Hello and welcome to my Never Summer Proto Slinger review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Proto Slinger as a freestyle snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Proto Slinger a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other freestyle snowboards.
Board: Never Summer Proto Slinger 2021
Price: $539 (to be confirmed)
Flex Rating: Medium-Soft (4/10)
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Soft (3.5/10)
Rating Score: 91.8/100
Compared to other Men’s Freestyle Boards
Out of the 38 men’s freestyle snowboards that I rated:
Based on 2020 rankings, which the Proto Slinger didn't come into as this is it's first year, but it does replace the Funslinger, which was my top ranked freestyle board for 2020. This will be updated once all of the 2021 rankings have been updated.
Overview of the Proto Slinger’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Proto Slinger’s specs and available sizes.
$539 (to be confirmed)
Hybrid Rocker Never Summer's "Shock Wave Rocker Camber"
Durasurf Sintered 4501
Waist Width (mm)
Rec Rider Weight (lb)
Rec Rider Weight (kg)
Who is the Proto Slinger Suited To?
The Proto Slinger is a great option for those looking for a freestyle oriented deck to hit the park on, but that can also do pretty well on the rest of the mountain, particularly if you're using the mountain like a park. It's soft and buttery but also has a good dose of camber, which helps with carving.
Not great for powder and not quite for a beginner, just because of all that camber, but low intermediate and up should be good on this board.
The Proto Slinger in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Proto Slinger is capable of.
Board: Never Summer Proto Slinger 2021, 156cm (253mm waist width)
Date: February 29, 2020
Conditions: Cloudy with some blue sky and sun at times. Perfect visibility.
Quite cold at -4°C (24.8°F) and was supposed to be -11°C (12.2°F) with wind chill, but didn't feel as cold as that.
20cm (8") of fresh snow overnight, so plenty of fresh to test in. Conditions were awesome on and off groomer.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 545mm (21.5″)
Stance Setback: Centered
Width at Inserts: 263mm (10.35")
Rider Height: 6'0"
Rider Weight: 175lbs
Rider Boot Size: US10 Salomon Lo-Fi
Bindings Used: Burton Malavita M
Note: The Proto Slinger replaces the Funslinger. The Proto Slinger is quite similar to the old Funslinger. The only real change is the new "Shock Wave Rocker Camber" camber profile, which adds more camber. Otherwise it's very similar to the old Funslinger.
Had a bit to test in. Though not super deep, it was moderate. Any board is fun in powder, IMO, and the Proto Slinger is no exception. But I could feel from the brief time I had it in there that if it was deeper and you were in it for a longer period of time, then keeping the nose floating would become quite a back leg burning effort. But in 20cm (8") for brief amounts of time, was fine.
It's true twin and centered and whilst it has a little rocker in the profile, it's not a whole lot, so not really designed for powder.
Carving & Turning
Carving: Fun board for short sharp carves. Certainly not worlds better than the old Funslinger for carving, but just that little bit more carvy, with that extra camber. Not as suited to big, long carves, but fun for short sharp ones.
Turning: General turning is really fun on this board. It feels snappy and it's easy to initiate turns on.
Maneuverability at Slow Speeds: Really easy to maneuver at slow speeds. Quick and easy edge to edge transition, without having to put much effort in.
Skidded Turns: Given all that camber, it's surprisingly forgiving of skidded turns. Not like a beginner board with lots of rocker, but still pretty forgiving of them.
Given it's flex, being a centered twin and all that, it's never going to be a bomber, but it can handle a fair bit of speed well enough.
Nice and maneuverable for slow speed weaving through bumps and going over top of bumps is good. Not a crud crusher - you get bounced around a bit in it, but not terrible either.
So much fun for jumps! Great pop and so easy to access, and just everything about this board for jumps. The only reason I didn't give it 5/5 is that it's not quite as suited to really large jumps, in terms of speed of approach you need and stability of landing, but for small to medium jumps and side hits, it would be hard to think of a board I preferred more than this one.
Pop: Great pop and so easy to access. Effortless and snappy pop.
Approach: It's not an ultra stable feel for larger jumps, but it's stable enough for those approaches to most size jumps and has great maneuverability for trickier approaches.
Landing: A great balance of solid and forgiving.
Side-hits: Perfection. So maneuverable for trickier approaches and great pop that's super easy to access. Landing and setting up switch is awesome too.
Small jumps/Big Jumps: Best suited to small to medium jumps, IMO, but can handle larger jumps too.
As good as it gets, IMO.
Pretty much perfect for spins. The only reason, again, that this didn't get 5/5, is that it's not as suited to large tricks. But for anything else - you know for those of use mere mortals that typically don't send it massive - it's amazing. Easy to get the spin around, great for setting up and landing switch and great/effortless pop.
Great for jibs. Felt confident hitting them. The setup is great, the pop on and off great and felt good on the jib too.
Super buttery. I wondered if it would become less butterable with the new "Shock Wave" camber profile, but it's still super easy and fun to butter with.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
Like buttering, jumps, sidehits, jibs, treating the mountain like a park, when not in the park - and just like a springy, snappy, playful yet explosive ride, in general, then the Proto Slinger is a board you should get excited about. One of those boards that I just felt buzzed from after unstrapping. This one might have to be added to the quiver this year!
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to check out some other freestyle snowboard options, or if you want to compare how the Proto Slinger compares to other freestyle snowboards, then check out the next link.