Since Never Summer brought the Proto CT to their line-up you may wonder where it fits in amongst Evo and SL – surely, for one brand, the all-mountain freestyle range is getting a little crowded? If you’re at a loss as to which one to go for, we’ve tried to break down the differences between these three boards and show how, in fact, they’re all aimed at three different riders.
SL vs. Proto
When I say the SL is best for everything, I realise this is a bit of a cop-out; but in terms of creating a ‘quiver killer’ ride Never Summer have achieved their goal with the SL, and then some. It’s clearly not the park and jib king that the Evo is, so the main comparison here is between the Proto and the SL – both all mountain machines, both perform all the snowboard roles well.
So which should you buy?
The SL is best for:
- Those who are not into jibbing. You’ll hit the park, but rails and boxes are not really your thing, you prefer to ride on actual snow.
- On-piste carvers. No, it’s not an all-out freeride speed machine, but it will rail a turn at speed and grip on hardpack like an F1 car in a corner
- Versatility. Given its extra damping, the SL deals well with a wider range of conditions than the other two boards. Cutting through chop, carving on hardpack and surfing through pow, the SL deals with this in its stride; while providing a more stable ride than the Proto.
- Me. I want one board, I don’t go in the park too often (but I still want something that can perform when I do), and I ride all over the mountain, from powder to piste and everything in between.
- Jumping – If you’re all about big air, then go for the Proto. The combination of increased stiffness and the same damping as the Evo means you can easily rescue a too-slow run in with a huge ollie.
- You have a more freestyle slant to your riding than simply carving down a piste. The Proto butters, jumps and jibs better than the SL, thanks to its reduced damping. It’s also easier to throw around due to the blunt shape, which reduces the weight at the tip and tail, making it easier to spin in the air.
- Riding switch. The true twin shape of the Proto compared to the SL’s directional twin construction, means landing backwards will feel a little more natural.
- Durability. The Proto CT is the only board of the three with Never Summer’s awesome Carbonium topsheet. Essentially, the thing is pretty much scratch proof. Having said that, Never Summers in general are fairly indestructible; but the ‘CT will stay looking nice for longer. This is the main reason for that extra £25 over the SL and Evo.
Proto vs Evo:
- Love the park, but it’s not a complete boarding experience for you. You want to do other stuff too, especially hitting natural features that you come across while riding the whole mountain.
- Would rather hit kickers than grind rails. Simple as that. Both can do both, but the Proto jumps better and the Evo jibs better.