Never Summer Harpoon 2022 Review
The Never Summer Harpoon is a wider, directional and setback board that is made to ride a little bit of everything. The name is a joke aimed at the very popular Lib Tech Orca, another directional volume shifted board. It has the Fusion rocker camber profile, a medium flex and a sintered base. Overall the Harpoon is currently the most fun board I have ridden.
Features of the Never Summer Harpoon
All Mountain, Freeride, Freestyle, Powder
Directional Volume Shape
Fusion Rocker Camber
This profile is basically what is used on their directional boards. It has quite a large rocker section between your feet, with more camber under your back foot, a small section towards the nose and a large flatter section.
A medium flex rating, soft enough that you can can flex without too much effort, but still stable enough at high speed.
Although they say it is Mid-Wide, compared to boards from other brands this is definitely a wide. 259mm waist on the smallest size, up to 164mm on the biggest.
Regular 2×4 Mounting
Will mount all regular bindings to the board.
Carbon Max Laminates
STS Pre-Tensioned Fiberglass
Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base
The better of the two main sintered bases that are used on Never Summer boards.
2.3 Inch Setback
How it Rides
Board size: 159cm
Boots: Salomon Launch Boa 27.5
Bindings: Salomon Highlander
I am 6 foot tall and weigh 155lbs – or 183cm tall and 70kg. I was riding with positive positive stance angles, and a fairly narrow stance. Although Never Summer say that you can ride this board 3-6cm smaller or just your regular size, 159 is on the longer end of boards that I would normally ride. I did wonder how a board that is probably going to ride better at a smaller size would go, but it turns out 159 was fine for me.
There had been a little bit of fresh snow overnight, so overall conditions were soft in the trees, and quite grippy on groomed runs.
I had only ridden one other board with this profile, which was the Never Summer Swift – so I wasn’t super familiar with it. This profile is used on their directional boards, and like the name Fusion suggests, is a mix between a few. It seems like it has the large rocker section between your feet from the Original profile, a more aggressive camber section under your back foot from the Ripsaw, and a subtle camber section which flattens out on the longer nose.
Overall it does have the standard Never Summer feel when you are on the board, which I think is mostly from the feeling of the rocker section trying to push your feet up if your weight isn’t centered.
Leaning slightly back will lift the whole front of the board up, which is a good indication of why it floats well in deep snow.
Flex and Pop
I never expect to get good pop from any hybrid board (with rocker between your feet), so my expectations are realistic no matter how much carbon or extra things are added into the board to try and help. Even with the more pronounced camber profile under your back foot, it is pretty much what you would expect. I had to adjust the amount of effort that I needed to ollie, and while it was quick and easy to get used to, it is nothing like the solid pushback you would get from a camber board.
Never Summer give this board a flex rating of 5/10 and a damp rating of 5/10. I wont really comment much on the damp rating, as overall all Never Summer boards feel quite damp as a brand compared to most others.
The mid flex is stiff enough to give the board a stable feel in chopped up terrain, so I didn’t run into any situations where I felt like I was going to get thrown around if the board didn’t power through the bumps.
Still at my weight (155lbs) it wasn’t hard to move and flex the board around.
Edge hold is where all Never Summer boards do well, and the Harpoon in no exception. The Vario sidecut is made up of a bunch of different sidecut sizes, which in real life gives plenty of grip in all parts of a turn.
If I had to highlight one feature that the Harpoon does best, it is turning. Whether it is the sidecut, or the Fusion profile, turning is very smooth and easy. With almost no effort, you can guarantee a strong and grippy turn, that is very natural to start, and smooth to exit.
Although this board does have a wider waist width, I didn’t feel like swapping edge to edge felt any slower like it can on other wide boards. It is probably helped by the taper, but it somehow felt almost as quick as a regular to narrow waist board.
It isn’t often that regular blue and green runs feel fun just to turn on, but that is exactly what the Harpoon does.
In powder the Harpoon floats like you think it would. The nose feels quite long, and with the short tail and taper naturally keeps it above the snow. By habit I would lean back a touch, which brings the whole front half of the board up, which makes it float even easier.
The board was waxed right before I used it, so there wasn’t any situations that I felt like it was slowing me down. I haven’t ever felt like any Never Summer boards have been slow, though I have spent more time on their boards with their higher end sintered bases.
Technically the setup I had should have been pretty horrible for riding switch. A setback stance, made narrower and positive positive angles didn’t really help me, though overall it rode better switch than I expected, especially seeing I was making everything as unnatural as possible.
Overall the Harpoon was a really nice surprise. I have ridden quite a few Never Summer boards over the years (Proto Type Two, Funslinger, Proto Slinger, Swift, Ripsaw, West Bound, Warlock, Twenty Five) so I always think I have a decent idea of what to expect.
Although it shared all the similar features that I would expect from one of their boards – loose feeling to start with and very strong edge hold, it was much better than I had expected. I had read lots of good things about this board before, but you never can tell what it really rides like, especially if it is coming from a Never Summer fanboy.
Although playful, you could ride it hard and get a lot out of it, but as soon as you wanted to slow down and mess around, it has the ability to do that easily. This is an easy board to recommend, and very much worth trying if you get a chance to demo or rent one out.
Never Summer Harpoon 2022 Technical Specs
|Length (cm)||Waist Width (mm)||Edge (cm)||Sidecut||Taper (mm)||Nose (cm)||Tail (cm)|