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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
I’ve recently been riding a Never Summer Swift 167X Splitboard, they just started producing the Swift as a split this season so i thought i’d share my thoughts on it. You can find reviews of the solid version elsewhere in this forum, in my experience with NS snowboards the splits ride pretty similar to the solid decks, although it looks like, in this case, the split offerings tend to be bigger, stiffer and damper than the solid Swift.

Disclaimer
This splitboard was given to me by NS.
I understand some folks on the interwebs believe that an ‘objective’ reviewer needs to return free product to the manufacturer after reviewing it, so let me be clear that, generally, the NS crew is always welcome to come up here and take their boards back... however, for this stick they'll have to catch me first!
I’m not writing this to try to convince folks to buy into the NS brand; i’m writing to explain the ride characteristics of this board relative to other models i ride, also produced by NS.

Reviewer
I’ve been snowboarding since 1987, in the Rocky Mountains, Coast Range, and Columbia Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. I have a degree in Physical Education (Outdoor Pursuits) and have been certified in freestyle snowboarding instruction. My riding style tends towards ‘big mountain’ and I like to jump. I generally spend more time in the backcountry than in bounds, and i prefer to be in the alpine rather than below treeline. I’m 6’ tall, 175 lbs, with size 11 feet. My stance is regular, F 24 deg, B -6 deg, 24” wide, and i tend to go with wider boards in the 161 - 169 cms range. I’ve been riding NS boards for 20+ years due to their craftsmanship and durability.

Location
Most of my splitboarding has been done in the Columbia Ranges, which are in between the Coast Range and the Rockies. These mountains receive abundant snowfall, mostly fairly light powder, but can also get the warm moist Pineapple Express or, worse yet, rain or sun crusts on the snow surface, which can range from breakable to bulletproof. We also get some continental influence which can bring wind affects, crusts and slabs, facets, or on a good day, super low density blower. So, while i wish all my days were powder, in reality i’ll take what we get, and we get a bit of everything here….. but a lot of it is powder, yah!!

Board
The Swift Split is a new offering on the market this season, replacing the Prospector Split in the NS line up. Similar to the Prospector, it’s a directional board with 20mm taper. In contrast, the Swift is wider, it uses the new Fusion RC profile (more rocker in the nose, more camber in the tail) and has a longer, pointed nose and a shallow swallow tail.

The descriptions of boards in this review will follow this format:
Model, Size (X=wide), nose / waist / tail widths, sidecut, effective edge, dampness and flex description, rocker / camber (RC) profile type, and stance set back (inserts compared to length).

Please note that the “Vario” sidecuts, and descriptions of dampness, flex, and profiles are all specific to NS boards. Numbers given for sidecuts are not comparable to sidecut measurements for other brands.

Swift Split 167X - 32.0 / 26.4 / 30.0, Vario 870, Edge 125, Damp 87% firm, Flex 87% firm, Fusion RC, set back 3”.

For comparison, here are the specs of my other NS splitboards of similar size, and my solid board, so you know what I'm comparing the Swift to:
Prospector Split 167X - 31.7 / 26.2 / 29.7, Vario 890, Edge 134, Damp - cushy, Flex - firm, Extended Tour RC, set back 1.5”.
West Split 164X - 31.0 / 26.6 / 31.0, Vario 858, Edge 126, Damp - mid, Flex - mid, Ripsaw RC, set back 0.5”.

My go to board for in bounds riding lately has been the Twenty Five, it’s pretty ideal for Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
Twenty Five 166X - 31.6 / 26.8 / 31.0, Vario 836, Edge 125, Damp - cushy, Flex - mid firm, Fusion RC, set back 2”.

First Impressions
When i first looked at the Swift Split in the NS catalogue, i wasn’t quite sure what to think… I wondered if the shape of the nose and tail would really make much difference? I’d been thinking that my ideal splitboard would be a Chairman split, with maybe 8mm taper, but coming from the Prospector, the Swift looked like a bit of a step away from that, with a shorter edge and deeper sidecut.
But… I do like fat boards, even if they’re a bit more work on the up track, and I’ve been totally convinced the Fusion RC profile is the bomb for powder riding.
Materials and construction are top quality, as expected from NS.
I’ll try anything once, or twice, but i wasn’t prepared to fall in love with this board.
Spoiler: i totally fell in love with this snowboard.


On the Snow
The first things i noticed about the Swift are, it does like to turn, it’s really fun in the trees and on hardpack it carves short and long turns nicely.
It floats well in powder, and the early rise, pointed nose eases into turns without hooking. The tail is very effective due to the added camber of the Fusion RC, and the extended edge and width provided by the swallow tail.

For some reason, it took me a while to figure out where to mount my stance on this board. With my back foot centred on the rear set of inserts, the tail is just under 17” (from centre of binding). That seemed quite short to me. I like to have plenty of tail, to ollie, catch landings, finish turns and to absorb the terrain when you gotta point it. But, the design of the tail more than makes up for the shorter length. The Fusion RC and swallow shape give you a lot to lean on back there, it’s very powerful and you can really crank on it!! And when you’re riding the tail, the swallow shape provides a lot of stability, it doesn’t slip out at all. The short tail length also makes quick pivots and jump turns feel easy.

At first i tried opening up my stance to 25” wide, with my bindings centred on the outside sets of inserts, but i found i had to be careful not to over weight the nose when initiating turns. So i brought my front foot back one inch, to my normal stance, which made the nose bigger and allows me to dive into turns without going over the bars… so my stance is now set back 3.5” on the board’s length. That’s a lot more than I’m used to, but for me it’s the sweet spot on this deck.

Once i found the sweet spot, i started to realize how sweet it is! This deck has given me full confidence in every condition, from maching groomers, to tight trees, cliff drops, bottomless pow, steep faces and chutes, to gnarly bed surfaces in no fall zones, the Swift sends it.

Details
This board has a lot of features… many of them, like the carbonium top sheet, ptex sidewalls, reinforced tip / tail, 5501 base, full wrap edge, etc. can be summarized with “top quality, bombproof construction”.
Some of the other details affect performance in specific ways, which may be worth pointing out.
“Fusion” RC is NS’ newest take on their tried and true, rocker in the middle, camber underfoot profile. The Fusion mix puts the more rockered original RC in the nose (along with an early rise tip), and the more cambered Ripsaw RC for the tail. This profile makes for great floatation up front and lots of power in the back. It also has a great planing attitude in deep snow which is fast and stable. On the skin track, going uphill, the additional camber in the tail allows for more pressure where you get the most grip, underfoot and behind.
The swallow tail does have some kick on it. It’s clearly not designed for riding switch, but if you have to back it up in a technical situation, you can keep the tail from digging in without much effort.
The flex and dampening on this board is a continuation of the Big Mountain roots at NS which have come through in the T5, Titan, Raptor and more… it eats up terrain and shreds it.

Overall
This board, for me, is the best snowboard ever. Quite nimble, very stable. Great in powder, reliable on firm snow. Big, wide, stiff, damp, with plenty of pop. Really fun, serious big gun.
 

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I've ridden the Swift split, but not in the same awesome conditions of Revelstoke. I can imagine the Swift solid being a great choice for the ski area- at least in the superb conditions we had when were were there.

I did a snowcat day there (K3) and wished I had one, even though the Chairman wide did fine. I am jealous, that area is so %^# awesome. Rogers pass has got to be one of the most amazing spots I've ever seen. can't imagine being able to go splitboarding there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yah deagol, you scored with your timing, looks like you had some fun!! Nice!!!
i spent most of that week in bed, aching n shivering n sweating... no fun!! i was barely able to drag my ass out to shovel snow and work a bit, brutal.

i was thinking about a solid Swift, but i tend to like bigger boards... I bet 162 would be fine, the flex and damp ratings are less but maybe its pretty similar without the cut down the middle....

Rogers Pass is Shangri-la for splitboarding!! So good!!!
 

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The Swiss Miss
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1. There's no women's Swift
2. There's obviously no women's Swift split.

I mean, NS only has ONE women's split, and that's the Aura

:gaah:
And that's a big pity. I'd be interested in a women's size Swift split as well :dry:
 

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One of the Female FOBP team members took out the 157 Swift split. She is sub 5'5" and absolutely loved it. Given the design of this board, it is not really gender specific. About the only thing is obviously the shortest length may give some women pause. Becca had a blast on it, so a demo if possible might be the way to check it out and see if the ride is for you.
 

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One of the Female FOBP team members took out the 157 Swift split. She is sub 5'5" and absolutely loved it. Given the design of this board, it is not really gender specific. About the only thing is obviously the shortest length may give some women pause. Becca had a blast on it, so a demo if possible might be the way to check it out and see if the ride is for you.
NS has not done demos at my local mountain in 2 years. I really wish they'd come back. I always somehow manage to miss the ONE day they are at Stevens...

The 152 Swift is only 1cm wider than my Gator. I *think* I *could* make that work.

*adds Swift 152 split to list, continues to agonize*
 

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The Swiss Miss
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only 1cm wider
Only? 1cm in width is a ton :)

In my experience, there's a thin line between a wide width one can still handle and when a board becomes a boat. (Had tried the 152 Swift. Even tho it was a sweet surfy ride in pow, it was killing my feet on fronside traverses on firmer ground. So little leverage. Swift was "only" 1cm wider than my Maverix. Night and day difference. Had also tried a men's Hovy as there is no women's split version... - I'm on the hunt for a pow split as well, lol - same result. Simply way too wide to be any fun to ride :dunno:)

Don't you have a splitfest somewhere in your region where you could demo some decks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
*adds Swift 152 split to list, continues to agonize*
i hate to be that guy but i think the shortest split version is 157

i agree with @killclimbz that the board isn't gender specific but yah the split sizes run larger than the solids, i guess the assumption is that the rider weighs more with a pack on and will want a bigger stick.
 

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I am glad you mentioned it first karkis!

It is true. Again though, Becca is super small and rode the 157 split. She did not want to give it back to the Chairman and the rest of the crew after our day in Beehive. I have ridden with neni and Becca is way smaller then neni. Of it will vary from person to person. Ability, style, all that stuff comes into play. This is not a one size fits all sport. Trying one out is the way to go. Easier said than done I know.
 

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i hate to be that guy but i think the shortest split version is 157

i agree with @killclimbz that the board isn't gender specific but yah the split sizes run larger than the solids, i guess the assumption is that the rider weighs more with a pack on and will want a bigger stick.
Whoaaa, my attention to detail hovers near 0 when I'm sick! I was looking at the solids and assuming the splits would come in the same sizes.

Width would still not be TOO bad, but maybe slightly too wide for me. Length would also be way too long for me. I am very worried I'd find it very hard to turn, especially at lower speeds in trees.

The Gator I have is a joy to turn with some speed, but go real slow and it becomes a pain and I have to crank/tilt it. I got so much tilt out of the thing on a slow cat track one time I have no idea how I managed to stay up!

Oh and I have the real tiny 142 Gator...

*crosses Swift split off the list*
 

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The only thing that kept me from buying this split is the fact that the profile of this board will affect the way up (touring mode, or ski mode) as I have read and even saw pictures on how the skies will stay above hard pack snow.... so basically those reviews say that this board rides down amazingly but makes the way up a lot more difficult than saying a camber in the middle board.....

pitty cause this board seems like an amazing choice for me
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The only thing that kept me from buying this split is the fact that the profile of this board will affect the way up (touring mode, or ski mode)
you know i have heard a number of people complain about CRC profiles for skinning....

Honestly i don't really notice that issue, i guess I've been on the RC profiles for a while though, almost 10 years, so i'm used to it. I don't have much more trouble on the uptrack than the skiers i ride with, who are all pretty talented... i also wear alpine touring boots, they help in a number of ways.

And i know some folks here might not understand riding in AT boots, but for me they perform better (up and down) and they're way more comfortable.
20 years of strap bindings gave me a killer neuroma, i can't even wear them for one run anymore... not that i'd want to.
 

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The only thing that kept me from buying this split is the fact that the profile of this board will affect the way up (touring mode, or ski mode) as I have read and even saw pictures on how the skies will stay above hard pack snow.... so basically those reviews say that this board rides down amazingly but makes the way up a lot more difficult than saying a camber in the middle board.....

pitty cause this board seems like an amazing choice for me
So yeah it doesn't have the flat spot that worked so well on the Prospector. That said, I did two of the gnarliest, steep skin tracks you could find at the Bozeman Splitfest and I did not have to bust out the crampons. Most everyone was having problems and I can say I had a lot less. I think it is because the touring bracket is off center. So it forces a lot of skin contact on the back half of the board. I've toured on it in firm spring conditions (Silverton splitfest, Bert), icy skin track (Bozeman), and in deep pow. If I was breaking out crampons, so was everyone else. Given you are probably using this board for more pow hunting than anything else, I doubt you would have serious issues with it.

Like karkis, I have been riding the CRC profiles for over 10 years. Unlike him, I am still stubborn and use snowboard boots.
 

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is interesting to read both karkis and killclimbz experiences, makes me actually think about it, my fears came from a really good reviewer i follow from the Mountain weekly news online magazine, actually the pictures I shared here came from that review where you can see how the skies do lift up from the ground....... i mean physically speaking makes sense that the rest of the ski will be on the air if the surface right beneath your feet is rocker and then go to camber.....

so indeed is interesting to see you guys didn´t experience such difficulties
 

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...my fears came from a really good reviewer i follow from the Mountain weekly news online magazine, actually the pictures I shared here came from that review where you can see how the skies do lift up from the ground.......
That Mountain Weekly guy (Mike) is a tool and far from a good reviewer. That said he has a point about the camber profile: It is a well known issues with rocker dominant profiles (especially rocker around the position of the touring bracket) and board designers/manufacturers do a variety of things to reduce it (flat spots in the profile, positioning the bracket location away from the rocker 'bump' etc).
And exactly how much of an impact this issue really hass also depends on a lot factors (snow conditions, terrain, skinning technique etc) so in some (many?) cases it might not matter very much.
 

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I'm about to sell my NS 25 split. I'm not the greatest uphill but the ripsaw profile is sketchy at best on icy sidehill traverses. Been transition back to camber dominant boards this year and picked up an iguchi pro camber split and its a dream to tour on compared to the NS. Downhill in pow I think I would still give the NS the nod but not worth it overall, just my opinion of course
 

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I'm about to sell my NS 25 split. I'm not the greatest uphill but the ripsaw profile is sketchy at best on icy sidehill traverses. Been transition back to camber dominant boards this year and picked up an iguchi pro camber split and its a dream to tour on compared to the NS. Downhill in pow I think I would still give the NS the nod but not worth it overall, just my opinion of course
i also appreciate your feedback on this

cheers
 

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just catching up on this thread. Like Killclimbz, I've ridden with Becca & neni (and Varza).....
I've never ridden with Rouge, but she seems to love her Swift (although it is the solid version).

On a sidenote, I did a huge tour on Bert today and the trusty Spark bindings may finally be wearing out..
I have found that stiffer bindings can help you manage a wider board somewhat. YMMV....
 
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