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lost in the ugly trees
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Introduction
My primary board of choice is the Never Summer SL. I have multiple including a split version so I know it inside and out. My primary riding style is tight woods and all mountain freestyle. I rarely ride groomers except to get to/from the woods and I rarely make a trip into the park. I search out tight trees and fresh lines.
If you dont want to read the rest my basic idea of the board is: Great woods and steeps board. Boring but effective groomer cruiser. A little sketchy on the flats.

Rider and setup
5’10” 200Lbs
Board: 2014 Never Summer Cobra 161
Stance: +15/-15 23.5” wide
Bindings used: K2 Uprise, K2 Hurrithane, Rome 390
Boots: Burton Ruler Size 10

Flex: I give this board about a 6.5/10. Just a little past mid-stiff.

Camber: This board has Never Summer’s RC Profile. Rocker in the middle helps it float and ride a little loose. Camber under the feet lets it still hold a solid edge. Ive ridden them all and this is my favorite.

Pop: Board is fairly poppy but the tail is a little short to really develop huge power. Very good for what it is.

Handling on groomers:
This board holds a very solid edge on hard-pack groomers and as good of an edge as can be expected on ice. Ice sucks so I avoid it whenever possible but if it cant be avoided then this board holds almost as well as my magnetraction Smokin KT-22. I actually prefer the edge-hold of the Cobra. Magne might grip better on ice but I find it to be weird and grabby everywhere else. The board is fairly damp but not so much that it feels disconnected. It is not however as damp as a real dedicated board designed to eat through the crud. My biggest issue with this board is the flats. It seems a little sketchy and grabby on the flats.
Verdict: Effective but Meh. I don’t mind this board on the groomers but I just find it to be boring. It isn’t stiff or damp enough for really charging and digging trenches in crud snow and chop. It is too directional and damp to be a really want to play around on the groomers. Still, it destroys any dedicated pow board in groomer performance.

Pow & Trees: “The Cobra’s happy place”
First up, Float. This board floats 98% as well as a real dedicated board like a Pin-tail or a swallowtail but as anyone who has ridden a Fish on a groomer can tell you Pow boards dont like boilerplate. I rode it in knee deep blower with only a hint of leg burn. One of my favorite tests of a board in the deep is its ability to float on a low angle traverse with a lot of snow. We have some woods around here that most people avoid because it takes a long low angle traverse to get out. The cobra stays up even at low speed with a lot of quick turns sapping speed all the way.
The Cobra likes to turn fast. My first deep run with it was a steep trail with a waist deep wind spine. The board seems to turn as fast as you can think about turning with no real worry of burying the nose. I surprised myself with just how many slashing turns I saw when I looked back up from the bottom of the run. Once this board makes it into the woods it really begins to shine. Tight trees with narrow lines and blind corners require a board that can you can trust to be able to make a turn as soon as you can see the line. The cobra delivers. Knowing that your mind can keep up is the hard part.
Rode this board in some Deep heavy wet above freezing “pow” and it did surprisingly well. Turning and floating in this snow is usually a lot of work and a little tricky especially at lower speed but the Cobra loves it.
Verdict: The cobra loves the pow and it loves the trees. It can handle charging the steeps but it really is happier making some extra turns.

Natural Park:
I am always looking for fallen trees to slide and cliffs to drop so that has always been part of what I look for in a board. Setback directional boards have always seemed a little weird to me trying to slide logs. Only 50/50 because trees like to hurt people that boardslide them but the setback still seems to throw me off. The Cobra has a fairly minimal setback for such a great board in the deep stuff so it seems to slide logs fairly well to me. I have locked onto a 30’ long 18” dia log for the full length so it gets a passing grade from me. The same setback makes landing big drops into deep snow a breeze. No real effort needs to be made to keep the board above the snow even with a little bit of a breakable crust.

Other Thoughts:
The Carbonium looks very cool. It also works like a stomp pad. Getting off the lift I usually just step in the middle of the board and slide my foot back into the back binding. With the Carbonium this doesn't really work and I need to place my foot in the right place from the beginning. I found this out the hard way to a some laughs and an out of control but not quite crashing unloading.
The base on the Cobra holds up to abuse very well. My Cobra has been over uncountable rocks, stumps, and logs. The board only has a few superficial scratches.
I did a few no-highback runs on the cobra in about 18” of snow just because I thought its quick turn ability might be fun and surfy in Pow and boy was I right. The board turns so easily that riding with no highback was a dream until I got back on the icy groomer back to the lift.

IMG_4481 by rboskind, on Flickr

IMG_4477 by rboskind, on Flickr

IMG_4476 by rboskind, on Flickr

IMG_4473 by rboskind, on Flickr
 

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Thanks for posting a review of the 2014 Cobra. I am considering the SL or cobra as a new addition to the quiver. Since you have a lot of experience with the SL, how does it compare to the cobra?
 

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good stuff. I'm thinking about getting either this or the SL for my last and final board...

I remember demo-ing the 2013 Cobra and I was like, WOW...this thing can seriously turn and hold an edge on a mean carve. How does the SL compare to this? I love doing the trees too (especially over at Jay Peak!) and would love something that I can swing around easily to maneuver.

What would compel a boarder who's spent the better part of the last 3-4 years finding the perfect one ring to rule them all to pick the SL over the cobra, and vice versa? i guess, what rider profile would choose each one?

and mystic, are you just a local around jay peak, or do you work on the resort? because i know of an instructor there that loves, LOVES Never Summer boards...:)
 

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i have the first sl that came out and prolly gonna replace it finally with next years cobra. can't wait. Still trying to decide if i should keep it at 155 or size up to 158 in case i go out west though...
 

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Cobra vs Cobra

Is there a big difference between the 2013 Cobra and the 2014 Cobra? If yes, can you tell me what. Thanks
 

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lost in the ugly trees
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
OK Here are the changes according to the spec sheet.
Snowolf said:
The 2014 is stiffer and damper.

2013 has a stiffness rating of 5 and a dampness rating of 5
2014 has a stiffness rating of 5.5 and a dampness rating of 5.5

The 2014 Cobra has Elastomeric Underfoot Stabilizers which the 2013 did not. According to the specs, these are :

"Elastomeric rubber stabilizers directly below the mounting area provide optimum vibration absorption and increase high speed stability while reducing foot fatigue."

The 2013 Cobra is listed as having," Bi directional Rocker Camber Profile" while the 2014 is listed as, "Original Rocker Camber Profile". Not sure if that signals any kind of change as there is nothing in the data sheets that seem to differentiate between the two.

So, based on everything I am reading, the new Cobra should be just a tad stiffer and damper. With the addition of the Elastomeric Underfoot Stabilizers, It also should be more stable at high speed and transfer less vibration through the board into the feet.
I havent ridden the old one but this board does feel surprisingly damp on chattery surfaces. Once it gets into some snow it just becomes responsive.
 

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Hey Mystic,

I just checked your original post, and it said you used both the Uprise and 390 on the board. Which do you like better?

I ask because ... I have those two exact bindings in my garage right now lol. The Uprise kind of fell out of favor because they did not work with my 32 lashed (lashed too wide and it interfered with the straps). I'm moving on to different boots so I was thinking of busting them out again.

I thought the Uprise were comfy, not too stiff but not too soft either, perfect all mountain flex. And boy do I miss the harshmellow

I'd buy the Formulas if they were harsmellow
 

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Sounds good. It's been two seasons since I've used them, hell time to bust them out and see how they fit my boots! :laugh:
 

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OK Here are the changes according to the spec sheet.

I havent ridden the old one but this board does feel surprisingly damp on chattery surfaces. Once it gets into some snow it just becomes responsive.
And then next year Cobra 2015 model will be 6 of 10 stiffness lol. This is annoying and I wasted my money buying the 2013 model because it feels like it has no damp and very choppy. I gotta sell it and take the loss and buy the Raptor.
 

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I thought the Uprise were comfy, not too stiff but not too soft either, perfect all mountain flex. And boy do I miss the harshmellow

I'd buy the Formulas if they were harsmellow
I believe the 2014 Formulas will now have harshmellow as part of trickle down tech.
 

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lost in the ugly trees
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
And then next year Cobra 2015 model will be 6 of 10 stiffness lol. This is annoying and I wasted my money buying the 2013 model because it feels like it has no damp and very choppy. I gotta sell it and take the loss and buy the Raptor.
The new and old Cobras are very similar. If you want a raptor then that is a very very different animal. Not really boards to be confused.
 
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