Never Summer Lady West Review
Cons: Not the best for jibbing
Manufacturer: Never Summer
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Never Summer Lady West is the answer for anyone upset that Never Summer retired their very popular Raven line of female-specific snowboards. The Lady West has almost identical specs, with the Lady West having just a slightly asymmetrical, directional shape.
One of the first things you'll notice riding a new board is how well the edges bite into firm snow, which is why our edge hold metric accounts for 35% of the final score. The Lady West is exceptionally grippy, earning it one of the better scores of the bunch.
It has a flex pattern tailored specifically for lady shredders, letting you carve turns and cut into the snow without a ton of work. It smoothly transitions edge to edge with a natural surfy feel while riding even the firmest snow conditions. This board runs just a bit on the stiffer side, but it does a good job of balancing this with plenty of torsional flex where you want it. The Lady West accomplished this with a Recluse Web carbon layup — V-shaped strips of carbon reinforcement that providing confidence when carving at high speeds without forcing you to work too hard to initiate each turn. This also allows you to cut through choppy snow without undue amounts of chatter.
While the Lady West might not immediately scream powder board at you, it performs quite well in the fluffy stuff. This earned it some respectable scores in our powder metric, which is responsible for 20% of its overall score.
The Lady West has a slight setback stance that helps lift the nose of the board when riding in deep snow. It also has a directional profile with a flat transition area under the board of the nose to give it even more float. It might not be our first choice for massive days, but you can definitely have a fun time in the freshies.
Our next round of evaluations focused on how each snowboard felt when riding at higher speed, awarding the most points to boards that gave us plenty of confidence to let it rip and didn't develop any unwanted chatter or speed wobbles. The Lady West continued to excel, earning another solid score in this metric, which is responsible for 20% of the overall score for this board.
The stiffness and edge hold of this board make you feel extremely secure in your turns at higher speeds and you can really see just how much anyone with an aggressive riding style will enjoy this board once you give it some gas. The Lady West simply wants to go fast; it blasts through chop and crud with minimal chatter, and we would be more than content to use this snowboard for a day of ripping down groomers. The hybrid profile with the flat transition area can feel a little shaky when transitioning edge to edge if you aren't used to it, but the Lady West is rock solid once you get the feel of laying down the edge going into each turn.
After stability, we moved on to rating and scoring how fun and playful each board is to ride, which constitutes 20% of the total score. The Lady West is a little less flexible than other options but actually feels much more agile and fun to ride than we would have expected.
The ladies-specific Lady West has a slightly smaller sidecut and a slimmer waist than the comparable Never Summer West Bound, making it a more nimble and maneuverable option. Its softer nose and the extra torsional flex from the Recluse carbon webbing combine to let you handle tight turns through congested trees surprisingly well.
Pop and Jumping
For the final 10% of the total score, we rated and compared how much pop and spring each snowboard has. The Lady West is definitely much more at home ripping groomers or carving on a pow day than as a freestyle board but has acceptable amounts of pop.
The camber directly underfoot this board gives this board plenty of spring and lets you ollie without getting too dynamic with your weight. However, we did notice that it tends to release earlier than you would want if you throw your weight back, so there is a fairly low upper limit when it comes to maximum ollie potential. It isn't so stiff that you can't do a press with it, but you are going to have to work a bit harder to get the nose up than some of the super soft snowboards out there.
The Lady West is actually quite a good value when you take its versatility into account. It isn't the least expensive option on the market but truly excels across the majority of the mountain, making it an acceptable quiver killer.
If you are an intermediate to advanced female snowboarder with a hard-charging, aggressive riding style, then the Never Summer Lady West is a great choice. It can take some getting used to its hybrid profile if you aren't familiar, but this board loves to go fast and gives you the confidence to really rip. It's stable at speed, floats well in powder, and quickly and easily pops from edge to edge when carving. It might not be the best freestyle board out there, but it solidly impresses at just about anything else.
— Marissa Fox
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