Welcome to the Rossignol Frenemy Snowboard Review Battle. In this comparison style review I am going to be comparing the Rossi Frenemy to the Nitro Fate.
To qualify for this match up both boards had to:
- Be Women’s All Mountain Boards
- Cost less than $400
Let’s See How They Compared
First of all let’s take a look at some of the board specs to see that we are comparing like for like boards.
|Rossignol Frenemy||Nitro Fate|
|Price||$399 (USD)||$399 (USD)|
|Weight||Feels Normal||Feels Normal|
|Style||All Mountain||All Mountain|
|Ability Level||Beginner to Intermediate||Beginner to Advanced|
|Shape||Directional Twin||Directional Twin|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Camber||Roof chop (mostly flat)|
|Stance||Setback -12mm (0.5")||Setback -15mm|
I am satisfied that these are close enough match to compare.
The Performance Categories
As usual the boards are rated on 8 performance categories.
Smart Rating System
We are reviewing a particular type of board (All Mountain) so some performance factors will be more important than others. Given that the type of person looking for an all mountain board will want it to be able to do most things the weightings for all mountain boards are fairly even across all 8 factors.
Check out the table below to see how these boards rated as all mountain boards.
|Frenemy Ratings||Frenemy Points||Fate Ratings||Fate Points|
|TOTAL after normalizing||85.0/100||71.3/100|
A Closer Look
To give some perspective, of the 10 boards I looked at in this category (Women’s all mountain boards costing less than $400)
- the average score was 75.9
- the highest score was 85
- the Frenemy ranked 1st out of the 10 boards
- the Fate ranked 9th out of the 10 boards
The Frenemy scored well above that average – in fact almost 10 points above the average here which is pretty impressive. As an all mountain board should be, the Frenemy doesn’t have any weak categories. And for this price range that’s a really great score- it was the highest of the 10 boards I assessed.
The Fate on the other hand was almost 5 points below the average and the 2nd lowest of the 10 boards I looked at. Considering it is at the high end of the price category (the lowest rated board in the category cost just $250) this was not a good result.
It narrowly out did the Frenemy in the Switch and Jumps categories but was well beaten in Powder, Carving, Uneven Terrain & Pipe. It was particularly weak in the carving and pipe categories.
What the Reviews Say
The complaints in the reviews seem to say the same things for the Fate. Not a great carver and the tail slips at the end of a turn. Though the specs say that it is a beginner to advanced board the reviews that I read didn’t think it would be a great board to learn on.
It does get some credit for having a fast base and it’s not all bad – but the consensus is pretty much that you can get a better board for the price.
The Fate comes in both a flat and flat-to-camber camber profile. We are looking at the flat version, the flat-to-camber version could be a different story.
The Frenemy gets some pretty high praise in the reviews. Mostly as a beginner to immediate board and rated as being particularly good for those that have to regularly negotiate hard snow and icy conditions.
The hybrid camber profile (camber underfoot for stability and rocker towards nose and tail for easier turn initiation) and medium-soft flex means it would make a great beginners snowboard, even if it is on the pricier side for beginner decks.
The biggest complaint here is that it can feel a bit unstable at higher speeds (perhaps this is the biggest reason it is not great for advanced to expert riders).
Overall it is said to have great edge hold especially for a board with a medium-soft flex but that it is also very playful and can handle jibbing and what not in the park but still great in the powder and carving. All that you want in All Mountain board really.
In The Final Analysis
This one goes to the Frenemy hands down. It takes out most of the performance categories, gets rave reviews and shows very few weaknesses. In fact it does enough to make my list of the top all mountain snowboards for women.
The Fate on the other hand let’s itself down in a few areas. You wouldn’t have a bad day on it by any means but you could get something similar for cheaper or something better for the same price.
The Frenemy also features Magne-traction side cut tech and a sintered base – some awesome features on a board of this price.
So, hands down, this one is awarded to the Rossignol Frenemy!
|Frenemy||A great all rounder - just as you want an all mountain board to be. Seems about the right amount of performance for the price.||Probably not the best pick for advanced and expert riders. A little unstable at higher speeds.|
|Fate||Fast enough base and reasonable at switch and jumps - but you can get better boards for that if that is all you are after.||Costs too much for its performance. Biggest let down is its performance in carving|
If you are considering either of these boards here are some additional specs you might want to know to determine suitability.
|Rossignol Frenemy||Nitro Fate|
|Available lengths/(widths)||144 (239), 147 (240), 150 (241), 153 (242)||144 (236), 147cm (239), 150cm (241) 153 (242), 156 (243)|
|Edge-hold||Icy Snow||Medium Snow|
Where to Buy
I found the Frenemy at a couple of stores (see links below). Both these store have good reps and I’ve personally never had any issues with purchasing from either.
I found the nitro at backcountry.com too. Check it out on the link below.
Have You or Anyone you Know Ridden Either of these Boards?
I hope you’ve found this review useful. Check out the link below for my list of the top all mountain snowboards for women currently on the market, if you want to check out some other options.
Any comments or questions welcome as always.