Wednesday was a snow day fun day. With snow starting around 10 am and going all day and all night, there were constant refills. After picking up a Never Summer Proto Type Two last year, I was curious about what else Never Summer has to offer. It was the only NS board I had ridden, and it happened to fill a hole in my quiver that GNU was one year too slow to fill.
I asked the girls at the tent what I should ride to get my legs warmed up and the consensus confirmed what I was thinking, the Infinity. So we threw my NOW IPO’s on it and off I went. It’s a nice board. It’s easy to see why it is a perennial favorite. It’s easy to ride, and it does everything fine. It has rocker between the feet and mild camber outside of the feet for smooth transitions with a little added stability from the camber. Vario side grip adds to the edge hold, but it’s a mellow, un-catchy ride. Kind of like driving a Toyota, it’s a nice, safe choice that can take you just about anywhere, but it’s not the most exciting ride.
When I brought it back, I was warmed up and ready for what was next. The girls recommended the Proto, but since I already own it, I declined in favor of the Aura (also with my IPOs). This is their stiffest women’s board, and it was the first women’s board in their line to feature the Ripsaw Camber Profile with rocker between the feet and more aggressive camber outside of the bindings. It is a directional board with a slight setback, and it is a freeride standout.
Whereas I didn’t find anything exciting about the Infinity, everything was exciting to me about the Aura. This board was super fun. As the snow started to mount there were plenty of opportunities to take this in powder, on groomed runs, in the trees, and even on the flats. It was fun everywhere. It plowed through chopped up snow. It popped off little bumps and landed reliably. It was surfy in fresh stuff. And in those spots where the snow wasn’t so fresh, and things were scraped or blown off, it was solid and never felt like it was going to wash out. I really dug this board and only gave it back out of guilt for having it out for so long. I happily would have ridden it all day.
After returning the Aura, I headed back to GNU to try to get a ride on the Klassy, but it was out. So I opted for they Hyper Kyarve. This was one of my favorites last season, and it seemed worthy of another ride. I don’t think anything changed on it this year, but I rode it with the Bent Metal Upshot binding. It is still fun. It’s C2X, and it’s a directional board really at home in fresh pow. It was fun Kyarving things up until an injury in our party cut the day a little short. Don’t worry; she’s ok, but in all of the excitement I didn’t get any pictures. Thursday promised to be a powder day too with the snow scheduled to continue for hours.
Thursday I went straight to GNU to start the day on the Klassy (again with the Bent Metal Upshots). This board is always fun. It is another directional C2X board, and it is expert at blasting through crud, playing in trees, and surfing in powder. It was an excellent way to start the day.
But the board that niggled at me the whole time was that Never Summer Aura, so I took the opportunity to test it out in some different snow conditions. It really stood up to anything I could throw at it. We did some glades, some untracked pow, some bumped out crap, and some groomed runs. It was aces everywhere. This is the latest board I am trying to convince myself that I don’t need.
The crew at the Never Summer tent was very supportive assuring me that it is different enough from the Proto to justify owning both. Looks like I will need to really evaluate my quiver to see exactly how I can make it fit because it’s definitely a board I want to get to know better. Like when I first rode my GNU Beauty years ago, it is a very interesting board whose limits I haven’t even begun to test.
Next year there is some fun stuff on the horizon for snowboarding women. There were several things that I wanted to try that I just didn’t get to, but the things that I did try delivered.