An Expert Guide to Never Summer SnowboardsPublished on 06/13/2023 · 11 min readDive into our Expert guide on Never Summer Snowboards. Discover the pinnacle of performance, craftsmanship, and innovation on the slopes!
Photo by Castner Photography
Tl;dr: Never Summer is a high-performance snowboard brand that builds gear meant for intermediate to advanced all-mountain, freestyle, and freeride riders. While their boards are more expensive than the average snowboard brand, they’re packed with performance-based snowboard technology and are built to a high standard of quality.
Hi! My name is Gaelen, and over the past 11 years, I’ve been able to snowboard 50+ days yearly in locations such as Vermont, Colorado (the birthplace of Never Summer), Oregon, and Alaska. During this time, I’ve also been able to work in a dedicated snowboard shop as well as with thousands of Curated customers to help them find the right gear for their specific needs and wants!
Today I want to discuss Never Summer Snowboards, a popular West Coast brand that I’m quite familiar with from professional experience. I’ll cover a brief history of the company, frequently asked questions about their boards, unique or semi-unique board technology they use, and finally, we’ll run through some exercises to put all your newfound knowledge to work in picking a Never Summer snowboard! Let’s get into it!
Who Is Never Summer Snowboards?
When it comes to snowboard brands, Never Summer Industries is about as core as it gets. They were founded in 1991 by the Canaday brothers, Tim and Tracey, in a garage in Denver, Colorado. Their brand is based on the idea of progression and innovation of the sport. So much so that they received the first patent ever for their special type of hybrid camber technology (now common in many boards), and they’ve made contributions such as the triple camber profile and Carbon VXR laminate (which we’ll get into later).
They’ve come to be known as a high-end brand that’s aimed at more advanced riders looking for high-performance boards that focus on craftsmanship and durability. Throughout the past 30+ years, they have remained based in Denver where they design and build all of their snowboards at a factory right in the city.
What to Consider When Buying a Never Summer Snowboard
How Expensive Are Never Summer Boards?
Overall, snowboards from Never Summer are much pricier than the average snowboard brand, with their new boards ranging from $550 all the way up to $680 (their kid's boards are still in the $250 to $400 range). This is compared to the average snowboard brand, which usually offers entry-level models in the low $400 range.
Never Summer is quite expensive simply because they don’t have a handful of sub-$500 boards like most brands. Take a look at the chart below to get an idea of the price ranges for common board brands compared to Never Summer!
Are Never Summer Snowboards High Quality?
Part of the reason Never Summer boards are so expensive is that they’re designed as high-performance boards for skilled riders—which raises their price. They aim to make their products some of the most durable on the market and handcraft their boards to “precision tolerances” (their words, not mine).
I can’t sit here and tell you their exact construction methods, but this is a brand that has over 30 years of experience building boards, and has a fully professional and amateur team they sponsor. Therefore, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that: yes, they make high-quality boards.
I’ve personally ridden a few and enjoyed them. And while, for me, they didn’t stand out as way better than other brands, their boards certainly pass the product quality test.
Does Never Summer Make Beginner Snowboards?
The other reason all of Never Summer’s collection is so expensive is that they don’t really make snowboards that are suitable for beginners. Most brands will produce at least a couple of “entry-level” boards that are suitable for riders who have never been snowboarding before or have only gone a few times. However, as we discussed before, Never Summer boards are designed as a premium product for skilled riders, so you should really be more of an intermediate rider (think confident on blue squares), before even considering one of their snowboards.
What Are the Different Types of Never Summer Boards?
Like most other brands, Never Summer makes four main types of boards: all-mountain, freestyle, freeride, and powder (they also make split boards). These different snowboard categories are probably familiar, so I’m going to keep this section short, but it is worth it to note that many of Never Summer’s boards will fall into multiple categories (all-mountain/freeride for example).
An all-mountain snowboard is one that’s designed to work all over the resort. It’s well-balanced and versatile so that riders can use it to ride almost any terrain in any condition. It’s usually the best choice for riders who want to own just one snowboard.
- All-terrain/conditions versatility packed into the convenience of one snowboard
- Best choice for the casual rider who spends most of their time on groomed slopes
- Good at everything, not the best at anything—that’s the trade-off of all-mountain boards
- There are many levels of all-mountain boards, choose one that matches your skill level
Freestyle snowboards are designed to spend most of their time in the terrain park. They’re usually lightweight, poppy, and have a good amount of flex to them. They’re best for the rider who spends most of their time in the park and doesn’t care about board performance outside of it.
- Will excel at freestyle riding inside and outside the park
- Usually a more fun and playful feeling type of board for those who like a relaxed ride
- Many all-mountain boards are also freestyle boards—don’t get hung up on titles
- These boards often lack stability, especially at speeds and when carving
- These boards have subpar powder performance as they’re usually a twin shape
Freeride snowboards are for the all-mountain rider who really enjoys going off the beaten path (off-piste), and rides powder as well, but can’t commit to buying a full-blown powder board. They’re typically a more aggressive snowboard that’ll allow for more aggressive riding on and off the trails and will do better than the average board in fresh snow.
- This is a good board type for shredders who want to explore ungroomed terrain
- Above-average performance in powder but with all-mountain versatility
- Usually more advanced, not a good beginner option
- Not great for switch riding due to the common directional shape of the boards
Powder boards are the ones you only take out when it’s snowed a significant amount. They’re designed to have a great float in powdery snow, stability at speed, and not much else. Therefore, they’re often considered a “quiver board”; one you buy for a very specific purpose and not one you’d take out every day (although you still totally could). It’s best for the rider who sees frequent heavy snowfall and is being held back from enjoying these powder days by their current board.
- Better powder performance than any type of snowboard
- Will last much longer if it is a secondary board and only sees use a few times per season
- Not everyone needs a powder board, many all-mountain boards are fine in powder
- Not designed with beginners in mind
- Average performance on non-fresh snow
- Poor switch performance due to commonly directional shape and setback stance
Splitboards are a snowboard that can be used as skis to skin up a hill and then re-attached at the top and ridden down as a single piece. They’re used by riders who are accessing terrain that doesn’t have a lift and require a whole new knowledge set for backcountry riding.
- Provides the ability to snowboard on otherwise inaccessible terrain
- Backcountry riding can be very dangerous, and is not for beginners
- An investment into a split board means an investment into other backcountry gear
- Splitboards on their own are generally the most expensive type of snowboard
- They don’t work great for resort riding (although you will see people doing it)
Features To Look For In Never Summer Snowboards
I’ve mentioned that Never Summer is a brand that focuses on performance, so let’s take a look at some of the more intricate technologies they use.
- Triple Camber: A board profile that incorporates three camber zones along the length of the snowboard. This provides better stability, precision, and edge hold—making the board more capable and versatile.
- Vario Power Grip Sidecut: Never Summer's Vario Power Grip sidecut has multiple sidecut radii blended together. This design improves edge hold and provides precise control at different speeds and turn shapes.
- Carbonium Topsheet: This is a carbon-based topsheet material that Never Summer adds to their boards to help add strength, durability, and responsiveness to the board while reducing weight.
- RDS 2 Damping System: This technology features three layers of elastomeric rubber between the board's laminates in the core. This system absorbs vibrations and shocks, which improves stability, reduces chatter, and provides a smoother ride overall.
- Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base: Never Summer uses the Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base, which is just a very fancy name for a high-density base material that is fast, durable, and absorbs wax well. It’s also known for its excellent glide in variable conditions.
- VXR Laminate: These are carbon fibers placed in a V-shaped pattern along the board's edges, which improves edge-to-edge control and stability. This technology provides an energetic and precise ride for aggressive riders seeking maximum performance, which is kind of Never Summer’s whole thing.
How to Choose the Brand’s Right Product for You
It’s time to run through some scenarios. Below I’ll cover various snowboarder examples with their own skill levels and riding styles, what they should look for in a snowboard, and which Never Summer boards could be good for them.
Tommy: A Former Surfer
Tommy was originally a surfer before moving to Colorado, and now all he wants to do is surf the mountain. He wants a Never Summer board that he can use every day to cruise wide-open groomers and especially to take advantage of the legendary Colorado powder days.
Features Tommy should look for:
- An all-mountain/freeride board for versatility and powder performance
- A directional twin or directional snowboard for float in powder
- A medium/stiff flexing snowboard for stability at speeds when carving
- A board featuring camber and rocker for versatility and performance in groomed and fresh snow
Never Summer snowboard examples:
Jeremiah: A Fast Learner
Jeremiah is newer to snowboarding but he’s a fast learner, so he’s ready to take on a Never Summer board. For now, he doesn’t have a favorite type of terrain and just wants something that is capable of exploring the whole mountain. He knows Never Summer doesn’t offer entry-level boards, but he’s hoping to find something that won’t have too steep of a learning curve.
Features Jeremiah should look for:
- An all-mountain board so he has the versatility to explore different terrain
- A true twin or directional twin so he can practice switch riding easily
- A medium flexing board so it’s not too difficult to control
- A board that’s not full camber so it’s more approachable
Never Summer snowboard examples:
Jenny: A Powder Chaser
Jenny is a die-hard powder lover! She already has one board and is now on the hunt for a secondary board that’ll specialize in deep days and in the trees. She doesn’t care about riding switch on this board, she just wants the best possible float in powder and maneuverability in the woods.
Features Jenny should look for:
- A freeride/powder board for aggressive riding in fresh snow
- A directional board for maximum powder float
- A stiff-flexing board for precise control
Possible Never Summer Snowboards:
Chat With a Real Expert
Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot more about Never Summer. The journey doesn’t have to end here though. If you’re interested in picking up a Never Summer board (or bindings, reach out to a Curated Snowboarding Expert, like me.
We help you to figure out the right board size, decide which Never Summer technology matters to you most, and offer recommendations between your top two choices. The whole process is free, takes place over chat (no awkward silences), and is the easiest way to find your next snowboard!