Help me pick my Never Summer Board!
Boot size 10
Location of riding Southern California (Mammoth, sometimes Big Bear), Colorado (usually Breck)
Riding style I probably fall squarely in the advanced (though not expert) riding category; I've been doing it for about 15 years, but I never really push the envelope to the extremes. I usually ride with friends of lower skill/risk level, so I generally carve my own path in nearby foliage or hit a black steep/mogul run. I enjoy riding the groomers for speed as well, and I make the occasional venture to a bowl when there is one available. I'll hit a natural jump/spin once in a blue moon, but I never make a conscious effort to do any freestyle riding.
I have a bit of brand loyalty to Never Summer, as I have owned and ridden a Carbon VMAX Wide for over a decade now; I'd definitely like to stick with one of their boards. There are three on my radar, and this is where you guys come in:
155 Never Summer Heritage: This is the top contender right now. My research suggests that my relatively eclectic riding style as a one board kind of guy makes this a natural choice. The only fear I have here is that its designation as an All Mountain board means that it won't really be anything memorable compared to the other options.
159 Never Summer Premier F1: I visited a snowboard shop in CO last weekend to get some advice from one of the guys there, and this is what he recommended. The biggest problem I see with it is the 159 length; I am not tall, my current board is a 155, and I have the vague sense that the extra length has the potential to get me into trouble during tree riding and moguls.
156 Never Summer Raptor: When I first started looking, this was my favored choice; I really like the promise of handling well at high speeds for groomers, steeps, and bowls. My main concern is that the reviews I have read suggest that turn initiation is much more difficult due to the Big Mountain nature of the board, and I worry how that will affect me in the trees and riding on bumps.
Please let me know if I haven't provided enough information or done enough research on my own. Any help is greatly appreciated!
1. Heritage hands down. Why? Every aspect of the board.
2. Not F1? If I was going to get an F1, I'd spend the extra cash and get the Raptor without even blinking an eye, but...
3. Not the Raptor? While it will certainly meet your needs, this seems to me a board I would pick up if planning an Alaska or Japan trip, but I see the Heritage as being more fun and playful, while the Raptor is just a serious board.
I'm sure someone on the internet will enjoy disagreeing, GL.
I also have NSitis.
I'm similar size (5'9" 145-150 lbs) and I've owned the Never Summer Evo 153, SL 155, Proto 154, and Summit 161.
While a 159 is not terrible in trees and moguls (I ride a 161 for powder), nothing in your self description screams to me that you really need to go longer... so I would tentatively take out the Premier F1 for only that reason.
Never ridden the Raptor or Heritage so I am making educated guesses. I did read a review that actually said the Raptor was fun in the trees - although it is definitely stiffer.
My suggestion is to just buy the Raptor 156 from Backcountry.com and ride it... if you don't like it ... return for a full refund. Nothing beats your own firsthand experiences and that is why I really like Backcountry.com and Dogfunk.com.
Some videos I found of people riding the Raptor - doesn't look that tough to initiate turns.
A guy on what I think is a 159 cm Raptor doing some mellow carves and switch riding on a blue run:
A girl (lady?) riding a 159 cm Raptor on Powder and Bumps
if your not totally dead set on one of those 3 boards, take a look at the
154 NS Proto CT
Just out of curiosity, have you considered the Cobra?
Why not a Cobra 158?
Edit: beaten to it
The cobra is too soft and pow specific for those locations.
The proto does not fit his needs. ie zero freestyle.
The raptor has a trippy strung out rocker profile for pow, which is why I would not suggest it for those 3 locations.
The Heritage will own those locations no matter how much snow they get.
Hey guys, thanks for all the responses so far!
On the Raptor, it looks better and better the more I look at it. The Shayboarder review, in particular, jumped out at me because it mentions Mammoth, groomers, and tree riding, which is all right up my alley.
The Proto CT is too far on the freestyle side of things to really fit my style.
I had not given much consideration to the Cobra only because the reviews that I read were not as glowing as some of the other NS boards. That being said, I am not against learning something I wasn't expecting to. According to Never Summer's "selection chart," the Cobra is actually probably closer to the side that appeals to me.
Heritage hands down. Wish I could ride one myself, but I'm too light for it :c
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