Nidecker Thruster 2021-2022 Snowboard Review

Tested and selected for our top 100 snowboard products of the year: the Nidecker Thruster

  • Price: £495 / €500 / $530
  • Category: All-Mountain
  • Sizes: 147, 150, 153, 156, 159, 162w
  • Flex: 8/10
  • Shape: Directional
  • Profile: Camber
  • 3D: Yes
  • Base: Sintered

Why we chose the Nidecker Thruster Snowboard: It’s a powerful new model from the Swiss masters of carving craft that corners like it’s on rails and goes like the clappers.

It never ceases to amaze us that Nidecker have been in business since 1887. OK, back then they were focused on farming equipment rather than snow-sliding machines, but that’s a lot of experience in the manufacturing game. Their snowboards rightly have a reputation for aggressive piste performance – as befits their Swiss roots – and with the Slice ‘n’ Dice video series of the last 5 years they’ve successfully tapped into the carving renaissance. Now they’ve poured all their edge-to-edge know-how into an aggressive new shape that’s capable of slaying hardpack and powder alike. Introducing the Thruster./p>

“Experienced riders with a taste for low turns and eye-watering speeds will dig it”


Who Is The Nidecker Thruster For?

If you have to ask, it’s probably not for you. We’re talking about unchecked aggression here, dude. A directional shape, stiff core, positive camber and lightning-fast base make this an all-mountain weapon of the most formidable kind. Experienced riders with a taste for low turns and eye-watering speeds will dig it. Beginners? Less so.

Shape, Profile and Sidecut

The Thruster fills a place in the line previously occupied by the Platinum and Rave, and there are elements of both these hard charging favourites in the new design. It’s an unashamedly directional outline with a modern, blunt nose and tail that packs maximum running length into the shortest possible silhouette.

The set-back stance with a subtle taper will help you drive through turns, while that long nose batters its way over bumpy hardpack and delivers natural float whenever the powder gods oblige. There’s still enough tail to ride switch for a while or chuck the occasional spin, but this board is most at home snapping turns in your regular stance and smashing the doors off windlips. In that respect it’s like those classic surf ‘thrusters’ favoured by comp surfers who need to perform super aggressive maneuvers on critical faces – hence (we guess) the name.

From tip to tail the board features a classic camber which offers explosive ollie power to riders who know how to harness it, as well as an engaged feel on edge and a ton of natural rebound when switching heel to toe. In short, she’s lively!

The inclusion of Sidekicks – basically the base flicks upwards at the wide points – helps to prevent that aggressive profile from feeling too twitchy and makes turn initiation more progressive. The 3D element also lends the nose a hull-like effect, keeping it planing easily over crud, slush and pow alike.

“In short, she’s lively!”

Construction and Materials

Nidecker have spared no expense in the construction of the new Thruster. The ‘Light Core’ is, well, the lightest in their range, a high-tech blend of poplar and paulownia with beech stringers for extra strength. It makes for a super reactive ride that’s easier to get airborne than heavier competitors in the all-mountain segment.

This finely-crafted piece of wood is wrapped in triax weave fibreglass, maximising the torsional stiffness for instant edge control. Remember, this thing replaces the legendary Rave (as seen in those Slice ‘n’ Dice vids) so it needs to be able to hold down a full eurocarve. Hence there’s also carbon fibre at the nose and tail to keep a lid on any high speed jitters, and a dampening layer within the layup which Nidecker call ‘Absorbnid’.

All in all, then, the Thruster is built to be a smooth-sailing rocketship, and to guarantee escape velocity it comes loaded with one of the most face-meltingly fast bases we’ve ever tested. Strap in and prepare for launch.

“It makes for a super reactive ride that’s easier to get airborne than heavier competitors in the all-mountain segment”


Any time a brand replaces a popular model (or in this case, two popular models) the pressure is on to justify the change. Nidecker’s strategy to convince any doubters with the Thruster was to conjure up a crowd-pleasing, ultra modern outline and then chuck the kitchen sink at the spec list. And heck, it’s worked. If you need an uncompromised turning machine that chews corduroy for breakfast and can hammer down powder lines at lunchtime then there’s basically nothing finer on the market. You need to be a pretty experienced rider to unleash all that full-cambered, carbon-boosted carving power but, if that’s you, congratulations: you just hit the jackpot.

Trade Secrets

Antoine Floquet – Senior Engineer & Product Manager, Nidecker

“This board was intentionally shaped for All Mountain ultimate versatility. However when we asked Sebby K to test the first protos and tell us his feelings, we were surprised his answer was “it pops amazingly and lands perfectly corks in the park”! Right – Versatility also means killing it in the park!”


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