Never Summer Swift Review
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Never Summer Swift
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|$489.50 at Amazon|
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$699.00 at Evo
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|Pros||Surfy, playful or driven turns, nimble, durable, float in powder||Great edge hold, lots of pop, incredibly stable, torsional flex pattern||Float, precise edging, good construction, playful||User friendly, turning experience, versatile, playful||Great value, pretty easy to ride, versatile, stable, beautiful graphics|
|Cons||Can get bumped around in chop||Narrow waist width, hard to butter, suited toward advanced riders, limited size offerings||Switch performance, harder to control in uneven terrain||Topsheet scratches easy, topsheet is slippery||Plank-like feel, decent edge hold in hardpack|
|Bottom Line||A samurai's favorite sword||Our first pick when we demand exceptional performance anywhere on the mountain and won't accept many compromises||Our board of choice for advanced riders on groomer and deeper powder days||Has a playful merit to its high-performance abilities||A great value option for those looking for an engaging ride on a budget|
|Rating Categories||Never Summer Swift||K2 Alchemist||Yes. Optimistic||United Shapes Cadet||Jones Frontier|
|Float in Powder (20%)|
|Stability at Speed (20%)|
|Pop and Jumping (15%)|
|Specs||Never Summer Swift||K2 Alchemist||Yes. Optimistic||United Shapes Cadet||Jones Frontier|
|Riding Style||Alternative Freeride||Big mountain||Alternative Freeride||Freeride||All Mountain|
|Camber/Rocker||Fusion Rocker Camber + Early Rise||Rocker/Camber||Hybrid-Rocker/Camber||Camber||Hybrid-Rocker/Camber|
|Flex||Medium Stiff||Stiff||Stiff||Medium||Medium Stiff|
|Weight||6.33 lbs||6.8 lbs||6.2 lbs||6.22 lbs||6.44 lbs|
|Tested Length||152 cm||157 cm||151 cm||156 cm||159 cm|
|Available Lengths (cm)||152, 157, 162||154, 157, 159W, 160, 163, 164W||151, 154, 157, 161||144, 152.5, 156, 159, 162||152,156,158W,159,161W,162,164W, 165, 167W|
|Core Material||Superlight Wood||Bamboo, Carbon, Wood||Carbon-wrapped wood||A11x (poplar, bamboo)||Wood|
|Waist Width||25.7 cm||25.0 cm||26.6 cm||25.6 cm||25.4 cm|
|Radius||Vario 760||7.8||6.5 m||7.5 m||7.5 m|
|Taper||20 mm||6 mm||6 mm||20 mm||0 mm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
At first glance, one might think the Never Summer Swift is a powder-specific board. In reality, it performs well all around the mountain. It has a gentle swallowtail, and an insert pack to support a wide range of stances. The Swift features the company's rocker camber profile. Every Never Summer board is made with rocker in the middle and camber tip and tail. Their different profiles are differentiated through the strength and distribution of the camber. The Swift has less camber near the front foot and a strongly bowed camber section underneath the back foot.
The Swift felt like a samurai sword on the mountain, and our movements felt calculated, powerful, and…swift. On smooth groomers, this model moved quickly from edge to edge and enjoyed making powerful short to medium radius arcing turns. The board can generate enjoyable power at the beginning and end of each turn. The camber in the tip allowed for the generation of energy through the rocker middle section. As the turn progressed, there was a transformation into a strong snap from the bowed camber section in the back. It seemed that energy was consistent in the rocker section, which made a predictable and easy turning experience but wasn't as strong as some others.
The rocker also allowed for a very surf-styled ride when the terrain was bumpy. It became a very accurate and nimble craft as it was very easy to disengage the edges to slash out the nose and tail. Surf-inspired cutbacks off the nose were a strength of this board due to the intersection of rocker and camber.
The quick movement allowed us to find incredibly fun lines in between the bumps. The Swift proved to be pretty susceptible to large bumps, especially if we were off-balance. We could easily get knocked off our line and didn't feel as if the board could blast through chop as securely as other models. It was very maneuverable when sized appropriately. Then avoiding the bumps became a fun challenge of slashing and agility. The play comes from the rocker, and the security comes from the camber.
Fortunately, the camber at the tip and tail provide a reliable platform for turning and edge hold on icy snow. The Swift held up in springtime steep and icy conditions; its diverse nature was comforting because we could ride the snow in the best way possible for the conditions. In that sense, it was adaptable. The Swift has a fun and energetic turning style that rips when you wanna rip and will play when you wanna play.
Float in Powder
Case and point the Swift is a joy to ride in powder. It has all the attributes individuals love when riding powder, almost effortless flotation, nimble, and fun. This board has a variety of design characteristics that support its attribute list. It increases the surface area where it's necessary and trims off the excess to provide optimal floatation. Examples of this strategic volume placement can be found in the waist width, two cm taper, and crescent moon tail. The setback stance and smaller tail provide floatation benefits and also allow the board to be very agile. The agility is very welcome when tree skiing and adds to the user enjoyment derived from this board. It's a great choice for someone looking for a fun ride that thrives in the trees and will hold its own in faster, open terrain.
Stability at Speed
Across their product line, Never Summer provides an incredibly damp ride. The Swift absorbs a lot of the noise (small bumps) found on a groomer or off-piste terrain, and the lack of unnecessary feedback provides a confidence-boosting ride. The main threat to security seemed to stem from the rocker in the middle.
When straight lining on a flat base, one could be knocked off balance by bumps if they were in the wrong place in the rocker. We did notice some chatter, but the camber and leaning forward seemed to remedy that. The Swift likes to either make medium-speed, medium-radius arcing turns, or high-speed quick edging turns down the fall line as opposed to straight-lining. If straight-lining is your MO, better options exist.
The Swift has a well-balanced split personality. When it's time to play, this board shows up. Its rocker in the middle makes slashing and skidding your turns easy to do, and the slashy nature allows the Swift to be incredibly maneuverable. The model is easy to ride, and riders of intermediate skill levels should be able to unlock this playful style.
The camber-rocker profile made buttering easy off the nose. The camber sat into the press well to lock it in with confidence, and the pre-pressed rocker midsection keeps the butter high and pressed with limited strain. The same concept applies to the tail. Remember that it does have a stronger and more pronounced camber section, which requires a little more effort in lock-in but helps provide additional pop.
Popping and Jumping
If you are looking at the Swift, odds are you're probably not looking for a jumping board. However, you shouldn't be scared to jump this board. It provides solid pop and an impressive platform for landing, with the hybrid profile providing both the benefits and drawbacks of each. The tip and tail provided the strong popping benefits of camber to help support and get more height out of your ollie. The rockered middle section made the board easy to actually perform the motion of the ollie because there was less resistance.
The rockered middle section seemed to lose power and energy, as it was transferred to the back of the board to the stiffer bow of camber. This seemed to limit the popping potential of the board, especially in comparison to other mostly cambered models. This board still has plenty of pop in most contexts, and it provides it in an easy-to-use package. We were just tentative about ollieing over the slow signs. Never Summer did a great job of making a crescent mooned styled tail that leaves plenty of room on both ends of the board; this allows a larger nose to load your ollie and then ample tail for landings.
The Swift is priced slightly higher than most snowboards in the performance category, but it has the performance to back up the price tag. We had a lot of fun riding this board. While our review doesn't factor in construction or durability, Never Summer is known across the industry for their quality products and bomber construction.
Maneuverable, calculated, and strong, the Never Summer Swift can fit your mood. If you want to play, feel free; if you want to rip, then the board has got you. It performed well in all the tested metrics and was a blast to ride. Its rockered middle section can feel loose in areas with large bumps, but when that happens, you can leverage its maneuverability to find the smooth in between the bumps. This board is for the smooth snow seeker who likes to drive turns on groomers, carve up to a slash and throw in butter then repeat the process. This board is a multi charactered ripper you get to choose the style between arcing lines or surfy slashing.
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