Breck + Never Summer = Amazing Trip
I was out at Breckenridge from 2/25 through 3/1 and had the best time of my snowboarding life. I decided to leave my boards at home (158 Evo-R & 163 Nitro Shogun) and demo stuff out there. Went to Mountain Wave and they hooked me up. It snowed a bit the day I arrived and I was prepped for some good conditions the first day of riding. Took out the Never Summer SL-R in a 164 (I am 6’2”, ~180lbs). Got out first thing and just ripped up the perfectly groomed trails. As much as I love the Evo the SL-R was definitely better at speed, holding an edge and does have more pop. I found it far less flexy and harder to press but then again the board was on the bigger size for me. Took the board in the trees and some deeper stuff up in the Imperial and Horseshoe Bowls and it performed like a champ. The only thing I did not like was in some of the firmer, chopped up snow I got a little sketched out at speed. On Sunday it started snowing like crazy all afternoon and we hit up the peak 8 bowls (could not see S*$# up there) and the trees on peaks 9 and 10. Found some great deep snow and had a blast. Ever since getting on the rocker/camber boards I have improved my tree riding a ton. It is so much easier to kick the tail out quickly and make slight adjustments through tight spaces.
Sunday afternoon I headed back to Mountain Wave to try something else out. I was about to go with a 161 k2 Turbo Dream but then realized they had the Never Summer Premier F1-R in a 163 that had just been returned. I had demoed this board in horrible rainy conditions in the early season and could not get a feel for it. The Premier is exactly what I hoped it would be. Fast as hell, damp, responsive, no chatter through anything and great float in the pow. I am looking to replace my Shogun for next year and the Premier is at the top of the list. Depending on what I hear about the Jones boards, I don’t see anything (except maybe the NS Raptor) being more what I am looking for in a freeride board.
I immensely enjoyed Breck. Last year was my first time out west (Park City/Canyons/Solitude/Brighton) and I was only with my wife so we did not really get into any crazy stuff. At Breck I was all over the bowls, the glades, and even hiked up to the summit. Despite the fact I could barely breathe on the way up, it was amazing. The snow was much deeper and softer than I was expecting and the views were as good as the riding. While at Breck I really discovered my ability. I feel like I handled all the steep stuff well, felt great in the trees, got some good airs with clean grabs, started feeling comfortable in the pipe, made it down through the choppy moguls at 6-chair, and all in all walked away feeling like I can handle pretty much anything on the mountain and that calling myself an “advanced” rider is not at all bs. Anytime I said that previously I really wondered if it was true.
Pics to follow..