Niche classifies the Aether as the quiver-killer snowboard. With multi-camber, a mid-stiff flex, and a somewhat mild magne-traction edge, this board’s tech makes for a very responsive and stable ride. Aesthetically, the first thing you notice about the Aether is the unique graphic imprinted on it; it comes from the Japanese folklore character Raijū, a creature whose body is composed of lightning and may be the shape of a wolf, fox, or dog (the word literally means “thunder animal”). It’s impressive to look at, and knowing the the digi-print topsheet is eco-friendly and 100% recyclable, just like the rest of the boards from Niche, the level of detail that went into creating this snowboard is impressive. The wavy edge and lightness of the Aether are additional features that draw you into this board. Some people are not fans of magne-traction, but after riding this board, we found Niche provided a good balance for providing stability and edge control in any condition.
The shape of the Aether is appealing: a directional twin that is extremely light. We were able to ride the 156 Aether, and, paired with Union Ultra bindings, it was exceptionally light. It didn’t take long to feel comfortable carving on this board, and the magne-traction gave me a consistent grip in hardpack riding regular or switch. This board rails into turns and doesn’t chatter at high speeds, something I was afraid might happen since it’s so lightweight. The Aether was responsive in all conditions, and had tons of pop, especially on little side hits (it almost had too much pop on at points – flying out further than expected). It also pops well on jump take-offs and is stable on landings as well. Niche says that the Aether’s multi-camber will provide “greasy presses,” and it sure felt like it. Boardslides felt great on the Aether too. We took a little hike and dropped into a pow section, and the 156 handled amazingly well. It was nimble and floated easily; The Aether impressed no matter where we rode on the mountain.
The Aether lives up to its reputation, it’s an all-mountain destroyer. From groomers, park, or powder, this board is lively and stable everywhere. We could not stop talking about riding this board after leaving the mountain. Maybe it was the lightning bolts from the Raijū graphic on the topsheet, but this board was an absolute electric ride. The Aether is amazingly lightweight, and is a workhorse in any conditions you throw at it on the mountain. If you’re looking for the full package snowboard, this is it. (For more snowboard reviews, visit our snowboarding lookbook)