Hello and welcome to my Never Summer Proto Synthesis snowboard review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Proto Synthesis as an all-mountain-freestyle snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Proto Synthesis a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other all-mountain-freestyle snowboards.
Board: Never Summer Proto Synthesis
Flex Rating: Medium (6/10)
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium (5.5/10)
Rating Score: 88.8/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain-Freestyle Boards
Out of the 33 men’s all-mountain-freestyle snowboards that I rated:
Overview of the Proto Synthesis' Specs
Check out the tables for the Proto Synthesis’ specs and available sizes.
Hybrid Rocker - Never Summer's new "Shock Wave Rocker Camber"
Sintered (Durasurf XT Sintered 5501)
Waist Width (mm)
Rec Rider Weight (lb)
Rec Rider Weight (kg)
* the 2024 model drops the 163DF size that the 2023 model had.
Who is the Proto Synthesis Suited To?
The Proto Synthesis is best for those who want to be able to carve up the groomers and still be able to ride at good speed, but also want to be able to slow it down and play around at times. Treating the mountain like a park is where this board really flourishes too. And good for actual park laps as well (more so for the jump line than the jib line).
Not particular good in powder, but otherwise it's a very versatile ride.
Not for the beginner, but works well for intermediate and up.
The Proto Synthesis in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Proto Synthesis is capable of.
Board: Never Summer Proto Synthesis, 158cm (255mm 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: 264mm (10.39")
Rider Height: 6'0"
Rider Weight: 175lbs
Rider Boot Size: US10 Salomon Lo-Fi
Bindings Used: Burton Malavita M
Changes From the Proto Type 2
Unlike the Proto Slinger, which was very similar to the Funslinger that it replaced (the Shock Wave camber being the only real change), the Proto Synthesis has a few changes from the Proto Type 2 that it replaces.
- The Shock Wave Rocker Camber (taking over from the Ripsaw rocker camber on the Proto Type 2) is the first change - adding longer, more pronounced camber - and a shortened rocker section.
- The PT2 was an asym - the Synthesis looses that asymmetry.
- The effective edge is slightly longer on the Synthesis, the Synthesis is slightly wider overall, the Synthesis has a slightly tweaked sidecut radii. All of these things are relatively subtle changes, but all add up to make a difference.
- The Synthesis has a different carbon layup
- The sizings are different.There is a 152 in common, but otherwise, the sizes are slightly tweaked (e.g. 157 becomes a 158, 161X is a 160X etc)
- The Synthesis has new DF (drag free) sizes - basically ultra wide sizes for those with bigger feet that want something they can really lean into their carves on.
Whilst some have mentioned a feel that's noticeably stiffer than the Proto Type Two, it felt about the same to me. Now I didn't test the two of them side by side, so it's hard to say for sure. But compared to my test board, they both felt very similar. If anything maybe the Synthesis is pushing 5.5, but in any case it didn't feel significantly stiffer to the PT2, to me. In terms of butterability definitely still as good as PT2, IMO.
The Proto Synthesis' biggest weakness. But, like any board, if you're playing in shallow powder for brief periods, it's all good. It's just when it starts to get deeper and you're in it for longer, that it will start to feel like an effort to keep the nose up.
That's the feeling I got from it in the powder I had - and the specs also suggest it too.
Carving & Turning
Carving: A nice board to carve on. It's not like the fattest carves you'll ever do, but still really decent and couple that with a nice snappy turning feel and it's a great balance of being a good carver and fun for regular turns.
Turning: Fun and snappy on a turn. Whether you're looking to ride short/sharp turns in tight spaces or open it out for longer drawn out turns, the Synthesis does both well, and everything in between.
Maneuverability at slow speeds: Nice and agile at slower speeds. Maybe not quite to the extent of it's little bro - the Proto Slinger - but still nice and agile.
Skids: Maybe got just a little harder vs the Proto Type Two and vs the Slinger, but still definitely skid-able.
It's not like a point and shoot, out and out bomber, but it can handle a good amount of speed. It's got it over the Proto Slinger in terms of speed for sure.
Felt good weaving through bumps, going over them and felt good in crud. A good board in most conditions/terrains.
Good for most sizes of jumps and all-round a very good board for jumping.
Pop: Doesn't quite have the pop of the Slinger. Well, probably about the same, but you have to put more effort in to get the full pop out of the Synthesis. Whereas the Slinger it felt like you could get every ounce of pop with next to no effort, the Synthesis you've got to work a bit harder to extract it. But there is still a good amount there that is easily accessible.
Approach: Good on approach to any size jump from small to large. A good balance of being stable but nimble.
Landing: Good solid landing platform. Can stomp landings on this board for sure.
Side-hits: Fun for sidehits and all the traits you'd want for them - easy to setup and easy enough pop. Preferred the Proto Slinger for side hits, but that's a tough comparison as the Proto Slinger is one of the best boards for side hits for me, that I've ridden.
Small jumps/Big jumps: Good all round. If I had to say, then medium to large, but still great for small jumps.
Really good, as expected. It's not asym like the PT2 was - and I really like asym for riding switch, but apart from that it's the next best thing for switch.
Great for setups and landing switch and normal stance, good pop and easy to get the spin around. All round a great spinner, IMO.
Not an amazing jibber but not bad either. I'm not a very strong jibber, and I felt relatively comfortable on it. Not ideal, but definitely doable.
Nice and buttery. And more buttery than I would have expected for the flex. It's not to the level of buttery that the Slinger is, but that thing is ultra buttery.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, whilst the Proto Syntheis is an evolution of the PT2, it's not a hugely different board. It's got a little more oomph, if that makes sense, but it's certainly not worlds different.
It's still that nice balance of aggressive and playful and still can tackle most things you want to do on a board really well. A really fun, lively, all-rounder resort board.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to check out some other all-mountain-freestyle snowboard options, or if you want to compare how the Proto Synthesis compares to other all-mountain-freestyle snowboards, then check out the next link.