Here's my review. Posted here and on the first page.
So... this is my second season riding Never Summer snowboards. I've been very happy with the Proto and Evo and I've been riding the ish out of them. I was obviously stoked to hear about a completely new NS board in the works. Initial email exchanges revealed a less than likable graphics. NS has since redesigned the graphics and while plenty are still indifferent, I dig it. Alright, enough small talk, let's get to it.
Board: 2013 Never Summer Cobra 158
Bindings: 2011 Rome 390 Boss L/XL
Boots: 2011 Burton Restricted Hail 9.5 US
Stance: +18/-12 Regular @ 23.5"
I am 5'9, 180lbs.
The Cobra is a hair past mid-flex and stiffer through the tips. Torsionally a bit stiffer as per my experience with the carbonium line.
Right off the bat I'm going to say the tail swings around super easy. It actually caught me off guard at first ride. The Cobra does in fact have a blunted spade tail. While not a tapered shape, the tail does taper off from the widest point more than the nose. It also has a later kick. All of this combined with the setback stance is what gives the tail its handling properties. In short, the Cobra is great for paint brushing turns.
My first day on the Cobra was on hardpack powder. The slopes got hit with about a foot over the prior two days so snow conditions on the day I rode were great. I easily hit 42mph on a blue run without even trying. The Cobra was plenty stable without feeling too dead. It's definitely not as lively as the Evo or Proto, but not as damp as the Heritage. The Cobra held and amazing edge and I only encountered a problem when doing a long, drawn out skidded turn at speed. I experienced chatter there.
I was able to take the Cobra through some MI glade riding with excellent snow conditions. The hill got about 8" of dry pow the night before and there were plenty of untracked pow stashes in the trees. I was initially on the Proto and swapped out for the Cobra. Let me tell you, the Cobra loves the pow. It was literally destroying everything in it's path. Even though the Cobra is stiffer than the Evo (my choice for these tree runs), I was able to turn on a dime because of the aforementioned shape. These conditions and terrain are where the Cobra shined for me. It kept planing on top of the snow even in the slower areas. The earlier rise in the nose also helped for riding over buried branches and whatnot. I would still choose the Evo for glades under normal conditions for some freestyle shenanigans though. However, if there's pow, I am grabbing the Cobra without hesitation.
I've also come across concern that this is a big mountain board and people have questioned whether or not it's worth having in a place like LP Michigan. I don't care what anyone says. The Cobra works really well on the groomers too. I did take it down moguls and although my mogul riding isn't the best, I was able to navigate the the tight lines. The Cobra has no problem handling groomers and you can get some scary speeds on this thing. Don't listen to anyone that tells you that you have no business on a Cobra for a small East Coast hill. The Cobra is a great board to lay carves down on. Just tilt on an edge and put in work. Handled all the blacks I threw at it well including ones with mogul fields. Again, it's not as damp or beastly as the Heritage though.
Not the Cobra's strong suit. I hit plenty of boxes and did a few tree jibs (even breaking one after landing ass first on it) and it wasn't as lively as I would like. Felt very minimal input from board to feet on jibs. Butters aren't the Cobra's strong suit, but doable.
Lots of it. In fact, I'm going to say the Cobra has more pop than the Proto in the tail. Just try an ollie while maching and see what I mean.
I definitely like this board. It's nice to know that I have a board to go to for powder days and future visits out west. The Cobra's shape definitely lends it unique handling characteristics compared to NS's other rides. Just be cautious with switch riding. I almost want to say that it's better to lean back a little during switch on this board. If you put pressure on the tail while switch, it feels washy.
I would not recommend this board for a beginner or even a new intermediate. Advanced intermediate and above all-mountain shredders are welcome. The Cobra can also handle a sprinkle of freestyle.
Let me know if you have any questions. As always, thanks for reading.
Last edited by Leo; 03-05-2012 at 10:38 PM.