Snowboard Review: 12-13 Never Summer Cobra

12 Sep, 2012

Location: Stevens Pass, WA

Snow Conditions: Softpacked to fresh powder.

Setup: I rode the Never Summer Cobra with Union Atlas Team bindings and Vans Ferra boots size 8.

Size: 155

First Impression: New design and quick mountain handling give the Cobra a place among Never Summer boards.

Weight: Average.

Flex: The Cobra is built for all mountain so it’s right in the middle of the flex/dampening scale alongside the SL/Proto. In terms of handling, it feels and rides stiffer than the Proto and more similar to the SL with a tweaked shape. Stiffer flex underfoot that helps with stability, mid range on the longitudinal flex and handing, softer torsional flex between the bindings. It’s quick and responsive in nature but not overally stiff or soft. The Cobra features RC Technology which is a mix of rocker and camber, rocker between the feet and camber just outside both of the bindings.

Turning:  The Cobra gives you response and ease of turning, just like the Proto. The shorter turns were really quick to engage and it made riding in trees a blast because you didn’t have to question the boards handling. The longer turns were just as fine and especially in the powder, could lay out a wide arc and have fun with it.

Stable: The dampening on Never Summer’s certainly helped when it came to a stable ride and bumpy packed powder conditions. It’s in the mid range for stability from Never Summer, not as stiff and charging as the freeride specific boards and not as soft as the freestyle boards. I didn’t encounter any ice with the Cobra to test the vario grip handling but I’d assume it would be like the other boards in the line.

Pop: It was easy to maneuver and pop over fun powder spots and landings but I didn’t take it into the park, just mountain riding for this board.

Switch: The Cobra is slightly setback for a more directional ride but it can still ride switch, just takes a quick adjustment to adjust to the handling. I was fine with riding it either way.

Overall Impression: This new Never Summer board takes all mountain riding and delivers powerful performance that can handle riding the powder or the mountain with ease. The NW had a stellar powder year so I took out the Cobra on plenty of powder days to review the board. Even in the 155, it floats and handles the mountain to create the all mountain destroyer it’s meant to be.

Shay’s Honesty Box: It’ll be interesting to see how this board does against the popular Never Summer line-up of boards like the SL/Premier. I wouldn’t say it fills a void but creates a different ride for the all-mountain riders wanting a newer shape and quicker handling.

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

On Snow Photo

Riding the powder

Never Summer Cobra Description (old graphic on this description)

Review Disclosure: Never Summer sent me this board to test and review.

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. September 12, 2012

    This is a cool review would you by any chance do a K2 Slayblade review please?

  2. September 19, 2012

    My first time snowboarding was last year, would you recommend this board for someone buying their first all mountain snowboard?

  3. October 01, 2012

    Hey Shay, does the waist width of the NS boards ever give you a problem with size 8 women’s feet? Im thinking about getting a 152 or 154 Evo, but Im worried it will be too wide for my women’s size 8 Burton boots… any input?

    • October 01, 2012

      Sammy, I’m pretty comfortable with it because I learned on men’s boards and switched to women’s boards years after. Generally not as quick as a narrower board but still rideable and fun. Since the Pandora only goes up to the 149, the evo would definitely be a good choice for the 152-154 sizes. Are you planning on riding park/freestyle?

      • October 02, 2012

        Shay, thanks for the advice! I am planning to do a good amount of park/freestyle but also take the board all over the mountain. I was originally looking at the pandora but 149 is just a little short for me (5’8″, 160lb), so as long as my small feet won’t pose a problem the Evo seems perfect! It sounds like I should be fine, it might just take some getting used to. Thanks for the help!

        • October 02, 2012

          Sammy, have you considered the Infinity? It’s more all mountain freestyle in the range of sizes that suits you. The evo is a great park board but definitely on the softer freestyle end of the spectrum. You could definitely ride it with size 8’s.

          • October 02, 2012

            The reason I was looking at the evo over the infinity is simply because I have found that I have more fun on softer boards all over the mountain, and because I would prefer a true twin. Ideally, I would love to demo both boards but on the east coast that can be difficult to do. But thank you so much for your advice, it is very helpful to know that I can ride the evo without problems!

          • October 24, 2012

            Definitely! the evo sounds like it’d work for you. Enjoy!

  4. October 12, 2012

    Cobra or SL for mostly freeriding/powder? (I already have a park board)

  5. October 23, 2012

    Lonerider…I would probably suggest looking more toward the Heritage or Raptor for freeride/pow, that is if you dont mind speed! I havent ridden the Heritage, but i own the Raptor and I couldnt imagine a faster accelerating, more stable board for freeride. Dont expect to take that stiff monster in the park, but trees and natural hits are a breeze with it. By the way, I ride a 165 wide, and weigh in around 260lbs. I loaded up on the front of the board in 2 feet of pow and couldnt sink it. Food for thought.

  6. October 24, 2012

    I’d agree with Shawn. The Raptor is what I would mostly ride for freeriding/pow. The Cobra definitely can do it but the Raptor charges a bit more.

  7. October 27, 2012

    For an somewhat intermediate ride, riding all mountain and not in the park would the cobra be a good choice over an sl

  8. November 30, 2012

    I nearly bought one of these boards (I found a batch of them at Salty Peaks last Spring).

    Some thoughts.

    I am a former NS Premier and Titan rider. I now only have one NS left, and it’s a loaner – I don’t ride it anymore.

    Reverse camber and graphics (first a Skate Banana – nice, as second skate banana – even nicer, and then a Banana Magic – best all around board for my style) pulled me away from Never Summer. Never Summer just never seemed to make a board that reflected my idea of perfection – a medium stiff, twin (or near twin) with combo camber that is mostly banana (ie it is combo camber, but only slightly – the tip and tail still don’t touch the snow when unwieghted). Lo and behold – Never Summer introduces the Cobra. In my mind, this is NS’s answer to the needs of the same type of rider who would choose a Banana Magic – an advanced to expert rider looking to do it all. A confident rider who likes playful riding, and doesn’t want to focus on just freeride, or just freestyle.

    Why didn’t I buy one of the Cobras I found at Salty? Well, my Magic is holding up well and those boards were ugly, I mean ugly even by Never Summer Standards (in my opinion). I heard that the response from trade shows, reps and shops was that the Cobra needed a better graphic treatment. Want to see the ugly board I saw? Check Shay’s on-hill pic vs. the website grab.

    I must say that the new graphic is an improvement, but graphics still play a major role for me – I’m not ready to ride boards that look like NS boards (please don’t attack this stance, its just my opinion, I grew up on skate graphics, and I’m picky).

    Would I buy this board with different graphics? Yup. If it really rides the way I think it does (and Shay’s review makes it sound like it does), it’s a winner.