Flex:  Just past medium stiff both longitudinally and torsionally.  A good deal stiffer than the Evo.
Stability:  Outstanding.  Held an edge nicely carving and absorbed chunder much better than my Evo.  I noticed that I rode this board consistently faster everywhere on the mountain than I ride my Evo.  I had a ton of fun hitting 20’ park jumps and railing faster turns on this board.  Rutted out jump landings were absorbed with a lot less chatter than the Evo.  I had no problems on steep or icy terrain.  I’ve always found Never Summer’s sidecut design holds an edge nicely.
Pop:  Great…I got way more boost out of my ollies and off of jumps than I do on my Evo.
Butters/Jibs/Presses:  The 157 was just too much board for me.  I couldn’t butter or press well at all without working really hard for it.

Who I would recommend it to:  Intermediate to advanced freestyle rider than wants to rock the whole mountain and prefers to ride a twin.  Definitely a good choice for someone who finds the Evo to be too soft.
Conclusion:  My only frustration with this board was that it was just too much snowboard for me.  I’m pretty lightweight and not a super powerful rider, so quality presses and butters were simply not happening.  Due to the torsional stiffness I actually found the board easier to turn when going faster.  I attribute these traits to the size of the board I was riding more than anything.  The Proto CT is stiffer than the Evo to begin with, and on top of that I was on a longer board than usual, so these results were to be expected.  I still really enjoyed the board and I’m seriously considering purchasing a Proto CT as my primary ride for 2011-2012, but it would definitely be in the 152 cm size.   I think that would give me the control over the flex that I want, along with the benefits of increased stability and pop over my Evo.  Look for an update on this review when I get to ride a smaller sized deck in the fall.

End of the Season Update:  Here are my end of the season notes on what proved to be my daily driver this year (Proto CT 152).  While I did like it at first, I wasn’t in love with the board right off the bat. I went from stages of “I miss my evo” to “ok this IS pretty good” to finally loving it. Even at mid season I thought I’d be selling it at the end of the year, but by the end of the season I had completely ruled that out. I tested a fair number of snowboards this spring and every time I hopped back on my Proto I was happy. I took it out to Tahoe and it performed really well in deep snow and in some steep chutes. I did find that I enjoyed the board a lot more with a 1 degree bevel than with the 0 degree bevel it ships with. I think that overall it’s a very capable deck in the right hands. I still wouldn’t recommend it for anyone less than a solid intermediate rider, the board likes to be pushed. With that said I haven’t found much that this board isn’t capable of and it will most likely be my go-to ride for the 2012-2013 season. Never Summer did well with this one!

Their description: For the new 2011/2012 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 Summer’s patented Rocker Camber Technology, our new Superlight wood core, graphite impregnated Sintered 5501 base and adds a whole new element to 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.

Tester Specs: Hanna Haidar
Stats: 5’10” 155lbs, boots 7.5.  Stance 23.5” 15, -15.
I would describe my riding style as relaxed.  I enjoy riding steep and deep woods, mid sized park features, and of course roosting through pow.  I have fun monkeying with butters when nothing else is going on.  At 155 lbs I’m not a super powerful rider so I typically enjoy riding medium to medium-soft snowboards.

About our reviews.  Equipment reviews are by nature subjective….meaning what might suit my riding style might be miserable for you, and vice versa.  Weight plays a huge role in how equipment performs as well.  So take these reviews for what they are, our take on the gear we’re trying out.  Hopefully we can provide some good insights on how this stuff performs in the real world.  Check out our rider profiles to get a better idea of what is influencing our thoughts on the gear.

9 Responses to “NEVER SUMMER Proto CT 2012”
  1. Streve Maxwell says:

    Hanna and I have similar riding styles and similar builds. I found his review to be spot on and agree with pretty much everything he writes here! I had a chance to demo this exact board in late January out west and it really preformed well in everything ranging from knee deep pow to the park. Again, a little on the big side for Hanna and I but the 154 will be my deck for next season!

    • Hanna says:

      Thanks for the input Steve. I think this deck is going to be a big seller for 2012. I’ll be interested to compare the 152 to 154 cm sizes. I’m planning on buying the smaller one as I think it will be fun to throw around. I also think the increased effective edge makes them ride a little larger.

  2. Steve Alberts says:

    I also had a chance to ride the exact same Never Summer Proto CT as Steve and Hanna. Please bear in mind that I am a bigger guy than both of them, so the 157 deck is better suited to my size. I’d like to say that I ride light and poppy over everything in sight, but to be honest my background is more big mountain, 100 yard soul carves.

    I had been watching these guys ride their Evos all year with some envy. I got on Hanna’s Evo and nearly bent the thing in half. So when the Proto turned up, I was pretty psyched to see an Evo shape with a flex suited to my size.

    Park? This thing pops like crazy and takes all the sting out of big landings. Railyard? Never a fear of the dreaded edge. A bit of pow? Yep right there with the float. Woods? This thing can snap from edge to edge as quick as one likes, but will groove a turn that leaves you humming. Rock Drop in the woods? Another of our young turks watched this old guy hit it and remarked “well @#$%@ you, for making that look so easy” So I guess it works for me there, as well.

    How fun are hack turns on this thing? You can practically stand it on the tail and shape the turn with your back toe. Total fun in 6 to 10 inches of pow.

    Groomed Cruisers? After a few days riding both east coast and Colorado, the strangest feature of this board creeped out. Why does this thing keep standing up out of a heel side carve? Why does it seem to get sucked back underfoot? And then it struck me, you can’t tuck your back knee at all when you ride this board. At least not on groomers. The sidecut won’t allow. This is probably not going to come up with riders you learned in the past 10 years. if you have ever ridden a hard setup or were influenced by old school alpine riding you will eventually tuck that back knee and you find yourself vertical on a flat board before you know what happened.

    Anomaly identified, I was able to put this board through its paces. Edge hold feels like a longer board. It pops big and landings off a kicker are plush but solid. It feels a little heavy in crude, but there are few twins that don’t wash out there.

    For a week long trip to Summit County I packed one and only one board. It was the Never Summer Proto CT. It is a true quiver killer. A park board that you can carve. An all mountain roadster that slays the park. It defies definition in terms of current boards, but does so many things really well. It was even a good choice in the heavy spring conditions in Tuckerman’s Ravine.

    I was lucky enough to demo this board for a couple of weeks and now I am the proud owner of the same board. Thanks NS, keep them coming!

    • thesnerds says:

      Steve, Thanks for taking the time to break it down.You have spent a great deal of time on this board and certainly have a very well formed opinion on it. We are glad we continue to see the conversation evolve on this shred stick which seems to keep its promises and deliver. cheers 🙂

  3. André says:

    Hello Hanna,

    which length you are riding now and is it better?

    thanks andré

    • Hanna says:

      Hey André, I ordered a 152cm for this coming riding season. For me that starts near the end of November. I promise I’ll be updating my thoughts on the Proto CT ASAP. I will say the deck impressed me enough to purchase it for this coming season.

  4. Hanna says:

    Well here’s the follow up as promised. I’ve gotten a couple of days out on my 152 cm Proto CT and I’m really happy with it. This size is a lot more appropriate for my weight. I have no problem twisting the board torsionally, which I like a lot for short radius turns. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to press and butter this deck. I expected the added stiffness of the board to make that a bit more difficult. I was able to do butter combos fairly easily on the 152. It definitely feels a lot more stable at speed and damp than my Evo though.
    I wasn’t able to take it to any jumps or park features to speak of, its early season here and there isn’t much going on. My overall feeling was that the board liked to be pushed. Definitely a better choice for intermediate-advanced riders. I’m stoked that this is going to be my everyday ride for the season. Holler at me if I can answer any questions.

  5. JL says:

    Have you ridden the Arbor Westmark? Would you be able to comment on how the proto ct compares to that in terms of flex and stability?

    • Hanna says:

      Hey JL, We haven’t ridden the Westmark, although I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. If I get a chance to ride one I’ll definitely get at you with a comparison.

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