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

Never Summer Swift Splitboard Review

A splitboard that is geared for the down
Never Summer Swift Splitboard
Photo: Never Summer
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $1,000 List
Pros:  Powder flotation, corn snow performance, maneuverability
Cons:  Climbing (sidehilling/steep slopes), expensive
Manufacturer:   Never Summer
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 28, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 11
  • Powder - 26% 9
  • Firm Snow - 26% 6
  • Climbing - 28% 6
  • Binding Adjustability - 5% 5
  • Playfulness - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The Never Summer Swift is more versatile than it might seem. As expected, it provides excellent floatation in powder. 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 in firm conditions. This is derived for the rocker in the middle which also creates a playful experience. The Swift is for riders with established uphill technique who are looking for a playful, snowboard-like ride.

Updated Graphics

The Swift's current topsheet is shown in the image above.

January 2021

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $1,000 List$899 List$900 List$650 List$799 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
72
81
77
74
74
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Powder flotation, corn snow performance, maneuverabilityDurable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less baseStable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectivesDurable, affordable, versatile, easy to adjust stanceDurable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes
Cons Climbing (sidehilling/steep slopes), expensiveExpensive, switch ridingExpensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose riseGeneralist, soft for aggressive riding or heavy snowChallenging to smear turns in firm snow at slow speeds
Bottom Line Powder or corn, this board is fun and maneuverable on the downhillSolid board performance paired with exceptional climbing abilityOffering exceptional performance in powder and firm snow, the Solution in up for whatever you're looking to doWhere minimalism meets performanceA well-crafted splitboard that provides a fun and versatile ride
Rating Categories Never Summer Swift Splitboard Backwoods Jones Solution Splitboard Voile Spartan Ascent United Shapes Covert
Powder (26%)
9
8
7
6
8
Firm Snow (26%)
6
8
9
7
8
Climbing (28%)
6
9
8
8
7
Binding Adjustability (5%)
5
5
5
9
5
Playfulness (15%)
9
8
7
9
7
Specs Never Summer Swift... Backwoods Jones Solution... Voile Spartan Ascent United Shapes Covert
Weight 7.32 lbs 7.33 lbs 7.38 lbs 6.08 lbs 7.45 lbs
Tested Length 157 157 158 158 158
Flex Medium Medium - stiff Stiff Soft Medium
Weight in grams 3322 g 3325 g 3346 g 2794 g 3382 g
Weight Per Surface Area 0.72 0.74 0.74 0.62 0.75
Available Lengths 157, 162, 167 152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w) 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 154, 158, 162, 166 149,152,158,161,166
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Cap Sandwich
Core Material Wood Wood/ bamboo Wood paulownia, carbon Blended wood
Waist Width 25.9cm 25.6cm 24.7cm 25.7cm 25.7cm
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional twin Directional
Radius 8m 7.3/6.5/7.5m 8.5m 7.7m 7.5m
Camber/Rocker Camber/ rocker / camber Rock camber rocker Directional rocker Freeride camber 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, so here is a picture from Never Summer's website.

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

Performance Comparison


The Swift thrives on the downhill.
The Swift thrives on the downhill.
Photo: Laredo

Firm Snow


The Swift didn't sacrifice its stability and edging prowess for the benefits in powder. The Cambered tip and tail provided ample edge hold and security when riding or traversing icy slopes. In corn snow, the board has a unique feel because of its Fusion profile.

Finding the surf style on the Swift.
Finding the surf style on the Swift.
Photo: Laredo

The Swift has a split personality based upon which section of the camber you decide to engage. When the nose section of the camber is engaged, it can make slashy and surfy. Surf styled cutbacks become easy. When the entire camber profile is engaged, the board thrives at making driven, and arching turns. The additional camber toward the tail accelerates the rider out of the turn. The flex pattern of the Swift encourages fun, playful, and powerful turns due to the blend of rocker and camber.

Powder


The Swift looks like it's made for powder. Flotation and maneuverability are the principal design priorities of this model. That way, you can enjoy the experience rather than being exhausted and frustrated by lunchtime.

When the board naturally floats you can enjoyably harvest powder at...
When the board naturally floats you can enjoyably harvest powder at lower angles.
Photo: Laredo

The Swift provides effortless flotation and enjoyable maneuverability based on its shape and camber profile. The long nose works to float over the snow. While its nose is cambered, it never dove and was easy to keep above the snow. We attribute this to the rockered center profile and swallowtail inspired shape. The rockered profile makes the board easy to turn and maneuver in most snow depths and densities. The maneuverability in the turn adds to the fun value no matter what the terrain is. The crescent moon tail, coupled with a setback stance encourages natural flotation due to focused weight distribution toward the tail. The rider positioning increases the nimbleness of the board because there is less board resistance in the snow. The rider can quickly pivot the back foot to snap around turns and quickly change directions. If you love wiggling through the trees and navigating tight spaces, you'' appreciate the Never Summer Swift.

Climbing


Splitboards have a strong uphill focus in their design because of their 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 requires icy sidehilling, the rocker in the middle of the profile provided an added challenge.

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

The rocker in the middle lifts the camber contact points out of the snow, which minimizes two key drivers of uphill security. The first is minimized edge contact with side-hilling, which can result in slipping downhill. 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 on this plane as other models.

A pro to the rocker in the middle is trail-breaking efficacy. It lifts the nose to aid in breaking trail in fresh snow.

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. Its medium flex makes the board user-friendly. It turns easily and has a playful and enjoyable in-turn experience. If you're looking to catch air, it provides adequate pop and offers great flotation for stomping airs in a nose forward stance.

The Swift provides a lively in turn experience.
The Swift provides a lively in turn experience.
Photo: Laredo

Value


The Swift is one of the highest-priced non-carbon splitboards on the market. The Swift provides an enjoyable downhill experience at a relatively heavy price. While we enjoyed this model, we found its price tag harder to justify based on its climbing ability in a steep or icy situation. When compared to the market, other boards exist that offer comparable downhill performance and improved uphill performance, all 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...
Phantom clips are a passive connection system which brings the Swifts two halves together.
Photo: Laredo

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.

Powder Awaits.
Powder Awaits.
Photo: Laredo

Isaac Laredo