Review: Never Summer SL-R 158 in the deep stuff - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
Seedy J
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Default Review: Never Summer SL-R 158 in the deep stuff

NS SL-R 158
Boots: 08/09 Burton Ion
Bindings: 07/08 Rome 390 (+18/-9 goofy)
Rider: between 160 and 170 lbs., 5'7", intermediate (2nd season), Capricorn, likes long walks in the snow

I took my new SL-R to Niseko (Hokkaido, Japan) last week. On my first few runs down the groomers, it was obvious that this board was a bit different. For one, it was HOLY SHIT FAST, and seemed to want to turn more sharply than my usual ride (2005 Burton Dominant 154). As advertised, it was really stable over bumps and crud - not a hint of chatter.

There was a huge dump on the first night, and I got first tracks in Strawberry Fields (one of the glade runs) the next morning. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the snow was waist- to chest-deep, and the SL-R handled it like a champ. It wasn't as much of a no-brainer as riding a Fish or a Gentemstick, but it was pretty damn close (and unlike those boards, you can take it in the park too!). It floated nicely and was easy to control - it was the best run I've ever had. The next day I did a longer run off the peak in similar conditions, and didn't experience any back leg burn. I was on the fence about whether to get the 155 or the 158, but I'm glad I went with the 158. I didn't have any problems tossing it around or making quick turns in the trees.

I didn't do any park stuff until my last day there when all the powder was gone. I hadn't seen a kicker since March, so I didn't do anything too crazy, but it was nice and damp and stable landing jumps up to about 15-20 feet. I actually found it a bit difficult to butter, but that's compared to my noodly Dominant (and probably due to rusty technique as well). It seemed to pop a bit better, but that could also be because I'm ollieing correctly now and not just popping off of both feet. I did a few 180s on flat ground and small bumps, and it seemed easy to spin and very forgiving if you didn't make the full rotation (my switch BS 180s are still kind of weak).

The only negative thing I'd say is probably actually a positive - this board wouldn't let me get away with some bad habits that would fly on the Dominant. The big one being that if I didn't lean downhill properly, the board would wash out whenever I changed edges on groomers and hard pack. I'm not sure, but I might've been riding with a slightly setback stance, which could've contributed to that as well. I also found it harder to carve on this setup vs. the Dominant with Cartels and crappy boots I used last year. On the Dominant, I didn't even have to try... on the SL-R, I had to put a lot of effort into it (and still wound up "scarving" half the time). This could've been because my boots and bindings didn't seem to be working well together (bad fit, need to adjust bindings for new boots too), or just bad technique. I'm not entirely sold on the 390s - I think I liked the more responsive feel of the Cartels better.

One final note - the base seems pretty tough. I mowed over plenty of twigs and branches, and there are only a few little scratches on it.

tl;dr: The SL-R does it all nicely, but won't put up with bad form. I recommend it .
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good review, it's funny though because I have the exact same issue and was also wondering if it was my bindings.

This board is killer in deep, deep pow for a non pow board.

I am not sure I am in love with it for groomers though, I could be a bit heavy for the 158 which could also be the prob. I find it harder to butter but that could be because I am not used to a longer board.

It kind of rides like a snowboard tank which could be good or bad depending on what you're doing.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i'm 270 and have a 158 for my screw around board, albeit not this board. Takes a bit more but very doable.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
Luckyboyee777
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Nice review. I just got a 155 SL-R but still waiting on Rome Targa bindings to get shipped. I'll have to keep in mind what TS said about washing out. I'm 180 so hopefully the 155 will be easier to butter since I want to learn some flat ground tricks. No new snow right now in the Sierra's though.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
Seedy J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenzo View Post
Good review, it's funny though because I have the exact same issue and was also wondering if it was my bindings.
I wonder if it's a common problem with the SL-R... or do we just suck ? What bindings do you have?
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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haha i have this feeling too, im riding the 155 and im 190 lbs. =X im from the east coast so all i see is hard pack and ice. i think the rocker makes it harder to keep the entire edge from gripping the hard pack snow, sometimes i try to flex the board to keep the tips down, it kinda helps. i got some gnarly gouges in my board already too, i was so upset because of never summer's burly reputation. maybe i was just unlucky though. i have yet to see deep powder with this board...
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seedy J View Post
I wonder if it's a common problem with the SL-R... or do we just suck ? What bindings do you have?
Not sure, I am riding 2009 K2 Auto bindings on it
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Seedy J,

It's funny.. I am having the same problem on my 155 SL: "The only negative thing I'd say is probably actually a positive - this board wouldn't let me get away with some bad habits that would fly on the Dominant. The big one being that if I didn't lean downhill properly, the board would wash out whenever I changed edges on groomers and hard pack."

I had no problem with the groomers on my NS Premier. It seems like if I don't slow it down a bit, the board sends me flying. What do you mean by "lean downhill properly?" I'm trying to figure this out, so any advice would help.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
Luckyboyee777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russteed View Post
Seedy J,

It's funny.. I am having the same problem on my 155 SL: "The only negative thing I'd say is probably actually a positive - this board wouldn't let me get away with some bad habits that would fly on the Dominant. The big one being that if I didn't lean downhill properly, the board would wash out whenever I changed edges on groomers and hard pack."

I had no problem with the groomers on my NS Premier. It seems like if I don't slow it down a bit, the board sends me flying. What do you mean by "lean downhill properly?" I'm trying to figure this out, so any advice would help.
Could this come from the "Rocker Camber" design of the board. It does seem like you would need to adjust your stance to be as centered as possible over the board. I can imagine if you leaned back, the nose would lift up and cause some instability, especially with the RC technology.

How many days have you guys been riding with the board? I heard it takes a few days to get use to the board.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
Seedy J
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By leaning downhill, I mean keeping your body perpendicular to the board. (Correct me if I'm wrong) Your board and body should make an upside down "T" shape. I think I was leaning back (uphill) too much. When I made a conscious effort to lean forward (downhill), the problem wasn't nearly as bad.

As I suspected, my heelside carving technique was bad too. These posts in the current carving thread cover it nicely - Your butt and where it should not be and "Sitting on the toilet" - right and wrong. On heelside turns, I was doing exactly what cifex drew for the "wrong" picture. I'm going riding again this weekend, so I'll try these techniques and let you know how they work out.

Man, I really need a lesson!
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