Snowboard Review: 09-10 Never Summer Evo-R

29 Jul, 2009

Location: Loveland/A-Basin/Breckenridge, Colorado

Snow Conditions: A variety of conditions from fresh powder to spring slush.

Setup: I rode the Never Summer Evo-R with Union Forces and my Rome Vamps size 8.

First Impression: This isn’t the same evo-r as last year

Size: 155cm

Weight: average

Flex: Compared to previous seasons of the evo-r, the flex has been softened up making it more of the park board people expect it to be.  The softer flex is between the bindings, making it softer torsionally which makes it a lot more forgiving and easier to ride than in the past.  I rode it at Loveland in some fresh powder where I noticed I needed to ride in the backseat more often than previously with my 08-09 evo-r.  The reverse camber still helped in making it less of a backseat ride and still decent float…I didn’t sink.

Turning: It was really easy to initiate turns with the evo-r, in fact sometimes a bit too easy to get into a hard carve than I expected.  In softer snow, I’ve found the board just laying into a carve without me meaning to.  Overall it handled the short radius turns easily when you want quick response but you can still lay it down with longer radius turns.

Stable: This was the first thing I noticed when I rode it at Loveland/A-Basin, the softer flex definitely gave it less of the charging capability it used to have. The dampening still helps out with bumps and absorbing rougher terrain but it doesn’t have as much dampening as the more freeride specific boards so it will help but not perform miracles through bumps.  The vario grip with the 5 contact points did help grip on the icy/hardpacked spots when riding.

Pop: The evo-r continues to be a super fun poppy board to play around and ollie with, moreso with the softer flex.  I didn’t encounter any issues with the reverse camber on rails.  The softer flex of the new evo makes it a lot easier to press and butter than previous years.

Switch: The evo-r is a true twin and rides the exact same switch as it does regular. With the reverse camber it makes it less likely to catch your edge when transitioning around into switch riding.

Overall Impression: The softer flex definitely suits the park riding that the evo-r is meant for.  I’ve been used to the stiffer evo-r so it was some adjustment when I first stepped on the board and now that I’m riding park more it is helping with the park riding since it’s softer and more forgiving.

Shay’s Honesty Box: At first I was bummed when I took the new Evo-r out at the resort, I liked the stiffer flex because it did handle outside of the park.  Now that I’ve been riding the evo-r specifically for park, rails and just playing around with, it’s more suitable to that than the previous ev-r.  So there’s some give and take with the board and I’ll just plan to ride my Lotus for the entire mountain and evo-r for park.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the 2011 version of the Never Summer Evo-R or shop their full line of Never Summer snowboards

On-snow Photos
Never Summer Evo description

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. Brad
    July 29, 2009

    I was soo stoked about getting the revolver for both park and pow. Now its a meh pow board, damn! Though I only ride good pow MAYBE 7 days outta the season(taking a trip), it still is sad. But makes sense when i’ve seen alot of reviews saying it was a stiffer park board. Whatever, im usually in the park anyway. So it makes sense! Sorry for the rant/convincing myself. lol

  2. July 29, 2009

    I rode it on a pow day but I was also very aware that I had to lean back more than if i was riding the lotus or premier. You can see in the 3rd pic that I’m leaning back.

    If you are usually in the park then it’s perfect and it will handle powder but the stiffer flex did help it handle it better.

  3. ghostovan
    July 30, 2009

    Seems NS just made the gap between Evo and freeride sticks like Premier a bit wider. So SL got it, and if you still confused about your riding preferences you’ll go for it as solid all-mt board (so do i).
    Thanks Shay for you review, it helps!

  4. July 30, 2009

    Definitely ghost. In the past the evo was stiffer than the sl which was interesting to see for the park board being stiffer than all mountain. Now it’s the park board it should be and the sl was stiffened up a bit for 09-10 to make it the all mountain board it should be. Then even stiffer is the premier and then titan. So the board lineup has the flex representing each style much better.

  5. JAS
    July 30, 2009

    ah so they made the SL stiffer. i hope its still buttery and pressable as last years. i picked up this years SL and i hope it still performs just as well as last years or better. are you going to be demo’ing it any time soon?

  6. Brett
    August 02, 2009

    09 sl buttery and pressable? You might want to ride an actual park board if you think last years sl was buttery!! It’s pretty damn stiff. I bought the sl-r to be a all mountain slayer like my ol burton custom was but I ended up buying a k2 www because the sl-r sucks on rails and boxes…. but it is by far the funest board I have ever ridden outside of the park. Thanks for all you do shay!

  7. August 09, 2009

    Hi Shay,
    This question is slightly off topic but wanted to ask it anyways. With the RC Technology how much better do the boards handle in the powder? I was thinking about downsizing my board a couple of CM.

    I usually ride 159’s but love the F1 157. I am 6″0 170 pounds with size ten boots.

    have you tested the F1 R? I could not find any reviews.

    If you could give an honest opinion that would be appreciated.

    Thank you

  8. fision
    September 06, 2009

    Hi say,

    Awesome web! Thanks for all the info about gear, your reviews are really interesting and useful 😉

    I wish the 09-10 Evo still had that stiffnes…now i´m scared it wont handle pow as well as 08-09.
    The other option, the SL-R, is now sitffer, and i dont want either a too stiff board….does the SL-R work well on buttering and jibbing?

    I can´t wait for your review of the 09-10 SL-R!

    Hugs from spain! ^^

  9. Al
    September 16, 2009

    That evo is a bendy board! I think it’s more flexy than last year’s Gnu Street (I love the way that board handles park and pow). I’ve only tried it at the local indoor glacier, and I agree with your take – great butter and press-ability! Some insane five-O potential.

    Love the site – great reviews!

    And greeting from the UK

  10. September 17, 2009

    JAS, I’ll probably demo the SL in November.

    Thanks Brett! Interesting to hear you didn’t find the SL so easy to flex.

    Jono, I put up the Premier F1 review in the review section. They handle in pow, not as good as a pow specific rocker board but still do good. I rode my 157 Lotus on some heavier powder days and it did fine. I’d say you would be fine with the 157, your not downsizing much and with those boards you don’t need to go as big.

    Fision, you could always go for the 08-09 evo-r if you want the slightly stiffer version of it. SL won’t be too stiff, still capable of pressing but not as easy as the evo is.

    Al, Definitely! Great potential for the park, I’m really liking it but the first couple turns I had to warm up too since I was used to the stiffer evo from previous years. Thanks and awesome you got indoor, that’s sweet for year round.

  11. Grill
    September 18, 2009

    I agree with Brett. I have last seasons Evo-R and SL-R and the SL-R is noticeably stiffer although still pressable. I found the 09 Evo to be a monster on rails and anything flatland and am a bit worried about how soft my ’10 model is going to be. I had a play with the 2010 SL-R and it definitely felt softer in the tips, but it could be my imagination.

  12. Eric
    November 02, 2009

    I am bummed that the 09/10 is softer then last year. I have a 08/09 155 cm and love that board for all mountain just wish it was the 158 since I am 190lbs.

    NS may have created a better park board but lost a great all mountain park board. Unfortunatley the SL-R is not as much fun as the Evo-R.

    Anyone know where I can find a 158 cm EVO-R

  13. November 02, 2009

    Sweet to hear Grill, it’s softer but still not insanely soft like other park reverse camber boards out there.

    Eric, I’ll keep an eye out for you. I’ve warmed up to the evo since riding it and definitely recommend you trying the new one to see how you like it…might be surprised by it. I also prefer the Evo over the SL-R.

  14. Eric
    November 02, 2009

    Thanx Shay,

    For some reason I love riding a true twin and using the hole mountain as my park. As per your recomendation I purchased a 08/09 evo-r and found it to be the board I have been searching for. I found it to be way better then my Skate Banaana, T.Rice or my Destroyer in almost every way except in powder.

    I could unfortunatley only find a 155 since it was closer to the end of season and find it does not float as well in deep powder as my Rice or Banana, both of which were longer.

  15. Eric Nguyen
    November 02, 2009

    I want to inform everyone that the EVO last year was NOT stiffer than the SL. It was a misprint. The evo was indeed softer.

    “Hey Paulage, I actually work for NS and the Evo has the same flex as it did last year. There was a misprint in last years catalog that the Evo was stiffer than the SL. When actually the SL is slightly stiffer. This years catalog is correct. For your weight I would lean toward the SL. It would be a little better all mountain board with the set back and still a really good freestyle board.” -Vince

  16. November 03, 2009

    Eric, I’ll definitely keep my eyes out for the 08-09 in that size. The longer size will definitely help in the powder and rad you liked it so much.

    Eric N, surprising to hear that for sure. I’ve had phone conversations with Tracey where we talked about the evo being stiffer. From my own riding the evo felt stiffer than the SL and I stand by that. The evo definitely is softer this year than last year’s as well.

  17. Eric
    November 03, 2009

    That’s interesting but I think I will take Shay’s take on the stiffness since she knows her NS. I am wondering how accuracte the NS flex measuraing device is and whether its the relative from last year to year.

    I believe the SL is a directional twin and my friends and I all choose a true twin, even for all mountain. We use the whole mountain as our park and the 08 Evo-r had the right amount of stiffness, stability and damping for my liking.

  18. Eric Nguyen
    November 03, 2009

    Ya, it all comes down to rider’s perspective. Also, if you think about it, the EVO should be softer than the SL because it is a park board, while the SL is more of all mountain. Shay has plenty of experience that she can judge the board’s stiffen herself, while most won’t even know a difference. But, yes it only makes sense that the EVO is softer. The SL is a directional twin, but only set back by 1/2 of an inch, so you shouldn’t let that fact alone shift your decision to the EVO. Also, I would like to add that the EVO will experience chatter at 35+MPH. Vince said so himself. Compared to the SL it won’t chatter at 35+MPH. If you are doing jumps less than 30+ft or maybe even 40+ft, the the EVO will be good. But if any higher you should consider the SL because it is a little stiffer and will ahndle the big jumps fairly well. I hope I helped out.

  19. Eric Nguyen
    November 03, 2009

    Sorry I want to add that the flex rating this year is correct.

  20. Eric
    November 03, 2009

    I also read on a forum that the SL have a directional flex, can you comment.

    I agree that the Evo should be less stiff then the SL but I was more concerned if the 09/10 Evo is less stiff then the 08/09 Evo

  21. Eric Nguyen
    November 03, 2009

    well my advice is where do you spend most of your time in. if it is park then go evo, if it mountain go sl. both are pretty much the same expect for one is a little better in park or mountain

  22. November 03, 2009

    Love that this is between two eric’s haha!

    Eric, definitely agree with you there. I have the 09-10 evo which is softer than my 08-09 evo and wasn’t the same ride when I got it. I’m judging it based on that, that there was a difference in the same size board from two years.

    Eric N, the evo should be softer for sure because it is park orientated and SL is all mountain. The evo also has less dampening so the chatter is definitely an issue when you get up to higher speeds with it. SL and Premier don’t have that issue. The boards are different now, the easy choice is park vs all mountain but the evo can hold up to all mountain as well and the tech specs are different for sidecut and effective edge.

    Personally I prefer the evo over the SL, I enjoy riding the SL but I like the true twin of the evo for myself. Same way as Eric and I’ve ridden directional boards for years but still personally just like the evo as a notch above.

  23. Eric Nguyen
    November 03, 2009

    “Thanks for contacting us and your interest in our Evo. The confusion on
    last years Evo is our fault. There was a misprint in last years catalog
    showing the flex of the Evo as being stiffer than it actually was. The
    board is comparable to last years boards in regard to flex. This year we
    have our pressflex core. We profile the core so that there are 2 softer
    flex points between the bindings. Allowing the rider to manipulate the
    board for more torisional control. For foot steering, pressing, buttering
    and overall freestyle control.” -Vince

    Yes the EVO this year is softer than last year

  24. Eric Nguyen
    November 04, 2009

    But not by much

  25. November 05, 2009

    Thanks Eric N!

  26. Eric Nguyen
    November 09, 2009

    Well, I went to Copper this Saturday with the EVO, and man it was fun. The board grips very nicely and it was definitely a sweet ride. I felt like the board made me a better rider compared to my last board. I didn’t go all out on it but so far it felt like a solid board. Very happy with my purchase.

  27. Chris
    November 20, 2009

    Man this has got to be one of the toughest questions to answer! I was about set on the SL-R but did a little more research on the EVO-R and I now think I am going to go with it. I spend more time out of the park ( riding trees,Logs, pow) than in but I want a board that is going to perform like no other when I’m there. My resoning is that I think I am a good enough rider to be able to make up what the EVO lacks in all mountain with the but could use the extra help it gives me when I’m in the park. Any opinions on this anyone? Vince whats up buddy! I seem to be running into you on the web alot lately! Hopefully we can meet up on the hill this year. Good riding to everyone!

  28. November 22, 2009

    Great to hear Eric!

    Chris, personally the RC technology gives a added park bonus to all of the boards. I ride the Lotus as my main tree/winter/freeride board and I feel comfortable taking it into the park on boxes and in halfpipe. Now I have the evo and I ride that early/late season but don’t feel as comfortable taking it in powder/trees/freeriding because it doesn’t hold as stable as the Lotus/Premier does in those environments. I’d say if you are spending the majority of your time in a certain spot, find the board suitable for that and then the RC will give you some extra fun when you do take it in park. The SL is the inbetween of those two so I would say you are safer with picking the SL than the Evo.

  29. Eric Nguyen
    December 07, 2009

    I had a chance to ride the SL and it’s a pretty sweet board. I sometimes kinda wish I bought the SL instead. But the EVO still doesn’t disappoint. So Chris I suggest the SL. I feel stable on the SL compared to the EVO and I feel safer going faster on it too.

  30. Alex
    December 08, 2009


    I am torn between the Evo R and the Kass C2BTX – how would you compare them? I have ridden teh Kass, but do not have the otipon of testing an Evo R before i buy

  31. December 09, 2009

    Eric, nice you got to ride the SL and good to hear you experiences.

    Alex, The safe bet is to buy the one you like and if you rode and liked the Kass you’ll know for sure. The evo is softer than the Kass and more playful so depends on what you want.

  32. Kelly
    February 02, 2010

    Hey Shay,
    Is the Pandora-R the women’s equivalent to the Evo-R? I’m looking for a park specific women’s board. 5’4″, 115lbs. Also looking at teh Forum Spinster Chillydog. Any comparison? Thanks in advance.