Hello and welcome to my Never Summer West Bound snowboard review.
In this review, I will take a look at the West Bound as a freeride snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the West Bound a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other freeride snowboards.
Board: Never Summer West Bound 2020
Flex Rating: Mid-firm
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Rating Score: 90.2/100
Compared to other Men’s Freeride Boards
Out of the 36 men’s freeride snowboards that I rated:
Overview of the West Bound’s Specs
Check out the tables for the West Bound’s specs and available sizes.
Waist Width (mm)
Rec Rider Weight (lb)
Rec Rider Weight (kg)
*DF = Drag Free
Note, the 166DF is a new size for the 2021 model.
Who is the West Bound Most Suited To?
The West Bound is great for anyone looking for a freeride board that doesn't feel too locked in or overly stiff or aggressive.
Anyone who cares mostly about carving groomers, riding at speed and finding powder whenever it's available, but to not have a board that they feel like they have to put their all into, every time, all day. You can get a little lazy on it, when you want.
Whilst it's on the easier going side for a freeride board, it's far from beginner friendly. But good for a solid intermediate (or up) rider, who's looking for a freeride board.
The West Bound in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the West Bound is capable of.
Board: Never Summer West Bound 2020, 157cm (255mm waist width)
Date: March 2, 2019
Bright blue skies. Groomers hard but not icy. A little cruddy in places.
Some light fresh off-groomer.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 575mm (22.6″)
Stance Setback: Setback ~20mm (not sure what the actual setback on effective edge is but setback on the overall length of the board by 41mm - the nose is longer than the tail, but not sure by how much, so just guessing by around 20mm)
Width at Inserts: 265mm (10.43") at front insert and 264mm (10.39")
Rider Height: 6'0"
Rider Weight: 185lbs
Rider Boot Size: US10 Vans Aura
Bindings Used: Burton Malavita M
Wasn't waist deep or anything on the day, but there were still some fresh pockets around that I was able to find - and the Westbound felt awesome in there. And based on the specs and that feeling, this board is well equipped to deal with powder - even of the deeper variety.
Carving & Turning
Carving: Felt so smooth on a carve. Whilst this board isn't labelled as being super damp by Never Summer it felt pretty damp - and just smooth is the best way to describe how it carves.
Maneuverability at slow speeds: Actually really good for a board that carves this well and for the flex it has. You can definitely still ride this board slow.
Skidded Turns: You can get away with skids to an extent. Not a catchy board by any means. Not beginner easy to skid either though.
Felt really stable at speed. And rode fast in general. Felt very comfortable riding this board fast. I did have a pretty smooth groomer to open it out on, but man was it fun to bomb.
Pretty good in uneven terrain. Didn't have a lot of crud to contend with at the time I rode it, which was weird given it was a busy Saturday, but I managed to find a part of the resort that just doesn't get that much traffic to do my testing. But it's certainly nimble enough to weave through bumpy areas and damp enough to absorb a decent amount of chatter.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
It's OK for jumps without being a jump monster.
Pop: Good amount of pop, without being an epic popper. If you load it up you can get more out of it, but there is some easily accessible pop too.
Approach: Nice and stable for approach to larger jumps, and nimble enough for trickier approaches.
Landing: Nice and stable on landings, without being a stomper.
Side-hits: Nimble enough and decent enough in terms of pop to be pretty good for side-hits.
Small jumps/Big Jumps: Probably more suited to big jumps given it's flex, but can do smaller jumps too
Not really one made for riding switch. But it's not the weirdest riding switch either. Doable.
Again not what it's made for, but you can spin it of course. Just not the best for landing taking off switch. Not super hard to get the spin around on it, but not super-easy either.
You can actually butter this board. It's not super-easy but for a freeride board it's easier than you'd think.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, the West Bound was a super fun ride, especially for carving up the groomers, hitting powder and generally bombing at pace.
But at the same time you could get more casual on this board and it didn't feel like you were trying to steer a tank - and you can skid turns on it reasonably well too.
I was disappointed when I learned Never Summer were getting rid of the West and that the West Bound wasn't going to be a direct replacement for it (different in a quite a number of ways), but even though it's very much not the same as the West, it's an awesome board in it's own right. I still think there's a place in their line for the West, but the West Bound definitely has a place too!
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to check out some other freeride snowboard options, or if you want to compare how the West Bound compares to other freeride snowboards, then check out the next link.