||03-25-2010 07:46 PM
REVIEW: 2010 Nitro Team Gullwing snowboard
Nitro was founded and is still based right here out of Seattle, WA with their boards made in Austria. For some reason the brand seems to be bigger in Europe than back here in the US? I've been interested in Nitro for the past 4 years or so, starting with when I was looking for a traditional cambered freeride board. Back then I narrowed my search to ones like the Nitro Pantera, Capita BDST, and Arbor Crossbow but ended up getting a Ride No.4 one year and a Ride Concept UL the next. Not to be confused, the Nitro Team Gullwing is NOT a freeride board...that's just some background. Anyways, wasn't sure when I'd get the chance to finally own one, but then I came across a deal I couldn't refuse, so I ordered a 159 and it just arrived!
My initial impressions are better than expected, actually. Stock photos on a computer screen really don't do this board justice. I can appreciate the simple gloss black with subtle matte black graphics, tiger stripes around the tip/tail and the boxes of artwork in-between. They added some flavor with the black/white zebra stripe sidewalls and the bright base. If you're a teen looking for something with really busy/flashy graphics, you'll prob be happier with something from Rome or Capita. The TG is a bit cleaner/classier, so well done, Nitro.
I picked up the Nitro Team Gullwing in a 159. The closest board in my quiver atm is my Never Summer SL-R 158 and they're actually very similar on paper. They're both mid-flex all mountain freestyle sticks and directional twins. They even share eerily similar specs like setback (15mm vs. 0.5in), waist width (25.2 vs. 25.3), nose/tail width (29.4 vs. 29.8), and average sidecut radius too. Although my SL-R is broken in, it's still stiffer than the TG. Despite being a 1cm shorter, the SL-R has 3cm longer effective edge. Oh and the TG is lighter, but no surprise there.
Both boards have the same basic rocker camber profile, with a similar medium rocker profile in between the binding inserts and a similar mild camber profile on either end. I examined them side-by-side and noticed a few things right off the bat. The difference is placement, as NS puts the camber a little further out toward the tip/tail than Nitro. On the SL-R the camber zone starts around the middle of each set of inserts while the camber zone on the TG starts closer to the innermost inserts. As a result, the peak (highest point and center) of the camber zone on the SL-R is further out towards the tip/tail than on the TG.
I'm planning to hit a couple different local hills with it this weekend, so I'll report back afterwards with my riding impressions. I've heard some good things about Nitro in general and this board in particular, so I'm excited to find out for myself.