This was my 5th year at the Boardroom Future of snowboarding demo day up at Cypress Mountain.
This year brands were showcasing 2021 snowboard gear and there was plenty of awesome gear for next year’s season around to demo.
Outside of the demo gear on offer, there were the usual games and prize giveaways which always give the event a nice vibe – plus the pool party (park event) happening on the mountain too. But it was all business (well mostly..) for me, so the 2021 boards were the focus for me on the day.
This year the event was held Saturday February 29th, between 10am and 6pm.
Conditions: The forecast was predicting light snow for the day, in the week leading up. Now, 99% of the time, I would be stoked to see snow in the forecast, but the one time I don’t want it is on a demo day, just because it makes it more difficult to take notes on the phone on the lift. Luckily I got the best of both worlds – all the snow came overnight (a good 20cm (8″)) and on the day it was mostly fine with clouds.
Temperatures were supposed to be around -4°C (25°F) and around -11°C (12°F) with wind chill, but it never felt that cold. The wind had a bite to it, but there was sunshine for most of the day, which stopped it feeling too cold.
I found a quite area of the mountain again, like last year, to do my testing on, which offered up a good variety of terrain (trees, powder, groomers & park) and that terrain stayed fairly consistent throughout the day. Naturally got a little more cruddy on the groomer and more tracked off-groomer, by the end, but nothing too major. With that fresh overnight snow, there was plenty of powder to play in and the groomers were medium-firm for the most part and quite hard in places without being icy anywhere.
The Testing Process
As with every time I test new gear, the first part of the day I took out all my own control gear and rode the laps, in the same way, that I would use to test the other boards, to get a feel for the conditions and get a fresh feel for my control gear.
Before each board that I tested, I re-tightened my boots and then performed exactly the same laps, doing the same things with each board, to get as accurate a comparison as possible.
And of course, I rode each board with my control boots and bindings.
The Brands Present
Big thanks to all the brands that showed up with 2020 gear for everyone to test including:
- Flow Bindings
- Flux Bindings
- Lib Tech
- Never Summer
- NOW bindings
- Union Binding Co
Apologies if I missed anyone, which I probably have as I was pretty focused this year and didn’t really take a good look around! So much so, I even forgot to take pictures of the tents – focused all my time testing (which I was there to do, but I should still take pics of the tents – I did get a distant shot (see above) but forgot to get anything close up!).
The Boards I demoed
I focused my efforts at this year’s day on Never Summer. I test most brands outside demo days these days, so my focus when I come to demo days is to take care of certain brands that I don’t yet test outside demo days. I also narrowed my focus to just boards and no bindings for this one.
For 2020, I tested the following 2021 boards:
- Never Summer Proto Slinger 2021
- Never Summer Proto Synthesizer 2021
- Never Summer Harpoon 2021
- Never Summer Shaper Twin
- Never Summer Heritage
- Niche Wraith
I got on quite a few Niche boards last season, that haven’t changed for the 2021 models, but I didn’t get on the Wraith, so I wanted to get on it this year. Otherwise my focus was Never Summer.
Sneak preview, that Proto Slinger (replacing the Funslinger for 2021) was sick. I’m always a little anxious when brands change up a board that I love so much. I really hope that they don’t go and ruin it – but for the Slinger (and the new Proto Synthesizer), they definitely haven’t ruined it. The main change for the Proto Slinger, over the Funslinger from 2020, is their new “Shockwave” camber. Which is a little more camber and less rocker than the Ripsaw Rocker camber profile on the old Funslinger.
My favorite board on the day was the Proto Slinger. Everything else I rode, I enjoyed for sure, but the Proto Slinger stood out for me, for sure.
As always, my reviews for these boards, and all the 2021 boards, bindings and boots that I test, will be published throughout the year (and into next year as the case usually is, that I don’t have time to get them all out. In fact as I write this, I still have a good number of 2020 reviews still to publish!).
Anyway, gotta get going testing more gear and writing up those reviews. Looking forward to next years event, which I’m sure will go by in a flash again!