Expert Review: 2023 Nitro Drop [with Video]Published on 09/10/2023 · 6 min readSnowboard Expert Sydney Johnson tested the 2023 Nitro Drop snowboard on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Expert Sydney Johnson got her hands on the Nitro Drop and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but don’t forget, every rider is unique; if you have any questions on the Nitro Drop or would like recommendations on what board would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated.
Before we jump in, a quick note that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands, all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What's your overall impression of the board? This board was a really fun experience on the mountain. I prefer directional shaped boards and I have a high expectation of what a directional board should do. I think that this would be a great intermediate directional board for somebody who is just getting into riding directional boards. It would also be good for someone wanting to experience riding more of a freeride terrain style.
If you’re more of an advanced/expert level rider and normally ride directional boards then you might want something that’s a little more powerful and aggressive, but either way this board was a lot of fun. I felt like it charged and had the elements that more advanced riders like in directional boards.
I wasn’t able to ride in powder today, but because of its nice big nose, I think it would excel in powder. Overall, this shape was really awesome, especially for people just getting onto directional boards and more aggressive terrain.
How does it turn? How is its edge hold? This board turns really well. The edge to edge turning was not as quick as I usually would like it to be and because of its shape it is better for wider turning. I was able to get some smaller radius turns in and the edges held well, but it was not the most aggressive edge to edge. For an intermediate rider this is perfect, because this board is easy to control so you aren’t going to feel overwhelmed or like the board is leading you.
How is stability in turns? With the directional shape and smaller tail, the carves had a surfy feeling. As I picked up more speed on the mountain, I did feel more chatter under my feet but that may have been the springtime conditions I was riding on.
How is it in terms of speed? Is it easy to control at speed? This board felt really good in terms of speed and bigger turns. Because of the larger nose and narrower width, it was unable to do smaller turns, but I was able to control the larger, surfy turns on the mountain.
How is its pop? The stiffness of this board is a 6 out of 10 so it still has some good flex to it. I was able to get some good spring out of it on jumps. It was playful enough to do some presses, but I wouldn’t say that this is a super playful board.
How is it riding switch? The directional shape is meant for a fun, all-mountain, dip-into-the-trees, hit-all-the-terrain-on-the-mountain kind of board. I took it switch, so you could ride switch in the park, but I will say it is not a specific freestyle board.
How is it for buttering? I did try to do a butter on this board and I was slightly successful with that play. The directional shape makes it fun and a little interesting because the tail is super short and the nose is a lot longer. It’s really fun and you would be able to butter it if you’re good at butters, but this board would not be so good for learning to butter.
How is the board on jumps and how is its stability on landings? This board has enough tail to its directional shape where I felt stable while jumping and riding switch. It was a little sketchy because of how proportionally different the nose and tail are but I did feel stable when landing the jumps.
How would it be in powder? On a good resort powder day I would really favor this board. The big nose and surfy feel from the shape will be a fun experience for the intermediate level rider in powder. It would also be a lot of fun on the groomers. Chopping through chowder was okay, but on rough snow days I would mostly stick to the groomers and then try and navigate in the chopped up tree areas.
How is it riding in the trees? How is its maneuverability? The maneuverability was good and, as a directional board, you need that nimbleness to get through the trees. I felt successful with that. This board would thrive in good conditions with an intermediate level rider.
To sum up, what terrain is this board ideal for? This board is really good for all-mountain, powder riding, and groomers that are very nice. Mostly resort riding for this board but it does have a 9 out of 10 rating for the backcountry. I was not able to take it out into the backcountry, but I imagine that it would perform well because of the way it felt on my carves. I felt confident on this board as soon as I put it on my feet.
What terrain should riders avoid with it? The edge hold was good but in those chundery, slushy, early season, late season, or just in a bad snow year like this year, this board would not be my top choice.
Any location in the world that it might be good for? This is a really good one-quiver type of board for the all-mountain or big-mountain rider. I would take this anywhere if this was my board.
Who would you recommend this board to? I would recommend this board to intermediate riders who are looking for a directional shape and who are looking to have a little more charging power in their backcountry riding, through the trees, and in their groomers.
Who should avoid this board, there are better options for them out there? Beginners would not be as successful on this board and neither would advanced or expert riders. It was aggressive enough to propel me in my turns and in any terrain I wanted to go on, but it was not aggressive enough for those really advanced, expert-level riders who are looking for a lot of pop out of their board. For an intermediate-level rider you would feel comfortable on this board. You could build confidence and learn to love this shape like I do.
Snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you want help finding the right board for you, reach out to Sydney or any other Snowboard Expert here on Curated. Note that the 2024 version of the Nitro Drop is linked below - same tech, just different graphic: