The good folks at Never Summer sent me a couple 16/17 boards as loaners for the season. The Type Two, and their 25th anniversary board, the Twenty Five. In return they just asked that I post some honest feedback, and throw up a couple pics. Iíve already posted some initial thoughts, with specs, etc., so this will be more of a subjective roundup. Just for good measure, and to provide some context for those who have ridden or are interested in NS boards Iím putting in some thoughts about the Swift and the West as well. Those are both my personal boards, and the 4 together represent all the boards I rode this season.
First, the Twenty Five: Mid-stiff, damp, Ripsaw camber, with a little taper. I had it in my head that this would be a directional Ripsaw, but after riding it a bit I realize it has a different temperament. Not quite as aggressive feeling, and not the carving demon that the Ripsaw is. Itís no slouch by any means though. I feel like anyone who used to ride the Heritage would like this board. Itís a really versatile board, especially for someone like myself who does very little switch riding. Itís killer in pow, crushes spring slush, but still felt mellow enough to cruise with the kid, and take on small park features without feeling cumbersome. I sort of wish it had a little more effective edge, but based on the specs compared to their other boards that I ride, I should probably be riding the 160, as opposed to the 158. That said, in the 158 it IS so versatile, and for a week trip to CO where I could only take one board it was the perfect choice for the mixed bag of conditions that I rode, and group of people I rode with. If I could have only one board to do everything, this SHOULD be it (more on that later). Iíll be buying this board for sure, but itís still a toss up which size.
On to the Type Two: Bottom line is, if I could find a way to have sex with this board I probably would. This board blew me away, and I just want to ride it all the time. Itís the newest version of the Proto. The initial Proto, the C/T, was one of just 2 NS boards Iíve ridden that did absolutely nothing for me. I didnít even bother to ever ride the Proto H/D because the C/T felt so lackluster to me. When they added the Ripsaw profile, and the asym sidecut it piqued my interest. Honestly, I still had fairly low expectations, but I was really curios to try an asym board. From the get go this things was just holy shit fun. Mid flexing and twin, itís awesome for chasing my kid around on. A generous effective edge for itís size, and the Ripsaw profile give it a super stable feeling despite not being overly stiff or damp. Itís super poppy, and super forgiving. I feel like Iím always ready to hit anything on this board (outside of big park features that are just over my head) because it just feels so natural, and even if I land all fucked up itís easy to reign in and just keep going. Iím fully sold on the asym sidecut too. I LOVE turning on this board so much. It shattered the notion for me that I need a stiff directional board to lay trenches. With the longish effective edge, Ripsaw camber, and tight radius asym sidecut, it just feels so right. I broke it out late in the day today after riding the Swift in powder, and I think I was smiling just as big laying perfect trenches on soft groomers on this thing as I was threading trees in pow on the Swift. I should probably just stop now, but as you can see I really canít say enough good things about this board. If I could only have one board to do everything, this one would not make the most sense on paper, but it would be impossible for me not to pick.
Swift: Love this board too. So good in pow, but fantastic carving up groomers as well. Despite being on the wider side, itís really quick and effortless edge to edge. Versatility seems to be a theme in my head when thinking about the boards I rode this year. All so different, but all could be daily drivers in their own right. This still ended up being a quiver board for me, but only because I had such a diverse selection of boards to ride. Regardless, itís my favorite pow board Iíve ridden, and part of that is because pow days always mean time riding groomers as well, and this board is the perfect animal for slaying pow, carving up groomers, and busting through late day chop.
West: I rode this board almost exclusively (along with a couple days on the Swift) for the first couple months of the season, after I rode a loaner extensively last season. Again, versatility is the name of the game with the West. I think it truly is the most versatile board Iíve ridden. Probably for that reason, with it having to give a little up here and there to be so good everywhere, I found myself not riding it at all after getting the Type Two, and ultimately sold it. Itís a fantastic board, and for someone who rides a little of everything and sees pow from time to time, and needs one board to do it all, youí d be hard pressed to find something better.