Love Snow http://www.lovesnow.co.uk Hints and Tips, News and Musings from the Love Snow Team Wed, 14 Aug 2013 14:21:18 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 2014 Never Summer Cobra X Review http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2013/08/2014-never-summer-cobra-x-review/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2013/08/2014-never-summer-cobra-x-review/#comments Thu, 08 Aug 2013 20:34:55 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=290 Never Summer 2014 Cobra X 161 (Pre Graphic Change)

Last season I was lucky enough to test the newest addition to the carbonium series (in it’s wide form), the Cobra X. It was so new to the line up that it took til the March of the 2012 season for me to get my hands on one to try. The Cobra, born out of the success of the Proto CT, is a responsive, mid flexing all mountain slayer. When I first set foot on one I was unsure how I felt about the board. The blunted spade tail combined with the set back stance brings the board around quickly and caught me off guard at first. Once accustomed to the ride I found it a playful all mountain board that really excelled in powder. How was I going to fair with the 2014 incarnation?

One of the reasons the 2013 model was late to be unveiled was due to the graphics. Unhappy with the original design the graphics were rejigged. The same has occurred with the 2014 model. The test board I was given in January has since been redesigned with a graphic similar to that of the Proto HD and can be seen in the photos below. The base graphic has remained the same, through which you can make out the strategically placed X-shaped carbon stringers.

Never Summer Cobra 2014 Never Summer Cobra 2014 Never Summer Cobra 2014

Conditions

Fresh off piste powder, corduroy pistes, bumps

Handling

Knowing what to expect from the ride of the Cobra I felt at home from the off. Last season when riding the 2013 model I was caught out a couple of times until I came accustomed to how the board handled. The blunted spade tail and set back stance means that very little aft movement is required to bring the board around to finish a turn.

The Cobra is at home on the piste. It’s a tad over mid flex (5.5/10) and a tad over mid dampening (5.5/10) using the new CDS dampening system found on the carbonium range. This results in a responsive ride with plenty of feedback. Short, medium and long radius turns were child’s play, with very little aft movement required to bring the board across the fall line on steeper slopes, even on a bigger board than I’m used to. The torsional flex is playful and combined with the under binding mount carbon stringers meant carving was great fun, feeling plenty of rebound from the board and leaving pencil thin lines on the fresh corduroy.

Blessed with several bluebird powder days this January, the Portes du Soleil was an ideal playground on which to put the Cobra to the test. Normally in powder you need to do long drawn out turns to keep speed and momentum, however on the Cobra this isn’t the case. The spade tail combined with the set back stance allows you to make short paintbrush turns on your mountain canvas with ease. When in show off mode it can send up a massive rooster tail, although I warn you it can cost several pints of beer in the bar later when you shower your mates with a 10 foot rooster.

You would expect what with the set back stance and tail shape that switch riding would be difficult, but it’s certainly not the case and I felt at home switch carving.

Pop

The combination of strategically placed carbon stringers and weightless carbonium tech make the Cobra a very light and poppy board. Not as much pop as the Proto HD but still ear to ear grinningly fun when you boost off a roller or piste side hit. I felt it had more pop than the 2013 model, whether this has something to do with the new CDS dampening system that it shares with the Proto I’m unsure.

Flex

The flex rating of the Cobra has been upgraded half a point from a 5 to 5.5/10. Classed in flex as only half a point more than the Proto, I feel this is more akin to their respective flexes (maybe Never Summer took my points on board from last year?). The torsional flex feels a tad stiffer than the Proto with just slightly more effort required to flex the board when making cross under turns. Butters and presses were fun, but obviously not as much fun as a tool designed for the job like an Evo/Revolver or Proto.

Rider in Mind

Many all mountain boards are stiff and designed to be ridden at speed and as a result are very unforgiving for a rider not able to effectively manipulate the board through foot pedalling. Never Summer have seen an opening for a softer flexing all mountain slayer and combined with it’s dynamic shape, the Cobra makes a very user friendly board for an intermediate rider looking for an all mountain piste and powder board. It does have a hefty price tag, but can you put a price on fun?

Other Thoughts

Carbonium boards are as tough as they come. The pimply topsheet whilst reducing weight also make it pretty scratch proof, despite the best efforts of the weekend crowd. The board was handed back after the test week in January with minimal signs of use. The one ball jay factory wax held up well for the week although it was in need of a fresh coat when the week was up.

Conclusions

The Cobra was a great addition to the carbonium series when it was added in 2013. It’s softer flex and dynamic shape make it a very friendly board for an intermediate rider looking for a piste and powder slayer. I had great fun on the Cobra, particularly in the powder where it excels. Were I to be offered the choice between a Premier F1 or a Cobra it would be a very difficult decision. It could be decided on the flip of a coin.

What Never Summer say

Type: All Mountain

Cobra: Driven off the massive success of our true twin Proto HD, the Never Summer carbonium Cobra features blunted ends for reduced swing weight, utilizes a drawn out nose that knifes thru soft snow, and a blunted quick spade tail to enhance float in powder. Slightly setback with a more directional ride the Cobra comes equipped with a dual top and bottom carbon matrix that provides incredible power underfoot. The Cobra is the highest performance and most versatile all mountain board ever made. It?s futuristic shape combined with the time tested edge hold of Vario Power Grip Sidecut gives you the ability to strike any terrain with deadly force.?

Cobra X: ?A wide version of the original.?

Technical Features:

Carbonium Topsheet

Carbonium Laminate Technology

Original Rocker Camber Profile

Vario Power Grip Sidecut

STS Pretensioned Fiberglass

Bi-Lite Fiberglass

NS Superlight Wood Core

CDS Dampening System

Elastometric Underfoot Stabilizers

Sintered P-tex Sidewall

Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 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: 2010 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.

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2014 Never Summer Premier F1 Review http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2013/08/never-summer-2014-premier-f1-159/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2013/08/never-summer-2014-premier-f1-159/#comments Wed, 07 Aug 2013 13:45:28 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=269 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.

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2014 Never Summer Proto HDX Review http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2013/05/2014-never-summer-proto-hdx-review/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2013/05/2014-never-summer-proto-hdx-review/#comments Wed, 01 May 2013 10:52:20 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=241 In December 2012 I received an email from Vince Sanders of Never Summer, inviting me to be part of a new Design Team he was creating. The team would give feedback on the new boards and technology and offer reviews and advice to forum visitors across the world. Being the only UK and European member of the team, I was over the moon to be asked. In mid January I was sent the 2014 models of the Proto HDX and Premier F1. Both of these boards are to be reviewed, along with the Cobra X that I rode for several days on The Rider Social Never Summer Test Week held in Chatel in January. The first review will be of the Proto HDX, followed subsequently by the Premier F1 and Cobra X.

I always like to give a little introduction to Never Summer so that people unfamiliar with the brand can get a little background information and history on the brand and it?s product. Starting out as a basement operation in 1983, the Canaday brothers, Tim and Tracey have grown the business into an internationally recognised company. They work closely with the world?s leading raw material manufacturers and engineers to make sure each snowboard is the most durable and high performance on the planet. Each snowboard is handcrafted in their Denver factory and so confident are they of the quality of their boards that they all come with a 3-year warranty. They focus less on promotion and hype, letting the snowboards that come out of the factory do the talking for them. Never Summer are also famed for their longboards and manufacture skis for Icelantic and Fat-ypus.

In late 2010, Never Summer received the patent on their RC Technology. The 2013 boards carry the US Patent number with all boards in the range using both RC technology and ?Vario Power Grip? sidecuts. RC is short for ?Rocker and Camber? which places rocker between the bindings and camber areas at each end of the board. This board profile apparently ?destroys anything in it?s path from parks to steeps, to powder and high speed cruisers? and provides, ?unmatched power and snap out of turns.? The ?Vario Power Grip? is added to increase edgehold and provide ?added control and response in any condition.?

Whilst most of the 2014 line up uses the tried and tested original RC profile, Never Summer have added a few new profiles. The Proto HDX has been given an Extended Transition RC profile (EXRC), the Raptor has been given a Directional RC profile (DRC) and the new Prospector Split an Extended Tour RC profile (EXTRC).

Never Summer 2014 Proto HDX

When I first stepped on an early production Proto in 2011 it was love at first ride. I loved how the board was playful and responsive but could also rail a turn when required. The Proto is a board that is constantly evolving and for 2014 they have made several changes. Firstly, as previously mentioned, they have given the Proto an Extended Transition Rocker Camber profile (EXRC). The transition area has been extended from the end of the camber into the new low profile tip/tail.  This decreases the pressure over the ends of the effective edge, allowing the board to flow instead of push against the snow.  This creates a more fluid edge transfer and increases glide and powder flotation in flat areas of the board. Edge hold is also improved when the camber is engaged but is more forgiving and less likely to catch an edge when in a neutral position.

The Proto shares a new low profile tip and tail with the 2014 Evo. The new profile ?maximises material contact with the snow for a more powerful pop and add stability to landings. It also reduces the plowing effect in the nose for better glide and float in powder.?

The other changes revolve around the damping properties of the board. Several reviews of the 2013 Proto spoke of the lack of damping in the board. I felt that it was at times like riding a bucking bronco and that in flat light conditions I favoured a damper ride like the Premier. The problem that Never Summer faced was how to make the board damper, without sacrificing the board?s liveliness and response.  The Proto?s new guise as the HD/X is due to the harmonic dampers added to the tip and tail. These have been developed to take out a large percentage of residual vibration by quieting the nose and tail. This in turn, ?enhances stability at speed, in variable snow conditions and on hard landings without deadening the liveliness and pop of the cambered area.? The Proto previously shared the Evo?s damping system, but for 2014 has been given a Carbonium Damping System (CDS). The CDS ?greatly reduces vibration and provides unmatched high speed stability and control.? Elastometric rubber stringers reduce vibration from the metal edge and stringers below the inserts and under the carbon dampen additional vibration near the bindings.

When I first picked up the 2014 Proto, I spotted a strange pattern between the bindings and something that I referred to as the ?Edam insert? due to it?s likeliness to a slice of Edam cheese (see picture). I couldn?t see any reference to this in the 2014 catalogue so I emailed Vince to enquire what it was. He replied saying, ?We are not marketing this feature yet but what it does is absorb impact, reduce vibration and deliver a very smooth ride. The rocker puts more pressure over this area naturally more than a cambered board that is more elevated. This cushions this contact to the snow in the rocker area.  Focusing this dampening and vibration absorption in this area like the harmonic dampers keeps from deadening the board in the cambered areas and underfoot to really keep the board lively and crisp.?

For 2014, ?glow off the snow? makes a very welcome return and on my favourite board in the line up to boot. Never Summer listens to it?s customers and has over the last couple of years made late changes to board graphics, most notably the 2013 SL and both the 2013 and 2014 Cobra. There was considerable moaning on the forums when the 2013 line up was released with no luminous bases, but thankfully Never Summer have seen sense and brought them back. I was a very happy snowboarder when my Proto arrived with a luminous green base. The Proto also has a new Never Summer eagle logo adorning the base.

Conditions

Fresh pistes, off piste powder, bumps.

Handling

As with previous models, the Proto rides roughly 3cm longer than it?s actual length. This is due to it?s longer effective edge and blunted ends and as a result you can downsize, for an example, to a 158 if you normally ride a board of 161cm.

Small, medium and long radius turns are easy to initiate and carves feel locked on with no fear of wash. With a year between riding the 2013 and 2014 models, it?s difficult to determine whether there has been any improvement, however I can?t remember any major issues on either the 2012 or 2013 model. Cross under turns were responsive with noticeable rebound between edge changes from the carbon stringers.

The board performed admirably in powder. Whilst not as nimble as the Cobra or as flowing or effortless as a Premier it handled 40-50cm of fresh powder with no issues. I kept a centred stance and could ride balanced, only weighting the back foot at the end of the turn. The board planed through the fresh snow (you could see it planing at the contact points on flatter slopes) and didn?t plough. Unfortunately on my return to the Alps in Spring there was no fresh snow, so I was unable to see how it would perform in wetter, heavier Spring snow.

The Proto maintains it?s speed on the flats. I didn?t expect to notice this considerably, despite the information on the EXRC profile and low profile tip and tail stating that improved glide and float were benefits of their addition. On the days I was riding the Cobra and a friend the Proto he would go further as the terrain flattened on cat tracks. When we subsequently switched boards it was the opposite, with me going further.

Landings off kickers felt solid and I was able to ride away unscathed from a few sketchy landings.

One worry I had was that by adding the harmonic dampers and rubber damping in the rocker, the board?s liveliness would be affected. This worry appears unfounded as the board remains fun and lively. Last season in flat light I switched to a Premier due to the lack of damping in the board and tiring limbs. Although not ridden in flat light, I did notice that it felt less of a ?bouncy? ride and the legs were less fatigued at the end of a full day on the hill. The Proto has been given a damp rating of 4 after being downgraded to a 3.5 in 2013 on the Never Summer damp meter, but I feel it could have been upgraded further to a 4.5/10.

One thing of note is that it took a couple of days to be comfortable flat basing. It?s not been an issue before with previous Proto incarnations, and although the blurb on the new extended transition rocker camber profile says to the contrary, I think it was caused by the new RC profile. After a couple of days it wasn?t an issue, but something to be aware of should you ride one, particularly as my friend (who is an accomplished rider) came a cropper on a flat cat track.

Being a true twin, switch was a doddle and I spent one enjoyable floodlit evening just riding switch.

Pop

The Proto pops for fun. Just load the nose or tail and it pops effortlessly. I overshot the landings on my first run through the park. The Proto has always had excellent pop, but it feels more poppy than previous years.  The longer effective edge allows you to downsize and combined with the blunted low profile tips, lightweight core and carbonium top sheet mean the swing weight is low so rotations are straight forward (as they can be).

Flex

Classed as a 5 on the Never Summer flex meter, the Proto has medium flex both torsionally and longitudinally, makes the board playful and responsive. The board reacted instantly to the feet giving a nimble ride. It felt solid in a carve, leaving pencil thin lines with no wash. I?m unsure as to whether it?s due to the low profile tips, the extended camber profile, or a combination of both, but jibbing is much more pleasurable. It is much easier to initiate a press and it feels locked on once you?re in a press.

Rider in Mind

If you are an intermediate/advanced snowboarder looking for a true all mountain board then this should definitely be on your short list. It?s playful, responsive and has oodles of pop. The jibbing ability of the board has been improved upon and it has the ability to step up should you want to lay down some trenches on fresh corduroy. For a board classed as all mountain freestyle it floats excellently in powder.

Other Thoughts

The pimpled carbonium top sheet and durasurf base make the board very robust to knocks and dings from either stray poles in the lift lines or rocks hidden under the snow. I couldn?t spot a mark on the 158 HDX after myself and a few others had ridden it for 6 days on the test week.

The return to the glow off the snow bases is a most welcome one. The base is a talking point with fellow boarders and a definite selling point. I also like that you can see the tech under the base (although probably giving competitors ideas!).Where the base graphic shines, the top sheet graphics are a bit of a let down. Most of the board designs (Evo apart) are very geometric. I?d like to see a fresher approach to the graphics as they appear rehashed ideas from previous years.

On the test week, the campers were fighting over the Proto on the last day as it was a parks and kickers day. Comments during the week were that it felt like a playful SL with better edge hold compared to the 2013 model but less feedback from the snow conditions.

Conclusion

The Proto is a very fun all mountain board. I?ve said before that the Proto is a quiver killer, able to do everything, but I feel that it is now even more the case. The new additions to the board have in my opinion made an already excellent board better. The added damping has made it less of the harsh ride it used to be, but has not taken away the liveliness of the board and the new low profile tips and extended camber profile have made it more jibbing friendly.

Other Tester?s Comments:

?The most fun, poppy board I?ve ever ridden. Not as stable at speed on piste, but surprisingly good in powder.? – 2010 SL Owner

What Never Summer say

Type: All Mountain Freestyle

Proto is short for prototype. The Proto is continually evolving. For 2013/14 we?ve developed a new Extended Transition Rocker Camber (EXRC) specifically for the Proto. This longer transition area extends from the ends of the camber to a new Low Profile Tip and Tail (LPT). Glide and float characteristics are increased and pressure over the ends of the contact points are decreased allowing for effortless edge-to-edge transitioning. Our blunted true twin shape cuts down on nose and tail material for a reduced spin weight while increasing the effective edge producing superior stability. Unmatched snap, power and pop, plus amazing powder flotation, edge hold and high-speed stability makes the Proto HD a versatile and formidable threat for all aspects of snowboarding.

Proto HDX: A wide version of the original.

Technical Features:

Carbonium Topsheet

Carbonium Laminate Technology

Extended Transition Rocker Camber Profile

Vario Power Grip Sidecut

Low Profile Tip/Tail

STS Pretensioned Fiberglass

Bi-Lite Fiberglass

NS Superlight Wood Core

Harmonic Tip/Tail damper

CDS Dampening System

Elastomeric Underfoot Stabilizers

Sintered P-tex Sidewall

Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base

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: 2010 Union Force L/XL

Resort: Les Crosets/Champery / Tamworth Snowdome

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.

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2013 Never Summer Cobra Review http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2012/03/2013-never-summer-cobra-review/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2012/03/2013-never-summer-cobra-review/#comments Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:51:09 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=224 In January I was lucky enough to be part of the 2013 Never Summer Board Test with The Rider Social in Chatel. Paul handed me a Proto CTX and Premier F1 to slay the powder that fell continuously that week, which were reviewed earlier this season. Just prior to the week, I had a few questions regarding a new board to the Never Summer line up for 2013, the Cobra. I had little to offer as I?d only just become aware of it myself. Having a nosey around the dealer catalogue, it was a new addition to the carbonium series born out of the massive success of the 2012 release the Proto CT. A high performance all mountain board that on paper was a responsive, medium flex board. I had to try one. Unfortunately the Cobra was that hot off the press that it missed the original shipment and the January powder went unslain by a Cobra. Luckily for me I had a March trip planned and when Tom at MaxTrack gave me the opportunity to try one, I jumped at the chance.

Never Summer 2013 Cobra X 159

The Cobra, as mentioned is a new board to the Never Summer line up for 2013. With larger than average feet, I was given the wide version, the Cobra X to test. The board has very understated but classy graphics. A close up inspection shows a very detailed Cobra with a bright red shadow to bring the graphic to the fore. The base is red with a white Never Summer Eagle. Under the top sheet you can just make out the strategically placed X-shaped carbon stringers under the binding mounts, the same as the Proto CT. The shape of the board was very different, as the board tapers off from the waist to a blunted spade tail (more about how this affects the ride later).

When I mentioned I was taking a Cobra for a spin, I was informed by angrysnowboarder that, ?you?re probably going to like it, think SL on crack but not stiff like the heritage.? This gave me a pre conceived notion that it would be a responsive all mountain stick but with a forgiving side. Only a week?s riding in luckily a multitude of conditions would tell.

Conditions

Fresh powder, corduroy pistes, spring snow and bumps.

Handling

I was unsure how I felt about the board after the first couple of days riding fresh powder and groomed pistes and it was certainly a grower of a relationship rather than love at first sight. So used to riding a true twin, my riding is so engrained that I know exactly where my weight needs to be. When replicating this on short radius turns and carves on the Cobra, it just turned on a sixpence and caught me out a couple of times. The slightly narrower blunted tail and set back stance brings the board round quickly, and it took a few runs to figure out exactly how much aft movement I required.

Once I?d got accustomed to the board it really owned the piste. Reasonably stiff with mid dampening (uses SL damping system) it gave a fun and responsive ride. The usual short, medium and radius turns were a doddle, requiring little aft movement on short turns on the steeps and bumps. The torsional flex of the board is a great plus point and a welcome change from the norm of an all mountain board with stiff torsional flex. The softer torsional flex and under foot carbon stringers meant cross over carves brought great pleasure and if you caught it right there was a miniscule amount of air time between one edge disengaging and the other engaging. The tell tale pencil thin tracks and lack of transition phase were there in abundance, with no sign of wash. Cross under turns on such a torsionally responsive deck were also a doddle, reacting instantly to my movements.

In powder the board excels. We had about 20cm of fresh snow first day and I took numerous laps through the fresh in the Les Crosets park. Short powder turns were easy, certainly attributable to the tail shape and the set back stance. No need for long drawn out turns to maintain speed, the Cobra just wanted to charge.
Despite the set back stance and tail shape, switch riding was fairly easy and certainly not a chore.

Pop

The board had a good amount of pop and had me boosting off a few hits when loading the tail. I didn?t feel it had as much pop as the Proto but still gave great fun off piste side hits and a few park booters. The pop and flex made waddling very easy, which was certainly required on the long flat run from Ripaille to Grand Paradis!

Flex

Never Summer have rated the Cobra as a 5 in flex, the same as the Proto and SL and just one down from the Premier. Personally I think the Cobra is just a tad stiffer than the Proto, something I certainly felt torsionally when making cross under turns. Butters and presses were certainly doable and still great fun, but obviously not as grin wearing as doing them on an Evo or Revolver.

Rider in Mind

If you?re an intermediate rider looking for a piste and powder slayer this should be on your radar. Most all mountain boards are stiff and heavy that can punish lazy or bad technique making them too much for anyone less than an advanced rider. Personally I think the Cobra is ideal for an intermediate rider who wants to own the mountain and isn?t overly interested in the park side of things.

Other Thoughts

Never Summer boards are as tough as they come. The board survived the week?s riding with just one minor mark to the base and one minimal scratch to the top sheet. It even survived the Saturday crowd and children using their poles as drawing implements. The factory wax held up well, only after 6 days requiring a fresh coat.

Conclusions

The Cobra is an interesting new addition to the line-up. It?s an all mountain board that for me is designed for someone who wants to dominate the pistes and powder but doesn?t want a stiff board to do it on. Personally I look for something playful and responsive in my all mountain board, so the Revolver or Proto ticks those boxes. If I wanted a powder and piste tamer, I would pick the Premier for the damper ride. That doesn?t mean to say I didn?t have fun on the board, it?s just that I already have my favourites.

What Never Summer say

Type: All Mountain

Cobra: ?Introducing the new Never Summer Cobra! Driven off the massive success of our true twin Proto CT, the Never Summer carbonium Cobra features blunted ends for reduced swing weight, utilizes a drawn out nose that knifes thru soft snow, and a blunted quick spade tail to enhance float in powder. Slightly setback with a more directional ride the Cobra comes equipped with a dual top and bottom carbon matrix that provides incredible power underfoot. The Cobra is the highest performance and most versatile all mountain board ever made. It?s futuristic shape combined with the time tested edge hold of Vario Power Grip Sidecut gives you the ability to strike any terrain with deadly force.?

Cobra X: ?A wide version of the original.?

Technical Features:

Carbonium Topsheet
Carbonium Laminate Technology
Bi-Directional Rocker Camber Profile
STS Pretensioned Fiberglass
Bi-Lite Fiberglass
NS Superlight Wood Core
RDS2 Dampening System
Sintered P-tex Sidewall
Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 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: 11st 2lbs / 156lbs / 70.5kg
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.

A massive thanks to Tom at Maxtrack for the opportunity to try this board.

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2013 Never Summer Proto CTX and Premier F1 Reviews http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2012/02/2013-never-summer-proto-ctx-and-premier-f1-reviews/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2012/02/2013-never-summer-proto-ctx-and-premier-f1-reviews/#comments Sun, 05 Feb 2012 20:40:47 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=211 Never Summer Snowboards don?t need much in the way of an introduction, but I?ll give you a little history lesson anyway. Starting out as a basement operation in 1983, the Canaday brothers, Tim and Tracey have grown the business into an internationally recognised company. They work closely with the world?s leading raw material manufacturers and engineers to make sure each snowboard is the most durable and high performance on the planet. Each snowboard is handcrafted in their Denver factory and so confident are they of the quality of their boards that they all come with a 3-year warranty. They focus less on promotion and hype, letting the snowboards that come out of the factory do the talking for them.

In late 2010, Never Summer received the patent on their RC Technology. The 2013 boards carry the US Patent number with all boards in the range using both RC technology and ?Vario Power Grip? sidecuts. RC is short for ?Rocker and Camber? which places rocker between the bindings and camber areas at each end of the board. This board profile apparently ?destroys anything in it?s path from parks to steeps, to powder and high speed cruisers? and provides, ?unmatched power and snap out of turns.? The ?Vario Power Grip? is added to increase edgehold and provide ?added control and response in any condition.?

Flicking through the 2012/13 Dealer catalogue a new addition to the range can be found. The Proto has been given a bigger brother in the form of the Cobra adding another board to the Carbonium series. The Cobra is a directional all mountain board that looks on paper a powerhouse. Another thing I noted was the lack of ?glow on the snow? bases. The luminous green and pink bases of the 2011 range were sick and people stared in amazement as you rode past on what looked like a hover board with the snow glow. Please Never Summer, like last season when you bowed to public demand, bring them back.

Following on from last season?s reviews, I received a few emails from Vince Sanders, Product Development Manager at Never Summer which resulted in interviews with Vince himself (the coolest man you know), Jeremy Salyer and some amazing behind the scenes features on GONEboarding. I also received a phone call from Paul at The Rider Social offering me the chance to head out to the Portes du Soleil in January 2012 to test the 2013 range straight from the industry board test in La Clusaz.

So January came round and having flicked through the dealer catalogue, I was eyeing up a Cobra to test. Unfortunately none had made their way over the Pond, so having tested both the Proto CTX and Premier F1 last season in Spring conditions I plumped for both boards again, keen to try them in the powder that had eluded us last season.

Never Summer 2013 Proto CTX 158

In January 2011 the first ramblings about a new board to the Never Summer range started appearing on the internet. The board was talked about as a cross between the Evo?s twin shape and responsive dampening and the SL?s powerful flex. As the owner of a Revolver (wide Evo) and a rider who likes a playful true twin, my eyes opened wide when I read this information and I was lucky enough to test one last season. I wasn?t disappointed. The only thing missing last season was the chance to test it in powder. This season was my chance.

When Fi from the Rider Social dropped the boards off, I was slightly disappointed that the Proto I?d been given to ride had a black base. The white base shows off the strategically placed carbon stringers under the binding mounts and I could only just make out the end of one of the stringers under the white eagle. Hey ho, beggars can?t be choosers and all. The top sheet had the same pimply feel created by the carbonium and the graphics had a similar feel to the 2012 board.

Conditions

Fresh pistes, off piste powder, bumps and buildings.

Handling

The first thing you notice when riding the Proto is how it rides longer than it?s actual length. The 158 I was given, rode more like a 161 due to it?s longer effective edge and blunted ends. My friend Mike who normally rides a 161 SL found little difference between the boards in terms of their length when he took it for a spin and felt right at home on the Proto.

The 2013 Proto was to be tested on polar opposite conditions to the 2012 model. Despite this, I found small, medium and long radius turns easy to initiate and carves locked on with no fear of wash. Cross under turns were a pleasure, putting a big grin on my face as the board reacted instantly to what my feet were telling it to do. This created a responsive, flowing ride as I cut a line through the couple of inches of fresh on the L?Abricotine run down to Lindarets.

As I?ve mentioned, just a few times already, I wanted to try the Proto in powder. I?ve never really had a problem with my true twin Revolver in powder so I wasn?t expecting one with the Proto. The rocker/camber profile lends itself well to powder riding and the Proto didn?t disappoint. Whilst the experience was like night and day compared to the Premier F1, powder riding was still great fun. The board cut through the fresh with relatively ease and although I?d set the board up centered I had no need to crank my weight over the back foot to raise the nose. Here?s a video filmed on a Go Pro of me riding the Proto CTX in powder:

Reading the dealer catalogue, the Proto appears to be have downgraded in terms of it?s dampness (from 4 to 3.5). Last year I remarked that it was like riding a bucking bronco at times. This was most noticeable in flat light when you had to ride through feel and rely on your knees and feet to react to changes in terrain. Due to the flat light and conditions I reverted back to the Premier after a couple of days on the Proto due to it?s better dampening. The thing is, if you make a board damp you lose it?s playful and responsive side, something the Proto has in spades and something I wouldn?t change.

Switch riding, as you would expect from a true twin was a doddle.

Pop

Wow, the pop on this board is still as impressive as when I rode the 2012 model. When loading either the nose or tail you can feel the pressure build ready to catapult you into the air. The carbon stringers placed strategically under the bindings add to a powerful flex that make nollies and ollies easy peasy. I had great fun hitting side hits and boosting air higher than normal, giving me the all important air time to style out a grab. The blunted ends, light core and carbonium all add up to a board that?s low in swing weight to aid rotations.

Flex

Never Summer rate it as a 5 in flex placing it on a par with the SL. I found the Proto stiffer than my Revolver both torsionally and longitudinally. Playful and responsive, it held a solid carve through the turn, leaving a classic pencil thin line. Whilst not as easy to press as my Revolver it was still relatively easy and you could feel the pressure mount as you held the press in butters.

Rider in Mind

If you?re an intermediate to advanced rider looking for a do-it-all all mountain board then you?d be hard pushed to find a better board. Classed as all mountain freestyle it?s very responsive, kills it off kickers, is easy to press and for a true twin isn?t too shabby in powder. I?ve said before to people looking for an a playful all mountain board that if you like jibs and butters go Evo, if you like kickers go Proto.

Other Thoughts

The Proto is a very robust board. The pimply carbonium top sheet makes it pretty much scratch proof and the base is hard as nails with it?s Durasurf sintered base. As a result the board was reluctantly handed back with hardly a mark on it.

Conclusions

Owning a Revolver, I was always going to be at home on this board. To me it?s a ?jack of all trades? and I still stand by my thoughts last season when I wrote that the board was ?an excellent all rounder?. The board rides roughly 3cm longer than it?s actual length, so think about downsizing from your normal length if you buy one.

Last season I told you to be quick about ordering one. From what I gather there were heavy pre sales and all Protos were sold out within a month of hitting our shores. I therefore urge you to get in quick if you?re thinking of buying one.

My friend Mike who owns an SL took it out for the day and didn?t want to hand the board back. I think that spoke volumes about the board.

What Never Summer say

Type: All Mountain Freestyle

Proto: ?The 2012/13 Proto will continue to dominate! We?ve taken the powerful flex of the time tested SL, and blended it with the responsive dampening of the Evo to create the ultimate all mountain true twin. This board has the versatility of Never Summer?s patented Rocker & Camber Technology, our new Superlight wood core, graphite impregnated Sintered 5501 base and added a whole new element into the proven Never Summer Carbonium Series of boards. Our new blunted, true twin shape cuts down material on tip and tail for a reduced, more balanced swing weight, while increasing effective edge for on snow stability. The Carbonium Proto CT is the future.?

Proto CTX: ?A wide version of the original.?

Technical Features:

Carbonium Topsheet
Carbonium Laminate Technology
Bi-Directional Rocker Camber Profile
STS Pretensioned Fiberglass
Bi-Lite Fiberglass
NS Superlight Wood Core
EDS Dampening System
Sintered P-tex Sidewall
Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base
P-tex Tip and Tail Protection
Full Wrap Metal Edge

Never Summer 2012 Premier F1 159

The Premier has been part of the Never Summer stable for over 10 years, changing name slightly to the Premier F1 for the 2008/09 season. The Premier F1 is classed as an out and out freeride board, able to handle anything in it?s path. I rode the 2012 model last March in what can only be described as awful conditions. It had to cope with mud, ice and water and a token amount of snow. The 2013 model was going to be witness to the complete opposite, powder heaven.

Last season I noted the board?s ability to carve and hold an edge even on the worst of conditions, whilst providing a damp ride. The powder had arrived and I had the chance to put the Premier?s pin tail to good use.

When I first laid my hands on the 2012 I was very impressed with the new graphic. Like previous years, it?s understated with no gimmicky jib kid graphics. It?s crisp white with a mountain back drop, topped off with a bright red Never Summer logo. It was very pleasing on the eye. It had the same tell tale shape of previous seasons but unless my mind is playing tricks on me (10 months can sometimes do that to you) it felt heavier than the 2012 model.

Conditions

Fresh pistes, off piste powder, bumps.

Handling

If I could sum up the Premier F1 in one word it would be ?beast?. Simply put, it?s a beast of a board that needs to be tamed. Pre trip it was decided to put the campers at the test week on SL?s as the Premier could be too much of a board. The Premier has a multi flex profile that could be too stiff for some less able riders and it?s certainly not a board you can relax or be lazy on, it wants to ride hard and fast. The stiff flex allows it to cut through most conditions and powers you out of the turns. The dampening of the board (rated 8.5 by Never Summer) means that you?re not being thrown about even when riding bumpy red runs blind. In fact after riding the Proto I switched back to the Premier due to the fresh snow and poor light conditions as I knew it would be more fun and I could trust it to be easier on the knees.

The Premier gives a very responsive ride with fast and effortless edge changes. Small, medium and large radius turns were no problem for the board, although cross under turns were a little more effort than the softer torsionally flexing Revolver or Proto with less feeling of rebound (attributable to the stiffer flex). Whilst carving, the Premier felt like it was on rails with no chance of washing out. Ride it hard and fast.

The powder that I craved in 2011 was there in abundance. The Premier was ridden on hiked off piste lines and fresh powder lining the sides of the pistes. The stiff pin tail sank effortlessly into the knee deep powder and gave an effortless ride without any need to shift the weight back. Retraction turns were great fun and gave a lovely bounce coming out of the turn.

Switch riding, whilst never perfect on a directional board, was doable and I was able to ride out the odd fs1 with relative ease.

Pop

First morning and the customary ?waddle? to get going. ?Wow, was that pop off the nose? They?ve stiffened it!? Those were the thoughts running through my head. I?ve read the Never Summer spiel and can?t see any note of changes to the board?s flex, but I?m sure the nose has been stiffened from the 2012 model. Popping off the nose certainly seemed to have more oomph rather than the damp squib of last season and more comparable to the stiff tail.

We had one day of powder and park. Being too far from home I had no choice but to take the Premier F1 for a ride over the Avoriaz Baby Park kickers. Not my weapon of choice for such a task and Paul remarked that, ?You won?t see many of those in the park.? However, due to it?s powerful tail flex the board popped quite effortlessly off the kickers.

Flex

The Premier F1 has a multi flex profile to which Never Summer give it a 6 on their sliding scale of stiffness. I disagree with this and would class it as a 7/7.5 in comparison to boards I?ve ridden. The torsional flex is most certainly stiff and as a result, cross under turns take more initiation. Once on an edge the flex pattern makes sure the board carves clean lines with no chance of wash. In terms of pressing and buttering, as expected this is more difficult, but I found once in a press it appeared to ?lock on? and it was still fun.

Rider in Mind

You need some skills to tame this beast, otherwise it could hurt. It?s a classic freeride board offering a damp, responsive, solid ride, with the pin tail shape aiding float in the powder. If you?re a high intermediate/advanced snowboarder this should be high on your list to buy.

Other Thoughts

The pistes and off piste terrain were in great condition and with very few queues the board took no real punishment. The board was returned with no marks whatsoever to the base or topsheet.

Conclusions

I rode powder, carved up the pistes, demonstrated basic turns and hit the kickers on the Premier F1. Despite all this, the Premier F1 would not be my everyday go to board. For hiking lines and hitting fresh powder or carving up the corduroy it would however be the first board I reach for.

What Never Summer say

Type: Freeride

?Our high performance Premier F1 takes freeride technology to a whole new level! The Carbon V-Twin Laminate Technology and custom F1 Elastomeric Stabilizers underfoot 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
F1 Elastomeric Stabilizers
Multi-Flex Profiled Flightcore
STS Pretensioned Fiberglass
Bi-Lite Fiberglass
RDS 1 Damping System
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: 11st 8lbs / 162lbs / 73.5kg
Boots: 2011 DC Ceptor UK10.5
Bindings: 2008 Union Force L/XL
Resort: Portes du Soleil

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.

A massive thanks to Tom at Maxtrack and Paul and Fi at The Rider Social for the opportunity to try these boards.

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Never Summer Test Week http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2012/02/never-summer-test-week/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2012/02/never-summer-test-week/#comments Wed, 01 Feb 2012 16:37:13 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=203 The Rider Social.]]> It’s time to look back on what was an epic week in the Portes du Soleil with The Rider Social.

After checking the forecasts regularly pre trip, it came apparent that we were to be served with perfect snow conditions. Arriving on the Saturday to steady snowfall it didn’t stop snowing ’til the Thursday with a further storm rolling in on the Friday that still doesn’t appear to have stopped as I type this on the following Wednesday! What this meant was plenty of powder riding, in fact powder everyday for 6 days!

Fi from The Rider Social popped around on the Saturday night to drop off my lift pass and a couple of the 2013 Never Summer test boards, the Premier F1 and the Proto CTX. I tested both boards last season (reviews here) and was keen to try them out in the powder that eluded us in Winter 2011. I mounted the bindings on the Premier F1 in readiness to slay the mountain of powder.

During the week, the Premier F1 was a willing partner in slaying all manner of powder fields. Paul kindly showed me and the rest of his happy campers several secret spots including one wide open field a short boot hike from the Les Combes chair. So good was this field that we lapped it 3 times!

5 snowboarders, which would rise to 6 by the end of the week, had signed up to stay with Paul and Fi at The Rider Social in Chatel and test the 2013 Never Summer range. Most of the guys were put on SL’s from the start, Jo being the only female of the group was put on an Infinity. When I hooked up with them they all had beaming smiles on their faces. The boards were obviously doing their job, although I had no doubts. I mentioned 5 snowboarders had signed up, well the 6th was Cal who was a complete noobie to the sport. He’d jumped in at the deep end and luckily Paul, Fi and myself were there to sort him out. By the end of the week he was an accomplished rider prepared to try some switch and even hit the rails and kickers.

As the week progressed the whole crew developed as snowboarders. People were trying things they never thought they could achieve. New skills included riding powder correctly and efficiently, carving clean lines and literally buttering the muffin off the Prolays run. One proud and happy coach here with the skills they developed throughout the week.

It was all in all an epic week. Unfortunately it did end up on a slightly sour note with Paul popping open one of his bindings on a tree jib in The Stash and landing directly on his lower back. He has a broken vertebrae and a snazzy Storm Trooper vest to help it heal. We wish him all the best in his recovery and look forward to shredding with him soon.

A similar week is being mooted for later this season and almost definately for January 2013 so keep your eyes peeled for further details.

On a side note, to give you an idea of conditons and after giving the Proto a tag of ‘an excellent allrounder’ last March, I was keen to give it a go in the powder. They say a picture can tell a thousand words so check out this video below to see how it performed on a greybird powder day in the PDS.

Some quotes from the week:

“Pete had so much to give and was very good at demonstrating and correcting technique. I learned a lot from Pete about flatland, piste and off piste.”

“Pete was great. Helped me massively gain my confidence and improve my technique in a relaxed, easy going manner. Very patient.”

“Pete was perfect for tweaking technique and eradicating bad habits. Perfected my carving.”

“Pete picks up on little things which improve your riding, he embeds them into you until you don’t even need to think about them.”

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Exclusive 2013 Never Summer Test Week http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2011/10/exclusive-2013-never-summer-test-week/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2011/10/exclusive-2013-never-summer-test-week/#comments Tue, 11 Oct 2011 19:49:55 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=196 The week of the 21st-28th January 2012 will see an exclusive Never Summer Test Week, where you will be able to put 2013 Never Summer boards to the test. No it’s not a typo, you really will have the chance to test the boards fresh from the early season industry board test. The week is being held at the The Rider Social chalet in Chatel in the Portes du Soleil. We’ll be on hand to give you the low down on things Never Summer, guide you round the best parts of the massive PDS and offer hints and tips to enable you to get the best put of the boards.

At £495 for the week it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

The Price includes:

Return transfers to and from Geneva airport
Hearty homecooked 2 course dinners on 6 evenings of your stay including wine
Full continental breakfast every morning
Afternoon tea and cakes
Never Summer Snowboards to try for FREE*
Sky TV/ DVD/ Ipod docking station
Xbox 360
Free WiFi
Walkie Talkies
Use of our board and ski tuning facilities (wax not included)
Courtesy minibus around resort between 8.30am and 10am and pick after 4pm
Egyptian Cotton bed linen
Board games
Tourist tax

Contact Paul at The Rider Social (paul@theridersocial.com) for details.

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Never Summer Proto CTX and Premier F1 Reviews http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2011/03/never-summer-proto-ctx-and-premier-f1-reviews/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2011/03/never-summer-proto-ctx-and-premier-f1-reviews/#comments Fri, 11 Mar 2011 21:41:28 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=160 Pete was kindly given two 2012 Never Summer boards to demo and review. Here are his thoughts:

The 2011/2012 season will herald the 20 year anniversary of Never Summer manufacturing hand crafted boards. Starting out as a basement operation, the Canaday brothers have grown the business into an internationally recognised company. Each board is handcrafted in their Denver factory and so confident are they of the quality of their boards that they all come with a 3-year warranty.

In late 2010, Never Summer received the patent on their RC Technology, as a result the 2012 boards all carry the US Patent number with all boards in the range carrying both RC technology and ?Vario Power Grip? sidecuts. RC is short for ?Rocker and Camber? which places rocker between the bindings and camber areas at each end of the board. This board profile apparently ?destroys anything in it?s path from parks to steeps, to powder and high speed cruisers? and provides, ?unmatched power and snap out of turns.? The ?Vario Power Grip? is added to increase edge hold and provide ?added control and response in any condition.?

I first heard about Never Summer in 2004, when a friend introduced them to me. This friend happened to be a former importer of Never Summer boards back in 2002 under the guise of First Trax and gave me one of his remaining stock, a 159 Legacy. I still have this board, which I have since handed down to my younger brother. This board is robust, well built, but boy it?s heavy when compared to the newer boards. It is also noticeably stiffer than my current 2010 Legacy.

One thing I have heard said of Never Summer, is that the graphics suck. To be honest, I can see where this stems from. Much of the range reminds me of some of the older Ride boards, particularly the 2012 Premier F1. Now Never Summer boards are not cheap, so you?re not going to see many youngsters trashing them on rails. Boards like the Heritage, Raptor and Premier are likely to be picked up by older riders with more disposable income who don?t want scantily clad women or psychedelic graphics on their boards. However, in my opinion the graphics, like the technology have made significant strides in the last few years. The 2011 Evo and Revolver graphic was one of my favourites of the season and the luminous green and pink bases were to coin a phrase, ?sick.?

Never Summer 2012 Proto CTX 158

When I first heard about this new 2012 release following the Trade board tests in La Clusaz in January, I was excited to learn more about this board. Talk was of a cross between the Evo?s twin shape and responsive damping and the SL?s powerful flex, or in short, a stiffer Evo. I already own a Revolver (wide Evo) as my general all mountain board and Legacy (wide SL) as my powder board so this board sounded right up my street. I like a board that is a true twin, has playful torsional flex but can handle the whole mountain. Classed as ?all mountain freestyle?, it on paper ticked all the right boxes, therefore I had a feeling that I could only be disappointed.

When I received the board, the first thing I noticed was the strange pimply top sheet. I can only assume this is the result of the Carbonium top sheet. On turning it over, the carbon stringers placed in a cross shape under the binding mounts were instantly noticeable. It was bizarre to see this having never had the tech so blindingly staring me in the face on other boards I?ve owned. I thought it was quite funky. I have heard that the bases will be either black or white so try and get the white one!

Conditions

Poor spring conditions. Early morning hard pack, slush, slushy moguls, mud, grass and water.

Handling

I usually ride a 156 Never Summer Revolver as my all round board. Had I been given a choice, I would have gone for the 155 Proto CTX rather than the 158, but beggars can?t be choosers. The reasons I say this are due to the long effective edge and blunt ends that I assumed would make the board ride at least 2cms longer than it?s size. I was correct in my assumption, as I certainly felt the board rode more like a 160+ board.

Despite the varied conditions, the Proto handled every type of snow it encountered. Short, medium and long radius turns were initiated with ease and carves were held without fear of washing, even at speed. Cross under turns were great fun, as the board seemed to spring from the edge as you released it in anticipation of setting the new edge. As you would expect from a true twin, switch was a breeze. The board is lively and responsive but as a result it lacks dampening as you feel the terrain changing under your feet. I felt a little like being on a bucking bronco at times due to the rough spring conditions. Never Summer rate the Proto a 4 on their damp meter which I would agree with. The thing is, if you want a damper board, you lose the board?s liveliness.

On one of my favourite runs where I like to hit ?Mach 5?, I boosted off a couple of rollers on the way down. I actually wasn?t 100% sure I had taken air, which I can only attribute to the lightness of the board. This has to be one, if not the lightest board Never Summer have made.

Pop

Tonnes of pop off both the nose and tail. I first noticed how lively the board was on a little ?waddle? to set off. The board just popped so effortlessly off the snow on both the nose and tail. Little ollies from hits were effortless. Had great fun popping little spins off the slushy moguls. The low weight of the board combined with the lively pop creates a board great for jumps and ollies. The low swing weight (created by the blunt ends) also aids rotations. Took it over a couple of kickers and the board felt solid and stable in the air and on landings.

Flex

Never Summer rate the Proto CT as a 5 in flex. The board is certainly stiffer than my Revolver in terms of both torsional and longitudinal flex. The torsional flex is still playful, but as it?s slighter stiffer it meant a more solid carve than that initiated on my Revolver. I would definitely say the board is mid-stiff but maybe verging on a 6 rather than Never Summer?s classification of 5 (obviously their ratings are determined by their range of flex within their board range). It was slightly more effort for presses than my Revolver but in no way difficult.

Rider in Mind

Never Summer don?t make boards for beginners. In my opinion this board is aimed at the intermediate to advanced snowboarder who wants to do everything with just one board. It?s classed as an ?all mountain freestyle? board but it can rail a turn, press easily, has tonnes of pop and although I never managed to hit any powder, I would assume it would ride powder like any other rocker or rocker/camber hybrid, i.e. pretty well.

Other thoughts

The resort was unusually busy and as a result the board took some hits in the lift lines from rogue skis. On most boards I?m sure this would have resulted in numerous dints and scratches. The Proto came away with just a couple of minor scratches that were only noticeable close up. I can only attribute this to the carbonium top sheet.

I had a couple of encounters with stray rocks on the piste with the accompanying horror noise. The base survived with just a couple of minor marks, certainly no need for a ptex or a base grind.

Conclusions

As the owner of both a Revolver and Legacy, I was excited when I first heard about the Proto. Part of me wanted to love it, part of me (financial) wanted to hate it. The Proto is classed as an all mountain board. Whilst it?s never going to be as good as a specific powder/jib/freeride board (delete as appropriate), it?s certainly an excellent all rounder.

If you?re thinking of splashing the cash on a Proto, then I would highly recommend you size down from your normal ride. You should also move fast, as if last year is to go by, the boards are likely to have sold out by late September.

Video Review

What Never Summer say

Type: All Mountain Freestyle

Proto: ?For the new 2011/12 Proto CT (Carbonium Twin), we?ve taken the powerful flex of the time tested SL, and blended it with the responsive dampening of the Evo to create the ultimate all mountain true twin. This board has the versatility of Never Summer?s patented Rocker Camber Technology, our new Superlight wood core, graphite impregnated Sintered 5501 base and adds a whole new element into the proven Never Summer Carbonium Series of boards. Our new blunted, true twin shape cuts down material on tip and tail for a reduced, more balanced swing weight, while increasing effective edge for on snow stability. The Carbonium Proto CT is the future.?

Proto CTX: ?A wide version of the original.?

Technical Features:

Carbonium Topsheet
Carbonium Laminate Technology
Bi-Directional Rocker Camber Profile
STS Pretensioned Fiberglass
Bi-Lite Fiberglass
NS Superlight Wood Core
CDS Damping System
Sintered P-tex Sidewall
Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base
P-tex Tip and Tail Protection
Full Wrap Metal Edge

Never Summer 2012 Premier F1 159

The Premier has been part of the Never Summer stable for over 10 years, changing name slightly to the Premier F1 for the 2008/09 season. The Premier F1 is classed as an out and out freeride board, able to handle anything in it?s path. When I was asked to review this board, I was unsure what I would make of it. As mentioned previously, I like a true twin board with some playability. Freeride boards are built for carving and powder and are renowned for being stiff and sometimes lifeless due to the combined stiffness and dampening. Having been out earlier in the season, I knew the board was going to be tested in most conditions, but was watching the weather forecasts and hoping for a powder day to really see what it was made of.

The board is stealth looking, with a black topsheet, minimal graphic and a black base. The main thing I noticed was the tapered pin tail, further inducing my hope of a powder day.

Conditions

Poor spring conditions. Early morning hard pack, slush, slushy moguls, mud, grass and water.

Handling

From the outset I felt at home on this board. Initiating a turn was a doddle. Small, medium and large radius turns were no issue for the board and once in a carve the board just felt like it was on rails with no fear of washing. I had great fun doing 180 carves on piste. It was very responsive and edge-to-edge changes were fast and effortless. Having size 11 boats for feet, the Premier was right on the edge of waist width I would feel comfortable riding, at 255mm. I did have a little more overhang than I would have liked and the edge-to-edge speed may be attributable to riding a narrower board than usual. You can?t be lazy on this board, it keeps you on your toes and any poor technique is likely to be punished.

Switch riding was not as easy or as fun as on a true twin board, but it was certainly do-able.

The board was tested in true spring conditions, which would show the dampening qualities of the board. Whereas on the Proto it felt like being on a bucking bronco at times, the Premier just seemed to charge through whatever was in it?s path without my knees feeling the effects. It certainly deserves the 8.5 rating Never Summer give it on the damp meter.

Unfortunately the powder day didn?t arrive so I was unable to try the board in powder. I can only assume that it will ride powder well, which I will attribute to it?s stiffer pin tail and it?s rocker/camber profile.

Some people criticise Never Summer for making heavy boards. Whilst this may be true of past boards, the Premier although heavier than the Proto can in no way be said to be heavy. It felt light and stable in the air off little piste hits and rollers.

Pop

I found plenty of pop in the tail, but considerably less pop in the nose. This will be attributable to the board?s multi flex and stiffer tail and as a result, I found rotations more difficult when popping off the nose. However, boosting off rollers was immensely pleasurable.

Flex

Never Summer rate the Premier F1 just over mid flex, giving it a 6 in flex. Personally I would say it feels stiffer than a 6 and maybe a 7.5 compared to other boards I?ve ridden. This is probably due to it?s variable flex. The nose is considerably softer than than the tail, which is solid in comparison. Never Summer actually say in their marketing that it?s got a multi flex profile and this is noticeable. It may also be one reason why they class the board lower in stiffness. I found despite the board?s rocker, camber profile, it was much more difficult to press the board.

Rider in Mind

If you?re looking for a do-all mountain board then this board isn?t for you. It?s a freeride board in the truest sense, giving a responsive, damp and solid ride. If you?re a high intermediate/advanced rider and like hammering the corduroy then this should be on your list to try or buy.

Other Thoughts

Spring riding was the order of the day and as a result, a few stray rocks. The Premier F1?s base survived with only a few minor marks. Fortunately the crowds died down so there were fewer rogue skis in the lift queues and the top sheet remained unblemished.

My Thoughts

The Premier F1 would certainly not be my everyday board, but if I had a quiver of boards, this would be my board for ripping up the fresh corduroy. Like any snowboarder, I was praying for powder. Unfortunately the snow dances haven?t worked in Europe this year and I didn?t get the goods. I can only assume that the rocker/camber profile and stiffer pin tail would work great in powder, I just wish I could have seen and felt it myself.

Video Review

What Never Summer say

Type: Freeride

?Our high performance Premier F1 takes freeride technology to a whole new level! The Carbon V-Twin Laminate Technology and custom F1 Elastomeric Stabilizers underfoot 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
F1 Elastomeric Stabilizers
Multi-Flex Profiled Flightcore
STS Pretensioned Fiberglass
Bi-Lite Fiberglass
RDS 1 Damping System
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: 11st 10lbs / 164lbs / 74kg
Boots: 2007 DC Ghost UK11
Bindings: 2008 Union Force L/XL
Resort: Les Crosets

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

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.

A massive thanks to Tom at Maxtrack for the opportunity to try these boards.

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Love Snow links up with Born Extreme http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2011/02/love-snow-links-up-with-born-extreme/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2011/02/love-snow-links-up-with-born-extreme/#comments Sun, 27 Feb 2011 14:24:43 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=156

Love Snow is pleased to announce a sponsorship deal with Born Extreme. We’ve been looking to hook up with a UK ’clicks and mortar’ shop for sometime and Born Extreme fitted the bill perfectly. Based in Hinckley, Leicestershire and stocking Love Snow favourites Never Summer snowboards and Union bindings, Born Extreme is passionate about all extreme sports. They are extremely keen on giving customers the best advice and help with their sports, catering for both amateurs and professionals. Sponsorship deals with extreme professionals show their quality and standing in the world of extreme sports. If you are unable to pop down to the shop and see the guys in person, they offer free UK shipping.

The guys at Born Extreme have kindly offered a 10% discount on their website to anyone who Loves Snow. Simply type the code LOVESNOW in the discount code box on checkout and you will receive 10% off your purchase.

Happy shopping!

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15% off in the Love Snow Shop http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2010/12/15-off-in-the-love-snow-shop/ http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/2010/12/15-off-in-the-love-snow-shop/#comments Mon, 27 Dec 2010 09:40:06 +0000 admin http://www.lovesnow.co.uk/?p=141 If you’re not skint from all the Christmas shopping and are too full from Christmas to trapse around the shops. Love Snow is offering 15% off all it’s clothing  until the 29th December. Head over to the Love Snow Shop and simply add the code YOUMADEIT into the discount box. Happy Shopping.

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