Nidecker Smoke 2020-2021 Snowboard Review

  • Price: £565 / €600 / $620
  • Category: Freeride/Powder
  • Ability Level: Intermediate, Advanced
  • Size: 155, 158, 161
  • Shape: Directional
  • Profile: Directional Camber
  • Base: Sintered

We’re not ashamed to say that in last year’s guide we were somewhat gushy about the Nidecker Smoke’s dark and dangerous look. The phrase “magical aura” may even have appeared in our opening paragraph. Lucky for you – but mainly all us card-carrying Nidecker Smoke fanclub members at Whitelines – the tinted resin design of this poster boy has remained untouched for the new season.

What’s more, the Smoke remains as aggressive underfoot as it is dangerous-looking. It’s part of Thierry Kunz’s Snow Surf Quiver capsule, for which the former pro turned shaper has looked towards the dynamics of wave-riding to create a range that doesn’t ask, but demands the rider drive from the back foot in order recreate the stoke of a monster bottom turn on a big dreamy peeler. Albeit at altitude.

“As close to wavebourne fun as possible without getting a noseful of saltwater”

In order to recreate the feeling of absolutely winging it down an exploding Hawaiian slab, Kunz has used Nidecker’s N-9000 Sintered Base – the quickest, slickest one they manufacture, thanks to its dense molecular structure. And because the ability to go lightning fast is, let’s face it, absolutely useless without looking slick as hell whilst doing it, know that the Smoke’s diamond nose and tail shapes are all about upping the style and ease of big carving turns.

Perhaps the most surf-like ability of this all-mountain performance stick is how it absolutely begs you to max out the pressure you apply to its edges, so you can launch your way through your turns, low and steezy. It’s thanks to the new and lightweight Nidactive approach to building, with the rounded woodcore tops and its sidewalls both shaped in the way a surf shaper would do it.

Adding nothing more than a neat little white line to the base to recreate the effect of a surfboard’s all-important stringer, and you’re getting as close to wavebourne fun as possible without getting a noseful of saltwater.

Tester’s Verdict 2019/20

Rob McCreathWhitelines

“Holy Smokes, would you take a look at this thing!? This has all the aura of Blue Steel, with the added bonus of being able to turn left as well as right.

I’m already pretty set for shorter, wider carving boards – I have a KORUA Stealth – but I’m always down to see what the closest competition brings. The Nidecker Smoke is an altogether more powerful and ruthless samurai. Even with a little bit of choppy, bumpy powdery snow, the Smoke cut right through it. Being wider underfoot meant it continued to carve in these conditions without a whole lot of boot drag.

“Being a shorter board, you can manipulate the sidecut more effectively, so it’s as easy to layout big long sweepers as it is to tighten things up and dart from edge to edge”

Finally, I found some groomed pistes and this thing left its mark like Zorro down the corduroy. Being a shorter board, you can manipulate the sidecut more effectively so it’s as easy to layout big long sweepers as it is to tighten things up and dart from edge to edge.

It’s mighty powerful, you really need to commit to turning this thing otherwise it feels a bit like just tilting your head from side to side while it powers ahead in a straight line shouting “Is that all you got, pussy?!”

Get some stiff boots, get some stiff bindings, and prepare for the ultimate snowboarding induced stiffy. I guarantee you won’t regret adding this one to the quiver”

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