What Makes Us Different

Our use of alternative construction materials is what makes Niche unique, and these actually make our boards lighter, have better vibration dampening, added elasticity, and more durable! Traditional snowboard manufacturing is pretty toxic, and we want to change that by using eco-friendlier materials. From harmful resins & fiberglass to the use of trees from forests that aren’t replanted, there are many facets of manufacturing that not only harm the planet, but also the people who put those products together. Through years of research and development, we’ve come up with a unique blend of alternative materials that are not only better for the earth but also improve performance!  We’re certainly not perfect and there is always an unavoidable footprint when making any product, but we firmly believe that even small steps lead to big differences, and we continually seek out more eco-friendly construction materials. Please read on to see how every snowboard we make is better for the earth.


Wood Veneer Topsheets

Our wood veneer topsheets used on the Story and Sonnet, replace plastic, are lacquer-free, and and actually provide extra vibration dampening!

Digi-Print Topsheets

We digitally print our topsheets using water-based inks that use up to 90% less solvents than traditional inks, and don’t use any lacquer, giving our boards a beautiful matte finish.

Snappy Sap™ Bio-Resin

We use bio-resins in all of our boards, which actually makes them really snappy and responsive, while also adding a ton of vibration dampening to your ride.

Basalt Magma Fiber

We use Basalt fiber instead of fiberglass in the Story, Sonnet and Theme, which makes them lighter, stronger, and absorb impact better.

HempHop™ Stringers

The Story, Sonnet and Knew have hemp stringers vertically laminated within the wood core, that add extra pop and stability.

Sustainable Wood Cores

All Niche snowboards are made with sustainably harvested Poplar wood cores.

Recycled Materials

All of our snowboards are made with recycled and reinforced steel edges, recycled ABS sidewalls, and recycled base material.

Flip Flop Bases

In all of our snowboards we alternate the base color schemes to avoid extra plastic base material waste.

Bio Wax

All Niche Snowboards are factory waxed with OneBall Jay Bio Wax.

Bamboo Sidewalls

The Niche Story and Aether feature bamboo sidewalls instead of plastic.


Digi-Print Topsheets

This is one of the first things you’ll probably notice when you pick up a Niche snowboard. Most snowboard makers cover their topsheets in a thick, toxic lacquer to add shine. This is not only toxic to the environment; it’s unhealthy for people working in the factory.  We use a lacquer-free topsheet material, which makes our boards slightly lighter than other snowboards. It also gives our boards a matte finish with a truly unique aesthetic, and an organic feel. We digitally print directly onto the topsheet, cutting up to 60% of the material and 75% of the energy wasted during alternative printing processes.

Wood Veneer Topsheets

Our wood topsheets are made from sustainable wood and are protected with a special, super secret heating and cooling process that doesn’t need any added lacquer!

Snowboards featuring wood topsheets include:

Niche Story Eco-Friendly Snowboard Wood Topsheet Black Elk Multi-Camber          Niche Story Eco-Friendly Snowboard Wood Topsheet Blue Elk          Niche Sonnet Eco-Friendly Women's Snowboard, Grey Gray Tree          Niche Story Multi-Camber Wood Topsheet Green Design Eco-Friendly Snowboard          Niche Story Traditional Camber Wood Topsheet Green Design Eco-Friendly Snowboard

Snappy Sap™ Bio-Resin

Niche_Snowboards_USDA_Label_1

Traditional resins can be extremely toxic to people and the environment. For our snowboards, we partner with Entropy Resins to create our one-of-a-kind, Snappy Sap Bio-Resin. As opposed to traditional epoxies made primarily of petroleum-based materials, Snappy Sap Bio-Resin is composed of bio-renewable materials from the industrial waste streams of the paper pulp and bio-fuels industries.

These natural components help the environment by:

• 37% material sourced from sustainable, bio-renewable materials

• Lower environmental impact from processing – reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, reduced water and energy consumption, reduced waste

• Eliminates harmful byproducts

Snowboard benefits:

• Increased elasticity – provides more pop and spring to your board

• Super high adhesion properties help keep your board from delaminating

• Toughness – combined, these benefits make your board bomb proof

Basalt Magma Fiber™

The majority of the snowboard industry uses fiberglass in board construction. We have replaced fiberglass in several of our models with Magma Fiber; a material that comes from basalt.

Niche Snowboards Basalt Magma Fiber 2

Basalt is a product of volcanic activity. The fiberization process is more environmentally safe than that of glass fiber; the greenhouse gases that might otherwise be released during fiber processing were released eons ago during the magma eruption. Basalt is 100% inert, which means it has no toxic reaction with air or water, and is noncombustible. Basalt is also much easier to recycle than fiberglass.

• Our Magma Fiber shows 15-20% higher tensile strength than regular fiberglass. This means better impact absorption, strength, and elasticity.

Want some volcano under your feet?  These snowboards feature Basalt Magma Fiber:

Theme 14/15  //  Theme 13/14

Story Multi-Camber 14/15  //  Story Multi-Camber 13/14

Story Traditional Camber 14/15  //  Story Traditional Camber 13/14

HempHop™ Stringers

Stringers are strips of material that change the personality of a board (i.e. giving a board more pop or more stiffness), and are typically made of carbon fiber or another type of wood. Niche has developed a totally new stringer technology we call HempHop, which are stringers made of a Hemp composite.

Niche Snowboards Hemp Stringers 1

Carbon uses lots of energy to process and releases half of its weight in CO2 and other pollutants when manufactured. Hemp is an awesome substitute, as it is a versatile, super fast growing crop that requires very little pesticides and no herbicides!

Did you know car companies like BMW and Mercedes are using hemp to replace carbon fiber in vehicle doors? Hemp stringers have similar characteristics to carbon fiber, with far less pollution! They are super strong and super light, making them an ideal swap. They also provide amazing vibration dampening characteristics, giving you a less chattery ride.

Sustainable Wood Cores

The forests that our wood cores come from are managed carefully to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of current and future generations.  Our wood cores also come from a sustainable source, which means they are replaced by new trees!

Niche Snowboards Sustainable Wood Cores

Here are some other requirements of our forest management:

• No use of hazardous chemicals

• No conversion of forests or any other natural habitat

• Appropriate management and identification of areas that need special protection (such as cultural or sacred sites, habitats of endangered animals or plants)

• Respect of international workers rights and human rights, with particular attention to indigenous peoples

• All applicable laws must be followed, with no tolerance for corrupt or questionable business practices

Recycled Materials

We use recycled materials in many components of our snowboard design and production.  Recycling products can only do good if they can be re-used and turned into new products, and we are proud to be part of the solution by integrating these materials into our snowboard manufacturing process.

Niche Snowboards Recycled Materials

Such components used in our boards include:

• Recycled base material

• Recycled steel edges

• Recycled ABS sidewalls

What’s Camber?

Today, boards have many dif­fer­ent kinds of cam­ber – an indus­try word for the con­cave or con­vex shape of a board. Cam­ber basi­cally deter­mines how the board flexes when you stand on it. This makes a big dif­fer­ence in how a board reacts to different terrain. Different types of camber produce different amounts of edge contact and pressure on the snow depending on the model/technology, which changes how a board turns, snaps, and feels underfoot. So before you choose, ask yourself what you want form your new board and review this breakdown of camber options.


 

Traditional Camber

Traditional camber is a mellow convex rise from the contact points of the tip and tail inward with an apex at the midpoint. A rider’s edge hold and pop come from the pressure exerted and expelled when camber is flexed under a rider’s weight. This downward pressure – the flattening of camber – initiates lively turns and provides continuous edge contact with the snow. Riding a board with Traditional Camber will feel stable, help initiate strong, powerful turns, have fast and responsive edge control, and lots of pop.

Models that feature traditional camber: Theme 14/15, Story 14/15, Theme 13/14, Story 13/14

Traditional Camber Snowboard Technology

 

 

Multi-Camber

Multi-Camber is a camber medley, which gives you the benefits of reverse camber while maintaining optimum pop and control. These boards have a concave arc (like the letter “u’) between your feet, with a subtle convex arc (like the letter “n”) extending to the contact points of the board. This combination of cambers creates a more encompassing and versatile ride. Multi-Camber boards are great for powder float, presses, and a forgiving ride. The design essentially reduces pressure at the contact points by bringing it inward and closer to your feet.

Models that feature multi-camber: Story 14/15Aether 14/15, SonnetStory 13/14, Aether 13/14, Limited Edition Crew

 

Multi-Camber Snowboard Technology

 

Flat Camber

Like the name says, this design has zero camber. A board with Flat Camber lays flush on a level surface and distributes pressure on snow in a neutral fashion. This creates a less aggressive, catch-free ride, and can be a happy medium between Traditional and Multi-Camber. It will float better in powder than Traditional Camber (similar to Multi-Camber) but remains relatively more stable and predictable than Multi-Camber. These boards can also feel more broken-in, and are easy for a novice as they tend to be more forgiving than Traditional Camber boards. Flat Camber exhibits traits from both sides of the camber spectrum with an overall balanced feel. The Flat Camber used in the Knew (a 2014 Good Wood Award winner!) is an example of this design.

Models that feature flat camber: Knew 14/15Minx 14/15, Knew 13/14, Minx 13/14

Flat Camber Snowboard Technology

Magnetraction

Magnetraction Snowboard Technology

What’s up with the wavy edges?  Magnetraction adds contact points to give your board more edge control and stability, especially in icy conditions – it works like the serrated edge of a knife and rides like a beast.  This fixes the ‘squirrely’ feel that reverse camber boards can have.

Some of the models that feature Magnetraction: Story Multi-CamberAether, and Sonnet!

 

Structurn Bases

All Niche Snowboards come standard with a base technology called Structurn. Structurn bases are faster in all conditions, but especially in slushy snow. This patented technology features elongated dimples on the base that reduce the surface tension between your base and the snow, making you slide faster.