Hello and welcome to my Never Summer Proto Ultra review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Proto Ultra as an aggressive all-mountain-freestyle snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Proto Ultra a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other aggressive all-mountain-freestyle snowboards.
Board: Never Summer Proto Ultra
Style: Aggressive All-Mountain-Freestyle
Flex Rating: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Rating Score: 86.9/100
Compared to other Men’s Aggressive All-Mountain-Freestyle Boards
Out of the 15 men’s aggressive all-mountain-freestyle snowboards that I rated:
Overview of the Proto Ultra’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Proto Ultra’s specs and available sizes.
Sintered | Never Summer's "Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base"
a touch heavier than normal
5mm - but harder to measure on a hybrid rocker board
Waist Width (mm)
Rec Rider Weight (lb)
Rec Rider Weight (kg)
Who is the Proto Ultra Most Suited To?
The Proto Ultra is best suited to anyone looking for a twin that they can get aggressive on. Ideal for those looking to hit big jumps and spins and want something that can handle high speeds well and can lay down a good carve, in between tricks.
Not for beginners and even intermediate rider's might struggle to tame the Proto Ultra. More of an advanced to expert board. Also not the most suited to lighter riders, unless you were to size down quite a bit, due to it's stiffer flex.
If you do like to ride aggressively, it's certainly a one-board-quiver possibility for the right rider, with powder being it's only real weakness.
The Proto Ultra in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Proto Ultra is capable of.
Board: Never Summer Proto Ultra 2024, 154cm (260mm waist width)
Date: March 8, 2023
Overcast to start with, but not snowing. Slight flurries later in the day.
Temperature: 0°C (32°F) - and -4°C (25°F) with wind chill. Both morning and afternoon. Wind was 10kph (6 mph) Easterly both morning and afternoon.
24 hour snow: 0.4" (1cm)
48 hour snow: 0.8" (2cm)
7 day snow: 21" (53cm)
On groomer: Nicely groomed to start and stayed pretty decent, just a bit rougher later in the day. Good and fast but not icy.
Off groomer: A little crunchy in places but not to bad. Doable.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 545mm (21.5″)
Stance Setback: Centered
Width at Inserts: 271mm (10.67")
Rider Height: 6'0"
Rider Weight: 180lbs
Rider Boot Size: US9.5 Adidas Response ADV
Bindings Used: Burton Malavita M
Weight: 3120grams (6lb 14oz)
Weight per cm: 20.26 grams/cm
Average Weight per cm: 18.71 grams/cm*
*based on a sample size of around 250 models that I’ve weighed in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 & 2024 models. So the Proto Ultra was very close to average - and felt that way when testing.
Nothing to test in on the day. But based on specs, the Proto Ultra wouldn't be the best board in powder - being a centered twin, with a camber dominant profile.
Carving & Turning
Carving: Felt really good on a carve. Could really dig the edge in at higher speeds and let the sidecut do its thing, without washing out. Could hold a deep fast carve nicely - one of the better twins I've carved with.
Turning: It's not super easy to slash on and initiating turns isn't completely effortless, but for it's flex and how aggressive you can ride this board, it wasn't too bad.
Maneuverability at slow speeds: It's not effortlessly lightning edge-to-edge at slower speeds. It's not a board that's been optimized for slower speeds. But it's OK, given it's more aggressive nature. When you throw your weight into it correctly, then it can move pretty quick edge to edge at slower speeds.
Catchiness: There is some risk of catching edges. It's on the more technical side and wants to be ridden with good technique. But you can get away with some skidded turns. There is consequence if you're getting too lazy - it's not catch free - but you can get a little lazy at times.
The Proto Ultra is pretty fast and decently stable at speed too.
Crud/Chunder: It's pretty good at smashing through crud and doesn't get bucked around too easily. It's not immune to it but when you do get thrown off your line, it's not too difficult to maneuver to correct it. It's also not effortless to correct it either.
Trees/Bumps: When you put your weight into it, it can get between bumps and trees fairly swiftly, but it does take some effort.
Really good jumping board, particularly if you're looking to go big.
Pop: You gotta work it a bit but not super hard to access or anything. When really winding it up, it does give good total pop.
Approach: Nice and stable but also decently good at making adjustments.
Landing: Really solid and not too unforgiving of errors.
Side-hits: Not up there with my favorite side-hitters, as I personally like a board with really easy access pop and great maneuverability. The Proto Ultra isn't bad at those things though and I did find I enjoyed it for sidehits, but just not as much as some others.
Small jumps/Big jumps: Really well suited to big jumps with its stiffer flex. If you like to go big, then this should treat you well. Fine for small to medium, but really excels when you need some speed and a really solid landing platform.
Felt good riding switch and has the specs to back it up. And transitions were fine too - you couldn't be too casual with transitions but so long as you were focused transitions were fine.
Good for setting up and landing switch and in general OK to get spin around. The extra weight made it require a little more muscling than ideal, but all round still really good for spins, particularly if you're looking to go big with your tricks.
Not my favorite board for jibbing. But I'm not a strong jibber. I prefer something that's a little easier to maneuver and more catch free. It's not like it's super hard to maneuver or super catchy as mentioned above, but for jibbing, I'd personally want a bit more to feel more comfortable jibbing on it.
Takes some effort to press tip and tail. Feels pretty stiff in the tips and tails. When you do really get your weight over it and get it pressing, it holds the press nicely, but it does take considerable effort to get it to press in the first place.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
The Proto Ultra is the kind of board that's at its best when you ride it aggressively. When you use good technique and make sure to be riding it on edge, it will return your work with some great performance.
But that said, it's not oppressively stiff or anything and you don't have to ride it ultra aggressively all the time. There is an element of forgiveness in there that allows you to get a little more casual riding it, so you don't have to be 100% on your game all the time. But you can't get super lazy/casual on it.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to check out some other aggressive all-mountain-freestyle snowboard options, or if you want to compare how the Proto Ultra compares to other aggressive all-mountain-freestyle snowboards, then check out the next link.