Snowboard Review: 11-12 Never Summer Proto CT

09 Feb, 2011

Location: Mammoth, CA

Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to softpacked to icy groomers.

Setup: I rode the Never Summer Proto CT with Union Team bindings and Vans Veil Boots size 8.

Size: 152cm.

First Impression: The middle of the road between the SL and the Evo

Weight: Average

Flex: The Proto CT is definitely a mix between the SL and Evo.  The flex is torsinally softer so you can on edge quicker but also stiffer underfoot and stiffer in the nose/tail even though you can still press it up.  A step up from the evo on flex, so slightly stiffer but not dramatically different.  I’m riding a 53 SL at the same time and it does ride different than the SL so right between SL and evo.  The Never Summer Proto CT is RC Technology which is a mix of rocker and camber, rocker between the feet and camber just outside both of the bindings.

Turning: Quick response and snap in this board, the torsional flex is softer so even as you are standing on the board you can twist it easily.  I really liked the shorter quicker turns on the proto ct, the longer turns weren’t as strong as the short ones.  The vario grip holds a good edge on the hardpacked icy spots (even in the pipe) and the RC gives you forgiveness when you could have caught an edge.

Stable: I’m riding a smaller size that I’d normally just ride for park so when the runs are groomed, it’s perfection but definitely for riding fast, you don’t feel as stable. With the evo dampening on the proto ct you definitely don’t have as much absorbing when you get to higher speeds, it’s noticeably along the same lines as the evo I was riding so you can feel bounced around.  Holds an edge on the icy hardpacked days and in the pipe, light swingweight so it’s playful.

Pop: Right away I felt comfortable with the pop on this board and found the sweet spot so I started hitting the jump line.  Good pop  and fun to jump, makes landings a bit more cushioning so you absorb them better.  I played with the board on the AcroBag jumps but also on smaller fun jumps.  On boxes it’s not catchy and comfortable to ride.  In the pipe it holds an edge fine but you definitely notice the softer flex.

Switch: The proto CT is a true twin and rode like a true twin when I switched around to switch riding.  It wasn’t catchy and didn’t have any flex difference.

Overall Impression: Definitely an all mountain true twin that delivers up the best of the evo and SL into one board. For the mix of riding jumps to freeriding, this board has good pop and still playful but can get serious when you want it to.  It’s not a very damp board so don’t expect it to be absorb chop/bumps as well as the SL does but for cruising park and groomers, it gives you an all mountain ride.

Shay’s Honesty Box: I was definitely wondering how I’d react to this board since I enjoy riding the evo and prefer the evo over the SL.  The proto CT is definitely a board I’d ride all the time because it’s fun but you can still freeride with.  It is funny that everyone thinks it’s a chick board though because of the graphics.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the Never Summer Proto or shop their full line of Never Summer snowboards


On Snow Photo

Never Summer Proto CT description

Review Disclosure: I received this board from Never Summer and gave it to P3 board shop in Mammoth Lakes for their demo fleet.

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. David
    February 09, 2011

    Currently on the 157. At 190 lb. Didn’t notice getting bounced around too much, but I’m on a significantly bigger size. Agree with you on the longer turns, wish the sidecut was a little more mellow. Other than that, I’m liking the board a lot. Definitely great pop out of the tail. I think moving up to the 160 would be perfect for me to get a little less sidecut and a bit more effective edge.

  2. Johnnys
    February 09, 2011

    theres all the additional info on all NS boards

  3. Crispy
    February 09, 2011

    Cool. Looking forward to possibly demoing one within the next month.

  4. February 09, 2011

    Almost stomping the AcroBag with your head! Haha I wish I had known about that. I would have probably done the same. =)

  5. Mike
    February 10, 2011

    Can’t wait to demo this board. Might just be the end of a long quest.

  6. Scott
    February 13, 2011

    I saw that you were riding a 153 sl as well as the proto ct, I was wondering if you could comment on the differences between these 2 boards. I was all set to go with the 158 sl for my next board, but am really curious to see how you compared those 2 boards to each other. I spend the vast majority of my time charging the mountain, hitting kickers and horsing around, virtually no park or pipe….thanks for your input, you have a great website that is really helpful.


  7. Leo
    February 17, 2011

    Goes to show how different riders can have pretty different views on a board.

    I found it to be torsionally on the stiffer side. I also would like it to have a slightly more aggressive sidecut. But I my other boards do have a smaller waist width so it’s just a matter of what I’m used to. I found shorter turns weren’t as responsive as I would have liked.

    I am 180lbs and ride the 157 Proto. I tried it with both Flow FSE and Rome 390 Boss bindings. Size 10 2008 Burton TWC boots with the Flow and size 9.5 2011 Restricted hails with the bosses.

    On the Flows, the edge to edge improved due to my larger boot and Flow’s inherent edge response increasing design.

    This board does pop very nicely and I agree that it is a really good true twin all-mountain freestyle board. The flex is just past middle-of-the-road for me which is what I like in my all-mountain freestyle sticks.

  8. March 01, 2011

    David, sweet to hear your feedback on the bigger size so far!

    Andrew, haha gotta start backflips somewhere!

    Scott, I’ll be getting the SL review up soon but the most noticeable difference for me is the SL has more dampening and is a more stable ride on the mountain than the proto. Proto has the pop, SL has the stability. For your riding, I think the SL would suit you better since you don’t plan to hit much park.

    Leo, good to hear your thoughts on the board as well!

  9. Berber
    March 09, 2011

    I found out my footsize was too big for the never summer infinity. Then I got an advice to get the SL 151. But would the Proto CT be better for me, because I’m a girl?
    Or just look for something totally else?
    Just looking for some advice around here to find the perfect board for me!
    (I’m 5’9 and 130 lbs, size 9. snowboarded for 4 weeks). Tanks in advance.


  10. Berber
    March 15, 2011

    Hmmm, I found my answer allready. It’s not going to work for me.
    But thanks for your site! it’s very usefull.


  11. March 15, 2011

    berber, your size 9’s shouldn’t be an issue on a women’s board. They are on the bigger size but doesn’t mean you have to ride a men’s board yet. Proto is a more park style board, SL/Infinity are more all mountain freestyle. Do you have your own boots yet?

  12. March 17, 2011
  13. Mike
    April 05, 2011

    Shot up to Copper yesterday and was surprised to find the NS tent set up. Got to demo the Proto CT. This will be the must have stick for next year. Super playfull, stable enough for some turns and medium speeds, poppy, good on jumps, very light on your feet. All mountain capable and I mean all mountain. I took it everywhere I could gain access too on the mountain. Doesn’t float powder quite as well as some other reverse camber designs, but still better than my old camber boards. It just fills you with the confidence of invincibility. A little stiffer than the Evo, but not as stiff as a Machete. Hands down the funnest board I have ever been on. I liked it so much I tried to buy it from the demo booth. No dice. Some lame excuse about needing to share it with others. Darn!

  14. Craig
    June 27, 2011

    Hey Shay. Im massively stuck between the Proto CT and the 2012 Evo, im an intermediate rider and spend 70% of my time in the Park, just started landing 360’s and looking to progress my grinds/butters/jumping to the next level, but also be able to shred it with my all mountain crew every now and again….would appreciate your thoughts on what to you go with?

  15. June 27, 2011

    Either choice you have a solid board for park. Are you able to demo either of them? The proto handles the rest of the mountain better than the evo but the evo has park on lockdown so really depends on your preferences.

  16. Carl Hungus
    July 04, 2011

    Hi Shay

    Still loving your site. Didn’t think I wanted to replace my 09 SL-R until I heard about the Proto, but I’m a bit confused if you don’t mind elaborating for a sec. So I keep hearing that the Proto combines the flex of the SL with the damping of the Evo, but isn’t this a combo of the worst things (relatively speaking) of the two? Wouldn’t the ideal mix be the flex of the Evo with the superior damping of the SL (plus a true twin like the Evo)? I probably sound pedantic but since I’ve never tried an Evo, it doesn’t sound like these are the best qualities of those two boards to combine on paper. There’s part of me that really wants to get the Proto as my new all mountain board for more playfulness, but many previous Evo reviews talk about it not holding so well in the chop as the SL. Would love to hear your or anyone else’s clarification on this.


  17. Craig
    July 06, 2011

    Thanks Shay, decided to go with the Evo in the end…

  18. July 10, 2011

    Carl, definitely if you want handling in chop, you’d be better off with the SL. It’s noticeably better than the Proto in chop. Proto definitely has it’s place but it would be rad to see the dampening improve on it but if you want all mountain, go with the SL.

    Craig, sweet on the evo! Enjoy the ride!

  19. Carl Hungus
    July 11, 2011

    Thanks Shay.

    Sorry, but right now I’m so torn on just going all the way fun with a Revolver, vs a bit more stable in the Proto. Ok, one more very quick question, as you pretty much can pick what you want to ride and it seems like I’d be hitting what you do terrain wise. Has riding the Proto made you want to give up your Evo, if you could only ride one of those two the rest of the season? Or is the Evo still so much more fun that a little chatter is no big deal?

    Thank again for helping out a guy without the option of a demo day.

  20. July 31, 2011

    Carl, revolver is just a wider evo so unless you have the bigger boot size you are probably fine with sticking to the regular boards.

    I generally don’t keep boards after reviewing them, this year most of the NS boards went to P3 shop here in Mammoth so they have demo boards for people to try. The Proto/SL went to them. I enjoy the evo but I also know what it rides good for, that’s park laps and unless I pick a bigger size on it, I wouldn’t ride it all the time everywhere. You get used to the dampening and stability that it doesn’t matter in the end.

  21. Wade
    August 25, 2011


    I’m 6’2 215lbs with size 12 boots. I spend most of my time riding all over the mountain…probably 20% park. What do you think would be best…the 158 or 160? Thanks!

  22. that one guy
    November 21, 2011

    this board rips! flat out! Everything about it is on point!