Marketed as the bridge between the popular all-mountain Never Summer SL and the even more popular park focused EVO the Proto fits its pigeon hole like a glove. As powerful and damp as the SL but softer between the feet and twin shaped like the EVO the Proto CT delivers for all-mountain riders who are increasingly finding themselves riding park jumps and halfpipe. A bit stiff for rails but certainly more suited to sliding metal than the SL.
For the new 2011/12 Proto CT (Carbonium Twin), we’ve taken the powerful flex of the time tested SL, and blended it with the responsive damping of the Evo to create the ultimate all mountain true twin. This board has the versatility of Never Summers patented Rocker Camber Technology, our new Superlight wood core, graphite impregnated Sintered 5501 base and adds a whole new element into the proven Never Summer Carbonium Series of boards. Our new blunted, true twin shape cuts down material on tip and tail for a reduced, more balanced swing weight, while increasing effective edge for on snow stability. The Carbonium Proto CT is the future.
Available Lengths (cm):
152, 154, 157, 160, 152W, 155W, 158W, 160W
Carbonium Laminate Technology
Bi-Directional Rocker Camber Profile
STS Pretensioned Fiberglass
NS Superlight Wood Core
CDS Damping System
Sintered P-tex Sidewall
Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base
P-tex Tip and Tail Protection
Full Wrap Metal Edge
Watch the 2012 Never Summer Proto CT Video Snowboard Review
Never Summer has been blowing up for the last couple of years, NS’s RC technology and tough as old boots construction has been attracting more and more riders every year. For the last two seasons the Never Summer range’s two go-to boards for freestylers have been the SL and EVO. The EVO is the soft and playful (but not noodle-y) twin shaped park and jib ride and the SL a directional firm-ish flexing all-mountain destroyer that works great in the backcountry and on big transitions but doesn’t adapt well to the smaller features in the park. The problem has always been that there was no middle road, until the release of the Proto CT that is. The Proto CT Never Summer’s attempt at blending the all-mountain performance of the SL with the playful feel and twin shape of the EVO and they’ve done a pretty damn good job of it.
Picking up the Proto CT you know that this board is going to perform well because it certainly isn’t much to look at. The vivid artwork is reminiscent of Van Gough after an Absinthe and Acid binge, the Carbonium topsheet looks extremely slick on the all black Raptor but it doesn’t work well with the white of the CT and finally, Never Summer’s new blunted twin shape could make grown men cry. It looks like the designers just thought to themselves in a last minute panic “oh we need to blunt this” so they chopped a couple of centimetres off the end. However, it might look like a Ford Station Wagon on the outside but it drives like a GT40, and you can judge on the looks yourself from the comfort of your armchair so you don’t need my opinion.
The Proto CT’s feel is typical of Never Summer, the first thing you’ll think if you’ve never ridden one before is “damn this board is damp”. Never Summer’s skills at dampening boards makes a mockery of big time manufacturers like Burton’s efforts. At the same time though the CT has incredible pop it bounces you out of carves and pops very easily off the nose and off the tail. Edge hold is another impressive feature of the Proto CT. Never Summer has put a lot of time and R&D into nailing their Vario sidecut and it shows; the board feels stable in longer carves and really excels when pushed deep into tight carves. Although the blunted tips might not work for me aesthetically I certainly noticed the benfits of the long effective edge; to put it in relative terms the effective edge on the 157 Proto CT is somewhere between the length of the effective edge on a 160 and a 162 Burton Custom which means if you are intent on sizing down you can probably drop a couple of centimetres. Personally I think Never Summer should have built the Proto CT in a 156 and a 158 instead of a 157. It sounds fussy but this would mean 160cm riders could happily size down to a 158cm and riders who usual ride 157-8 could ride a 156. The shape is identical to the EVO so Never Summer is obviously making the most of its cassettes and I certainly can’t criticize Never Summer for good business sense. Being a twin shape switch riding is as you’d expect and popping ollies switch has never been so easy. When you take the CT off the groomers the Never Summer pedigree shines through, the Proto floated on sloppy spring corn snow and I got the impression it would handle extremely ably in powder; the sintered base accelerated on snow conditions where others might run out of steam and the Carbonium topsheet and VXR dampening system made mincemeat of any choppy and chundery snow. The flex on the Proto CT is a little softer than middle of the road (a Burton Custom Flying V) and the rocker profile between the bindings makes the Proto CT feel very manageable; torsionally it’s also pretty run of the mill so this board is inclusive of nearly every level of rider.
From a seasoned ripper to a newbie with only a couple of weeks riding under their belt this board is accessible to any and everybody. If you are after one board to ride the spectrum of snowboarding from park jumps to untouched powder faces the Proto CT will meet your needs every step of the way.
Damp Never Summer ride
3 year warranty
Long effective edge for great grip, can size down a couple of cms
Bouncy/lively feel in turns and poppy ollies
Easy to ride
Ugly shape and uninspiring graphics
Not the lightest board
Posted by Rich Ewbank in • Never Summer
Want some advice, or have a question about the Never Summer Proto CT snowboard, or whether it is right for you? DON'T POST HERE! Head over to our snowboard forums and our community will be happy to help.
Seriously - READ THE ABOVE..., the snowboard forum the best way to get your question seen by all of our community and an answer, rather than just those who happen to view this page.
However, if you have ridden this snowboard and want to share your feedback, then please add your experience below. It helps to add as much detail as possible, e.g board length you used, bindings, rider stats etc.
on November 05, 2011 at 02:46 PM
I’m looking to buy a new board. I’ve been using an undersized beginner board for about 5-6 years. I am finally in a position to spend some money on a quality board that I can get some years out of. I’m torn between this board and the custom flying v. I was leaning towards the proto ct because I’m on the east coast and conditions can be a bit rough at times. From the reviews it seems like NS boards handle these conditions better. I spend time in both the parks and freeriding, but need some speed to keep up with family on skis. Am I looking the wrong category should I consider something more like a SL or a custom X? Any thoughts?
on November 08, 2011 at 06:23 PM
I feel your pain. I grew up East Coast (southeast no less) riding an old school Burton so I’m all too familiar with the east coast crunch. I switched to a Never Summer SL when I moved west and LOVE that deck. They’re RC tech is the fantastic and the 3 year warrantee is the best you’re gonna find. Not that you’ll need it though. I’ve put 3 hard seasons (over 100 days) on that NS and have thrown everything at it from crashing trees (literally), to donking rocks (unintentionally), to harsh rails, to ribbed groomers, to air time off kickers, to steep powder in between, and outside of some base repairs, that would have ruined other boards, the SL has done it all and still feels fresh. It’s a well constructed beast. For East Coast riding where you’re not going to see a whole lot of deep power I’d totally go with the Proto (I’d push you towards the SL if you wanted a true do-all deck including powdered steeps). The best thing about NS boards is how damp and stable they are at speed. I’ve thrown an Evo into my quiver as my park board and even though it’s madd flexy I can still run at some pretty serious speed getting on and off the mtn without any chatter under foot. The Proto will totally do all that you want it to; allow you to progress in the park, carve the groomers like you’re on a rail, and yes even run down your little sister who’s tucking it out on her skis to beat you to the bottom of the hill. Sorry for the run on here but as one who grew up dropping my Custom into Snowshoe, Killington, and the local mtn in VA I couldn’t be happier with my Never Summer. You’ll def spend more for the Never Summer but it’s totally worth it.
on November 17, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Hi!!! I could really use some help here. I started snowboarding in the early -90´s. Making about 7-8 seasons in the Alps. Then education, work and family got in my way… so for some years ther really wasn´t much snowboarding. This means I´m a bit lost with which board to get these days. Last year I was back to some snowboarding again and even though I´m closer to 40 and not as agile anymore…. I could still throw that good ol´ rodeo from a midsized kicker. Besides from the jumping part (which will be in small to midsized kickers) I also like the carving part. Both switch and regular, sometimes with a bit of speed to it. Rails are not my thing. The conditions I ride in these days are mainly hard or icy. Not much pow when you got kids :) I´ve been lookin at NS proto or SL. I have also been glampsing at Lib tech a bit. But I´m open to any sugestions. Can I get some help please?
on November 17, 2011 at 09:32 PM
You can’t really go wrong with either the Proto CT or SL if I’m honest. The Sl is a little stiffer but not hugely. Both carve great but I prefered the Proto CT riding switch. If you’re throwing Rodeos then the likelyhood is (unless you’re throwing rodeo 7s) is that you’re landing switch an the CT just feels better switch. For blasting down goomers you might find the slightly more directional SL is better… like I said you can’t really go wrong with either.
on November 20, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Many thanx for your quick reply. Much appreciated =) I’ll go with the proto because of it’s switch capacity. I’d just like to ad that this homepage really rocks. Probably the best on the whole internet. Keep it up ????
on April 15, 2012 at 03:11 AM
I just demo’d the 2012-13 Prioto CT in Whistler. The first thing that struck me was how incredibly light the board was - it must be up there as one of the lightest all mountain boards. They set me up with some flux bindings which rode pretty stiff - this is what I am used to with my current setup. They have made some decent steps forwards with the art work - the matted finish looks slick. The board was super poppy but torsionally very stiff. This made initiating turns higher up the clock face difficult. Using feet independently was also much tougher than what I’m used to. As a result, one would think that any rider might wash out on turns and dump speed. However, I would not underestimate this board. In icy conditions surprisingly it held a really solid edge (despite it being difficult to initiate the early edge). I didnt wash out of any turns and given the conditions here, that’s worth boasting about. The pop that this board has is also surprising however, with such stiff torsional flex, you would need to land your jumps perfectly if you were to venture into the park and make it out in one piece. I feel that this board is built to charge, rather than being an intermediate between the SL and the Evo. At high speed, even this uber-light board feels super-stable with not a hint of chatter. Like the 2011-12 board you could even get away with sizing down a couple of cm’s. I’m looking forwards to hear what you pros think of this board.
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