Never Summer are one of those brands that have a cult following, making just a few variations based on their three camber profiles.
Here is an overview of their 2019 range, which will help to give you an idea of the differences (big and small) between their different models and find out which would be the most suitable for you.
All Never Summer boards have a hybrid camber profile, which are based around having a rocker section in between your feet, and camber outside of your feet. There are a few different variations that they use, depending on the type of riding the board is designed for.
Original Rocker Camber
Like the name suggests, this is their original – it has rocker between your feet and then some camber on the nose and tail of the board.
Think of this camber as the “do everything version”.
Ripsaw Rocker Camber
One of their newer profiles, the Ripsaw profile has a shorter rocker section between your feet, and then a more aggressive camber section on the nose and tail. You get better edge hold and more pop with this profile compared to the Original.
Think of this camber as the “do everything with a bit more pop and edge hold”.
Fusion Rocker Camber
This is used on their powder/freeride boards, and basically has Ripsaw design in the tail, with a flatter close to Original design in the front, for more float in deep snow, but still keeping some pop in the tail.
Think of this camber as “do everything and float a bit better in powder”.
Never Summer are right up there with Burton and Lib Tech/GNU for their absolutely stupid and over the top marketing names for the features of their boards, so don’t be surprised if you read a spec sheet and don’t understand what it means.
What features do all Never Summer boards have in common?
Although no Never Summers are very cheap, they do have one good feature – they all have sintered bases. Most brands will put extruded bases on their lower end or entry level boards, and even cheaper park boards. Although extruded bases are cheaper to make and keep the cost of the board down, they don’t soak up wax, and are slower than a waxed sintered base.
Any board that Never Summer make in a wide, has “X” at the end of the name. Eg the “West” is the regular model and the “West X” is the wide version.
I’ll start with a couple of their most popular models, which have quite a few things in common with each other.
A redesigned and upgrade from the original Proto, the Proto Type Two is a mix between the Ripsaw (board that isn’t to be confused with the camber profile) and the Funslinger.
With the newer and more aggressive Ripsaw camber profile, you get better edge hold and pop, though I think that one of the best features is actually the asym (asymmetrical) shape. It is a twin shaped board, and having an asym shape means that there is a specific heelside edge – so no matter if you ride regular or goofy, you have to have your bindings set with your heels on the heelside of the board.
Comparing the sidecut of the toeside edge to the heelside, the heelside has a smaller radius, which means that it takes less effort to turn on your heels than it does on your toes. Although not technically a huge feature, it just adds to the “this board rides nicely” feeling.
It has a medium flex rating, and a medium “damp” rating, which is something that only Never Summer really do. As an overall brand feature (of the boards I have ridden) nearly all of their boards are quite damp, they all tend to absorb vibrations quite well.
It is made as an all mountain freestyle board, and I would recommend it for the sort of rider who wants a mid flexing twin board, that will be good in the park even though you are going to ride it everywhere on the mountain. If you are want a board that is still going to be solid for jumps, the Proto Type Two is a good choice, but if you ride more rails than jumps a board with a softer flex would be a better choice – the Funslinger or Warlock would be good options.
Available in 152cm, 154cm, 157cm, 160cm and in wide models (X) 155cm, 158cm, 161cm, 164cm.
Sharing lots of the same features of the Proto, the Funslinger is a softer flexing board, that still has the asym shape and the Ripsaw camber profile. Even with the soft flex and damp rating, the Ripsaw profile means that it isn’t a super loose noodle of a board, it performs much better than you would expect.
If you need a board that is going to be easy to press on rails, or butter there are a few Never Summer options. The Funslinger will have the most pop and edge hold, while the Warlock is similar but has the toned down original Rocker Camber profile, and the new soft Peacemaker has the Ripsaw profile, with a soft flex between your feet and stiffer on the nose and tail.
A new model this year, that is the softest rating on the flex and dampness, very easy to flex through the middle of the board, but the extra stiffness added to the nose and tail help to give it some pop back.
The Ripsaw Rocker Camber profile gives it good edge hold, but one of the most interesting features is the “Blower Stance”, which are an extra set of inserts set way back from the regular insert pack. If you get a surprise powder day, you can mount your bindings much further back on the board, giving you a big nose, short tail and some extra float.
Not what you would really expect for a freestyle/park board, the Shaper has a few features that are quite different from what you would expect from a freestyle aimed board. It has a twin shape with a centered stance, so the nose and tail have the same length. So far that is all standard for a freestyle board, but it gets different from there.
The Fusion Rocker Camber profile has a more aggressive Ripsaw profile in the tail of the board, for good pop and stability, while there is the Original Rocker Camber in the nose of the board, with a much bigger transition area which is made to get a more surfy feel, and more float if you ride in deep snow. On top of that, the board has 10mm of taper, which means that the nose of the board is 10mm wider than the tail.
All those features are pretty common in all-mountain and powder boards, but you don’t often see it on freestyle twin boards. Watch some videos of Chris Corning riding this board to see that it can handle huge tricks.
With the original Rocker Camber profile, and a medium flex rating, the Heritage is made to ride like classic Never Summer boards.
Made to hit that middle ground between powder board and carving board, the Swift looks like it would be at home in deep snow with its big pointy nose, and short tail.
With the Fusion Rocker Camber the big flat/rocker nose is made to give plenty of float in deep snow, while the short tail wants to naturally sink. With the medium/stiff flex, especially in the tail the Swift still wants to carve hard, hold a good edge and give you plenty of support if you end up with your weight over the tail.
The West has Ripsaw camber, with a medium flex and is aimed as an all around do everything board.
Based on the West, but with a few upgrades. Has the Fusion Rocker Camber profile rather than the Ripsaw, about 5mm of taper and some extra stiffness from the web carbon layup.
A smaller ladies version of the West Bound – so with the Fusion Rocker Camber, a little bit of taper and the recluse web carbon layup. Just comes in the 149cm size.
Aimed at being an big mountain or freeride board, it has the Fusion Rocker Camber, and a very large 19mm of taper. There are 3 sizes that the big gun comes in starting for very big going to super big. 165cm, 169cm and 174cm. They all have quite wide waist widths, so this is a good option for big guys with big boots. The wider waist width will reduce the chance of toe and heel drag when carving hard.
Another board in the Shaper series, which is a bit less aggressive than the Swift, but with a few of the same ingredients. The Fusion Rocker Camber means that the board will have an easy turning feeling, and extra float in deep snow. It is designed to be ridden smaller than your normal board, as it has plenty of width so you aren’t sacrificing surface area compared to riding a bigger, regular board. As well as the extra width, it has 12mm of taper.
There is also a special LT version of the Insta/Gator, which is a narrower version, made for smaller riders with smaller feet.
Almost like an Insta/Gator but one step closer to a regular board, the Maverix still has the Fusion Rocker Camber profile, but with a larger 17mm taper. With a regular waist width, you would still ride this board in your regular size. It also comes in LT versions for smaller riders.
Another all mountain do everything board, think of it as being similar to the West, but with the toned down Original Rocker Camber.
Another of their freestyle and park boards, the Warlock has the Original Rocker camber, with an overall softer flex. The soft flexing parts of the board are mostly between your feet, so you can still press it easily without it being too soft in the nose and the tail.
As you would expect, the Ripsaw has the Ripsaw Rocker Camber profile, as well as a stiffer flex. At first it seems like there are a few similarities between this and the Proto – they share the same core, camber profile and damping system and are both twins. Though that is about it for similarities, the Ripsaw has the standard sidecut (not asym) and extra fiberglass laminates to give some extra stiffness.
The Big Daddy of the lineup, the Chairman has the more aggressive Ripsaw Rocker Camber, much stiffer flex and the highest level damping. All those are designed to give you the most stable, solid ride with very strong edge hold. For the length of the board, the effective edge is quite long, so you get the edge hold and stability of a longer board, without needing a huge board.
A mid flexing, do everything and ride everywhere womens board. With the Original Rocker Camber profile – it has all the standard Never Summer features without anything crazy.
A notch up from the Infinity, the Aura has a few upgrades that give it a more aggressive ride. Instead of the Original Rocker Camber, it has the Ripsaw version, a directional shape and a mid to firm flex. A better choice for a more aggressive rider who wants a board that will hold up well when riding fast on rough terrain.
It takes all the same features that make the mens version good – asymmetrical shape, mid flex with Ripsaw Rocker Camber and comes in sizes from 139 to 151cm.