
Approximate Weight: Feels normal.
Sizing: The 160 was just right for me and a touch narrow for Jimbo and Zobel. They had some toe/heel drag on harder carves.
Flex/Buttering: Not super easy to butter off the tail but a little easier in the nose. Not as easy as the Story even though they have a similar flex in the shop. There is a medium-stiff flex but it needs some strength to access all of it.
On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: The Niche Maelstrom is not for beginners or intermediates. It is pretty locked in and tracks really well one footing or flat basing.
Edge Hold: We had to dial back our turns in harder snow but the edge still held.
Turn Initiation: Pretty medium to medium fast edge to edge and it didn’t hesitate too much when you leaned into the turn.
Turning Experience/Carving: So out of all the Niche boards the Maelstrom was our favorite to turn. In good conditions, it was a powerful but super fun carver.
Powder: No powder for us but it seems like it would be pretty competent in the deeper stuff. At a 22″ set all the way back on board, you have a 5″ difference between nose and tail, or a 2.5″ set back on board. Then there is also a bit of taper and some early rise in the nose so it should float pretty well. It isn’t going to be a perfect powder board but should shine if you like to ride in a little steeper terrain than most do.
Speed: The base of the Nice Maelstrom has good glide and the board is pretty damp. It’s good for those that like to point it but also don’t want a dead super bomber kind of ride either.
Uneven Terrain: The Nice Maelstrom was easy to turn for all of us in bumps and it felt good in all kinds of uneven terrain.
Switch: pretty doable because there isn’t that much taper. It’s under 10mm so it can go either way pretty well.
Getting Air/Park: The Nice Maelstrom can launch. It wasn’t bad in the pipe either.
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