Alright, so I got some good seshes on this bad boy including a day in the trees jibbing logs, bonking barrels, and clearing (or not clearing lol) gaps. I have to mention that this board turned a lot of eyes which is a good sign seeing as how Never Summer has yet to become popular in Michigan. I was able enlighten people on this brand and this particular board. Even gave the Proto a plug in the conversations
. One local lifty even recognized that I was on a 2012 Evo and was very stoked to see it. Good stuff. By the way, you'll see me make some quick comparisons to the Proto here and there since a lot of you want to know. So without further ado:
Board: 2012 Never Summer Evo 157
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.
Right off the bat this board felt more playful. I almost want to say it felt like it had more rocker to it than the Proto. I think that's doubtful though. Maybe it was just the softer flex. Maybe I'm just imagining things because I had this mindset that it's a jib board from the start. Whatever the case, it's buttery fun.
On the subject of butters, pressing this board was an absolute blast. Started working on my nose grab, nose presses and I was able to get the tail lifted pretty decent. The blunted tips, like on the Proto, really did affect the swing weight positively. Flat spins and 180's off hips were awesome on this board.
Edge to edge was quicker than the Proto due to the softer torsional flex which I'll get into in a moment. Short to medium carves were quick and smooth and the edges engaged effortlessly due to my now favorite, NS Rocker Camber shape. However, on long, drawn out carves on steeper runs, there was noticeable board chatter. Needless to say, my legs got rocked and I did wash out at the end (I did hold the heel edge for a long time though). I did find a simple solution to this problem; I just made sure to keep transitioning to the other edge before things got too sketchy. Keep in mind that the Evo isn't meant for bombing anyway.
I had the opportunity to jib some 20'ish logs on the Evo. Awesome! I was right in my initial assumption that this board was going to be a great jibstick. The lively feel of the Evo provided that much needed feedback for jibs. When I locked on, I knew I locked on. The second things got sketchy, I instantly felt it and was able to just ride off instead of fighting for it and possibly eating snow turds.
I didn’t hit the park with the Evo so I didn’t hit any kickers with it. No regrets though as I was having too much fun hitting any and every natural feature I could. I jumped a few gaps though and landings on those were smooth and stable. Just like with the Proto, the Evo was forgiving on some of the sloppy landings. The biggest gap I hit was more like a drop. It was only a gap because of exposed grass. I’d say it was a good 10-15’ drop.
Finally, I rode the Evo through a lot of trees. Believe it or not, Crystal Mt in none other than Thompsonville, MI has a lot of tree runs! The playfulness of the Evo really shined here. I prefer softer boards in the trees, especially torsionally softer ones, so I can really whip my turns around with minimal effort. I don't bomb down tree lines so stability is rarely an issue for me here. I like to olly, jib, and bonk whatever I can during them so the soft flex is a benefit. On the same note, I don't want the board to be so soft that I wash out on every little bump. The Evo was just right.
The Evo excelled in this area. The Proto is more snappy, but the Evo still ranks up there with the best of them. A little harder to initiate and I attribute that to the softer flex of the board. I always felt that I have to work a little harder for my ollies on any soft board. I believe it has more to do with my technique though as I have favored mid-stiff boards over the years. Softer boards are a more recent love of mine.
I’m going to give this board about a 4.5/10 flex on my personal scale. Keep my weight and board size above in mind though. Torsionally, this board is soft. In fact, I was able to lift just my front toe side slightly off the ground while standing.
The camber profile? It’s Never Summer’s R.C. It is awesome and it works. Rocker between the feet with a positive camber zone that starts just outside the bindings. For comparison, the camber zone has more bite than a C2’s. This means that Never Summer boards carve better and have more pop than equivalent C2 boards. In my opinion of course.
Honestly, I didn’t think the Evo was the board for me. I had convinced myself that it is purely for jibbing. After taking it into the trees, I quickly realized that this board can do so much more than just rail all day. In fact, I prefer the Evo over the Proto for tree runs. The softer torsional flex on the Evo really helps out in the tighter areas. That’s not to say that the Proto is horrible in the trees, quite the contrary actually. In a side-by-side comparison, the Proto was noticeably lighter. However, the Evo is not in the least bit heavy. It is actually lighter than a lot of the 2012 boards I demoed.
The combination of the flex, RC, and dampening on the Evo made for a super playful ride that absolutely helped me kill it in the trees. Never Summer’s decision to make the Evo with blunted tips makes all the sense in the world. I love the reduced swing weight and I really don’t see anyone disliking it. It doesn’t just help for spins, but also for making quicker turns.
I’m not the type to worry about graphics, but I will say the Evo has really, really sick graphics. It stands out enough for the park kid and isn’t so loud that the more mature crowd will scoff at it. If the Proto CT made me a Never Summer believer, then the Evo just made a fan out of me.
Who do I recommend the Evo for? The intermediate-advanced shredder that is looking for a freestyle ride. And yes, I am including the freestyle tree runs in that category so start jibbin some logs!
As always, big thanks to Vince and Tracey for giving me this opportunity.
PS: I will upload better pics as soon as I find my darn camera lol.