|Riding Style||All Mountain|
|Riding Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, > 12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Never Summer|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Never Summer Cobra 2016 - 2013 Review by The Good Ride
The Never Summer Cobra has got a very versatile personality that allows you to have fun all over the mountain in all kinds of conditions. Lately we have been more into the NS West but the Cobra is still a great ride.
So a lot of people thought the NS Cobra got a stiffer flex and different side-cut this year but it did not. They were going to and put it in the dealer catalog but then decided to keep it the way it was and that’s reflected in the consumer catalog and on their site. It’s still the same ride as it’s always been so the review below is still 100% applicable to the 2016 model.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
2016-2013 Never Summer Cobra Snowboard Review
The 2016 Never Summer Cobra is going to be the same ride as the 2015 and 2014 Never Summer Cobra. Not much has changed since 2013 when it came out.
2013 -2016 Never Summer Cobra Review
Size 158, 161 and 163 Wide
Conditions: 2+ feet of powder to pretty hard snow but not icy.
Riders: James, Peter, Kyle, Jimbo, Mike, Mary, Lee, Stephen, and many others not on the site.
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Genesis, Burton Diode, Burton Stay Calm, Flux SF, Flux DS, Union Factory, Union Contact Pro, Union Force, Burton Cartel Limited and a few others
Boots: Burton Imperial, Burton Hail, Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Nike Lunarendor, Nike Kaiju, DC Judge, Burton Ambush, Salomon Synapse, DC Judge, Nike Zoom Ites
Set Up: Set all the way back to centered. Usually 22.5 to 23″ wide but sometimes set super narrow for Mary’s weird stance. 18 front -6 back, 15 front -19 back,15 front and -15 back and Mary’s weird 12 front and 6 back or something weird like that.
The Never Summer Cobra has a personality of it’s own but It can be described many ways but we feel it has the feel of a directional set back Proto. It’s a very easy one board quiver to recommend.
Approximate Weight- 158 weighs in at 6.2lbs but weights vary from board to board. Wood isn’t like steel so not every board will weigh the same.
On Sow Feel– The Cobra is made for those who spend most of their time on the mountain and likes a board that can adapt it’s personality to varying conditions/moods. The feel between the feet is pretty much standard for most hybrid rocker boards. It’s stable on good snow but as conditions get harder the Cobra feels pretty loose and can at times give you the feeling like it wants to auto spin on you. It’s fun to center up on groomers and ride more like an all mountain freestyle board and when it gets deep it’s fun to set back and ride like a freeride/powder board. It’s not perfect in all conditions but it’s fun in almost all conditions you want to ride in.
Powder: This directional shape and set back stance offers a lot of effortless float in powder. It borders on the excellent side and gives a confidence inspiring directional ride. There is a 3/4″/-20mm setback and combined with the hybrid rocker makes for really easy directional riding in trees or tight chutes or on wide open faces. Also the nose does a good job at floating and the tail at sinking down to keep the nose up. It’s a little more on the surf side of things which most like in the powder but it also has a little skate personality as well if you choose to ride with the stance more centered. It’s more slashy and really quick turning in tight spots. It can also pick up some speed on an open deep face. It is the kind of board that can own light fluffy powder and comes pretty close to owning it in thicker sierra powder we ride in. If you see a lot of powder but want one board for everything this is a great choice.
Turn Initiation: if you know what you are doing and get the right size for your feet you have an easy turning board. Short turns are pretty snappy and quick and it’s fun to try to turn as fast as you can from edge to edge. Medium to wide turns is fun and playful too.
Carving: It doesn’t feel like a grade A carver but it’s got a little spring out of the turn and doesn’t get too washy. With the Cobra It definitely helps if you go for more of a gorilla stance with your knees out to put more pressure on the camber near the tip/tail. It doesn’t like if you carve with more of knees together surfer style kind of stance. It would be nice to see a bit more camber in the tip/tail like the West has or even something in between so it still keeps its outstanding float in powder.
Speed: The rocker between the feet has a little more flat than most to make for a pretty stable hybrid rocker ride and it can bomb rather well. Its base can keep its speed on a long flat cat track without much issue if it’s waxed and the board is pretty damp when you pick up speed. You feel a little of the tip and tail bounce when you pick up speed on a long, steep groomer but the rubber in the board makes it feel a lot less bad than it would if it wasn’t in there.
Uneven Terrain: The dampening system and middle flex make the Cobra friendly in the shitty end of the day bumpy groomers filled with displaced snow. It’s also easy to get through shitty bumpy 100% tracked out powder runs off-piste in order to get to harder to reach areas that might not be tracked out. It’s great for riding a crowded mountain all day too. It’s also not bad as a chunder buster and it’s good at getting you through powder with intersecting tracks.
Edge Hold: For those that don’t ride in consistently icy conditions the edge hold is perfect. Never Summer is one of those companies that makes great edge hold for almost any condition a normal rider needs. It grips without being clingy in powder or snowment. Ice it can handle but it’s not a dedicated ice board. It’s more about hard to super soft.
Flex: So when we first rode the Cobra it felt a little stiff but many of Never Summer’s demo boards ride much stiffer than the production models. When we got the production model we had a sigh of relief when the flex was softer. It’s still not mellow by any means but it’s a little more playful. It’s not bad if you want to slow down and butter. You can bend it a little past its hybrid rocker profile and then it snaps back making it really fun to play around on the mountain. Most of our riders are strong or thick so if you are more on the lighter side then you might prefer the Snowtrooper. Just to reiterate what I said up above. Never Summer was going to make the board stiffer but they didn’t so the flex is pretty consistent over the years.
Switch: It’s no twin but it’s also not as directional as you would think. With the stance centered you can quickly get used to the subtle differences, it offers riding in the other direction. It’s not in the same league as the True Twin Proto but after a little bit you get used to it.
Jibbing: The NS Cobra is ok but it’s not for those challenging rails or narrow boxes with kinks. As the board softens up a bit it’s better but if you are into NS and want a jib board the better call would be Evo or even better the Funslinger.
Pipe: This is a fun pipe board. The Never Summer Cobra is Twinish enough to throw down switch landings and climbs a pipe wall pretty well. It’s very comfortable transitioning through the flats and the edge hold works pretty well for getting through that hard snow in the pipe. It’s also pretty forgiving so it allows for some mistakes without catching an edge. A real technical pipe rider might want something more old school but for me and many of the Good Riders we don’t own the pipe so this made us all feel better in there. The longer all mountain sizing is not too long for the pipe but a little bigger than some might like. Still, it’s a great pipe board for those that treat the mountain first and the pipe second.
Jumps: We felt this was on the poppier side of things and pretty fun for an ollie. The Never Summer Cobra has a bit of a rubbery feel which makes you feel less of a snap but the end result is the same when it comes to the height of your airs from an ollie. It’s also fun to lap the jump park. Yeah, a true twin would be a little better for those who take off and land switch a lot but its got some good stuff going on here.
In conclusion, this is one of those boards that really excels in powder, is an excellent mountain/groomer board, handles crowded resort snow like a champ and really makes that mostly mountain rider very happy. It has nothing that really stands out but it’s that kind of board that makes everything easier and has a consistent ride in most conditions you want to ride in.
Never Summer Cobra Past Reviews
Never Summer Cobra Specs
Never Summer Cobra Images
Never Summer Cobra User Reviews
Riding a 159 with Now Drive bindings and the 2014 version. Per usual, the folks at TGR did a great review that is spot on. Their main complaint is mine as well in that it does tend to feel super unstable when flat/not on edge. I'm not an amazing snowboarder but, I've been doing it for 20 years and this thing still catches me off guard on the catwalk from time to time. That's my only complaint about this board. On to the good!
Turn Initiation = The turn initiation on this board is ridiculously fast, like Usain Bolt fast. It makes for fun days in the trees and quickly going edge to edge.
Edge = Locked in. Icy and hard packed areas are no challenge for this board. The grip is amazing and while it's unstable when flat down the catwalk, once you engage one of the edges, it's locked in and isn't letting go until you want it too. I do ride backcountry from time to time (snowshoes, miserable) and wanted a board that can do this in sketchy situations. The edge will not disappoint.
Carving = It's not a Ripsaw but, it carves very well
Powder = Great in powder. Good float, even when not set back
Durability = Here's the main reason I wanted to write this review. I have beat the ever living crap out of this board for 5 years. 5 YEARS folks. I've had to fill a few big scratches on the base but, I have run over and into trees with it, skidded over more rocks than I'd like while trying to get early season freshies, and it's taken all of the other abuses a snowboard takes in it's life over the course of that time. I've never damaged the edge beyond what a sharpening won't fix, the base is still in phenomenal shape, the top sheet looks like new, and the flex hasn't changed. It's bomb proof. The only problem here is that my wife wont' let me buy a new board (just want to add the quiver) until this one breaks, so at this rate, I'll have to wait to see what's out in 2035. Never Summer makes an amazing product that holds up, and I know most of us know this. It's just pretty great seeing it in action and I do truly love this board.
Re cobras rip
I second the last review. The float is effortless, its quick turning, it has good pop and recovery which makes an awesome tree skiing powder board. I bought a nideceker megerlite, its not getting used at all this season. ( from Revelstoke) yet to have a groomer day this season and the 5 year old cobra always gets picked for anything over 5cm. Granted Im a little heavy for the megerlite that I have specs, its getting put up for sale as it was only getting used for groomer days.
I tried a jones mind expander yesterday... yes it had very good float, but I did not think it had much if any better float then the cobra, it didn't initiate turns as fast as the cobra, though I was on a 158 so maybe 154 would be quicker turning. It had some real nice glide on the cat tracks though.
I got back on the cobra today and it just confirmed how much I love this board. I emailed never summer to bring it back. Its 5 years now and my board is getting rubbery I would love to get it new again. I still see cobras regularly at the resort even though they are discontinued. only negative with this board is icy conditions then it sucks but no biggy, don't see icy conditions that often :)
In 20 years of riding, hands down the best all mountain board I have owned. I'm on the 14/15, and now in 2019 the board is still ripping with likely close to 100+ days on it. This thing porpoises in deep powder with little effort, floats like a dream, slices through trees and lays down a trench when I need it. Butterability is surprisingly easy. My main problem with this board is NS discontinued it. WTF. I'm getting some edge separation and a few too many core shots. From what I have read about the West is it doesn't compare. Not sure what Good Ride is talking about. I've heard the West is dead from both Angry Snowboarder reviews and a few trustworthy friends that have ripped it. They also state the West and Snowtrooper are more beginner / intermediate friendly.