Snowboard Review: 08-09 Never Summer Lotus

10 Apr, 2008

2008-2009 Never Summer Lotus

Location: Majority of time at Steamboat, Colorado as well as other mountains over Colorado. I’ve had the Lotus in my possession since early January and it is my main snowboard.

Snow Conditions: Basically every condition possible this winter: Slush, hard packed, ice, bumps, groomed runs, powder runs, light powder, heavy powder.

Setup: I’ve been riding the Never Summer Lotus with both sets of my Rome Madison bindings (06-07 & 07-08) and my Vans Omni Focus boots.

First Impression: Honestly I’ve been waiting for this board when I first heard about it last season that NS was going to release a women’s premier. I have wanted to ride it since then and so by the time I got on snow with it…I was stoked from day 1. The board is breathtaking in person, I don’t pay too much attention to graphics (hence why I don’t review graphics) but it’s a beautifully made snowboard. It rides as good as it looks.

Size: 157cm

Weight: Average women’s weight.

Flex: I consider the flex in between the old premier and the new premier F1. It is a softer flex than the men’s versions. But it has a multiflex camber making it easy to turn on while still stiff enough to freeride with and stable at speeds. Stiffer tail so when you riding powder, it holds you consistently as you lean back. Softer mid flex allowing the easy turn initiation. Since the flex is different longitudinally, it gives you a variety that allows for all mountain riding. Torsionally, it’s stable with some give to it.

Turning: The Lotus takes on the turning of the new premier F1 making it easier to initiate turns. Once you are on edge, you can power into each carve, holding the speed and then powering out ready for the next carve. With the narrower waist designed for women’s boot sizes, you can quickly adjust from edge to edge on each turn. I have no problem laying over quick short turns. It was nice having such a quick response when you get close to other riders and need to avoid them downhill.

Stable: I’ve been riding the 157cm as my everything board, in so many conditions. I’ve only had one moment in moguls where I felt out of control and really that’s cause I suck at huge moguls. At faster speeds, the dampening holds you stable as it absorbs the conditions.

Pop: I like that with a stiffer tail you can roll back and spring off to pop some ollies. Since I ride a lot of halfpipe with it, I’ve found myself having to control the pop at the deck to make sure I don’t make flat landings but it’s great when I’m riding a halfpipe with undervert where you need to pop to stay in. The dampening really comes in handy during halfpipe, I’ve had moments where I’ve thrown a 360 that sucked ass and this board saved me from a scorp’d fall of death.

Rails: I am not a rail rider by any means but I took my Lotus on a couple smaller rails which handled fine. Even on wallrides, you can still come up to butters or with the light swing weight, throw spins. With a stiffer tail it takes more effort to butter the tail, I found it easier when I’m doing butter presses in circles on the mountain.

Switch: The Lotus is a directional board with a softer mid flex giving you a board that still can ride switch. I’m also used to riding directional boards switch but I had some fun day here in Steamboat riding switch on the groomers.

Powder: I’ve been able to spend some powder days on this board. I was really surprised at first with how well it floated through some heavier powder. It’s got a slightly tapered, dual-radial sidecut which in powder makes it super easy to stay above and still make sweet powder turns.

Pipe: I’ve spent a lot of time in the halfpipe with this board and it’s my new all mountain do everything board. Since it’s a stiffer freeride board with more aggressive sidecut you can really hold a edge on it and power it through which works great in the halfpipe. My only downside with it in the halfpipe is it’s set back stance so I can’t center the bindings on it which means i’m riding halfpipe with more nose than tail.

Overall Impression: My favorite board has been the Never Summer Premier and now it’s been replaced with the Lotus. I had a hard time putting this board down to ride the other Never Summer’s that I should be riding more. Similiar to the premier but with a narrower waist width, this board excels in everything the premier did.

My only issue is the stance, I ride 22 inches and I haven’t maxed out the stance but I’m definitely at the far ends of the inserts (I have mentioned to NS to widen the stance inserts giving more opportunity for preference). In halfpipe I wish I could center my stance a bit more but with the setback it’s harder. Even with that, the board works for me. There’s a lot of give involved and it lets you have that forgiveness on the mountain.

It’s been my do-everything board. No matter what the conditions are or where I plan to ride on the mountain…it holds its own. I’ve spent days in the trees, hitting branches, stumps and this board is still in great shape. On powder days, I know it won’t sink me and in the halfpipe I know it’s gonna let me progress.

Shay’s Honesty Box: My only grudge is the stance and I told NS that as well. I love taking this board in the halfpipe but with having the setback…it’s not as fun as I know it could be. I’d like to see more stance options, wider stance and be able to center it up…even on a directional board.

On-Snow Photos

Never Summer Lotus Catalog Description
(Click on photo to open bigger)

View more 08-09 Never Summer here

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. Anonymous
    January 05, 2009


    Thanks for this great review! This is my third season riding and I finally decided to front the money for a new board so I don’t have to ride my cousin’s hand-me-down anymore. I’d heard good things about Never Summer boards but wasn’t sure I wanted to buy a higher end board due to cost… but after reading your review and finding a slightly discounted Lotus online I was sold! I ordered it today and I can’t wait to get it on the mountain! – Jill in Portland

  2. Shayboarder
    January 06, 2009

    Hi Jill,

    Great you found the review useful! I understand the cost factor, glad you were able to find a discounted Lotus online. Let me know how you like it after you spend a couple days on it. I’m sure it’ll be an adjustment from a hand-me-down board.

    Next year 09-10, the Lotus will have reverse camber. I have been riding one of the early ones and will get to ride hopefully the finished board soon.

  3. Anonymous
    January 21, 2009


    I am seriously considering buying the Lotus, but cannot find a 151 up in Canada. Never Summer doesn’t give any weight recommendations for their boards. I know it’s hard to say, but since you’ve ridden the board, I wonder what you think of someone my size and experience with the 154 model. I am 5’3″ and weigh around 120-125 and this is my third season riding. I am looking for a board that will allow me to progress into carving, but I’m not a particularly aggressive rider. I have been riding an old Feelgood 148 that I found and think I want something a bit bigger, but am hesitant to move all the way up to a 154. Any thoughts?


  4. Shayboarder
    January 23, 2009

    It would definitely be a step up and an adjustment. The bigger size would be better in powder, more stable when freeriding and good for carving. But it might be an adjustment for sure because of the 6cm different from your old stick and it’ll be stiffer than your feelgood.

    Where in Canada do you ride?

  5. Ashley
    February 06, 2009

    Hi Shay,

    I am a recreational freerider (don’t know how to do tricks). I have boarded 30 times, about 4 times a year for 7 years. I have been riding my 7 year old Rossignol board and it’s time for a new one. I have a 4 year old Flow binding. I am 5 foot tall and 98 pounds. I read your review on Never Summer Lotus board and want your opinion to see if this is the board for me. Thanks!


  6. Shayboarder
    February 06, 2009

    Hey Ashley,

    Definitely for a straight up freerider, the lotus is a good board and it’ll last you a long time. Another board I’d put up against it is the Rome Blue, K2 Duchess, Burton Supermodel, Feelgood ES.

    What size is your rossignol board? The smallest Lotus is a 146cm.

  7. Ashley
    February 07, 2009

    Hi Shay,

    My board is 138 and I’m confortable with this length. None of the boards you recommended come in my size. Could you please recommend freerider boards to me in my size? Thanks!


  8. Shayboarder
    February 13, 2009

    Yeah that’s really small and hard to find women’s aggressive boards in that size.

    I would consider stepping it up to the 141cm Rome Blue, the extra 3cm’s will give you more stability and you are within the weight range.

  9. Anonymous
    March 22, 2009

    Shay, I’m so happy to have found your blog. I’m 5’5″, 110LB, and considering a women’s freeride board. I’m currently riding Salomon Ivy 08-09 size 149, and wondering what do you recommend for something stiffer. I live in CO, like high speed carving, powder, and trees, don’t and will probably never do any freestyle moves. Did some research, looks like my choices are Donek Freeride, NS Lotus, Palmer Liberty Carbon (06-07), Burton Custom X, and Burton T6 (smallest size is 152 though and might be too big for me). What’s your experience, and what do you recommend? Are they a step up from my current Salomon Ivy? Thanks a bunch!!!

  10. Shayboarder
    March 23, 2009

    Thanks! I replied to your email you sent me!

  11. ellie
    April 17, 2009

    So great to have found this site!

    I am looking to buy my first board, i have boarded seven weeks over seven years, and its time to get my own. i’m looking for an all mountain freestyle board – i’m 5”5″ and 150pounds, would the Burton Feelgood ES or the Never Summer Lotus be too advanced for me. I ride switch and am doing small ollies and some pops and some small jumps and want to improve in all over the mountain? Thanks!

  12. Shayboarder
    April 21, 2009

    Hey Ellie,

    The Feelgood ES and Lotus are more freeride boards. I’d consider the Feelgood or Infinity to be more all mountain boards to consider, still fun and playful but handles freeriding and less aggressive than the top two. What sizes are you looking at?

  13. ellie
    April 23, 2009


    Thanks for you’re reply. i’m thinking probably 149 or 150? or do you think i should go a bit bigger? so i’ll look into the Burton Feelgood, and the Never Summer Infinity. how do these compare with the K2 Dutchess 151?

    I was considering the Burton Scribe ETS bindings or the 2009-2010 Union Trilogy.

    Thanks again!

  14. ellie
    April 27, 2009

    hi Shay

    I was asking you’re opinion on boards and gave you my weight wrongly.

    I’m looking for a freeride board, i’ve done 7 weeks of boarding over 7 years and want to buy my first board.

    i am 5’5″ and weight 112 Lbs.

    I am considering a Never Summer Lotus 149, the Burton Feelgood, or the Never Summer Infinity. which do you think is best suited as an all mountain board? Do you think 149 is big enough at this stage, i just think it might be a more comfortable ride?

    I was also considering the Burton Scribe ETS bindings or the 2009-2010 Union Trilogy, and wondered how compatible they would be?

    Thanks again! Ellie

  15. Shayboarder
    April 30, 2009


    Ok cool thanks for the weight, the 149cm would be fine for you. If you feel more confident you could size up but I think that size would be fine for your riding.

    For freeriding, like riding groomers and carving the Lotus would be good or Feelgood ES, feelgood is still capable but it’s more similiar to the NS infinity. Other boards like the K2 Duchess or Rome Blue would also be good choices.

    If you are getting the scribe EST bindings, then you’d want to stick to a Burton EST board since they go together. The union trilogy’s would be compatible with any board.

    What terrain do you mostly ride and what are you looking for in a board? Do you want something easy to ride or more aggressive? something light on the feet? What about riding conditions, would you ride it in powder?

  16. ellie
    May 06, 2009


    Thanks for the reply!

    i’m definately looking for a board that feels light on the feet, and that i can go all over the mountain, riding groomers, carving, small jumps and a bit of powder. i’m less into the park and rails but i do like to experiment with it a bit so i don’t want to count the park out as an option. i guess i’m looking for a board thats easy to ride, light, but that i can still progress on.

    Would you recommend matching the brand of the bindings to the board?

    Thanks again!


  17. ellie
    May 18, 2009

    hi Shay

    I’ve pretty much decided on the NS Lotus – do you think its worth waiting for the 09/10 Lotus_R, that comes out in the UK in September? I can get the Lotus 08/09 cheep online but I’d be happy to wait if the reverse camber is going to make a big difference riding switch. Could you explain a bit about the reverse camber and the difference it made in you’re demo?

    I’m thinking that I’ll get the Union Trilogy 08/09’s.


  18. Shayboarder
    May 18, 2009

    Hey Ellie,

    I’ve never matched bindings to board, tend to mix them up a bit. Trilogy’s are a good choice.

    The reverse camber won’t make a big difference in riding switch, it’ll make a big difference in how it handles, it’s less catchy and can ride park to pow and groomers. I definitely am happier with the reverse camber version, been riding it everywhere. But the original version wasn’t bad just had to work harder in powder and this board I have really no complaints with…other than the inserts and where they are at. Depends on what you want, can afford and where you wanna go with it. If I had to pick a bang for the buck, the Lotus-r is it for a freerider wanting to ride the occasional pow, park, everywhere. The one thing is it’s not as light as other female boards…but it makes up for it in the durability and how it holds up, definitely a little heavier on the feet than like the burton feelgood es. But not insanely heavy. You’ll definitely be paying more for next years Lotus and it probably will be a while before it goes on sale and seeing if there’s any left. So if money is an issue…can throw it off, you could also look into the infinity-r from this year as well.