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Old 05-09-2013, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2014 Never Summer Raven 154

Women, are you tired of buying menís boards due to the lack of aggressive female models available? The Raven could be your board. It has all the perks and benefits of riding a menís board, with out the clunky edge-to-edge movements when dealing with a waist width that was meant for bigger feet. The directional cut and flex, combined with the dampening system makes this the ultimate, ride fast now, hold solid on in sketchy gnar and slay technical steeps with ease.

The conditions I have ridden this board in, include technical packed snow steeps, bumps and a variety of pow conditions. My first overall impression is that this board is lively as all get out. The edge-to-edge transition is so smooth and seamless, that once you trust the board, steeps riding become much easier. The dampening is key for what one often encounters in side country, slightly less then ideal snow pack. Once this board is on the groom there is still plenty of camber to hold a race style turn and there is no worries about keeping up with the boys.

The downside, if you are looking for the one board quiver killer, this may not be for you. The flex pattern makes landing spins switch a little uncomfortable and you really have to work to get it to ollie or pop to jump. I have never taken it on rails, as I never felt safe enough with this stick to do so. Natural drops felt happy, as it can handle the speed required for the landing more then a smaller park board or even traditional womenís flex boards.

The bottom line is that this board is excellent at what it was designed to do. I would highly encourage any women on men's boards right now to give this a fling, as it may just be the missing link. For me personally, this is not my everyday resort riding board, but I am salivating over the idea of the Raven split board to come.

Just the Facts:
Length: 156
Waist: 23.6
Edge: 120
Side cut: Vario 686
Tip: 28.4
Tail: 28.1


A little bit about me:

I started riding in the 90's when it was what all the cool kids were doing. I have spent that last ten years instructing and training others to be instructors as well. I was born and raised a heavy NW pow rider, but have recently moved to the Northern Rockies and home base at Whitefish Mountain Resort. You can find me in a number of places on the hill. I side country quite a bit and spend one to two days a week on a split board. I also enjoy a sunny park session and on slushy days can be found riding slushy bumps to jump lines. I would mostly describe my style as playful, as I like to milk every little jump or shifty out of a run. A true definition of an all mountain rider.

Pictured below, The Raven at Kicking Horse on the fabled Powder Hwy of the Canadian Rockies. She hiked to the top of terminator peak (farthest point).
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File Type: jpg P2280296.jpg (59.1 KB, 190 views)

Last edited by Shredler; 05-13-2013 at 06:18 PM. Reason: added photo caption
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the review! Encouraged me to give the Raven another try if I'll find a 156 to demo next season (only been on a tiny 147ish one so far which I disliked, well, mostly for being tiny )
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Shredler, great review, thanks! I rode a NS Lotus at the end of this past (very short, lacking in snow Tahoe) season--just wondering what differences you noticed between the Lotus and the Raven.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Kauila

I have not ridden the Lotus a great deal, but I do know that this model will no longer be available next year. What I can tell you that spec wise these boards are very similar in core, sidecut and stance set back. A few upgrades have been a faster base and instead of using the damping system from the men's premier board, it has a women specific carbonium dampening system.

Tech talk aside, one of the things I loved about NS is that they feel like they can take any condition and blast through it. On the flip side, other models I have ridden could feel heavy and sluggish. This board is super snappy and offers a vibration minimal ride, without having to sacrifice quick turning ability.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the great review. I'm looking to upgrade next year and am definitely considering this board. Do you know how well it does it less than ideal conditions (East coast ice/Michigan snow)?
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have ridden it in less then ideal. The day that picture was taken, the inbound ridding was hard/icy 2 week old snow and some man made scraped off groom. I felt very locked in on this board riding forward and dampening system made managing speed easy on the knees in the hard pack. I was actually surprised, but the pitch in the picture was only a few inches of fluff on chundery frozen death cookies and the carbonium made it completely manageable and fun.

Like any board with directional cut, flex and set back, the switch riding feels forced at the end of the turn, but still stable. I found that I would only ride it switch for a bit and then quickly go back to forward on the hard pack as I felt unstable on the ice. (side note, I am a NW girl and we are unfamiliar with this "ice" snowboarding).

Hope that helps
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What exactly is "women's specific carbonium dampening system"? That sounds like marketing jive to me. That board doesn't know whether you have a cock or a hoohah.

The only real women's specific design I can think of that would be beneficial would be building the boards narrow for their length. By and large, a 140# woman will likely have smaller feet than a 140# teenage boy or man.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linvillegorge View Post
What exactly is "women's specific carbonium dampening system"? That sounds like marketing jive to me. That board doesn't know whether you have a cock or a hoohah.
Yeah, the women's specific carbonium is straight out of the marketing book. I have found from spending whole seasons on both men's and women's boards that besides the waist difference, the way the board flexes from tip to tail or from edge to edge can dramatically effect my stoke factor. I notice compared to my male counter parts, I tend to ride with a little more finesse and a little less of "just power through it". So having something that responds actively with less force can make the day a little smoother. Think float like a butterfly.
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