I've owned an Atomic, 2 Burtons, 2 Bataleons, and 1 Never Summer. I noticed that Never Summer boards seem to have really long effective edges. I decided to go take a look at the specs on various websites.
Take a look at the Never Summer Proto CT for example- a 152cm has an effective edge of 122cm. Compare that to the 153cm 2012 Bataelon Goliath which has an effective edge of 115cm. That's quite a big difference.
So my question is, what is the net effect of a longer efective edge, if all else is equal?
Since I owned an EVO (which has an even slightly longer effective edge to board length ration than even the proto CT if you check the specs), I guess I'm surprised it wasn't catchy. Factor in the vario side grip, which is arguably the best part of an NS board in terms of performance (who gives a shit about rocker really), it seems even more complicated.
Insofar as I can tell, NS boards ride longer than the average board. So the advantage would seem they are better suited for all mountain... but what's the disadvantage (there are always disadvantages). It seems that they would be worse for park... but in my experience that wasn't the case. Jibbing however, with the longer effective edge, that might be the downfall. I've never been much of a jibber.
Effective edges is the length of the board in contact with the snow... so it is sort of the "true length" of the board when you turn on the snow (as opposed to sliding on a rail or spining in the air). Effective edge is one of the major factors in how much edge hold of the board has.
The Evo and the Proto CT both have blunted tips (meaning they took a longer board and kind of sawed off a bit of the tip area to reduce swing weight for spins). The draw back is the board won't power over crud and float in powder as well (that's the purpose of the upturned, curved or pointed nose at the end).
My old K2 Jibpan also had "jib tips" so while it was only 150 cm long... it had the effective edge of a average 155 cm board - several companies have this... look for mentions of "jib tips, park tips, blunted tips, etc"... for "reduced swing weight."
Compare the Evo or Proto CT to more freeride oriented boards like the SL, Raptor and esp the Summit... and you will see that freeride boards tend to have effective edges compared to their lengths... this is because they have longer noses which help the board ride up and over crud and powder (notice that the Summit 161 has less effective edge than a Evo 152!)
Now that you understand.., help me stop the spread of half-truths and rumors about Never Summer boards "riding longer than other brands" Go forth my apostle!