Snowboard Review: 12-13 Never Summer SL
10 Jun, 2012
Location: Steamboat and Vail, CO
Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to softpacked snow on the groomers, some heavier powder.
Setup: I rode the Never Summer SL with Union Force bindings and Vans Ferra boots size 8.
Size: 155 cm
First Impression: The SL gets some new upgrades but it’s still that all mountain board it was built to be.
Weight: Lighter than average.
Flex: Smack in the middle, it’s a five on the scale and rides like a five on the scale. Even with the new upgrades, the board hasn’t changed in terms of the style and capability. It’s still middle of the road, torsionally softer for quickness and longitudinally a good consistent middle of the road flex. The 12-13 SL is lighter and has more dampening and pop added to it. It’s not a huge difference except for the lightening of the board. 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: One of the best features of the SL is the ease of engagement into turns. It’s very consistent, gradual and just goes with what you want for turning. It’s torsionally softer to help give you quicker response but it’s not lightning fast, it gives you time to really push into the turn or take it more mellow. On edge, the vario grip helps with the harder icy spots so you have better grip. Overall it’s built to handle short to long radius turns but I really like the longer faster turns with this board.
Stable: The Never Summer SL is designed to be that one quiver board to handle an assortment of terrain. It does a good job on pretty much everything. On the groomers, the SL has good dampening to absorb the terrain and not let you get too bumped around, it can handle speed and hard charging for all mountain (definitely better than the park boards but not as good as the freeride boards obviously).
Pop: I’ve spent a good amount of time on this board riding it in the parks last year and then taking it out this year. The carbon addition helps give the board more liveliness on the mountain for the park laps. I think this upgrade will be a good thing for the board, making it a bit more versatile for mountain to park riders without having to completely lose dampening like you would switching to the Proto or Evo.
Switch: I’ve ridden the SL switch before so I’m used to the setback stance and sidecut on it (even though it’s a directional twin). There’s some adjustment to handling it switch but it’s very capable of riding switch.
Overall Impression: The Never Summer SL is a popular board from NS, it’s capable of riding anywhere on the mountain and delivers a fun consistent good ride down the mountain. For 2013, the SL gets some upgrades with reduced weight and increased pop,with the carbon laminate technology but even with the changes it’s still very much the same board it was meant to be just a bit better tuned up.
Shay’s Honesty Box: When the demos ended at Winter Park, I realized I’d need to borrow a board to ride Steamboat and Vail. I opted for an all around board and was able to borrow the 12-13 SL for a couple days. It was a great choice, it was able to handle the freeriding and any park time I had. The new adjustments to the board suit the style of the board and make it better.
Ready to buy? Head over to evo to shop the full line of 2011-12 Never Summer snowboards until the 2013 snowboards come out.
On Snow Photo
Never Summer SL Description
Review Disclosure: I borrowed this snowboard from Never Summer and returned it to Never Summer.