Hello and welcome to my Never Summer Proto FR review.
In this review I will take a look at the Proto FR as a Freeride snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Proto FR a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and also see how it compares with other Freeride snowboards.
Board: Never Summer Proto FR
Price: $654 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Stiff (8/10)
Flex Feel: Stiff (8/10)
Rating Score: 83.2/100
Compared to other Men’s Freeride Boards
Out of the 35 Men’s Freeride snowboards that I rated:
Overview of the Proto FR’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Proto FR’s specs and available sizes.
Hybrid Rocker | Never Summer's "Triple Camber"
Unsure of setback on effective edge but setback 1" (25mm) on overall length of board
Sintered (Never Summer's "Durasurf XT Sintered 5500" base)
At highest point measured at 7mm, but hard to measure properly when there's so many changes between rocker and camber sections with that triple camber
Waist Width (mm)
Rec Rider Weight (lb)
Rec Rider Weight (kg)
Who is the Proto FR Most Suited To?
The Never Summer Proto FR is a board for anyone whos looking to ride all over the mountain but in a more aggressive fashion. It is capable of being that one-board-quiver style board if you ride particular parts of the mountain more than others.
Particularly for those that want a board capable of carving up the mountain the majority of the time but also enjoy hitting jumps/side-hits or riding in powder when the opportunity arises. It does however lack some playfulness, thus not being ideal for someone who enjoys jibbing or slashing everything in site.
Definitely not a board for beginners. I would only recommend the Never Summer Proto FR to advanced/expert riders as it's an aggressive, stiff board that will punish you if you don't have solid technique.
The Proto FR in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Proto FR is capable of.
Board: Never Summer Triple Camber Proto FR 2023, 156cm (256mm waist width) - also rode the 2022 model in the 160.
Date: March 25, 2022
Sunny with clouds. More cloud than blue skies - high cloud. Unlimited visibility.
Temperature: 37°F (3°C)
24hr snow: 0" (0cm)
48hr snow: 0" (0cm)
7 day snow: 27" (69cm)
On groomer: Nicely groomed mid-soft pack. Some glints of slush to start with and then got slushier as the day went on.
Off groomer: A little icy and crunchy to start in spots but not too bad. Got progressively softer.
Bindings angles: +12/-9
Stance width: 21.5″ (545mm)
Stance Setback: Not sure about setback on effective edge but setback 1" (25mm) on overall length of board.
Width at Inserts: 10.47" (266mm) at front insert and 10.43" (265mm) at back insert.
Rider Height: 6'1"
Rider Weight: 180lbs
Rider Boot Size: US9.5 Adidas Tactical Lexicon ADV
Bindings Used: Fix Yale: M
Weight: 7lbs 2oz (3220grams)
Weight per cm: 20.64 grams/cm
Average Weight per cm: 18.59 grams/cm*
*based on a sample size of around 200 models that I’ve weighed in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023 models. So the Proto FR was quite a bit heavier than normal. One of the heaviest that we've weighed. Felt a bit heavy on snow too. A bit of weight is good for crushing crud etc, but we felt that this board would feel better if a little lighter.
Unfortunately we didn't have any powder to test in but looking at the specs the Proto FR should be really decent in powder.
It has a setback stance, a directional shape and 5mm of taper. These will help tosink your tail and raise your nose in powder. Also helpful is Never Summer's triple camber, which has rocker underneath both contact points. This will also help with its float.
Overall it felt good. You could lay out some decent carves when desired, with it still feeling stable and having a solid edge hold. Capable of any type of carve but I preferred it for longer more aggressive carves.
Ease of Turns/Slashing: Rocker under the contact points made initiating turns easy but the tail could feel a little catchy when going to make slashes.
Maneuverability at slow speeds (nimbleness): Decently quick edge-to-edge at slower speeds, without being lightning or anything.
Skidded Turns: Felt a bit of catchiness in the tail when dealing with skidded turns but otherwise the board felt stable and in control.
Really decent stability at speed and overall it is quite fast, even though it needed a fresh coat of wax. Never felt wobbly or chattery at higher speeds either and I didn't notice the catchiness in the tail when going faster. A board that preferred a bit of speed under it.
Crud: Smashed through it nicely. Felt pretty maneuverable too, for if you did get thrown off a it. But I never got the feeling of losing control or being bucked around during my time riding it.
Bumps: Solid speed edge-to-edge allows you to maneuver through bumps pretty well. I did however find somewhat difficult to hug terrain in the trees that goes up and down quickly.
Overall enjoyable just feels a little heavy anytime your feet leave the ground.
Pop: Average amount. Pretty easy to access for the most part, but did requite a little bit of effort.
Approach: Felt smooth and stable to hold your line where you wanted it. And if you did need to make adjustments it was quick enough edge-to-edge, so you can feel comfortable making last second adjustments when needed. Speed checking was OK, but when riding slow it does have that little bit of a catchy feeling in the tail. So did prefer faster approaches.
Landing: Like the approach, landings felt smooth it was forgiving enough that if you didn't land perfect, it won't punish you too easily. I liked the stiffer flex as well allowing you to land pretty tail heavy and still ride out of it.
Side-hits: Enough maneuverability and pop to feel confident on almost any side hit. I just wish it felt a bit lighter - would make side hits even more enjoyable.
Small jumps/Big jumps: More than capable of both but I found medium jumps is where it performed the best.
Rode extremely well switch for a non-centered, directional board. It felt pretty close riding in both directions. My only complaint is that, when transitioning, it could be a little catchy in the tail at times.
Because of the stiffness, the Proto FR does require a good amount of effort when your trying to press/butter it. You really need to shift your weight and lean into them or load up some pop and use it to your advantage. Once achieved though, they are fairly easy to hold in place.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, the Never Summer Proto FR is an aggressive board that requires you to ride it hard. It will punish you for being lazy or having poor technique but it will reward you when ridden correctly, as it carves like a dream and handles jumps really well.
Like any board, it has it's weaknesses. You don't want to be jibbing or trying many flatground tricks on it. But, outside of it's few weaknesses, it was capable in most areas of the mountain.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
Check out the links below for more info on the Proto FR, where to buy or if you are researching prices or available sizes.
If your keen to check out some other Freeride options or to see how the Proto FR compares to other freeride decks check out the link below.
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