Never Summer West Bound 2020 Review
A higher end all-mountain board, that has a stiffer flex, a little taper and a bigger floaty nose with the classic Never Summer feel.
Features of the Never Summer West Bound
- Fusion Rocker Camber
With a larger transition area on the nose for better float in powder, rocker between your feet and the more aggressive Ripsaw profile in the back for extra pop.
There is 5mm of taper on the West Bound, which means that the nose of the board is 5mm wider than the tail. Taper helps in a couple of ways, it helps makes turns a little more smooth and natural, and it helps float in powder by sinking the tail and raising the nose.
- Coextruded Polymer Topsheet
It’s a fancy name for the topsheet material, which is a tougher material, so it is less likely to get scratches on it from the lift lines, and also give you some extra grip when you are skating – compared to a glossy topsheet anyway.
- Recluse Web Carbon Layup
Extra carbon in a few areas to add to the response and direct feel of the board.
- Extended Transition Area
- Power Grip Sidecut
The sidecut is made up of a few different radius circles, which is made to have quick and smooth turns, while letting the board ride easily with a flat base without feeling catchy.
- Early Rise Nose
- STS Pre-tensioned Fiberglass
- Bi-Lite Fiberglass
- NS SuperLight Wood Core
Made with a mix of different woods, it is designed to get a good balance between strength and weight.
- RDS 2 Damping System
There are 3 narrower damping layers that are designed to help absorb vibrations and add stability.
- Elastomeric Underfoot Stabilizers
They sit in the area under your bindings, and absorb vibrations to keep the board stable at high speed, and hopefully reduce foot fatigue.
- Sintered P-Tex Sidewall
P-Tex sidewalls are supposed to be a bit better than the regular ABS sidewalls, as they can handle bigger changes in temperature.
- Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base
A fast, durable material that is used on higher end Never Summer boards.
- P-tex Tip/Tail Protection
It seals and protects the wood core, as well as helps to absorb vibrations and impacts.
- 158cm Wide (X)
- 161cm Wide (X)
- 165cm Wide (X)
- 168cm Wide (X)
- 157cm Super wide Drag Free (DF)
- 160cm Super wide Drag Free (DF)
In general most wide boards will have a waist width of 260mm or greater, which is what all the “X” versions of the West Bound have. There also are a couple of the “DF” or Drag Free versions, that have super wide 280mm waist widths, for those guys with really really big boots.
How it Rides
Board size: 160cm
Boots: Salomon Launch SJ 27.5
Bindings: Flux TT (medium flex)
This review is based on me riding the 2020 West Bound, in decent conditions with packed snow on the groomed runs, with a bit of fresh snow in the trees.
It has the classic Never Summer feel, which to me feels quite loose when you ride with a flat base, but still quite solid at speed as long as you keep your weight centered over the board.
Flex and Pop
You can never expect to get too much pop from a hybrid board that has rocker between your feet, but the more aggressive profile (Ripsaw) on the tail of the board does try to cancel that out a bit. If you push/flex hard into the tail, it will push back, but it takes quite a bit of effort compared to a traditional camber board.
Something that Never Summer always gets right is the edge hold and feel while turning the board. The sidecut is made up of a combination of different radius circles, which makes it almost effortless to start a turn. As you go through the turn, the harder you push it the more it grips. It is very good for getting your confidence up on the board, after just a lap or two you can ride fast through even icy patches without having to worry that the board might slip out in the middle of a turn.
I was able to find a few fresh patches of snow, and although the shape of the board isn’t crazy, there was a comfortable and natural floating feeling to the board. Not a super surfy feel, but still a nice step away from a regular twin board.
Seeing that all Never Summer boards have sintered bases, and this is the better option they have, there wasn’t any issues keeping my speed up at all.
Overall the West Bound would probably be my top choice if you were after an all-mountain board that was going to be riding a mix of groomers and powder. The hybrid shape does make turning smooth and easy, and in deeper snow will definitely help the float.
Other boards to consider:
- Nitro Fusion – Although it has a regular camber profile, it still has a similar shape, and would suit a more aggressive rider who likes the camber feeling over hybrid.
Never Summer West Bound 2020 Technical Specs
|Length||Effective Edge (cm)||Taper (mm)||Waist Width (mm)||Sidecut (m)||Surface Area (cm2)|