2014 Never Summer Premier F1 Review

An out and out freeride board, the Premier F1 has been part of the Never Summer stable for well over a decade. Having ridden the 2012 and 2013 incarnations in various conditions and with no changes to the specification (why change something that isn?t broken?) this was going to be a difficult review to write. What can you say that you haven?t already said?

When I received my 2014 Premier F1 159 I was slightly disappointed. The topsheet graphic had reverted to the black of 2012 and I loved the crisp white and red topsheet of the 2013 model. The base however was a stunning blue, a definite improvement on the bland black base of the 2013 model. Enough of the looks, you don?t see the topsheet under a couple of feet of snow, how does it ride?

Conditions

Fresh pistes, off piste powder, spring snow and bumps

Handling

Simply put, the Premier F1 wants to be ridden hard and fast. After a heavy night of après it may not be the ideal choice as it?s not a board on which to relax or be lazy and it?s possibly too stiff for less able riders. Should you have the skills though, the board?s stiffness will cut through most conditions and power you out of your turns. Match this with the high dampening of the board (8.5/10) and you have a board that will smash the mountain but not leave your body smashed.

The Premier F1is a very responsive ride with the stiff flex enabling fast and effortless edge changes at speed. Small, medium and large radius turns are no problem although slower cross under turns certainly take more effort than a softer torsionally flexing board like an Evo or Proto. Carving is a dream with great edge hold and no fear of wash.

The stiff pin tail and set back stance make this an ideal board for hiking lines looking for fresh. The tail sinks effortlessly into the powder and gives a floaty effortless ride without having to shift the weight to the back foot. Rooster tails are certainly the order of the day when conditions allow.

The Premier is a directional board and due to the pin tail not ideal for switch riding, however it?s most certainly doable should you need to ride out from a frontside 1.

Pop

The Premier F1 has a multi-flex profile meaning it has a stiff tail and slightly softer mid section to aid response. The differences in the flex are noticeable when performing a ?waddle? by springing off the nose and tail, with noticeably more power generated from the tail. Popping off rollers and the odd park kicker were effortless due to the powerful tail flex.

Flex

As previously mentioned, the Premier F1 has a multi-flex profile. On Never Summer?s sliding scale of stiffness they give it a 7/10, an increase on last season?s rating of 6/10 and more comparable to the 7.5/10 I would give it. The torsional flex is stiff, but certainly manageable with good foot pedalling technique. Cross under turns take a little more effort but once on an edge the board cuts through anything and rides like on rails, with no fear of wash. Butters and presses are a little more effort and certainly more enjoyable on the tail, compared to the softer nose once locked on a press.

Rider in Mind

The Premier F1 is a classic freeride board offering a damp, responsive ride both on and off piste. The powerful tail does allow for a few runs through the park but that?s all. If there is fresh what are you doing in the park anyway? You need the skills to be able to ride this board due to it?s stiffer flex and shape, if you don?t have the necessary skills, it could bite you. If you?re a high intermediate/advanced snowboard looking for a board to charge the mountain, this should be on your shopping list.

Other Thoughts

Never Summer boards are built to last. After a few weeks being ridden on the mountain, the Premier still looks as good as new.

Conclusions

When Never Summer gave me the opportunity to test any board from the 2014 range I plumped for the Premier F1. I think that says it all. Despite no major changes to the specification over the last few years, the board charges the mountain with ease, be it fresh powder or icy spring slopes. With the Proto HDX already in my stable as my all round board, I wanted something to charge the pistes and hit the off piste, so what better board than the Premier F1?

What Never Summer say

Type: Freeride/Big Mountain

Our high performance Premier F1 takes freeride technology to a whole new level! The Carbon V-Twin Laminate Technology and RDS1 Damping System increase edgehold and vibration absorption in any snow condition. With the NS freeride technology, the Premier F1 will power through anything in it?s path keeping you on edge and in complete control at any speed. The modified NS Custom Flightcore also incorporates a multi-flexing profile giving the Premier a powerful tail flex and a more responsive mid flex. For unmatched carving ability, powder flotation and effortless turn initiation, the F1 has arrived.

Technical Features:

Carbon V-Twin Laminate Technology

Original Rocker Camber Profile

Vario Power Grip Sidecut

Multi-Flex Profiled Flightcore

STS Pretensioned Fiberglass

Bi-Lite Fiberglass

RDS 1 Damping System

Elastometric Underfoot Stabilizers

Sintered P-tex Sidewall

Durasurf Sintered 4501 Base

P-tex Tip and Tail Protection

Full Wrap Metal Edge

My Stats

Stance: 54cm / 21.25?

Stance Angles: Regular, +15, -12

Height: 5ft 9? / 175cm

Weight: 10st 12lbs / 152lbs / 69kg

Boots: 2011 DC Ceptor UK10.5

Bindings: 2008 Union Force L/XL

Resort: Les Crosets/Champery

Boards I?ve owned

K2 Fatbob 158

Forum Destroyer 157

Option Sansalone 157W

Never Summer Legacy 159

Capita Unorthodox 158

Capita Stairmaster 152W

Never Summer Revolver 156

Never Summer Legacy 163

Capita Charlie Slasher 158

About me

Qualified to BASI Level 2, I generally like to cruise the piste (at speed) with the odd bit of buttering and ollies/spins off little hits. If there?s fresh you won?t find me on the groomers, as I?ll be out looking for fresh lines. I rarely hit the park.

Massive thanks to Vince, Tim and Tracey at Never Summer. Tom at Maxtrack and Paul and Fi at The Rider Social in Chatel.