The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Never Summer Swift Review

A samurai's favorite sword.
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Price:  $620 List | $609.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Surfy, playful or driven turns, nimble, durable, float in powder
Cons:  Can get bumped around in chop
Manufacturer:   Never Summer
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 20, 2019
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 17
  • Edging - 25% 8
  • Float in Powder - 20% 7
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 7
  • Playfulness - 20% 9
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Never Summer Swift is like a samurai's favorite sword; it's agile, refined, and can strike with power. Due to its hybrid profile, the Swift has two personalities. It can be ridden upfront for a surf approach or in the back for a more driven style of riding. It provides a stable ride at speed but can get bucked around in the chop. The maneuverable and playful nature of this board allows you to play between the bumps to find the opportunity to pop an ollie with its user-friendly flex. The Swift is excellent for intermediate to advanced riders who seek smooth snow looking to turn slash and butter the run away.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Surfy, playful or driven turns, nimble, durable, float in powderFloaty, precise edging, good construction, playfulLightweight, well-made, fun, responsive, user-friendly, made in the USAUser friendly, turning experience, versatile, playfulGreat value, versatile, stable, beautiful graphic
Cons Can get bumped around in chopTricky to size, unappealing graphicBelow average floatTop sheet scratches easyCan slip on hardback
Bottom Line A samurai's favorite sword."That was totally wicked." -The IncrediblesSnowboarding can be hard; help lower the learning curve with this model.Has a playful merit to its high-performance abilities.Porsche performance at Honda prices.
Rating Categories Never Summer Swift Yes. Optimistic Never Summer Proto Type Two United Shapes Cadet Jones Explorer
Edging (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Float In Powder (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Playfulness (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
Pop And Jumping (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Never Summer Swift Yes. Optimistic Never Summer Proto... United Shapes Cadet Jones Explorer
Shape Directional Directional Asymetrical-Twin Directional Directional
Camber/Rocker Fusion Rocker Camber + Early Rise Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber
Flex Medium Stiff Stiff Soft-Medium Medium Stiff
Weight 6.33 (lb) 6.2 (lb) 6.2 (lb) 6.22 (lb) 6.44 (lb)
Tested Length 152cm 151cm 157 156cm 159cm
Available Lengths 152, 157, 162cm 151, 154, 157cm 152,154,157,160,153X,155X,158X,161X,164X 144, 152.5, 156, 159, 162cm 152,156,158W,159,161W,162,164W cm
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Superlight Wood Carbon-wrapped wood Wood A11x (poplar, bamboo) Wood
Waist Width 25.7cm 26.6cm 26.3 25.6cm 25.4cm
Radius Vario 760 6.5m 7.6 toe/7.3 heel 7.5m 7.5m
Taper 20mm 6m 0 20mm 0mm

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 and features the company's rocker camber profile. Every Never Summer board is made with rocker in the middle and camber tip and tail, and their different profiles are differentiated through the strength and distribution of the camber. The Swift has less rocker up front as it bends toward the nose and a strongly bowed camber section underneath the back foot.

For maximum versatility, size down 3-7 CM.

Performance Comparison


The Swift is easy to get on edge to surf the mountain.
The Swift is easy to get on edge to surf the mountain.

Edging


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's a transformation into a strong snap of the bowed camber 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 of the nose were a strength of this board due to the intersection of rocker and camber.

Cutback are one of the best feelings in snowboarding. The Swift excels at them.
Cutback are one of the best feelings in snowboarding. The Swift excels at them.

The quick movement allowed us to find incredibly fun lines in between the bumps. The Swift provided 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, and 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 provides a reliable platform for turning and edge hold on icy snow. The Swift help 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.

Engaging more of the back half of the board changes the character of the Swift.
Engaging more of the back half of the board changes the character of the Swift.

Float in Powder


The Swift is part of our spring update for 2019. Based on the timing, we haven't had the opportunity to test in powder extensively, but this update will be coming as soon as possible. The Swift has a powder centric appearance and design and a variety of powder centric features. Based on its wide waist width, taper, crescent moon tail, and long nose, this board should provide excellent flotation on a deep day.

Stability at Speed


Across their product line, Never Summer provides an incredible 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.

Playfulness


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.

The Swift has a playful character to butter your heart out.
The Swift has a playful character to butter your heart out.

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, and 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 amble tail for landings.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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 then butter the top or a back to then repeat the process. Its a turner and you get to choose the style.

The Never Summer Swift.
The Never Summer Swift.


Isaac Laredo