Picked up a 2012 152cm Burton Nug Directional the other day and got a chance to ride it tonight at Snoqualmie. Thought I'd share my initial impression. Since its a nug board, this is supposed to be the equivalent of a 160-162 board. Bindings are the Union Contact Pro, which I really really like. Normally, i like to have separate bindings on each board, but i'm going to be moving these back and forth between this and my park board.
Conditions were super light snow over some hard pack with the occasional ice patch. On any of those ice patches this board has almost zero edge hold. Not sure if I'm just doing something wrong, but every ice patch had the potential for disaster. My Ultrafear does a pretty good job on the icey days so this board definitely isn't going to come out those days.
Outside of those ice patches I really enjoyed riding the board tonight. Not sure if its the design of the board or the wax job on it (i haven't waxed it myself), but it seemed to fly when pointed straight down the mountain. I also felt surprisingly confident pointing it straight down. I certainly don't have as much confidence straightlining my Ultrafear. Rode through a couple really choppy sections and the board seemed to take it and keep me moving in the right direction. In one section, I had to do a heelside traverse on a diamond run. I have trouble traversing on my heelside and this board certainly didn't help anything. I don't think it was any worse than on my other boards, but it definitely wasn't better.
One of the areas I was concerned about was getting pop off of the tail on a reverse camber board this short. A couple years ago, I had a 152 Skate Banana. For the short time I owned that board, I never felt like I could get enough pop off the tail. it just felt like the board was going to slip out from underneath me. I'm not sure what Burton did to the tail on this board, but I certainly felt comfortable trying to ollie off the tail. I don't think I get as much pop as on my Ultrafear, but the tail feels like its there and I just need to figure it out a bit more.
I'm looking forward to the next big pow day to hit (which sadly seems like a long time from now according to WA forecasts). Since this is supposed to ride like a 162, I might be able to downsize my quiver and get rid of my 162 Gyrator. I really like that board, but if I can get the same kind of float from a 152 board that would be awesome. I went off a drop tonight and landed about 5-6' down in knee deep. I was pretty worried the board would nosedive and I was going to go over the front. Surprisingly that wasn't the case and the board just floated to the top. The board slid out from underneath me on that landing, but I think that was more my own fault. I'm pretty sure I would've done the same on the Gyrator. So, the pow test will have to wait another day. I kind of hope it will be a heavy pow day so I can see how this board handles it. If it doesn't I'll keep the Gyrator. If it does, I'm going back down to a two board quiver with the Ultrafear for park and firm/no-new-snow days and the nug for everything else.
In short, I can really dig this board for how I ride. Anyone want to buy a 159 2010 Nitro Team Gullwing?