Snowboard Review: 11-12 Never Summer SL
13 Apr, 2011
Location: Mammoth, CA
Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to softpacked to icy groomers to powder.
Setup: I rode the Never Summer SL with Union Team bindings and Vans Veil Boots size 8.
First Impression: Still an all mountain ride everywhere, everything board from NS.
Flex: The SL flex is right in the middle of the road, it’s torsionally softer so you have quickness edge to edge but longitudinally has good mid range on flex. It’s not as soft as the proto or evo and it’s not as stiff as the premier/raptor. The flex gives it some playfulness with the rocker but also when carving you have enough stiffer longitudinal flex that the board will hold through turns and riding faster for all mountain freestyle. The SL also has more dampening, even though the catalog just says one notch above when you take the SL through chop, it’ll cut through better and you won’t get bounced around as much as the less dampened boards (Proto, Evo). The SL has RC Technology which is a mix of rocker and camber, rocker between the feet and camber just outside both of the bindings.
Turning: Easy to engage in turns and torsionally softer so you get quick edge to edge response. Once on edge, the SL grips the snow and allows you to play with whatever size turn you’d like, short or long radius. Although long radius carving turns are a blast on this board. The vario grip helps with the hardpacked, icy spots just giving you extra edgehold so you don’t slip out as easily.
Stable: I came from riding the Proto which is a lot more freestyle than the SL and a softer less dampened ride, so the SL was a breathe of fresh air for charging. It absorbed the terrain and didn’t let bumps throw you off riding plus it could handle speed and charging a lot better than the softer freestyle boards. The SL is meant to be the all mountain do-it-all board so when it comes to riding outside of park, it holds its own but inside of park you can play with it. In the powder, it floated with the RC but not as well as the bigger more freeride boards like the Premier/Raptor I’ve spent time on.
Pop: The SL got a good amount of time on the jump line in Forest Trail and playing around on the smaller park features in Art Park. Good snap to the pop and I found it pretty fun to ollie with, handled jumps and playing around with presses. It’s not as playful or poppy as the Proto or Evo but it can handle park laps. I had fun with it on the boxes, no catching and was playful enough to ride through park with.
Switch: The SL is a directional twin the flex is twin but it’s setback with the sidecut and stance which is some adjustment to how it rides switch but takes a turn or two to adjust to it. I found it pretty forgiving to switch around and ride switch with.
Overall Impression: The SL is that all mountain freestyle board for the do-it-all rider. It can handle the freeriding to pow days but also enjoys park laps or just playing around. The mid-range dampening and flex make it capable for a mix of riding and it’ll handle what you throw at it.
Shay’s Honesty Box: I was riding the Proto and switched to the SL soon after. The SL was noticeably more stable and offered up a more dampened ride that made it a lot more mountain charging friendly. While the SL has been that in between board, I’ve always found myself leaning either more park or more freeride but never sticking with the all mountain charger.
On Snow Photo
Never Summer SL description
Review Disclosure: I received this board from Never Summer and gave it to P3 board shop in Mammoth Lakes for their demo fleet.