Nidecker Escape 159 Wide All-mountain Freeride Snowboard Review

The madmen at Nidecker have been at the forefront of game-changing snowboard innovation since 1984 with a snow-focused manufacturing heritage dating back long before that (1912). So when Nidecker produces a “mid-range” snowboard, chances are you`re getting more bang for your buck than advertised. The Nidecker Escape all-mountain freeride snowboard is a great example crammed with features to get you moving faster, carving harder and floating easier on a nicely priced deck built to last.

Nidecker Escape Intro

The Nidecker Escape twin-tip directional all-mountain board offers the type of innovative innards normally found in higher priced shred machines. Advanced riders looking for an everyday board will definitely find the versatility of the Escape interesting. Likewise, intermediates wanting to aggressively dip off into untouched freshies to evade the crowds will truly appreciate this freeride-board-with freestyle-traits.

  • *Versatile hybrid twin + directional shape provides freeride power & freestyle finesse
  • *Camber + rocker profile for stability on-piste and easier floatation in pow
  • *Great edge hold when carving on-piste
  • *Playful off the trail in powder
  • *Strong edges and durable wax absorbent base
  • *Cool, classic Zermatt, Switzerland graphics
  • *Fun-factor = Playful at a very pretty price


Nidecker Escape Off-piste & Powder Performance

Is the Escape a dedicated blower Japow board like a Hovercraft or big-mountain freeride world championship dominator like the UltraLight? No, but it`s a versatile board that shows a lot of playfulness off the trail.

The Escape`s twin-directional shape gives you enough of a set-back stance to cruise comfortably in deeper snow while traditional twin-tip trickery options for freestyle fun are there as well. Trademark Nidecker Freeride Camrock® combines rocker in the nose-&-tail for floatation with camber between the bindings for stability when the conditions become anything other than perfect.

Strong edges — 35% more steel in Nidecker edges than other manufacturers — and tough base material also exemplify why the Escape is an enviable all-mountain freeride board at an equally enviable price.


Nidecker Escape On-Piste Performance

Edge-hold throughout all phases of a carve scored high, while the mid-flex pattern (7 of 10 on the stiffness scale) is still stiff enough to allow for strong, controlled exits out of turns. Icy hardpack handling isn`t the Escape`s strong-suit, but if that`s your goal, throw-on some ski boots and buy a race board (or skis).

The Escape`s twin-directional shape gives you the freedom to spin-it-around for switch riding far more comfortably than on a normal directional freeride board. If your stance is centered, even with the slightly set-back inserts, switch feels very stable and natural.

Nimbleness and responsiveness edge-to-edge on the Escape 159 Wide were quite good, making it a nice option for riders needing a bit more room to cement their giant feet to this solidly constructed freeride deck.

Shock Absorber technology (another high-end feature built into the Nidecker Escape) dampened the ride nicely. No chatter was observed coming from the nose or tail at speed, even with mid-flex stiffness. One more nice feature of the Escape that you`ll notice on the trails (and off) is that the base material — 6000 diamond-textured — will soak-in wax nicely, eliminating the need to constantly apply a new coat following a long day on the hill.



Nidecker Escape Freestyle Performance

The twin-directional shape with mid-flex pattern allows you to incorporate freestyle fun into your all-mountain freeriding. Similarly, the combination of wood materials used in the Escape`s core — POP Core — are designed to provide the right amount of pop+flex+power at the correct points within the board. This should help you ollie a bit easier, elevate, then land solidly without nose/tail flop upon impact. We can`t say the Escape is the poppiest, lightest or most agile board we`ve tested, but it`s not a full-fledged freestyle weapon to begin with. Likewise, “heavy” doesn`t describe the Escape, as Nidecker boards are always air-light compared to a lot of other bulky freeride models out there. Attacking rails isn`t the recommended way to utilize the Nidecker Escape, but table-top launches in the park and all-mountain freestyle antics outside of it are definitely in the Escape`s realm of possibilities.


Nidecker Escape…the final verdict

The Nidecker Escape is a pleasantly priced all-mountain freeride board with tons of great characteristics that snowboarders of different ability levels will enjoy. Intermediates wanting to add some aggressive off-trail exploration into their progression and advanced riders looking for a reliable all-mountain ride that`ll let them do just about everything aside from terrain park wizardry should give serious consideration to the Escape.

Does the Escape make us drool like other alien technology-type snowboards in the Nidecker line-up? Not as much, but for less than half the cost of snowboarding`s top-end-of-top-end boards — the Nidecker Ultralight —  you`ll get a hell of a lot more than half the performance level out of the Escape.

Forgiving yet adequate mid-stiffness flex, excellent hybrid-camber profile for stability on-&-off the trails, fun all-mountain freestyle capabilities, multi-season durability and tons of other tech normally found in very expensive snowboards make the Nidecker Escape a real bargain-priced plank for a wide range of riders.

Nidecker-Advanced Snowboarding Technology


Nidecker Escape not the all-mountain freeride board you`re looking for? Big-mountain assaults with the Nidecker Ultralight  or all-mountain freestyle Aviation with Jones Snowboards could be one of your tickets to fly.

Posted on January 28, 2015 in Gear Reviews, Snowboarding, Snowsports