The Nobile NHP is the board of choice for PKRA pro tour event winner Asia Litwin and enters its second year with an exceptional, big-air freestyle performance bias, without compromising on comfort. All new 3D construction shaping now makes it possible to accurately control the flex both longitudinally and laterally, while stiffer, straighter tips provide better speed, earlier planing and an almost complete reduction of spray. Ideal for riders looking for explosive pop and controlled landings, all the grip and upwind drive has been retained from the '09 model and has been combined with new levels of rider performance and comfort. Comes with IFS pro foot strap pads and 35 and 55mm fins for more looseness and manoeuvrability. If you're looking for an all round, big air freestyle board, the NHP won't disappoint.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The NHP is built with Nobile's usual build quality. They really do produce some lovely boards. You don't look at them and expect them to de-laminate in a couple of seasons. The finish is excellent and, like the Nobile 50fifty we reviewed last issue, comes equipped with the same lush pad and strap set-up. Simple to alter in size with a quick pull of the strap, they can easily accommodate wetsuit boots and also tighten up nicely for bare feet. The equivalent of a skate shoe, they are wide, comfortable and absorbent. You get lots of grip and plenty of squash, but not so much that you lose feeling through the board.
At first glance the NHP has that modern freestyle look – very wide in outline with square tips. But then when you turn the board around you see all the incredible channelling in the bottom shape and also the heavy rocker that the board has. Most performance new school freestyle boards are a bit flatter and stiffer, meaning they get going really early, but their comfort is sacrificed for huge amounts of pop and speed. The NHP is a bit softer and a bit slower, but does lean more towards freestyle than freeride. Nobile's PKRA pocket-rocket, Asia Litwin, rides this in competition, so it's definitely got freestyle pedigree, but it's by no means your generic freestyle board. You can lay down a good variety of moves, whether you're popping powered, boosting or smacking some little waves. The board grips beautifully around a carve and, like the 50fifty, is actually a lot of fun to push out some huge spray off little waves in that classic twin-tip style. You can actually see the channelling effect in the spray behind you. But again, it's in the landings where we fell in love with the NHP. The immediate grip you get from the channelling puts you straight back in control as soon as you touch down. There's no sliding because the board actually works well flat, locking in easily and it's not such a fight to steady yourself and re-engage your speed if you're coming in hot.
This is no slouch, it's just a bit slower than the 50fifty. What it is is comfortable, easy to ride and do basic manoeuvres on as well as high level unhooked tricks, as there's lots of pop in there too, but it's got just the right amount to not take away from the good freeride aspects a lot of people will be looking for.
The NHP was always going to have its work cut out following the 50fifty, which we raved about last issue. If it were up to us, we'd go for the 50fifty – it's super fast, poppy and comfortable with surprisingly good all-round capabilities for a top-of-the-range freestyle board. But it is a board for higher level riders and some will find it a bit too advanced. Which is where the NHP comes in. This just settles everything down a bit, is easier to release to switch to toe-side for example and still carries enough speed to be able to perform and score podiums in PKRA competition. Well made, strong, good looking, comfortable and with more than enough performance for 99% of riders. Plus, if you want to turn chop into butter, the NHP is for you.
KW LIKED: The blend of comfort and performance.
KW WOULD CHANGE: Make the top speed a little higher.
SIZES: 137 x 44, 134 x 42, 131 x 40, 128 x 39 and 125 x 38cm
This test is in issue #45