Expert Review: 2024 Never Summer Valhalla Snowboard [with Video]Published on 10/26/2023 · 9 min readSnowboarding Experts Mike Leighton and Will Cabral tested the 2024 Never Summer Valhalla snowboard in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Curated Snowboarding Experts Mike Leighton and Will Cabral got their hands on the 2024 Never Summer Valhalla this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every rider is different; if you have any questions about the Valhalla or need recommendations on which board would be best for you, reach out to a Snowboarding Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Never Summer claim about this board? [Mike] The Valhalla is a directional snowboard from Never Summer featuring their Triple Fusion Camber, and tip to tail Recluse Carbon Web. It also features a really unique bat tale. It's designed to be an all mountain hard charging freeride board.
[Will] Never Summer claims that this is a directional freeride board featuring its Fusion Triple Camber Technology. It has seven millimeters of taper and it really feels stable and loves to go fast.
What is your overall impression of this board? [Mike] The Fusion Triple Camber is really, really reliable. We got into a little bit of softer snow. We were able to sneak out, find some pockets and it was really fun in the trees with that taper, the board really naturally floated up. Where I really found it thrived was for anything that requires really technical, engaged, riding.. it was right there with me. I also like a black top sheet like this. And it honestly also sheds a lot of snow. So it maintains that black top sheet.
[Will] My overall impression of the Valhalla is that it's a great cruiser board that wants to go really fast. It's very noticeable how damp this board is and how stable it is at high speeds. It has a really big nose that is helpful in initiating your carves and your turns.
How does it turn? [Mike] The Triple Fusion Camber creates this really predictable, engaging experience when you are carving it or say you're in some steep bumps and you really need to get quick back edge to edge, you can rely on this board to have your back. If you're someone that's really passive, that doesn't make really energetic turns, you might struggle to get this board up on edge and really experience what it's designed to do.
[Will] Turning on the Valhalla was a breeze. It was easy to get bigger turns and really high speed carves. It also has this short tail, they call it the batwing tail, and that helped it be pretty maneuverable. So even though it is a board with a bigger nose, it feels easy to get around.
What is the edge hold like? [Mike] Edge hold is really good. It really wants to get on and rail a turn.
[Will] This was a board that was easy to get on edge and thanks to the Triple Camber technology, it really held the edge and kept you locked in.
How damp is the board? Do you feel any underfoot chatter? [Mike] I will say it is really, really damp. There is no chatter, but you also kind of feel like you have to put a lot of energy in to make the board do what you want. Now, for a rider that's a little bit more aggressive, very active, and really strong, this is a great board.
[Will] The Valhalla felt very damp. That was one of the things that stood out to me, and at speed that's great. It helped have control over this board. I didn't feel very much chatter on this thing. It was stable and it wanted to charge.
How does it perform at speed? [Will] It's very noticeable how damp this board is and how stable it is at high speeds.
How is its energy/acceleration? [Mike] This board's really going to thrive on the steep, deep, high speed kind of terrain that you don't have to really generate a lot of energy. There's already going to be a lot of energy coming from the mountain into your riding.
How is it for freestyle snowboarding? [Mike] When I started to try and play around on it a bit more and butter, ollie, spin it.. I really kind of felt I had to muscle it around a lot. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
[Will] So this board is rated as a 8.5/10 in terms of flex, and it's pretty stiff. This is not the board for someone who wants to be playing around in a freestyle sense on the mountain.
Could you speak about the board’s pop? [Mike] I mean, it's super stable. I will say, I would like it to be a little bit poppier. I felt like I was really, really having to muscle it to get the pop. But overall, it's just stable too.
Is it good for riding switch? [Mike] Despite having the taper, this board is not terrible riding switch. But this board is obviously not designed to be ridden switch with the tail. Nevertheless, it does it quite well. That's also a function of how damp the board is, because sometimes when you're riding a directional board switch, you end up with this really long nose in the tail and it's just bouncing around and it's pretty uncontrollable. But with how damp I felt this board was, it really wasn't that bad riding switch. Now I wouldn't go and try to land a big drop switch or a jump switch. But for those occasional switch turns, or say you get turned around in the moguls or in the trees, you're going to be just fine.
How is it for buttering? [Will] We tried to do some tail presses and butters and that really takes a lot of effort.
How is it for freeride snowboarding? [Mike] The Valhalla is designed to be an all-mountain, hard charging freeride board.
How is it in powder? [Mike] It's really fun in powder. This longer nose really floats. My riding partner Will actually on the first run dropped it like 30, 35 feet and landed in the powder just fine. We were floating up through some other stuff. Overall, this board is a really great board for when the conditions get soft.
[Will] This board floats great in the powder with its big nose and short tail.
How is it in uneven terrain and chunder? [Mike] I think if there is one place that this board can probably steamroll through most other boards, it’s through uneven terrain and chunder. You're going to just keep riding through it. And if your legs can take it, it's just going to literally flatten out everything in its path.
How is it riding in the trees? How is its maneuverability? [Mike] With the taper tail, it allows it to get a little bit of maneuverability. The longer nose doesn’t really affect you all that much. It is fun in the trees.
[Will] Really, really great going through the trees and tight areas. I felt confident.
What terrain is this board good for? [Mike] This board is going to thrive under the feet of an advanced to expert snowboarder that really is dialed in with the way they ride. They can put a lot into their board and they expect a lot out of the board, and at the same time can kind of hold on to some of those choppier, chundier situations. If you're looking for something that's going to rip the steep and deep and can also handle really long straight lines, this is going to be a good board for you.
[Will] I would say this board really thrives in any kind of new snow and powdery conditions. It will float for you. Other than that, it's going to be pretty fun on the groomers. Just ripping big turns and going fast. We got up to a spot where we hit a pretty big drop. And, this board being so stiff, the tail was there for me. That was a drop where if the tail falls on you, it just doesn't end up very well. And this thing was there for me.
What kind of terrain should riders avoid with it? [Mike] This board is not going to be beginner-friendly by any means. It's not going to be the board to take to the park. You could take any of the Proto series for park riding.
[Will] On the Valhalla, I would say that if you're someone who wants to kind of hit bumps and really tries to hit side hits, this board is probably not the best. I would probably stay away from that terrain.
Who would you recommend this board to? [Mike] This board is great for that really high level intermediate and up rider, or the bigger rider who is really engaged in how they ride. A rider that can handle those bigger load impacts. This board is going to take more force to really get it to do what it wants to do. So those bigger riders, the hard chargers, this is going to be a great board for you. Also, if you're someone who really likes the Triple Camber from Never Summer and you're looking for something that is a little bit more freeride-oriented than some of their other offerings, the Valhalla is something you should definitely check out.
[Will] I would recommend the Valhalla to somebody who's a really confident rider but who really likes to stay grounded. I think this is a great board for somebody who just wants to cruise at high speed all over the mountain.
Who should avoid this board, there are other better options out there for them [Mike] I'd say lighter riders, more timid riders should avoid this board. Beginners probably aren't going to have a good time on this. They are not going to feel in control of it.
[Will] I would definitely not recommend this to a beginner rider or somebody who's not that confident. This is a stiff board and it won't really come alive at lower speeds. If you're somebody who enjoys getting up in the air and spinning around and just engaging in more all-mountain, freestyle, or park riding, I would also stay away from this board.
Snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you want help finding the right board for you, reach out to Mike or Will or any other Snowboarding Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations on the best board for you.