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Never Summer Swift Splitboard Review

A splitboard that is geared for the down.
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Price:  $1,060 List | $1,059.99 at Backcountry
Pros:  Powder flotation, corn snow performance, maneuverability
Cons:  Climbing (sidehilling/steep slopes), expensive
Manufacturer:   Never Summer
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2019
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 10
  • Powder - 25% 6
  • Firm Snow - 27.5% 6
  • Climbing - 27.5% 6
  • Binding Adjustability - 5% 5
  • Playfulness - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The Never Summer Swift is more versatile then it might seem at first glance. As expected, it provides excellent floatation in powder, and the rockered middle section allows the board to turn quickly and easily in powder. In corn snow, this board can be slashed like a surfboard or can make driven arcing turns. This board will get you up to the summit, but you might slip a few times on the way; it struggled and demanded more focus with sidehilling in firm snow conditions. It's also one of the most expensive non-carbon splitboards in the category. The board is for riders with established uphill technique who are looking for a playful, snowboard like ride.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $1,059.99 at Backcountry$899.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$898.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$919 List$799 List
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Pros Powder flotation, corn snow performance, maneuverabilityStable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectivesDurable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less baseFun, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great floatDurable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes
Cons Climbing (sidehilling/steep slopes), expensiveExpensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose riseExpensive, switch ridingSlightly soft nose and tail, heavy-ishProficient firm snow performance
Bottom Line A splitboard that is geared for the down.Provides versatile performance to support daily or ambitious backcountry objectives.Climbs like a bird in thermals, rides like your trusted solid board.An even mix of freestyle and free ride that doesn't neglect flotation.Freeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose.
Rating Categories Never Summer Swift Splitboard Jones Solution Splitboard Backwoods Venture Storm United Shapes Covert
Powder (25%)
10
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6
10
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8
10
0
9
10
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9
10
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6
Firm Snow (27.5%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
7
Climbing (27.5%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Binding Adjustability (5%)
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
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5
Playfulness (15%)
10
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9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
Specs Never Summer Swift... Jones Solution... Backwoods Venture Storm United Shapes Covert
Weight 7.32 lbs 7.38 lbs 7.33 lbs 7.91 lbs 7.45 lbs
Tested Length 157 158 157 157 158
Flex Medium Stiff Medium - stiff Medium Stiff Medium
Weight 3322 g 3346 g 3325 g 3587 g 3382 g
Weight Per Surface Area 0.72 0.74 0.74 0.8 0.75
Available Lengths 157, 162, 167 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w) 157,161, 162, 166, 171 149,152,158,161,166
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Wood Wood Wood/ bamboo Wood Blended wood
Waist Width 25.9cm 24.7cm 25.6cm 25cm 25.7cm
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional Directional
Radius 8m 8.5m 7.3/6.5/7.5m 8.48m 7.5m
Camber/Rocker Camber/ rocker / camber Directional rocker Rock camber rocker Straightline rocker Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker

Our Analysis and Test Results

Like all Never Summer boards, the Swift is built with durability in mind. The Swift utilizes the company's Fusion Camber; it has a more robust section of camber in the tail into the rocker in between the feet to a short section of mellower camber, which blends out to a long gradually rising nose. Blended camber profiles can be hard to visualize. Heres a picture from Never Summer's Website.

Illustration of Never Summer's Fusion Rocker Camber. Taken from Never Summer's Website.
Illustration of Never Summer's Fusion Rocker Camber. Taken from Never Summer's Website.

Performance Comparison


The Swift thrives on the downhill.
The Swift thrives on the downhill.

Firm Snow


The Swift didn't sacrifice its stability and edging prowess for the benefits in powder, providing ample edge hold and security when riding or traversing icy slopes, thanks to its cambered tip and tail. When the snow is softer, the board has a unique feel, and it can make slashy and surfy turns by riding the front of the board. You can also engage the entire camber profile, which produces driven and arching turns. The flex pattern of the Swift encourages fun, playful, and powerful turns due to the blend of rocker and camber.

Finding the surf style on the Swift.
Finding the surf style on the Swift.

Powder


The Swift is part of the spring 2019 update, which means we haven't had the opportunity to extensively test the board in powder (as much as we would like). Further testing is in progress. Our hypothesis, based on individual experience and specs, is that this board will provide plenty of float and will be a great choice for deep days.

Climbing


Splitboards has a strong uphill focus in there design because of there usage patterns. The Swift climbs uphill and does it well when conditions are ideal, like soft cold snow on a low angle track. When the up-track gets challenging, the rocker in the middle of the profile made touring more difficult then it should have been. The rocker in the middle lifts the camber contact points out of the snow and minimizes key drivers of uphill security. The first is minimized edge contact with side-hilling, which promotes slipping laterally. The second is minimized carpet contact, which can threaten tip to tail security, especially on steep slopes. This might not pose any issues for certain riders, but may for others it might. It just takes more technique to find similar security as other models.

However, the rocker in the middle does lift the nose to aid in a breaking trail in fresh snow conditions, which will have trail-breaking efficacy benefits.

The rocker in the middle of the Swift lifts the board's contact points up and limits surface area when climbing of side-hilling.
The rocker in the middle of the Swift lifts the board's contact points up and limits surface area when climbing of side-hilling.

Binding Adjustment


The Swift uses the standard insert pattern. The contrast is a channel system where the pucks can slide.

Playfulness


The Swift is playful in its flex pattern and turning feel, and its medium flex makes the board user-friendly. It turns easily and has a playful, in turn experience. If you're looking to catch air, it provides adequate pop and works well for landing in a regular stance.

The Swift provides a lively in turn experience.
The Swift provides a lively in turn experience.

Value


The Swift is one of the highest-priced noncarbon splitboards on the market. Other boards exist and offer comparable downhill performance - with an improved uphill performance - at a lower cost. While we like this board, better values are available on the market.

Phantom clips are a passive connection system which brings the Swifts two halves together.
Phantom clips are a passive connection system which brings the Swifts two halves together.

Conclusion


We like the Never Summer Swift for its downhill performance, and it provides fun and playful turns in both corn snow and powder. The uphill performance was hindered by the rocker because of the lack of surface contact on the carpet and on the edge when side-hilling. It can threaten most users who are looking for maximum grip, and it requires more technique. The Swift is ideal for splitboarders with good uphill technique looking for a playful and snowboard like ride that is capable on icy slopes.


Isaac Laredo