The Never Summer Warlock is a lot like NS said. It has a lot of personality from the discontinued NS Proto and to a lesser extent the Evo. We liked the Warlock but felt it didn’t have as much to offer as the extra camber Proto Type II for all mountain freestyle riding but it did have a nice take on the old Proto and Evo.
At the demo we heard this was a replacement to the Evo so we got a 154 and compared it to the Funslinger in the video. However now that I have the Warlock Specs it’s much closer to the old Proto and a 157 would of been best. So in the written review I compare it more to the Proto and Proto Type Two.
Conditions: Very good Sierra Snow
Riders: James, Peter, Jimbo, Kyle,
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton AMB, Nike Kaiju,
Bindings: Union Ultra
Set Up: Centered 15 front -15 back approx 23″ wide
Approximate Weight: Felt normal and very well made.
On Snow Feel: The Warlock has the old rocker and camber profile is fun and familiar but since the Ripsaw camber profile came out it seems to be missing something. Still it’s not super washy or squirrely when one footing and flat basing. It doesn’t have the stability of the Funslinger or Proto Type Two but it’s not bad for hybrid rocker. It gets a little loose between the feet in hard snow and prefers you to always be on edge.
Edge Hold: Same great edge hold we have liked over the years with NS. Grips well enough to not slide out under foot in hard snow but you have to dial back how much you commit the edge to the board. In medium to soft snow it’s great.
Flex: Really good flex that’s much stiffer to bend for a butter than the Funslinger but to us felt a touch softer than the Proto Type Two. Yeah I think it’s closest to the NS Proto. I think Peter’s knee was bothering him that day.
Turn Initiation: It’s pretty quick edge to edge. Again we liked ripsaw camber better but this mellower elliptical camber is far from lifeless.
Skidded Turns: Great board for those that aren’t always making good turns. It let’s you fuck up a lot without making you pay for it like you use to with old camber boards 10+ years ago.
Carving: Not a dynamic carver but good enough to rail a turn but not really as fun as the Proto Type Two
Powder: No powder but with that mellow hybrid rocker profile and that big tip/tail it should float well for a twin with a centered stance. It seems close to the Proto Type II but maybe a touch better because of that big ass nose/tail. I’d like to take it out in around 1 foot of powder with the Type Two and see how they compare.
Speed: Pretty stable at speed and good for it’s size. The 157 would of been great to try instead and I think it would of been as fast as the old Proto and almost as fast as the Proto Type Two which feels a little more stable than both.
Uneven Terrain: Same great NS ability to handle messy resort snow and bumps like a champ.
Switch: Very good each way. As good as the Proto but not the Proto Type Two due to the Asymmetrical side cuts.
Jibbing: A little stiff in the middle compared to the Funslinger so not ideal to jib but doable.
Pipe: Same theme goes here. It’s going to be a fun pipe board but
Jumps: A few years ago the Proto to us was a top notch jump board but now that technology has changed and the Proto Type Two is out there with more camber/pop it’s just not as appealing. The Warlock has a lot of similarities to the old Proto so it doesn’t quite have the appeal it would of a few years back. Still it’s a good board to hit kickers with.
So all in all it’s a fun board but it kind of reminds us of a Proto with a big tip/tail. So the Never Summer Warlock would of been a great board a few years back but the recent changes to hybrid rocker it’s just not as dynamic in the here and now.