Review 2014 Never Summer Proto HD - Page 27 - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:37 PM   #261 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpa_ec View Post
Please take this review with a grain of salt since I wanted to give my first impressions as a less experienced rider.

My initial impressions about the 2013-2014 Never Summer Proto HD

Board: '13-'14 Never Summer Proto HD 152
Bindings: Burton Mission Re:Flex (medium) set at 18/-15 degree
Boots: Salomon Synapse Wide (9.5)
Days Used: 1 (50 degrees and raining, Warm and slushy with ice and dirt showing)

My Stats: 5'8", 177 lbs, 9.5 US foot
Level: First tried snowboarding in 1989 and rode a little since then but have only been serious about it for the past 3 years. I've had maybe 90 days in the past 3 seasons and another 40 in the 2 decades prior to that. I'll call myself a low level intermediate/higher level beginner and spend my time freeriding and carving and very little time in the park.
Current main board: '11-'12 Never Summer Raptor 159 with Salomon Caliber bindings

Conflicts of Interest: None; I bought this board myself and have no connections to Never Summer and no one ever gives me free shit.

I just picked up a new Never Summer Proto HD and Burton Misson bindings on end-of-season clearance. The 152 is a bit small and narrow for me since I am 177 lbs but it was such a good deal that I picked it up anyway. I have been looking to expand my riding to spend more time in the park so an all-mountain freestyle board has been on my shopping list for a long time. I figured based on the reviews and my love of the NS Raptor that the Proto would be a good choice for me.

My impressions:
Ever date a girl who is good looking but not striking, above average smarts, reasonably athletic and very nice but who is incredibly boring? That is the Proto HD. The Proto is the Jennifer Aniston of snowboards. Seems perfect on paper and you feel like you should want her but what you really want is a crazy sexy bitch who's great in the sack but who might stab you or give you an STD. I want an Angelina Jolie not a Jennifer Aniston.

Condition were absolutely awful when I took the Proto out. It was raining and in the 40s and 50s. So we had long stretches of translucent slush and patches of ice and dirt. The Proto felt incredibly light. The Proto handled everything competently. It initiated turns and transition easily and it seemed very nimble with the deeper sidecut and the narrow waist of the 152 (24.4). It held an edge fine through slush and hardpack but was a little sketchier on ice. Since I'm used to stiffer freeride boards, its flex felt really soft to me but it still seemed pretty damp and stable relative to its flex as I drove it through chop and through tough transitions between types of snow. It was pretty forgiving to ride and I never thought I'd catch an edge or fall. It was also easy to ride switch. The base seemed pretty fast considering the horribly slow slush and the factory wax on it. Although it did very well in bad conditions, it just did not seem lively or energetic. It just didn't have the amount of pop or spring I prefer. I could not drive hard into a carve and pop edge ot edge with the same energy as my Raptor or a tradition cambered board. It felt less energetic. Can the Proto carve well? It can but it just feels less lively than other boards.

I'm not a freestyle or park guy but I have been trying to learn so I took the Proto and 50/50 some boxes and hit some small kickers. Also spend some time on nose rolls and ollies. I felt pretty comfortable but I can't assess its freestyle performance on way or another but I did feel more comfortable landing on the Proto although I get more pop out of my Raptor.

All in all, the Proto seems decent enough at everything but it was just not lively or fun to ride for me. There is nothing wrong with it but I just wasn't loving it. I was super surprised at my disappointment because I love my Raptor. I am replacing my Raptor with the Never Summer Chairman in the fall. I'm going to be giving the Proto a second chance but, unless something changes, the Proto is unlikely to remain the second board in my quiver. I'll likely be trading the Proto for something else or maybe selling it. I think something like the Never Summer Ripsaw or Libtech Hot Knife might be better for me.
Nice review, useful stuff. Enjoy the female analogy... Although confused me at first since Jennifer aniston is also banging.
Might I suggest that as you stated, the 152 is not going to be a fair representation at your weight. I'm the same weight and on a 157 all mountain, 154 at a push. Quite possible at 152 you'd feel the board lacking in pop and not giving much back when trying to carve hard.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:27 AM   #262 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trpa_ec View Post
Please take this review with a grain of salt since I wanted to give my first impressions as a less experienced rider.

My initial impressions about the 2013-2014 Never Summer Proto HD


Days Used: 1 (50 degrees and raining, Warm and slushy with ice and dirt showing)
I would say give it some more time, a few days at least, after 3 or 4 days if you still don't feel its the board for you, trade her in while she still has market value.

I find it energetic and snappy when carving (could always have more pop though, more camber like the ripsaw please) , but it takes good fore aft movement to extract the juice. On top of that in slush and dirt I find any board is much less energetic, a day on hero snow might be quite a different feel.

Also since you weigh a touch more than me (I am 165 this season) and are riding the 152 its basically a park deck, it will feel quite a bit flexier and softer than mine does for me. I wouldn't ride this deck in anything less than a 157 for what I like to do. Would be too soft and sloppy. This may be your biggest issue.

Ultimately this is not the board for everyone, it will stay in my quiver though, I really enjoy it. Will be adding some posi camber to my quiver next year for more Angelina Jolie action.

Last edited by dreampow; 05-05-2014 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:41 PM   #263 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Decade190 View Post
Nice review, useful stuff. Enjoy the female analogy... Although confused me at first since Jennifer aniston is also banging.
Might I suggest that as you stated, the 152 is not going to be a fair representation at your weight. I'm the same weight and on a 157 all mountain, 154 at a push. Quite possible at 152 you'd feel the board lacking in pop and not giving much back when trying to carve hard.
I was going to say, that board is seriously undersized. Perhaps an appropriately sized board will still not fully impress him, but that's a short board.

I sold my Proto HD but due to the stupid fucking US Postal Service it's back at my house so I'm going to keep it. Like dreampow I went for posi camber for more "pop" and action, and got a K2 Happy Hour the new one with lifted baseline.

The Proto could handle almost anything I rode except I felt it got pushed around more than I'd like in Whistler's deep powder after it was all tracked out. It was tiring. So I wanted something beefier, faster, with more energy etc. Got the HH and while it could be ridden faster, the base was slower. Noticeably so. And I also discovered I really like the rocker in the middle. Didn't enjoy the posi camber so much but I'll admit the HH wasn't as serious as traditional Camber, just slightly more than rockered middle.

Only way to know is to keep trying boards.

I was kind of regretting selling it after riding the HH, but the misfortune has turned into fortune so I'm keeping (and may keep or sell the Happy Hour). Just purchased next years Nitro Team Bindings in the Eleven colorway so I can't wait to pair them up when winter starts. Fucking summer!

Last edited by jdang307; 05-05-2014 at 01:50 PM.
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