Niche Snowboards is one of the new kids on the block (no, not those NKOTB) in the snowboard industry. Based in SLC, Utah and manufactured in Austria they’ve got a full line of eco-friendly snowboards. The Knew is one of their freestyle-oriented boards and I took it out for some hot hot hot closing day laps.
Shape: Twin, mellow flat rocker
Bindings: Ride Delta MVMT
Stance: 24″ regs 15/-15 regs
Stats: I’m 6′ 210 lbs
Conditions: closing day spring slush, a little firm in the morning around 30F but absolute mashed potatoes and 50F by 430pm.
Felt more medium than soft in my opinion, but it should break in a little bit with a few rides. Slightly stiffer through the tips, and stiffer torsionally than many jib-oriented boards.
Whatever Niche is doing with their Hemp Hop stringers was amazeballs. The Knew really had an insane amount of pop, it blew me away the first time I went for the rail and was way too high. Consistent front and back, on jumps, rollers & park lips.
The Knew is flat-rocker and that’s usually a fairly playful feel this board was no exception, pretty much hook-free. Again it’s not noodle-soft so don’t expect effortless presses but definitely doable. Bigger guys obviously will get more play out of this board littler guys it will be more of a jump board than a jib board.
The pop on this board blew me away but the dampening was a very close second. This board is capable of chewing up the whole mountain and spitting it right back out even in the heavy wet spring slush you’re not going to get bucked by this board. On the firmer side it is also capable of holding longer, drawn out carves without fear of washing out. True twin, so it goes both ways no problemo.
The extruded base is not the fastest but Niche makes up for that with a base dimples that are so top-secret that they don’t even mention them on their website or product catalog. The dimples reduce suction and help you slide a little faster.
No complaints on the pricing $459 is the MSRP for the Niche Knew, check out their dealer locator to find one near you!
Summing it up
The Niche Knew was a surprisingly serviceable all-around board so don’t pigeonhole it as a “park” only board. Versatile enough for someone who is spending 50%+ of time in the park but still dabbles on the rest of the mountain and is looking for a one board quiver. This board is going to be best for intermediate and advanced riders who spend a good amount of time in the park but are looking for a do-it-all board, but it’s forgiving flat rocker and medium flex would also be something that a beginner could use and grow in to.