Proto Ultra Snowboard Review
The Never Summer Proto Ultra is a twin shaped, wider than normal freestyle board. A bit of a step up in features from the Proto Synthesis, though I couldn’t really tell too much of a difference.
*The current version of the Proto Ultra has a different camber profile than the one I have reviewed here*
How the Never Summer Proto Ultra Rides
Board size: 154cm
Bindings: Burton Cartel X
Boots: Vans Infuse
I was riding this at Falls Creek and Mt Hotham in Australia, in late spring conditions. A combination of wet snow, freezing overnight with pretty icy mornings, turning quickly to slush.
So far each time Never Summer have a new profile, I seem to like it – though that could be because each time they are having less rocker and more camber. The Shock Wave has been my favourite so far, though I haven’t been on a board with Triple Camber yet.
Although the older version I was riding has the Shock Wave profile, I imagine that it was much too close in flex and profile to the Proto Synthesis, which is possibly why the new Proto Ultra has the Triple Camber profile.
Flex and pop
Although technically this has a stiffer flex than the Proto Synthesis, in real life I could hardly tell. It feels right in that medium stiff range, with plenty of stiffness in the nose and tail to smash through chunky snow without any issues.
Ollies are about as good as you can expect from a hybrid board with a profile like this. It takes more work, but the board still does push back nicely.
Whether you like hybrid (camber/rocker/camber) boards or not, the edge hold on all Never Summer boards is hard to beat. It is very consistent and reliable in all conditions, and I feel that it is particularly strong in the middle of the turn, even when you aren’t putting in much effort at all.
This is by far the slowest board that I have ever ridden. I had waxed it with the same method and temperature wax as a few other boards that I brought on that trip, none of which had any issues.
All the other Never Summer boards that I have ridden have been quick, their sintered bases seem to soak up the wax well, and keep the boards moving quickly.
I rode the Proto Ultra for a few days, it wasn’t terrible the first day, but I did notice that I quickly struggled on flatter cat tracks, where everyone would overtake me.
Early mornings when the snow was hard, the speed was fine like it is for every board, but the second it warmed up and go a little slushly the board felt like a magnet in the snow. It made me want to stop riding an otherwise fun board.
From comments I have received on the Youtube video it sounds like it is just me who was struggling to get the board to ride fast, so it might have been a once off issue.
Who would this board suit?
If you are looking at decently stiff and capable all mountain board, and like the feeling of the hybrid profile.
Does it come in wide models?
There aren’t any specific wide models, though they are all wide with the 154 with a waist width of 260, and going up to a maximum of 266mm on the 163.
Features of the Never Summer Proto Ultra
Shock Wave Rocker Camber
NS Superlight Wood Core
STS Pre-Tensioned Fibreglass
Carbon Max Laminate
RDS 2 Damping
Elastomeric Underfoot Stabilizers
Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base
Co-Extruded Polymer Topsheet
Vario Power Grip Sidecut
Sintered P-Tex Sidewalls
Low Profile Nose and Tail
Perforated Rocker Pad
Extended Transition Area
Technical Specs of the Never Summer Proto Ultra
|Size (cm)||Waist Width (mm)||Edge (cm)||Sidecut||Taper (mm)||Nose/Tail (mm)|