weight and tech are NOT the same in these 2 boards.
i would only lean toward the sL over the proto if i knew i was taking mostly out of bounds or powder (but then i'd want a heritage or raptor). they are very similar, neither are stiff, even the sL is a twin, just with setback.
while there are certainly differences between these boards they were designed for almost the exact same thing. like i said the tech in and on them is NOT the same by a longshot, neither is the price, or availability.
imo, fwiw if the $30-40 price difference is no big deal, and the proto is available in your size, the decision is a no-brainer, get the proto. on the other hand i'm sure you won't be disappointed with the SL.
edit: ill go ahead and break down some of the major tech differences for ya since i've researched it plenty:
-proto has a 5500 base vs the sl's 4500 (both sintered, the new base is graphite impregnated, probably would be hard to tell the difference, but its there.
-proto has a carbonium topsheet which is lighter and stronger than the normal topsheet of the SL.
-proto also has more carbon IN it, features the CDS damping system that it shares with the heritage and raptor. while they compare the damping of the proto to the EVO, the damping system that is IN the proto is of a different (read newer, better) than what is in the evo.
-while you said "slightly softer flex" according to NS the SL and proto share the same flex.
-while dampness of the proto is compared to the dampness of the evo which is the least damp of NS's lineup, I can tell you it is still MUCH more damp than my '11 ET, and hardly a bucking ride.
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Last edited by snowklinger; 11-23-2011 at 02:25 PM.