Reviewed: Nitro Team Gullwing vs. Burton Joystick vs. Never Summer Revolver
I finally had a chance to ride my Nitro Team Gullwing today and here are my thoughts in comparing it to a 2009 Never Summer Revolver-R and a 2010 Burton Joystick 156 wide:
A little background first. I'm 170 pounds and picked up a 157 wide with my 11.5 ions. I spend most of my time buttering around on groomers and playing on the sides. If there's pow I'll ride through as much of it as I can and am pretty basic in the park 50/50ing and boardsliding boxes and rails and taking only smaller jumps. My local mountain got about 15 inches of snow in 24 hours but it didn't seem like it by the time I got there in the afternoon as it was all chopped up and packed. I had to search for the pow.
Initial inspection: The Gullwing board is beautiful! I don't think the online pictures do it justice. Nitro also detuned the tip and tail from the factory! I know Rome does this, although from the one board I saw with it, not as cleanly and thorough as Nitro does. Never Summer and Rome definitely don't. It's also surprisingly light.
Butterability/Flex: Carpet flexing this thing seemed easy, but playing with it on snow was a little different. I could definitely butter this thing, but it seemed to take alot more effort than my previous NS Revolver 156 (super fun and easy) and my Burton Joystick 156 wide. The joystick though is impossible to catch an edge with, and I'll attribute that to the scoop tips and v-rocker.
Pop: I couldn't find the sweet spot on this thing. I used a NS revolver for most of last season and the Joystick for this season. I found the joystick to have the most pop of the 3, gullwing second and revolver definitely had the least.
Carving: I think this thing was too wide for me. My 11.5 ions feature a shrinkage tech that apparently gives it a 10.5 footprint, and at a 26.4 waist I definitely noticed it when I mounted my Burton Cartels. This thing seemed a little difficult to get on edge. I actually fell a few times when I would come to a crawl looking up the hill waiting for friends, and I think this was partially due to the fact that I would have to lean alot more to get on edge. With no momentum I often just tipped over. Once I was on edge however it felt great and log sweeping turns were really fun. The joystick with the smaller waist width was the easiest of the 3 to get edge to edge, but it also felt like it couldn't HOLD the edge as good as the revolver or gullwing. I'm guessing this is due to v-rocker vs. hybrid camber.
Stability: This thing had a tiny bit of chatter, but nothing that really bothered me. I normally don't like to bomb runs, but this thing just wanted to go straight and FAST. I felt really confident just going fast with this board, much more so than my revolver (which was more damp, but more soft) and joystick. The mellow sidecut, stiffer flex and hybrid camber all contribute to this. This has an extruded base, but it feels the fastest of the 3.
Float: WOW! This is where I was impressed. This thing has a 15cm longer nose than tail, but the way I mounted my bindings it I only gave it a 5cm longer nose. Having said that this was the best floating board I've ever ridden. I had to lean forward to get it to sink.
Weight: This board is light. I'd say slightly heavier than my joystick. I'd say both the joystick and gullwing are light, but the revolver is definitely on the heavier side.
Durability: I rode through some trees today for a while, and that included riding over bushes and branches. Base still looks new, and even though there were no lift lineups to test the topsheet durability, I'd say at this point it's not a problem. Never Summers seem indestructable, gullwing seems up there too, but definitely not as much as NS. Burton durability seems satisfactory. On a side note I had a Skate Banana for a while and that top sheet would just peel if you stared at it wrong and the base seemed to scratch really really easily.
Conclusion: I wish I got the gullwing in regular width versus wide. I think if I did it would eliminate the two issues I have with this board: it's a little stiff for my style and edge to edge was quite slow. It's definitely a quiver killer though. I moved from the revolver to the joystick this season because I wanted something a little stiffer for my style of riding and wanted to try the tech in that board. I was very happy I did. The weight savings I experienced in the switch was a bonus I didn't realize I loved until I had my first day on it. I got the gullwing because I found it at a deal that I couldn't pass up, I wanted to try Nitro's tech, and Burton Avenger/Angry Snowboarder gave it a glowing review. I'll most likely get rid of this gullwing however and stick with my joystick for now, that is possibly unless I can get my hands on a regular width gullwing on sale...