Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Mordor
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Niche Story RC 156
155lbs, 8.5 DC Lynx, Flow NX2 Hybrids. Bluebird Breck with no new snow in a while. Warm. Primo park.
The Story is Niches flagship deck with all their fanciest tech and stiffest build. FSC certified wood core, basalt instead of glass, hemp stringers instead of carbon, bio-resin instead of epoxy, wood topsheet and sidewalls, a tweaked version of Magne that makes it more aggressive between the feet and less aggressive outside, and rocker/camber. So they have the whole eco thing going, if you like it, great, if you dont, well its still a snowboard. Its slated as their stiffest deck and an all mountain charger.
Here's how it got on.
Honestly one of the most stable RCs I've ever been on. It was a combination of mellower RC than most, stiff but consistent overall flex, and just enough feel that you knew what was going on under your feet. I have only ever felt that stable flat basing on one other RC deck at top speed, the Flow Rush with its ABT. But the Niche was easier to drive and snap. It does have a speck of harshness to it with the thinner core and wood top, but with a decently damp set of boots and bindings it wasn't bothersome and was honestly something I enjoyed as boards this shape and flex are usually too damp for my personal preferences.
The ollie snap was there, but nothing special. I never felt like I didnt get the boost I deserved for the amount of effort I put in, but unlike with the Knew, I was also never surprised. Snap off edge was more or less the same.
I've never been a fan of Magne, but this one isnt too annoying. Generally speaking your deck drives from 3 sections separated by your feet. I've always felt that Magne forces you to drive the whole boards sidecut all at once. This version allows you to separate your tips from the center of the deck. It doesnt suck. Magne still drags, but thats unavoidable with bumpy sidecuts. That said, as an all mountain deck it didnt have the drive through a turn I like or think it should have. From what I can gather it's basically a radial sidecut with a small blend zone right at the contact points. Its super stable and predictable through a carve, but there's no acceleration or apex snap. Theres been talk around here that Niches have a bit of a deader feel, I'm starting to think its this sidecut, it just limited the amount of life it had.
Its a consistent above mid flex deck with RC. Totally doable but will need some work. With some muscle it actually had a nice lock on rails. Get it locked right away and you're set, try to muscle it in a little late and it might push you back. You wont be pressing it out too far, but enough.
Overall as an all mountain charger I think the sidecut is just not what it needs to be. However; as a smaller rider freeride deck or stiffer park deck I actually thought it was awesome. If I was off to somewhere like Jackson or Big Sky this would be one of my top choices to bring. It's super light, has a lot of grip, super predictable, and stable. It actually felt like if Jones decided to combine the Flagship and Mountain Twin but in an RC shape. And if it came in a 53 I would probably be making it my everyday park board too. That overall solid but tactile feel and predictable sidecut is something hard to find, and I really like it. So I would personally say Niche missed the mark with where they wanted the board, but luckily it landed on its feet, and is one of the best little guy freeride decks out there.
Agree? Disagree? Think I'm full of shit? Let me know.