The Never Summer Raptor is a hybrid rocker board with extra camber in the nose to provide a little more carve friendly ride. This is a pretty aggressive hybrid rocker ride. This almost has the technical feel of camber but provides a much easier float in powder. This was a freeride favorite until it was discontinued.
Size 159 and 164
Conditions: Hard Colorado snow to soft west coast snow and about 1.5 feet of thick powder.
Riders: Jame, Peter and Jimbo
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju
Bindings: Burton Diode, Union Force, Flux SF45, Union SL
Set Up: Set Back, About 23″ wide 18 front and 0 back.
We have ridden the production and demo models over the years and it always seems like the demo models are a little stiffer than the production models. So some reviews are based off the demo models and they will say it’s stiffer and some reviews are based off the production models. The Good Ride Review is based off of both demo and production but we lean towards the take on the production because that is what you will be riding.
On Snow Feel: The Never Summer Raptor is a board you want to size up on and it also has a narrow waist for its size which is awesome for those that like quick edge to edge transitioning. It’s not easy in the grand spectrum of boards but it’s pretty easy for a stiff freeride board. It’s all about set back directional riding, carving, high speed bombing and powder. The extended camber in the nose makes for a more stable feel than most of the Never Summer boards in their line.
Powder: This is not super surfy compared to other boards of this size that have a tapered tail. However it will float in just about any depth. If you like a tapered surfy board this won’t cut it for you but if you like a big floaty double ender then the Raptor will do the trick. Also the Raptor eats up chop and crud better than almost any hybrid rocker board out there. Since you usually arent’ making fresh tracks all day this is pretty important.
Turn Initiation and Carving: You have to put this board in perspective. Compare this to many of the boards in it’s category and you have a board that turns quickly for it’s flex but in no way is it an easy turning board. When it comes to wider turns the Raptor almost has a camber like feel. The Raptor is also very carve friendly. The Directional Rocker with extended camber in the nose also helps with this as well because it allows for more stability at the tail and between the feet. This is really fun to lean into a carve and it has a surprising amount of spring out of the turn for a hybrid rocker board.
Speed: Their aren’t many hybrid rocker boards that get out of the Great category when it comes to speed but this does. The base is fast and the board is very damp. We love how NS can dampen a board without making it feel dull and there are no complaints from us here. It’s about as fast as a hybrid rocker board can go.
Uneven Terrain: The Raptor is not as easy as other Never Summer boards in bumpy terrain but it’s way better than it should be for a board of this flex and design.
Approximate Weight: This is not heavy but it’s not very light either. It’s light for a bigger board and it won’t be any worse than any of the other boards in this category.
Edge Hold: Like all Never Summer boards this grips really well in hard snow. We felt it hold its edge in harder snow but its not like aggressive magnetraction and not an ice specialist. When the snow is soft it feels great and not too grabby. So it handles a wide variety of conditions without ever having issues. The vario grip side cut really works well.
Flex: This is a medium/stiff aggressive type of ride and it’s no butter board.
Switch: It’s not ideal by any means. Very different switch than regular.
The rest doesn’t really matter because this is not a board for the park and we don’t recommend it go there. We will say that the board has lot’s of pop so if you like to ollie over natural terrain or hit a big natural jump the Raptor will be fine.
So if you are into boards like the Arbor A-Frame and Nidecker Platinum but want a hybrid rocker board then you might be really into the Raptor. It’s no tapered surfy pow board but it will turn ok and will get you through almost any depth of powder in the flats back to the chair.