Never Summer SL - 2011


Never Summer claim the SL is their all-mountain, do everything dominator. They’re not wrong. Enough damping to eradicate any of those unwanted vibrations you get when the snow’s hard and crusty, a rocker/camber hybrid profile that makes carving a dream and backcountry riding effortless and a powerful but manageable flex that rewards aggressive riders with great edge hold and plenty of pop. The Never Summer SL is a great snowboard for riders who want to ride everything and anything as long as there’s plenty of carving to be had.

Manufacturer's Description:

An extremely agile, high performance freestyle board that does it all, the SL is not only versatile, but offers powerful edge to edge response and maintains a forgiving tip and tail. If you want a board that excels in the park, on groomers, or on backcountry kickers, this is it.

Recommended for park riding. Recommended for halfpipe riding Recommended for freeride riding High cost snowboard Available in Wide Rocker construction Directional twin shape

Year: 2011

Available Lengths (cm):
151, 153, 155, 158, 161, 164

Riding Style: All Mountain


RC rocker / camber profile
STS Pretensioned Fiberglass
BI-Lite Fiberglass
Carbon VXR Laminate Technology
NS Custom Flightcore
RDS 2 Damping System
Sintered P-tex Sidewall
Durasurf Sintered 4501 base
P-tex Tip and Tail Protection
Full Wrap Metal Edge
3 year warranty

Similar boards: Burton Feelgood Flying-V - 2011 Burton Sherlock - 2011 Nitro Shadow - 2011 Atomic Alibi Renu - 2011

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Never Summer SL

Snowboard Review:

The SL is Never Summer’s all-mountain snowboard aimed at the rider who is looking at boards like the Burton Custom or Atomic Alibi, a snowboard to lay waste to everything from park to powder. It has a directional twin shape, biaxial glass, extensive carbon reinforcement and more damping than a bouncy castle.

Like other NS boards the SL uses RC technology, rocker between the bindings and camber at the nose and tail. The result of this match made in heaven is a softer longitudinal flex between the bindings and a stiffer and super poppy nose and tail. For intermediate riders raising the nose and tail off the snow means the SL is very stable when it’s kept on a flat base and ridden down all types of snow conditions, despite using a slightly firmer than moderate torsional flex, the SL initiates carves quite easily and on an edge the SL was extremely capable. Personally, I really enjoyed the way the board’s sidecut worked well with the softer rocker area between the bindings, I felt I could really work the SL into hard carves… and then there’s a reminder that you’ve got camber in the tail as it pops you out. The feel is almost identical to that of the NS Raptor, just a little less powerful. The softer waist also means it’s remarkably easy to work the fairly firm flexing SL into tight turns on steep terrain. When you open up the SL the ride is smooth and refined, there is no snowboard manufacturer on the planet that does damping quite like Never Summer, the SL rides like a Rolls Royce Phantom on air suspension. Another great thing about the SL is the crazy float it packs, there’s no need to put all of your weight on the back of the board or set your stance back, it just seems to work in the pow.. freeriding is something the SL just eats up.

On the freestyle front, the SL was fine off kickers, as I mentioned earlier, there is plenty of carbon reinforcement in the nose and tail, so you’ve got a nice helping of pop. Carving into spins was predictable, but for those with less experience I think the SL has too much grip, so there’s no way you’ll be able to cheat and slide frontside spins off transitions. Another observation was that riding switch was a bit of an oddity on the SL. I felt that the toe edge and particularly my front foot (my rear foot when riding regular) toe edge was dragging a bit which made the ride pretty twitchy, I’d be interested to know if anybody else has found this? Unfortunately I didn’t get to ride the SL in the pipe, but I’m certain it would smoke it. If you want to ride rails, short of the odd board slide and box press the SL is probably too stiff to work, I’d look at the Evo if rails are your bag.

If you’re a confident intermediate or advanced snowboarder who enjoys carving hard on groomers, getting expressive in the powder and hitting booters of all shapes and sizes in the park and off piste, you should check out the SL. The SL feels quite like the Custom flying V which is no surprise as they use similar technology. Comparing the two, the SL needs a stronger / heavier rider to get the most from it, but the damping means it’s a more refined ride at high speed and on sketchy snow. Choose the SL if you want to ride everything but freeriding is your main-stay and the Burton Custom Flying V if pipe and booters are your bag.

Posted by Rich Ewbank in • Never Summer

User Snowboard Reviews

Want some advice, or have a question about the Never Summer SL 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.

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What colour is powder?

Nic on September 28, 2010 at 06:05 PM

Yeah. Can you guys write a review comparing the NS SL, the Nitro TG and the Burton Custom FV?? They seem to be very similar but also different!

RichEwbank on September 28, 2010 at 06:50 PM

Custom Flying V - Light, poppy, agile, freestyle/freeride NS SL - Very damp, powerful, freeride/freestyle

Afraid I didn’t ride the Nitro Team Gullwing.

Nic on September 29, 2010 at 12:04 AM

As you can read in the TG review… - light, poppy, medium flex, freestyle/freeride.

So, the NS SL should be more powerful than the others? More “freeride oriented”?

Rich Ewbank on September 29, 2010 at 12:21 AM

Yeah the SL is definitely more freeride orientated than the Team Gullwing and the Custom Flying V. The flex is firmer and it’s damping means it feels very solid at speed.

Pat on October 13, 2010 at 01:49 AM

Rich, regarding Custom Flying V versus the SL, do you think one board is more forgiving than the other? I mainly freeride on the groomers, I don’t jib or go to halfpipe. I consider myself beginner/intermediate. I assume a softer is better for beginner and it sounds like SL is firmer than Custom Flying V?

DontWantOne on November 11, 2010 at 12:07 AM

Hey Can someone please help me out with this decision making problem im having? Im 30 6’1 and about 165lbs Been riding about 7 years. My style of riding is all mountain/freestyle but i want to have a bit more fun spinning and playing in the park/boxes. I have size 9.5uk feet and i cant decide between the 158 or the 161 my hight indicates to go more for the 161 but my weight indicates towards the 158. Is there anyone out there who knows???

Thanks in advance DontWantOne

Tom Ewbank on November 11, 2010 at 12:20 AM

If you want a board to progress your freestyle then I’d go for 158….....loads of people over 6’ ride decks that are between 157 and 160. I’d also consider looking at the Never Summer Evo rather than the SL-R.

DontWantOne on November 11, 2010 at 01:27 AM

@ Tom Ewbank

Thanks for the speedy reply i appreciate that, I took your advice and checked out the Evo, but from the reviews i just read the board seems quite park specific? For a board to use all over the mountain and progress on my freestyle like you said i am more tempted by the SL-R. I feel much better about ordering the 158 after what you said about loads of people over 6’

Thankyou Tom



Blake on November 27, 2010 at 02:56 PM

Hey there, Im going to ski dazzle on thursday and I know Im getting this board for sure. The only thing is that Im torn between the 155 and the 158. Im 5’10 and 180 lbs. Ride everything from backcountry, groomers, park.

Rich Ewbank on November 27, 2010 at 04:28 PM

Hi Blake,

With your stats and the riding you are talking about, it has to be the 158. The SL is an all-mountain board so it should be ridden at an all-mountain length.


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