Hello and welcome to my Niche Maelstrom review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Maelstrom as a freeride snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Maelstrom a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other freeride snowboards.
Board: Niche Maelstrom 2020
Flex Rating: Stiff (8/10)
Flex Feel on Snow: Stiff (8/10)
Rating Score: 86.8/100
Compared to other Men’s Freeride Boards
Out of the 32 men’s freeride snowboards that I rated:
Overview of the Maelstrom’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Maelstrom’s specs and available sizes.
Directional Hybrid Camber Nose rocker but no tail rocker
Waist Width (mm)
Rec Rider Weight (lb)
Rec Rider Weight (kg)
Who is the Maelstrom Most Suited To?
The Maelstrom is best for anyone looking for a hard charging board that's as home on the groomers as it is in the powder.
Not something for freestyle and certainly not for the beginner, or even intermediate rider - but great for advanced to expert riders looking to carve hard, bomb and find powder stashes.
The Maelstrom in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Maelstrom is capable of.
Board: Niche Maelstrom 2020, 160cm (256mm waist width)
Date: March 2, 2019
Bright blue skies. Groomers hard but not icy. A little cruddy in places.
Some light fresh off-groomer.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 540mm (21.3″)
Stance Setback: Setback 20mm
Width at Inserts: 268mm (10.55") at front insert and 266mm (10.47")
Rider Height: 6'0"
Rider Weight: 185lbs
Rider Boot Size: US10 Vans Aura
Bindings Used: Burton Malavita M
Weight: Weight of the 166 = 3163g (19.05g/cm) - big thanks to Bogomil for the info.
Average Weight per cm: 18.43 grams/cm*
*based on a sample size of around 100 models that I’ve weighed in 2019, 2020, 2021 *& 2022 models.
Felt really good in powder. Wish I had more of it on the day. But what I did find it felt good.
And it's got some specs to explain that too - a reasonable amount of taper, some setback, a longer nose than tail and a healthy amount of rocker in the nose, with no rocker in the tail.
Carving & Turning
Carving: This board was so nice to carve on. When you committed to the edge and ripped it, it rewards you.
Maneuverability at slow speeds: Not that nimble at slower speeds, definitely prefers to be ridden fast.
Skidded Turns: Not very forgiving of skidded turns. Need to be on your game on this board.
Really stable at speed. This board just wanted you to ride it fast, and when you open it out, it doesn't disappoint.
Not overly nimble for negotiating around bumps or anything like that. And not overly forgiving going over them.
But a machine in crud. As long as you committed to just smashing over/through it, it annihilated it. Just can't ride it too timidly through it.
There's definitely pop in there (when you really put in the effort) and it's solid for takeoffs and landings but overall not that suited to jumps.
Pop: When you really put the effort in, there was good spring to this board - but you did really have to put in that effort. Pop not easy to extract.
Approach: Not the most nimble for any trickier approaches but very stable for fast, easy approaches.
Landing: Solid landing for larger jumps, but not forgiving for those not yet that competent jumping.
Side-hits: Not nimble enough for my liking and the pop not easy enough to get out as I would prefer. Good for popping off rollers and anything open like that, but not so much up the walls or in trickier places.
Small jumps/Big Jumps: Definitely better for bigger jumps. Fine for smaller jumps if you're pretty competent already, but not the best for smaller jumps if you're just getting started there.
Doesn't feel very natural riding switch. Doable but not great.
Taking off/landing switch not the best for 1s, 5s etc. Not the easiest to get the spin around either. And not really one for small quick spins, where you want some easily accessible pop.
Nah. Didn't even attempt one. Not what this board is made for and I suspect it wouldn't feel good for it.
Pretty hard to butter on this board. You'd want to be pretty strong to butter well on this thing.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, the Maelstrom is a great option for those who like to carve and charge on groomers and get into powder when it's available. It crushes crud and is most at home when riding at speed vs riding slowly.
Really good edge hold in harder conditions too.
It's not a slow it down, play around kind of board or anything like that - as most freeride boards aren't, but when you open it out, it comes into it's own.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Maelstrom, or if you are ready to buy, or if you just want to research prices and availability, check out the links below.
If you want to check out some other freeride snowboard options, or if you want to compare how the Maelstrom compares to other freeride snowboards, then check out the next link.