We hit up a demo at Killington last week, and with no eye toward what to order, we got to ride whatever we wanted. When we arrived Never Summer and Launch were the only two snowboard companies set up.
Knowing that Never Summer was going to be there I had previewed their women’s lineup for something to test out. I have always been curious about their boards. People love them. But up until this year their rocker/camber profile has not been one that I love.
this is actually the men’s Proto Type Two, but the profile is the same
With the addition of the women’s Proto Type Two, things have changed. As is usually the case with women’s snowboards, it is based on a men’s board. The Ripsaw profile has been in the men’s line for a while, but this year they decided men shouldn’t hog all of the fun. One little victory for women’s snowboarding is that there is better gear being introduced every year…usually after it is tested in men’s lines, but at least we are slowly getting better stuff.
The Proto Type Two is designed to be an all mountain quiver killer. Spoiler alert- it delivers. It is a mid flex, asymmetrical true twin that will take you from powder to ice and the trees to the park and everywhere in between.
The Ripsaw profile features rocker between the feet, more pronounced camber under the feet, and extended transition sections or flat areas outside the bindings before transitioning to rocker in the tip and tail.
The Proto Type Two feels light. It has a nice graphic that isn’t screamingly pink and purple, and the top sheet is TruGrit- not shiny, but not matte…it’s kind of a satiny finish. It sheds snow pretty well so you don’t get weighed down- and it looks really cool.
It is rated mid flex. The one that I rode felt toward the stiff end of mid to me. It’s torsionally fairly stiff as well. Don’t let that deter you, the stiffness really works for this board. It feels like a loaded spring- in a good way, like you could easily launch off of anything you choose, and great for loading up ollies and nollies.
Conditions were some powder, bumped up powder, groomed out stuff, a little bit of hardpack here and there, and toward the end of the day the flats were getting a bit rutted. The day lacked the characteristic east coast ice and chunder.
The most remarkable thing about the women’s Proto Type Two to me was how quick it is edge to edge. It reminded me of the 2015 Jones Twin Sister in that regard. It makes the board feel very lively and playful, without being washy or squirrely at all. This board would be great in the trees. It was so easy to make quick little maneuvers around the bumped out powder.
We weren’t in deep powder, but it floated on top without any added effort and had the nice, surfy feeling you would expect.
I rode the 148 (my usual size), but the light weight and quick turn initiation made it feel smaller without sacrificing any stability. There was no problem popping off little bumps in variable terrain and conditions, and if hucking cliffs is your jam, I’m guessing it would handle that just fine too. But I’m not going to test that because I don’t want to die.
Flatbasing on the rutting flats wasn’t scary. I didn’t get bucked at all. The edgehold on the hardpack (which was admittedly not in abundance that day) was excellent. And it handled the transition from soft snow to hardpack seamlessly. There was never a time where I felt like I was going to wash out or lose it when a patch of hard stuff snuck up on me. And I didn’t have to keep a hawk’s eye out for them because I knew it would handle them when/if they appeared.
This board definitely locks into a carve when you get it on edge, but it readily releases when you will it to. The Proto Type Two is definitely a board that you will ride, as opposed to a board that will ride you. Some boards require you to constantly be on guard to avoid punishment from little mistakes. The Proto Type Two is a very intuitive ride. With plenty of fun and stability in a fairly forgiving package, all you have to do is think about what you want to do and it is happening. So be careful what you are thinking about.
Lots of technical features are responsible for the fun time. Some of the highlights are:
Ripsaw rocker/camber profile
Vario Power Grip sidecut features different radiuses of the sidecut creating extra contact points and providing extra hold on hardpack and ice.
It’s an asymmetrical true twin with a deeper heelside sidecut for added leverage.
Low profile tip and tail for longer running length and less plowing.
Pre-formed fiberglass, built in dampening system, a super light core, and a sintered base are some of the other noteworthy features.
This board was a blast. I grabbed it for the second run of the day and didn’t bring it back until the guys were packing up the tent- sorry not sorry. George Dionne and the rest of the Never Summer on snow demo crew were great. They were friendly and helpful and didn’t seem to mind that we commandeered their boards for the whole day.
If you are looking for a true one-board quiver, the Never Summer Proto Type Two should definitely be on your short list. It won’t disappoint.
Tags: womens snowboards, womens snowboard, ri womens snowboard, womens snowboards ri,womens snowboard ri, all mountain snowboards, snowboarding in powder, women specific snowboards, womens snowboarding, never summer womens proto type two