Posts Tagged ‘Nitro

27
Jul
17

Nitro Snowboards x Mint Tours x Hotham Goodtimes Weekend 2016

Nitro Snowboards method at Hotham

What a wang! Triple methods from Torgeir Bergrem, Marcus Kleveland and Sven Thorgren.

Run to the hills! Last year in late August Nitro Snowboards Australia-NZ called me up to join them and shoot their Goodtimes weekend at Mt Hotham. The Nitro International Team was in Oz, and were shooting their 2017 catalog at Hotham, and so I went along to document it all.

It was a ripping weekend with the crew, and some insane riding from the uber-pros on the features built by Hotham park crew and the inventive Rusty Toothbrush boys.

2017 Issue 1 of Australia-NZ Snowboarder published a five-page feature article using my words and photos from the weekend … but as always, there’s a lot of extra shots. So take a look at the gallery below.

And if you’re interested in joining in on this sort of action, Nitro has once again joined with Mint Tours for “Run To The Hills” weekend at Falls Creek from 4-6 August 2017. Scope the deets here. See you up there!

Click on the photos to open up the gallery…

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25
Jun
14

The Best All-Mountain Snowboard: 2015 Nitro Blacklight Gullwing Review

Radmania Nitro Blacklight Gullwing 159

If you had to ride one snowboard for the rest of your life, do you think you could choose just one board that could do it all?

There’s certainly something to be said for building up a quiver of boards – to show the sideways-riding world that you are serious shredder who has the right equipment for every conceivable condition. But after a few years of accruing all manner of boards, you can get too spoilt for choice: your powder weapon ain’t much good when you hit the park at the end of the day, and your freestyle stick (usually) won’t float much when you hit the deep fresh. And no-one wants to be that whiney guy on the chairlift who complains that he should have grabbed one of his other boards instead.

So what if one board could do it all?

After getting my hands on a pre-released Nitro 2015 Blacklight Gullwing for my 2014 overseas trip, I reckon I’ve found the board that can.

 

Rocker vs Camber … or the best of both: Gullwing Rocker

Nitro_Gullwing_Rocker

Now that some of the euphoria around reverse camber has died down a little bit, there has been a minor pushback against the banana boats in favour of good ol’ stable and secure camber, or even zero-camber for something in the middle. And yes, it is true that rocker lacks the control and edge hold of traditional camber boards at high speed … but nothing can beat it for a neutral float in powder.

Nitro’s Gullwing rocker– or to use Burton-speak, Flying V – aims for the best of both worlds: the playfulness and powder-float of rocker, and the groomer control and response of camber. It does a great job … but, having ridden my old Nitro Team Gullwing on steep and Coke-bottle-icy early season St Anton slopes a couple of years ago, I was that complaining dude on the chairlift wishing that I had brought one of my stiffer, regular camber boards. The Gullwing was just a little too playful when maximum control was required on the slippery, icy slopes. But that’s where Nitro’s new Power Pods come into play…

 

Power Pods:

Nitro_Power_Pods

See that lil’ bump on the rail? That’s a Nitro Power Pod … and it’ll make you a carving demon!

The sidecut of the 2015 Blacklight contains a short and long radius, so that just in front of your leading foot, and behind your back foot two seemingly innocuous bumps protrude a few millimetres. They’re highlighted by fluoro green sections of sidewall, in case you hadn’t noticed them when you first picked up the board. These Power Pods give outrageous edge grip, and cut through snow like a proverbial hot knife through butter, or perhaps more like a serrated blade through crusty bread.

I was amazed at the insane angulation I could achieve on wintry hardpack, whipping through high-G euro-carves and loading up the pop so that I’d actually spring out into the next turn like a PGS’ing Olympian. And in my wake I left 4cm deep perfect-arc gouges in the groomers.

If you know how to lay it out and execute proper carves, you’re gunna want these Power Pods on your rails. And although this season’s California lean snow year meant Northstar didn’t build its normal epic superpipe, I reckon the Power Pods would give amazing grip up and out of the icy walls too.

 

The Short Board Revolution:

Epic 2015 Nitro Blacklight Gullwing 159 topsheet and base graphics.

Epic 2015 Nitro Blacklight Gullwing 159 topsheet and base graphics without all the stickers.

As a 100+ kg, 196cm-tall (6’5”1/2) shredder I understand that the gear I ride is outside the normal parameters for a regular 5’10”, 75kg rider: and in the (camber) past my all-mountain board was 163-164 and I stepped up to a 167 for powder. However, riding Nitro’s Team Wide Gullwing I have been able to step down to 159cm in length for ALL forms of riding, including the deep Niseko powder. During the ultra-snowy February of 2013 I just set back my usual wide stance an inch and the 159 Team Wide Gullwing gave me a more neutral-stance float in the Hokkaido powder than my 167 camber board ever did.

And with the Blacklight, the longer nose will help even more with powder float, but with a directional setback of only 15mm, it’s easy to set the board up for a pretty neutral twin-tip feel for park riding. During pow days in Tahoe I could stand more upright, lean back less and save the back-leg burn, as well as ride a shorter, more manoeuvrable directional-twin tip board straight from the steep(ish) and deep backside of Northstar to Pinball park and pipe.

Riding powder on Nitro’s Gullwing rocker boards feels more like the sort of float you feel when pumping through the face of a fat wave, or across the flats on a wakeboard: it’s playful and forgiving, light and loose, and the reverse camber allows you to really lean into pow turns much more without fear of the camber catching and the nose diving. And I have a sneaky feeling that the reverse camber shape of the base actually helps you spray more snow on those turns, flying radially off the rocker … or maybe it’s just that it’s easier to imagine yourself as Jordy Smith laying over a rail to bury the nose and spray your mates, allowing the rocker to pop you up as you prepare for your next turns with a huge grin on your face.

 

2015 Blacklight Specifications:

Nitro Oz’s Darragh Walsh hooked me up with the Blacklight as the up-spec version of the Team Wide that I was used to riding, and the Blacklight does share a lot of similarities with it as a freestyle-focussed all-mountain board. However, the Blacklight is listed at a higher price point, and it’s a little bit stiffer, it’s a mid-wide, a little more directional in profile, and it is equipped with a faster base and the Power Pods … and of course it comes with typically Nitro epic ghost-Viking, Game Of Thrones-esque graphics.

Scroll down for all the board’s specs from the 2015 Nitro catalog.

 

So, should you buy one?

If your next overseas trip is to Minnesota or Montreal, or you wanna get jibby wit it on Sundays In The Park, the Blacklight might not be the sort of freestyle noodle that you’re looking for. But if you like to ride the whole mountain, charge steep lines and deep powder, lay out high-G carves on wide groomers, hit big jumps and freestyle features in the park, and launch out the top of a superpipe, the 2015 Nitro Blacklight Gullwing is the one board for you. You too can have a one-board quiver.

 

Want more information? Check out Nitro’s 2015 Blacklight Gullwing here and take a look at Nitro Snowboard’s full 2015 catalog here.

Wanna buy a 2015 Nitro Blacklight Gullwing? Ask at your local Nitro Dealer, or online in Australia at Twelve Boardstore.

2015 Nitro Blacklight Gullwing from the brochure.

2015 Nitro Blacklight Gullwing features listed in the brochure.

Click to expand. 2015 Nitro Blacklight Gullwing specifications and measurements.

Click to expand. 2015 Nitro Blacklight Gullwing specifications and measurements.

20
May
10

Online Exposure

Nitro and Destyn Via’s Darragh Walsh has been getting some good exposure so far this season, most lately with a “Day in the Life of…” on Transfer Magazine’s website. The attached photos are ones are just a few that we took one sunny Spring day up at Northstar. Take a look at the web entry here and make sure you check out the video, which is pretty cool for a fun web edit, put together by fellow Sawmill Heights resident, Corey Turner. Too bad Transfer spelt my surname incorrectly…again!

This “Day in the Life of Darragh” was ear marked back in early March, and so I was happy to sacrifice a valuable day of riding when I knew the photos would make it online…and more so as I knew Transfer Magazine normally pay for photos used on their website. For a rider, getting exposure online is a great and simple way to maximise their “name”, brand and sponsors’ support, which in turn should hopefully lead to more (potentially financial) support from sponsors. It seems like everyone’s getting on the blog bandwagon, from Robbie Walker, Ryan Tiene…and even snowboard photographers, as a simple way to get some exposure on the world-wide-web.

But for photographers, videographers, and writers (“journalists” sounds too serious for snowboarding) there is very little future financial pay-off for online exposure, unless a site is willing to pay directly for content. This relates partly back to my previous entry about the value of a photo: because snowboarding (and the like) is such a fun lifestyle, there’s always someone willing to give away their hard-worked digital content for free – they are just stoked to see their creation online. This sort of mentality has helped what is known as the “crapification of everything”, including online publishing, whereby the level of visual content seen on websites (from writing, photos and video) is at a much lower level than you would see in print at the newsagent or on your TV. As Robert Capps says in his original article “The Good Enough Revolution”, with the increased use of new technology, rather than focus on the quality of a product or service:

 “Instead, we’re now focused on three things: ease of use, continuous availability, and low price…We now favor flexibility over high fidelity, convenience over features, quick and dirty over slow and polished. Having it here and now is more important than having it perfect.”

With snowboarding websites, we want to see news and content immediately  when it starts to provide news too slowly it starts to become irrelevant, we could instead buy a paper or pick up a magazine. So I think we are all willing to trade off a bit of online quality for immediacy and importantly, without having to pay for it.

So for this reason, I applaud websites, like Transfer, that are willing to help out seasoned photographers when publishing their content, as hopefully it raises the quality level of content on the web when there is a financial reward. Of course, we all have to start somewhere, and an online magazine is the logical place (outside a blog) to get some recognition. And there’s nothing wrong with volunteering your work to get it online for free when you are starting out, as honestly, it probably isn’t worth being paid for. I guess it’s like work experience. But at some point as you’re career chugs along, you have to take a stand and demand being paid (in one form or another) for your work.

All this made me think back about some of my work that has been published online, some of which I received payment for, and sometimes not.

Boardtheworld.com:

This is the first snowboarding article I ever had published online, for just about the oldest-running snowboard website in the world, operating since 1996. I wrote the competition report when I was completing my Articles of Clerkship on the way to becoming a solicitor back in 2003. Of course I didn’t get any payment for this, but when it turned up in print in Australian Snowboarder Magazine in May 2004 I did…and I was hooked! It came out right before I flew off to a German Alps Spring snowboard camp, Gap Camp, where I met lots of pro riders and photogs, and it helped kickstart my desire not to return to law and instead see where a life in snowboarding might lead. I went on to contribute lots of items for BTW over the years, and Bear and Mouse were great to me, and publishing on Boardtheworld helped give me confidence in my work, an idea of how to write and operate more professionally, and it opened lots of doors for me in the snowboard industry.

Read “BTW Riders Dominate Mtn Dew Shredfest” here.

Ski.com.au:

After my first season at Falls Creek in 2004, Australia’s most popular snow website, ski.com.au, offered me the dream position of On-Mountain Representative at Falls for 2005 after I had piqued their interest with some articles I had sent them. I knew it was too good to be true: I basically got paid to snowboard every day, check the conditions, take a photo and write a report for that day, as well as liaise with ski.com.au advertisers, the resort and other parties…oh, and I got paid more each week than I was earning as a lawyer! The dream job couldn’t last after that season, but it gave me the unrealistic hope that more lucrative snow industry job offers would just appear from the ether. I’m still waiting.

It was hard to find any of my old blog entries or articles, but here is another competition report I put up on the site.

Transworld Snowboarding – 2008 Burton Australian Open:

With some persistent hassling I finally made in-roads at the biggest snowboard magazine in the world, Transworld. The Burton Australian Open was on again at Perisher (for the last time we were to discover unfortunately 10 months later) and Transworld wanted some gallery shots for their website, twsnow.com, to go along with the Burton press release and handful of shots by Dan Himbrechts. I think they paid me US$200 for each gallery, slopestyle and halfpipe, which I was happy with for a couple of days work – photos that I would have taken anyway. And fortunately, a couple of the photos also made it into the print magazine during the upcoming Northern Winter. Stoked!

See the halfpipe report here. (The gallery on the slopestyle page has disappeared unfortunately, but above is a photo of winner Torstein Horgmo, which also made it into print.)

Transworld Snowboarding- Oz Regional Report:

This was something I had been thinking about and proposing to the editors of Transworld for a couple of years, so I was really excited when they told me they wanted a regional report in the magazine. I went to all the main Aussie resorts in 2008 to get some Transworld-worthy photos (well, for a Regional Report anyway), but I don’t think many riders actually believed me when I said I was working on a project for Transworld. A shortened article made it into the last issue of Transworld for 2009, giving some lesser-known Aussie riders some epic international exposure, and I was even featured with a headshot as a contributor in the contents page. I sure felt like I had finally made it, getting some international industry recognition, and even better – I was paid for the print version, as well as for the online post.

Take a look at Transworld’s guide to snowboarding in Australia here.

And if you want to see what content of yours might have been put online without your knowledge, it’s always interesting to google yourself…that’s another problem with online content – but I’ll get into that some other time.

UPDATE: Speaking of googling yourself…I just came upon a lo res layout version of the double-page-spread I had in ESPN: The Magazine for their January 2008 Winter X Games issue. This magazine is similar to Sports Illustrated in the USA, althought perhaps not quite as prestigious, and so I was pretty excited to get a DPS…especially when they paid US$1000 for it too! The Senior Editor of the magazine has some of her work available for download. Take a look here.