After a third day on the Proto and more importantly loaning it to a friend for a few runs, I don't think a relatively new rider is going to enjoy the subtle nuances of the ProtoCT.
Also to add onto the "not the only good board out there".... agree here as well.
The ProtoCT is getting a lot of hype and I wouldn't have posted a review if I didn't think it warranted some extra attention. The ProtoCT is a unique board and for those who've been riding a long time, it's design and performance does offer something to genuinely get excited about. That said, the ProtoCT's popularity means nothing in terms of other boards, their design or performance. NS could've just as easily missed the mark completely and no one would be talking about it.
There's been alot of "advancements" in snowboarding, but you have to remember these companies have to invent new and exciting features to keep their product line "hot".
Twin tip -> 3D baseplates -> FatBob -> Baseless -> Capped -> Clip-in -> Carbon -> Aluminum -> Slider > Glueless -> Magnetraction -> Rocker -> RC....etc.
Some of you will recall, most of these "advancements" (and the many I left off) were little more than hype. My opinion is what we're seeing with the ProtoCT is proving to be a promising evolution in design and materials. I suspect next year's NS lineup will show heavy influence from the ProtoCT's popularity.
Based on what you said about a "new rider" being someone who never road before period, how would you say a 15 year rider would appreciate it after riding a standard camber Burton balance from 7 years ago till present? I just bought the Proto 157 yesterday to replace the balance i've been on the past 7 years. So i have experience in riding but have never rode a rocker, reverse camber or any other hybrid.