The Never Summer Chairman is a pretty aggressive hybrid rocker freeride board that offers up a pretty solid ride in powder and not a bad ride at all when it’s a groomer day. Our only complaint is we’d like to see it with the NS Ripsaw Camber Profile instead of the less aggressive Rocker and Camber Profile. Nothings changed since it came out in 2015 to 2017.
2017 to 2015 Never Summer Chairman Snowboard Review
So the 2015 to 2017 Never Summer Chairman are the same. Since the Chairman was new last year there weren’t really any tweaks made.
Conditions: Really good soft snow with some slightly tracked up areas near the bottom.
Riders: James, Peter, kyle, Jimbo, Mike,
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton Ion, Burton Fiend LTD, Salomon F3.0, Nike Lunarendor, Burton Imperial
Bindings: Burton Diode, Flux SF, Union Factory, Burton Mission
Set Up: Set back a bit, approx 23″ wide 18 front 0 back
In 2015 the Never Summer Chairman replaced the Premier and Raptor making it Never Summers only true Freeride focused board. It’s got some personality from the Premier and Raptor but also allot of it’s own personality. Now that the Twenty Five came out for this year with it’s augmented camber we found that more fun to turn. Still the Chairman is a fun board that gives you that stiff flex but with a forgiving ride.
Approximate Weight: 160 is 6.2 lbs but weights vary.
On Snow Feel: The Chairman takes the feel of the discontinued Premier and turns it into it’s own tapered freeride twist. It’s got a semi-stable ride that isn’t quite like the Ripsaw Camber profile like you see in the Twenty Five (new for 2017) but it’s a little more stable than most Rocker & Camber profiles we have tried. It can still be a little bit on the loose side when the snow is harder. It’s stiff fast and mean but at the same time pretty forgiving thanks to this camber profile. Don’t get me wrong it’s still for an advanced to expert rider and It’s one of the stiffest hybrid rocker boards we have come across. It’s for bombing powder, groomers and carving it up. It’s one of the only hybrid rocker boards that could end up riding you if you aren’t always on your A game.
Turn Initiation: The Chairman feels like it’s not quite as quick as the Raptor it replaced edge to edge but it turns a lot quicker than you would think for it’s waist width. Maybe it’s the tapered tail. I think they were going for a more stable platform and allowing the taper to give it a little bit more agility than you would normally have with that much waist width. For example the Raptor 159 was a 25.3cm waist and the Chairman 160 is a 25.6 cm waist which runs a bit on the wide size for regular sized boards. The more I rode this the more I felt the board could turn faster.
Skidded Turns: much easier than you would think to skid turns and that’s one of the bonuses of this hybrid rocker profile.
Carving: It’s one of those boards that can carve pretty well and the more I rode this the more it warmed up on me. It was really fun on first chair morning groomers. I would of liked to see a little more camber in the tip and tail like the Ripsaw has as I think it would give it a real spring out of each turn and make this a top notch carver. Still it’s one of the better carvers of all the Rocker & Camber profile boards from NS I tried. The tapered tail wasn’t at all washy but I took a more off the back foot surfy carve to it instead of a heavy on the front foot skate like carve. For 2017 NS came out with the Twenty Five and it’s got more carving power than the Chairman while still providing a similar ride. If carving tickles your taint then the Twenty Five is the better call of the NS Freeride boards.
Flex: Stiff to Medium/Stiff and not an easy board to butter. You have to be pretty strong to bend this past the angle of the rocker.
Edge Hold: Very solid edge hold but it’s still not a board I’d recommend for east coast riders or people who see ice a lot. It holds a little better in hard conditions than almost all other Never Summer boards and it doesn’t grab in thick snow either.
Powder: We tested this board in one of the worst winters on record so it was hard to come across anything that resembles powder other than slush. it seems like it would have really easy float when set back and also really easy on the back leg because of the little bit of taper. Still it doesn’t feel like it would be outstanding through a tight tree run but it is doable for sure. It feels like it’s more for those that like to straight line through a steep chute or make big wide open turns down an untracked run.
Speed: Very fast for a hybrid rocker board without having the consequence that many do at this level of speed. You can bomb with this board.
Uneven Terrain: For a board this stiff it’s pretty good but it’s no easy board to weave in and out of moguls or end of the day bumpy snow. It’s about as good a board of this type will get.
Switch: Not really for those who like riding both directions. It really favors the nose first style of riding.
Jumps: Not for the park but great for a method off some natural terrain at high speed.
Jibbing: No fucking thank you.
Pipe: I didn’t get to ride this in the pipe but I wouldn’t mind it at all if I had a 160 or shorter. I would only want to surf the pipe and never really ride switch but I bet it wouldn’t be bad.
So all in all we found it didn’t quite have that instant magic that the Raptor did but it warmed up on me over time. it’s a very good board that I think a lot of people will like if they are tired of their current freeride board being unforgiving but still want speed and super easy float in powder
The video reviews are of the 2015 model but since it didn’t change for 2016 the 2015 review still stands.
About the chairman from NS