I picture myself hunched over a countertop, trying to force a butter knife through a block of ice.
It’s a thought experiment of sorts, presented to me by Niche Snowboards co-founder Ana Van Pelt. She’s trying to explain the wavy edges on her new line of boards.
“It’s a lot easier (to cut through ice) with a serrated knife,” she says.
She’s describing Magne-Traction: a series of bumps along a snowboard’s edge. These bumps give the board more contact points, which in turn give riders more control on ice or compressed snow. It’s a relatively old technology (first developed in 2002), but it’s new to the Niche lineup.
That’s good news for environmentally-minded riders. Niche is among very few companies that strive to create eco-friendly snowboards, and their 2016-17 line is proof that they can do that while maintaining high quality.