The Never Summer Raven is relatively new and in many ways is the Women’s version of the Men’s Cobra which is a board that all of us really like. It’s a very versatile one board quiver kind of ride.
2014-2016 Never Summer Raven Review
It’s great to see a carbonium top sheet on a womens board and this is a great upgrade from the Lotus. It’s directional but almost twinish shape has much more of an all mountain feel to it if you center the stance where the Lotus was much more of a freeride board. The Raven can please a wider variety of mostly mountain riders than the Lotus.
Conditions: Hard snow at the top with softer snow at the bottom
Riders: Ginger, Mary, Amber Jean, Kristi and a few others
Boots: Burton Supreme, Burton Concord, Salomon Synapse (yep most our girls ride men’s boots)
Bindings: Flux GM, Burton Cartel,
Set Up: Slightly set back 22″ wide 15 front -6 back
On Snow Feel: The Raven isn’t super stable but its mostly stable which is generally what you will see when getting a hybrid rocker board. It feels great in softer to medium snow but then can be a little loose between the feet in harder snow making you want to be more on edge instead of flat base. If you do flat base in harder snow it can feel like it want’s to spin on you. The same goes for one footing off the chair. The Raven runs a little longer than most women’s boards so it can definitely be more of a freeride board if you size up. If you just go with your regular sizing it will be an excellent all mountain board. It’s the kind of board you can center up and take more of an all mountain freestyle approach to the mountain on groomer days and then set back and get a more surfy powder approach for those deep powder days.
Powder: There is some really solid directional float going on here. Set all the way back can make for a pretty fun surfy ride. It’s also going to be easy to turn between the trees and equally fun in wide open steep chutes. If you are looking for a one board solution then the Never Summer Raven will hold up very well here.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Pretty quick and easy edge to edge. It’s not effortless but it will turn fast and handle small radius turns very well. Wider radius turns are pretty fun but at this point you start to feel it become a little bit washy. For carving it’s missing that special camber spring or kick out of the turn that is so rewarding but carves are doable. What we have noticed with all Never Summer Rocker and Camber Profile boards like the Raven is they require you to get your knees out more towards the tip/tail to apply more pressure. That way the camber in the tip/tail will become more active and the board will turn better. If you ride more of a surf style with your knees closer together then you might find this more washy when making wide to aggressive carving turns.
Speed: Pretty fast here. The base holds it’s speed very well and the board isn’t that chattery when its time to bomb a steep run. It does have some chatter though and it’s more like the bottom end of great. The boards glide in flat areas is so good that it keeps it on the better side of the rating scale.
Uneven Terrain: Very easy to ride on a crowded bumpy day and it’s got a good bit of shock absorption.
Edge Hold: Perfect edge hold in our opinion. It grips when you need it and doesn’t grab when you don’t want it to. Great in soft thicker snow and holds an edge in harder snow. It’s just not an ice specialist.
Flex: Medium but almost leaning towards medium/stiff. The demo model was a little stiffer but the production model will be softer so we say medium flex. It’s pretty easy to butter and play around with. Also the camber at the tip/tail make for a good snappy return.
Switch: Now this is a nice improvement over the Lotus. It’s much easier to switch it up and because of the hybrid rocker profile it’s pretty forgiving.
Jibbing: Not a strong jibber but you can hit a box or two with the Raven.
Pipe: Really fun pipe board that holds an edge very well and it’s also forgiving. If you size up it could be a bit awkward throwing it around. But for the average rider who sizes normal its more of a confidence inspiring ride for those that want to get better in the pipe. The accomplished technical rider might want more though.
Jumps: There is decent spring but it’s not a standout. The Raven feels more snappy though than the discontinued lotus and it has much better park performance as well.
All in all the Raven is a great mountain board that offers up a pretty versatile ride for those mostly mountain riders looking for a one board quiver.