Hello and welcome to my Niche Knew snowboard review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Knew as a Freestyle snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Knew a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other freestyle snowboards.
NOTE: The 2019 model was the last model of the Knew, though the new Niche Wraith is a similar, though not exact replacement.
Board: Niche Knew
Price: $449 (USD recommended retail)
Flex: Medium-Soft (4/10)
Rating Score: 83.5/100
Compared to other Men’s Freestyle Boards
Out of the 42 Men’s Freestyle snowboards that I rated:
- The average score was 80.6/100
- The highest score was 90.7/100 (see below)
- The lowest score was 68.1/100
- The average price was $435
- The Knew ranked 9th out of 36
Overview of the Knew’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Knew’s specs and available sizes.
|Ability Level||Intermediate to Expert||Feel||Stable|
|Camber Profile||Flat||Shape||True Twin|
|Stance Setback||Centered||Edge-hold||Up to hard snow|
|Waist Width (mm)||250||253||257|
|Weight Range (lbs)||110-170||110-170||110-190|
|Weight Range (kgs)||50-77||50-77||50-82|
Who is the Knew Most Suited to?
The Knew is best for anyone who prefers to spend most of their time in the park – or want a second board that they use in the park – but also wants it to be able to handle the rest of the mountain, when the urge appears.
But predominantly this is for the park and that’s where it shines, particularly on jibs but also good for small to medium jumps and ground tricks.
Doable for the beginner but not ideal. It has a flat camber profile. I like to see some rocker in a beginner board. So even though it would otherwise be a good beginner board, I would say intermediate and up. If you are a beginner in the park but otherwise have the fundamentals of general riding down, then this would definitely be suitable.
The Knew in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Knew is capable of.
Board: Niche Knew 2017, 155cm (257mm waist width)
Date: April 9th, 2016
Conditions: Icy at first, but softened up a bit and became mildly slushy in the afternoon. Perfect day in terms of the weather, not a cloud in the sky – just wish that I hadn’t left my sunscreen in the car!
Bindings angles: +18/-9
Given that it’s a true twin, centered stance board with a flat camber profile, I expected very little in terms of float in powder.
But it certainly wasn’t awful. I would say average in powder. Better than I expected, to be honest. But it does have quite a stable feel and there’s a reasonable amount of surface area. It’s slightly wider for its length compared to the average board, and I think this helps with that float (amongst other things).
Carving & Turns
Quite nimble and maneuverable – but part of that comes to the shorter length (slightly negated by the wider width). But overall turns were easy and relatively quick edge to edge but not lightning quick.
Carving is not what this board is made for. If carving is your mainstay, then there are much more suitable boards out there. But if you want to lean into the occasional carve you can certainly do it on the Knew.
Again, not really what this board was made for. But it was actually not bad at higher speeds. Not a speed demon, but was actually relatively stable at speed for a freestyle deck.
It also has a sintered base which helps to give it good glide on the flats and good acceleration (as I found out – see jumps section below).
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
Was pretty good over uneven terrain. That softer flex helps it to hug the curves when you need it to. I did spend most of my time on this board in the park though.
Now we get into the categories that this board was really designed for.
This board had some really good stability for landings and had some good acceleration for the approach to jumps. Best for small to medium jumps but definitely doable for larger jumps – typically I prefer something with just a little bit more stiffness for large jumps – but it’s definitely ok and that stability makes it a bit more suitable.
It’s got heaps of pop for popping off smaller jumps or lips or rollers.
In fact, this board has so much pop off jumps that I overshot the landing on an extra small jump and ended up breaking my tail bone! That of course wasn’t the board’s doing – it was my over zealousness of wanting to get as much air as I could and I hit it with way too much speed – who knew you could get that much air off an extra small jump – all be it that it also had an extra small landing zone too!
It’s a true twin shape and a centered stance so it’s naturally going to feel pretty good in either direction. Also, given it has an easy going flex, it’s good for riding switch for those that aren’t that skilled at it yet.
Perhaps the strongest feature of the Knew is on jibs. It felt really natural to press, the softer flex worked there.
It’s also a really easy board to spin, both off jumps and jibs.
Changes from Past Models
The 2019 model is, as far as I can tell, the same as the 2018 model but with a different graphic
The 2018 (2017-18) model is essentially the same as the 2017 model.
This board underwent a couple of changes for the 2017 (2016-17) model. Perhaps the most noticeable is that the sizes have changed.
The size for the 2016 (2015/16) model were:
- 149cm (245mm waist)
- 152cm (247mm waist)
- 154cm (249mm waist)
- 156cm (250mm waist)
So, they’ve become quite a bit wider which has added a bit more stability but maybe sacrificed a little bit in maneuverability – but probably not as this board is designed so that you ride a shorter length that you would with, say, an all-mountain board.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
|TOTAL after normalizing||83.5/100|
Overall a really fun, snappy, poppy, easy to spin little park board. Great on jibs and awesome for small to medium jumps. Easy riding switch too as you’d expect.
Can also get out on the rest of the mountain for when you feel the urge, but predominantly suited to the park.
I would have loved to have spent more time on this board – but my time was cut short (see jumps section above).
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Knew or want to research prices and size availability, check out the links below.
If you want to check out some other freestyle snowboard options or want to see how the Knew compared to others in the same category check out the next link.