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

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Never Summer SL Description

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Review Disclosure: I borrowed this snowboard from Never Summer and returned it to Never Summer.

About the author

Shay

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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6 Comments

  1. Mel K
    June 11, 2012

    Great review! Quick question though. I noticed you rode a 153 SL in last year’s review and a 155 SL this time around. Being that the difference in waist width between both boards are so big (24.4 vs. 25.1 mm), did you notice a difference in edge to edge? For your size 8 feet I would’ve thought the smaller waist width board was more ideal.

    Reason I’m asking is that I have pretty small feet (size 7.5 boots) which is more ideal for the 153 board but my weight at 165lbs justifies a 155cm board. With your size 8 woman’s feet (smaller than mine), did the 155 boardyou tested ride more sluggishly than the 153 from last year? Or did you really didn’t notice any difference?

    Thanks!

  2. Mel K
    June 14, 2012

    Great review! Quick question though. I noticed you rode a 153 SL in last year’s review and a 155 SL this time around. Being that the difference in waist width between both boards are so big (24.4 vs. 25.1 mm), did you notice a difference in edge to edge? For your size 8 feet I would’ve thought the smaller waist width board was more ideal.

    Reason I’m asking is that I have pretty small feet (size 7.5 boots) which is more ideal for the 153 board but my weight at 165lbs justifies a 155cm board. With your size 8 woman’s feet (smaller than mine), did the 155 boardyou tested ride more sluggishly than the 153 from last year? Or did you really didn’t notice any difference?

    Thanks!

  3. gags
    June 18, 2012

    Please note the graphics were updated between the material submitted for Shay’s review and now. New graphics should be up on the NS website in about 1 1/2 months.

    Mel, I’ll let Shay answer your foot size question but I’ll chime in – I think most riders size 7.5 can leverage a 25cm waist board but it’s all about personal preferance. I’d demo it to be sure to see if it’s right for you. Just for your reference I’m 195# and size 10 and mostly ride a 155 Proto CTX (waist width 26.1) all over the mtn…..you’d be fine on the 153 at 165# and probably can leverage that 155 back and forth with your feet as well if you want a longer board. Enjoy

  4. Frank
    June 18, 2012

    Hi Gags,
    Just curious to know, I guess you prefer wider snowboard ? Cause at size 10US, I thought somebody can ride normal waist snowboard where when you have like 11US and over it is recommended to go wide snowboard?
    I do have a question on NS for 2013… I like to ride fast and charge but at the same time like the twin approach freestyle… what we will suggest me to go between Heritage 158 or 160… or even SL 158 or 161? ( currently coming from Lib Tech Lando 160, 2009 BTX) and I am 9US size and 170pds thanks

  5. Mel K
    June 18, 2012

    Thanks Gags. I was always told that you should have at least 1/4″ overhang toe and heel for a proper board fit. The waist width of the 155 SL is 25.1cm measured at the narrowest point of the board. The waist width at the closest binding inserts would probably be at least 25.5cm given the sidecut of the board, which is at my boot size (size 7.5 = 25.5cm), and assuming 0 degree binding angles. Since I ride at 15/-3 angles, the actual waist width would even be greater so no part of my feet would have overhang over the board to pressure the edges. Since Shay is a woman’s size 8, her feet are actually smaller and I would hazard a guess that with the angles she rides she has no overhang, which intuitively would make a more sluggish ride. I understand boots are bigger and provide an *apparent* overhang but it’s probably not right to say that the padding of the boots creates leverage.

    Anyway, maybe having reverse camber can offset any handling issues with no overhang…eagerly awaiting her thoughts and on riding other men’s boards which can even be wider.

  6. June 18, 2012

    Mel, It wasn’t too drastic a difference for me. But I also ride a lot of boards with varying widths and they don’t effect me too much. I can still ride the 25 ww’s just as fine as the 23-24 ww’s. But matching up to your boot size is good if you don’t want something slower edge to edge or wider than you need.

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