Nidecker Instinct Alpha APX 2021-2022 Snowboard Review

  • Price: £495 / €500 / $530
  • Category: All-Mountain
  • Sizes: 153, 158
  • Flex: 8/10
  • Shape: Directional
  • Profile: Combo
  • 3D: Yes
  • Base: Sintered

If you’re looking for efficient design solutions then the natural world is a good place to start. As David Attenborough is fond of telling us, a few million years of evolution has seen animals adapt their forms to the environment. Nidecker drew on this concept to create their new ‘Instinct’ series, featuring silhouettes and three-dimensional elements that mimic the shapes that work so well for birds and marine life.

The Alpha APX is the most aggressive model in the range, with a stiffer flex pattern that will suit experienced and powerful riders.

“The Alpha APX is the most aggressive model in the range, with a stiffer flex pattern that will suit experienced and powerful riders”


Who Is The Nidecker Instinct Alpha APX For?

While the Alpha APX can certainly handle the occasional lap through the park, this is really a board for riders who see the whole mountain as their playground. It’s got crazy flow that encourages you to draw lines down the hardpack, seek out pow stashes and get creative over natural hits. Think Mathieu Crepel busting a floaty front 3 off a windlip. Oof, filthy!

Shape, Profile and Sidecut

The big story with this board is obviously its shape. Nidecker claim the pointy nose echoes that seen in marine mammals; OK, dolphins might not be a common sight in Verbier but we can’t deny they’re pretty efficient at plowing through chop so there’s a certain logic to it .

Likewise, there’s a subtle pinch at the start of the tail that takes its cue from birds of prey. This “dropout” helps it sink in deeper snow and increase lift at the nose. Our favourite piece of biomimicry, though, has to be the subtle curve that runs across the base towards the front, which is apparently inspired by penguins. Yep, watching those flightless birds slip and slide over the ice gave some boffin in Switzerland a genuine lightbulb moment. The idea here is to smooth turn initiation, a little like the 3D bowl found on boards from Jones and Bataleon (but hey, theirs weren’t borrowed from penguins so they’re definitely not as good).

From tip to tail the Alpha APX boasts ‘Surfy Camrock’ – essentially trad camber between the inserts with extended rocker towards the ends. It’s a laid back combo that feels real floaty in powder but which has enough spring to launch big ollies or flip quickly from edge to edge when you want to get aggressive.

“The big story with this board is obviously its shape”

Construction and Materials

The Instinct Series’ respect for nature is carried through to the board’s construction. The Alpha APX features a woodcore fashioned from Swiss poplar, with a strong emphasis on sustainable sourcing. It’s rounded at the sides so that the topsheet can be wrapped right over the top edge, where it’s paired with a minimalist 2mm sidewall. With less plastic in there, energy transmission into the edge is more direct; it looks awesome, too.

Carbon fibre is positioned from the outside of the inserts to the nose and tail, boosting pop and keeping the board feeling stable at higher speeds. Nidecker have also deployed their ‘Absorbnid’ top layer which dampens the ride further. You can point this thing down bumpy trails or chopped-up sidecountry with real confidence; it glides gracefully over everything.

Flex-wise, a triax weave topsheet gives the APX snappier edge response than the standard Alpha (which features a mellower biax layup). The extra torsional stiffness means it holds carves like it’s on rails and won’t start to flap at high speeds; powerful riders who know how to load the tail will also appreciate the extra pop you can get from a deck with so much rebound.

The N-9000 sintered base claims to include carbon nanoparticles. Yes, we know – carbon sometimes appears to be the answer to literally every design question, but there’s no denying this is a damn quick piece of P-tex. It’s finished with a swirly graphic that riffs on the organic theme and which is carried through to a (slightly more sobre) topsheet. The overall build quality is as polished as you would expect from a Swiss brand that’s been in the manufacturing game since Queen Victoria was on the throne. No joke.

“The Alpha APX moves seamlessly from edge to edge and slices down the hill like the proverbial hot knife”


With their Snow Surf quiver and now the Instinct Series, Nidecker have been pushing the envelope in board shape over the past several seasons. Just how closely the new Alpha truly resembles the natural designs that inspired it is open to debate, but what matters is that they’ve done something with the lines on this board that really works. The Alpha APX moves seamlessly from edge to edge and slices down the hill like the proverbial hot knife. It’s also more versatile than your typical directional shape, with a tail that’s long enough to handle switch riding but still sinks nicely in the deep stuff. If you’re a fan of flowing freestyle riding in natural terrain, this thing ticks every box.


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