I ordered this some time back and it finally arrived yesterday
. Couldn't wait to try it so I took it out of the box and headed straight to the local hill (no detune or wax). I will be taking it for a proper 3 day trip to Nagano next week and the snow is looking good.
2012 157 Never Summer Proto CT with 2011 cartel bindings.
Rider: 6ft 170~175lbs.Size 11 boots. I would say my level is advanced.
I ride mostly powder and love tree runs through steeps. I also love to hit natural features getting 1s 3s and a variety of grabs. I ride across groomed runs to get to the goods and enjoy short and long carves as well as presses and butters along the way.
I ride mostly excellent conditions in Nozawa onsen Nagano about 30 days a year (will go for 50 next year).
On this occasion I took the board to a local hill which is not that great, but just wanted to try out the board.
Conditions: Was pretty icy with a little dusting of snow on top. In some windblown areas it was solid ice.
Weight: Very light.
Edge hold/carving: This board is my first NS board and I was super impressed with the edge hold. Very solid and confidence inspiring.
I was carving down steep icy runs and as long as its nice and high up on edge it carves like a champ. Short turns and long drawn out carves are very good. Not as good as a set back semi directional freeride board, but for a playful twin board I would say its excellent.
Flex/pop. The pop is superb, as many have said, this is one of the stand out features of this board. The flex is maybe a 5.5 or 6 out of 10 for me. I am used to stiffer free ride boards so it was super easy to press and twist around.
This along with the rocker, also makes turn initiation very easy.
The flex is playful, but when you get it up on edge the camber zones kick in and it feels solid and more stiff through the carve. A really good balance IMO.
Damping: I sold my 2011 ride highlife to buy this board. I enjoyed the highlife a lot, but it was very damp and since I ride mostly good conditions I wanted a little more feedback from the snow. The proto has the damping just right for me.
Its damp enough to absorb chatter that you don't want, but feels lively and gives plenty of feedback from the snow.
Conclusion: The proto is a super playful board that can also lay down a good carve when you want to. Its a really good balance. I don't really do park, I wanted an all mountain twin that can help me progress my freestyle while being good at carving and in powder. I also wanted to ride more switch.
The proto is ticking all my boxes so far.
I will check the powder performance in Nagano and add to this review next week.