I finally got to take this thing out today. It was -10C (14F) early in the morning. We've been going through some freeze/thaw cycles so I knew the snow was going to be pretty icy. What the heck, let's take the NSR for the first run!
Oh jebus! I've been on big sidecut boards before, you've got to get up some speed before trying to turn. This one likes LOTS of speed! It took a little while to learn the language this board speaks - basically you have to be the boss, tilt it up on edge, and push that puppy hard into the snow! It really came alive once I did that. Even on pretty icy conditions, it just worked. It's very quiet-feeling (damp) underfoot and has a distinctive 'ripping' type sound as it goes about it's business on very hardpack/granulated ice.
As the day progressed I noticed the skidders were scraping the groomed snow off more and more, leaving just yellow ice with little ribs that showed how deep the groomer blades penetrated.* It was getting seriously hard to bend this board, and I was frequently losing the edge and sliding out. Just like Bruce said, this board wasn't cut out for these conditions. To go fast enough to bend the board, it was going to really hurt if/when you fell. Go slow and it felt like it had a 100m sidecut radius.
So I dig out my trusty Coiler 167 VSR XTight. It eats up ice. Guess what? It wasn't fun either! That's when I looked around and noticed that everyone is falling on the big ice patches. Conditions were really brutal. Some were joking about getting their hockey skates from their cars. (Canada, eh? ) I packed it in with only minor bruising on my knees and elbows. The NSR really worked better than I would have expected in adverse conditions.
Kind of a weird review, I know. But it's amazing that this big 'race' style board worked better than I expected in tough conditions. It'll hook a pretty tight turn if you've got enough grip and trust in the board. But it's not a good choice if you like to tip a board and wait for it to start turning - the NSR would just laugh and continue down the fall line! If you're the kind of person that likes to load up the nose and boss a board around, this offers a very nice reward while being stable at speeds higher than I'll ever go.
I'm anxious to get out in some good snow with this thing! That's likely sometime in December now...
* This hill tends to groom quite shallow at this time of year, they're trying to preserve the 'snow' as long as possible.