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Never Summer Proto Type Two Review

Snowboarding can be hard; help lower the learning curve with this model.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $570 List | $484.49 at Backcountry
Pros:  Lightweight, well-made, fun, responsive, user-friendly, made in the USA
Cons:  Below average float
Manufacturer:   Never Summer
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 20, 2019
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83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Edging - 25% 9
  • Float in Powder - 20% 7
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 8
  • Playfulness - 20% 10
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Never Summer Proto Type Two takes our Top Pick Award for Rapid Progression due to its user-friendly character. The heel side edge on this board has a smaller sidecut than the toe edge. Good news for you; those heel-side turns will be easier to learn and refine. Its medium flexing hybrid profile creates a playful and forgiving overall experience. The cambered contact points maintain stability at speed and good pop. The rocker in the middle creates a forgiving ride that gives you a margin for error and accentuates the playfulness. All technical aspects considered this board is just fun. It's designed to keep you boarding, and best of all, learning.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $484.49 at Backcountry$600 List$445.99 at Amazon$500 List$391.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Lightweight, well-made, fun, responsive, user-friendly, made in the USAFloaty, precise edging, good construction, playfulGreat value, versatile, stable, beautiful graphicGreat value, versatile, nimble, funManufactured with 100% hydropower, beautiful graphic, playful
Cons Below average floatTricky to size, unappealing graphicCan slip on hardbackBelow average float in powderBack half of the heel side edge feels like it can slightly disengage under certain circumstances
Bottom Line Snowboarding can be hard; help lower the learning curve with this model."That was totally wicked." -The IncrediblesPorsche performance at Honda prices.The Fury has everything you need and nothing you don't for the sunny everyday board.Built for riding every condition with power and finesse in a playful style.
Rating Categories Never Summer Proto Type Two Yes. Optimistic Jones Explorer Nitro Quiver Fury Capita Kazu Kokubo Pro
Edging (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Float In Powder (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
Playfulness (20%)
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
8
Pop And Jumping (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Never Summer Proto... Yes. Optimistic Jones Explorer Nitro Quiver Fury Capita Kazu Kokubo...
Shape Asymetrical-Twin Directional Directional Asymetrical twin Directional
Camber/Rocker Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Hybrid- Rocker/Camber Hybrid- Rocker/Camber
Flex Soft-Medium Stiff Medium-Stiff Medium/Stiff Medium
Weight 6.2 (lb) / 99.2 (oz) 6.2 (lb) / 99.2 (oz) 6.4 (lb) / 102.4 (oz) 6 (lb) / 96 (oz) 5.4 (lb) / 86.4 (oz)
Tested Length 157 151 159 159 157
Available Lengths 152,154,157,160,153X,155X,158X,161X,164X 151, 154, 157 152,156,158W,159,161W,162,164W 157, 163 151, 154, 157, 160
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Wood Carbon-wrapped wood Wood Wood Wood
Waist Width (cm) 26.3 26.6 26.2 25 25.5
Radius (m) 7.6 toe/7.3 heel 6.5 7.5 9/5.6-7/4.1 8.4
Taper(mm) 0 6 0 0 9

Our Analysis and Test Results

Certain all mountain boards have an aggressive and charger persona that sets a skill level threshold to be able to ride the board to its fullest extent. The Never Summer Proto Type Two is designed to excel in all conditions with a character that anyone can ride.

Performance Comparison


You will be hand dragging before you know it with the Proto Type Two.
You will be hand dragging before you know it with the Proto Type Two.

Edging


The Never Summer Proto Type Two had one of the most fun turning styles in the review. The board's cambered tip and tail allowed to board to drive through turns. Yet the tight sidecut and rockered middle allow the board to disengage to slash the lip of the quarter pipe. The blended multiple radius sidecut allows the board to excel at short and medium radius turns.


While turning the board flex feels fluid and powerful. The turn finish is spring-like and accelerated our testers across the slope. It performed long radius turns comfortably but it is not the main edging style of this board. The Travis Rice Pointy Pro is a solid choice for that style of movement. When the conditions get firm the unique sidecut and camber provided adequate edge hold on hardpack. The Proto has a slightly above average waist width. Therefore, the Proto can maintain easy edge to edge transfer that manages toe and heel drag for the average size foot to lay down deep trenches. The above average waist width still maintained agile movement in bumpy conditions. It is at home in on-piste and off-piste terrain. The Proto provides a very maneuverable, stable, and playful edging style that is well balanced with plenty of on edge security.

Trust me  before you know it.
Trust me, before you know it.

Float in Powder


This model is a generalist, here are where some of the tradeoffs are felt. This particular hybrid profile where the camber is toward the tips doesn't provide effortless floatation; nor doesn't it persistently dive.


The rocker in the middle of the board helps to partially mitigate the camber's tendency to dive thus keeping keep the board afloat. It provided adequate floatation with all amounts of speed. Our testing found this board to be nimble in powder and trees but not the best in the review. This board held its own in open terrain to make high-speed powder turns. Overall, the Proto provides sufficient and fun performance in this metric in all but the deepest of days.

The Proto provided enough flotation that we were motivated to hike it up a mountain to ride powder.
The Proto provided enough flotation that we were motivated to hike it up a mountain to ride powder.

Stability at Speed


The camber stretching toward the contact points provides a stable platform that excels at quick edge to edge movement straight down the fall line. For high speed long arcing turns, our testers felt secure but preferred the Proto's quick edge to edge movement.


In certain cases, tight sidecut boards can feel catchy when flat based straight lining due to the contour of the line. The Vario sidecut is supposed to mitigate that. The board did not feel like it wanted to engage when flat based. Our testing was inconclusive as to if this was the direct result of the vario. The softer Proto wasn't as stable as our stiff cambered models and received a 7 out of 10 score.

Playfulness


The Proto was a top of the class competitor in this category and scored the rare 10 out of 10. Versatility and general fun are two essential aspects of this metric. The Proto excelled in both of these. The Type Two Proto is one of the best generalists around and can excel in every aspect of snowboarding you might find yourself in. It can be used in every situation.


Like the Ride Warpig, this model is effectively a quiver killer based on its versatility. Its ability to butter, pop and turn all over the mountain created a fluid, springy and poppy experience that made us want to take lap after lap. Our testers enjoyed being able to do everything on this board which created a fun experience. In the end, that's what it is all about, enjoying every turn, ollie, and tweak. The Proto Type Two is one of the best boards for that.

The Proto locking into a steep BS nose butter.
The Proto locking into a steep BS nose butter.

Pop and Jumping


The hybrid profile of the Never Summer Proto gives both the benefits and drawbacks of each camber type. The rockered middle section loses some of the energy in translation to pop of off the camber. This impacts the popping height and capability of the model. However, it does make the board more user-friendly to pop because of its fluid and softer flexing pattern throughout the middle of the board. It requires less loading and can pop faster for newer riders. The cambered tip and tail provide great pop and loading potential. The Proto provided a crisp and fast popping style.


Once you snap that quick ollie, you can feel confident in landing on the Proto. This model has a larger margin for error when landing. Compared to something like the Ride Warpig that has rockered tip and a short tail that can wash out when landing backseat; the Proto is a setup for landing security. The camber and twin profile give you a larger margin when your slightly off your flight path. These two characteristics give you more connectivity and support when landing. When you look between your feet and the Proto you can feel at ease when popping and landing.

Cool shape and Interesting graphic of the Never Summer Proto Type Two.
Cool shape and Interesting graphic of the Never Summer Proto Type Two.

Best Applications


This board is at home anywhere on the mountain whether it be ripping powder turns or popping off rollers. It provides particularly excellent performance riding groomers and in all mountain freestyle settings. This board would be a great fit for a weekend warrior or everyday rider looking to progress quickly and have fun in all disciplines of snowboarding.


Value


The Proto Type Two is a great value due to the high performance, versatility, and durability of the model. This model was a solid contender in every category and was fun in all conditions and terrain. The high-quality materials and U.S handmade construction ensure your purchase is going to last. Every Never Summer board our tester has ridden or owned has been incredible in terms of durability. These things are built tough. The Proto comes in at list prices of $570 which slightly below the industry standard pricing for performance models.

Conclusion


Simply put buy it and you won't regret it. The Never Summer Proto Type Two is an incredible generalist. You may have heard the saying "Jack of all trades but master of none"; well only the first half applies to the Proto. It is a master within the metrics of edging and playfulness. Its flex and Vairo sidecut offers a stable and powerful yet playful turning experience in all conditions. The flex pattern and camber profile allow this model to be one of the most playful and fun boards in the review. Even where the Proto maybe considered the jack, it still seriously performs. Back the performance with the construction quality that is synonymous with Never Summer and you have a great deal. If you're looking for a fun, well-rounded everyday board to progress on, the Proto Type Two is a great choice.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Proto is available in a men's, women, and kids version. The men's model comes in a standard and wide version, We tested the 157 standard width.

And then after one hand  you can learn the double hand drag with the Proto.
And then after one hand, you can learn the double hand drag with the Proto.


Isaac Laredo