- Price: £450
- Sizes: 157, 160, 163
- Flex: 7
- Profile: Hybrid Camber
- Shape: Directional
Bryan Fox and Austin Smith get looked after pretty well at Nitro. Bryan has his pro model boot, and the pair of them get free reign to design a quiver of curious-looking snowboards that are built for the pow. It was this process that last year birthed the Nitro Mountain, a board that has now graduated to the main line.
You wouldn’t expect a board called the Mountain to be a jibstick, and sure enough this one prioritises exploring natural terrain over boom-gnarly stunt tricks in the park. It’s got a tapered directional shape, as well as a progressive sidecut that uses varying sizes of radius to power between carves.
"There’s plenty of pop thanks to the beech stringers that run the length of the otherwise all-poplar core"
Having said that, just a cursory glance at the Nitro Mountain confirms that freestyle isn’t entirely off the table. Indeed, as Knut Eliasson explains below, it was designed to be able to handle switch stuff better than most pow boards. It’s not for chucking cab 900s, but it’ll gladly oblige should you wish to get a little spontaneous on your way down a pillow line.
There’s plenty of pop thanks to the beech stringers that run the length of the otherwise all-poplar core, and the profile features a strong camber middle with rocker at each end. So you still get plenty of ollie power and strong edge hold, but whichever way you point it through the powder it won’t take much to keep it afloat. The high-density sintered base is top quality, and if looked after properly will send you screaming down the powder and groomers alike.
The graphics come courtesy of Nitro Art Director Paul Brown, and they give you a hint as to what the Nitro Mountain is all about. Most of your time spent on this should be far away from the lifts, getting after natural drops and spines and launching the occasional spin. With the Nitro Mountain, powder is your playground.
I rode this mostly on firm groomers, with the occasional venture into deep (albeit fairly tracked-out) powder. On the former, this thing is a joy to ride. As soon as you initiate your first turn it almost takes over, cutting lovely arcs across the groomers and always feeling rock-solid under your feet.
"It doesn’t float effortlessly, but any work you put in is definitely rewarded when you’re blasting into some fresh"
It held its own in the powder too, and as good as piste riding felt it was always worth finding some pockets off the side. It doesn’t float effortlessly, but any work you put in is definitely rewarded when you’re blasting into some fresh.
Obviously the intention is to get it airborne and spinning, and here it’s capable but not exactly exciting. There’s enough pop, but not masses, and when landing switch you want to revert to your normal stance pretty sharpish.
There are always compromises to be made when designing a board for all-mountain freestyle, and this one is still more about the ride than the tricks. Personally I didn’t have a problem with that, and I don’t think anyone else who tries it will either.
Knut Eliassen - Team Manager, Nitro
The Mountain was introduced into the Nitro line by team riders Bryan Fox and Austin Smith three years ago when they wanted to add a new board into their Quiver series. The two of them have been riding in the upper Northwest of the USA for well over a decade, spending time between Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood and Mt. Baker, as well as the Whistler backcountry up in Canada. They decided it was time to make a board that was basically meant to ride the way you want to ride - not switch.
I remember telling them that there already was a perfect swallowtailed pow board in the line, but they told me that they wanted something that could also handle switch take-offs and landings.
That was when board designer mastermind and co-founder of Nitro snowboards Thomas Delago came in, and worked with Fox & Smith to create their concept. After one year of the Mountain 160 being in the Quiver line the demand was huge, and we now offer it in multiple sizes as part of the main snowboard line to meet the growing demand.
Fox & Smith are now pissed because they don't have their favourite everyday board in their Quiver line anymore! The point of the story is that when you create something, be careful not to make it too good because than everyone will want it.