• Excellent Pop
  • Pop of Full Camber but more forgiving and floaty
  • Very Fun To Carve
  • Light without chatter
  • Fast Base
  • Great for Getting Air


  • Not that slashy/turny set back in pow


The Never Summer Cougar was one of the highlights of our testing and this Recurve Triple Camber is special. It carves and pops a lot harder than fusion triple camber and is up there with Shockwave camber. The feel underfoot though is like full camber but still with early rise and a more forgiving nature. My only complaint is that this is the only model with this camber profile and they don’t make any smaller sizes.  Bottom line is the Cougar is a great directional daily driver/one board quiver.

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Riding Style All Mountain
Riding Level Advanced - Expert
Fits Boot size (US) 8-10, 10-12
Manufactured in USA by Never Summer
Shape Tapered Directional
Camber Profile Hybrid Camber
Stance Setback over 20mm
Approx. Weight Feels Normal
Split No
Powder Good
Base Glide Great
Carving Great
Speed Great
Uneven Terrain Good
Switch Good
Jumps Great
Jibbing Average
Pipe Great
On Snow Feel

Semi-Locked In

Turn Initiation


Skidded Turns






Edge Hold

Hard Snow

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Never Summer Cougar Written Review Review by The Good Ride

Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews and this is our unfiltered opinion. 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.

A Breakdown Of How It Rides And Who Its For

Never Summer Cougar Review -The Good Ride

How This Never Summer Cougar Review Happened:

Liked it so much, asked to keep it (only do this with favorites).
Size: 156
Days: many and many more to come.
Conditions: Everything from hard snow with soft messy snow on top to pretty good mid-winter pow and an early morning slackountry time with Drift Board bindings & Union Rover Carbon
 James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs), Davey (Size 12, 240lbs, 6’4”)
Boots: Ride Torrent, Ride Fuse, Ride Deadbolt, Burton Tourist, Burton Ion
Insoles: F.I.T. Gamechangers
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Force
Redunancy: Strapins in case boots or bindings break.
Jacket: Jones Mtn Surf Anorak, Jones Shralpinist Stretch Jacket
Pant: Jones Mountain Surf Bib, Jones Shralpinist Stretch Bib
Helmet: Smith Maze
Goggle: Smith 4D Mag
Gloves: Burton AK Clutch Mitt, Burton AK Tech Leather Glove, Drop Tahoma Mitt,

Similar Boards We Like (but not the same): Korua Otto, K2 Manifest, Yes Typo, Jones Frontier, Ride Algorythm, Ride Shadowban, Salomon Highpath, Yes Standard Uninc, Yes Basic Uninc, Cardiff Lynx

James’s Set Up: 21.5” Wide. Sance Angles +18/-3, +18/+3, +18/-9. . Close to Reference on groomers and Set all the way back in powder.
Davey’s Set Up: 23” Wide. Sance Angles +18/-3, +18/+3. Close to Reference on groomers and Set all the way back in powder.

How It Was Tested

Almost every day I rode the Never Summer Cougar I tested it against the Valhalla and Proto Freeride. I never test a board solo because that is a sure fire way to not have an accurate test.

Approximate Weight

The Never Summer Cougar felt lighter than normal. Never Summer has come a long way when it comes to making their boards lighter but still more durable. (We don’t put in the exact weight because with wood cores there is no consistency in a boards weight)


The Never Summer Cougar 156 felt perfect and they don’t make many smaller sizes. I could turn the 156 well without having to work too hard with my size 9’s but didn’t feel too heavy at all for the 156 at 185lbs-190lbs.

Here are some ideal US boot sizes for these boards. You can of course go bigger or smaller depending on your riding style and boot’s footprint, but these work best for not turning the board slower than it should be and not having the dreaded Toe & Heel Drag.
156: 8.5-9.5
160: 9.5-10.5
157x: 10.5-11.5
161x: 11-12
165x: 11.5-12.5

For weight, Never Summer does very well for those on the bigger end of the scale. I would make sure this fits your boot size first and I wouldn’t worry as much about the weight as you would with other brands…well within reason.


So this has almost the same shape as the Proto Fr but just with a different camber profile and a lighter/poppier construction. It’s got a much longer nose than tail and 5mm of taper but doesn’t feel super set back and directional. It’s on that border between all mtn and freeride but feels more like a non-tapered all mtn board.

Camber/On Snow Feel/Ability Level

Never Summer Cougar Camber

The Never Summer Cougar has a very unique version of hybrid camber that they call Recurve Triple camber. It has a passive camber between the feet and then two more before the tip/tail but then has early rise before the nose/tail. It packs in a lot more camber than your average hybrid camber giving it the pop of aggressive camber but with a much more forgiving profile. It tracks super well in comparison to all other Never Summers other camber profiles but also feels a bit more locked in. So it isn’t for beginner/intermediates. It’s more for strong intermediates and up.

Flex Personality

NS Cougar Flex

You have a pretty medium/stiff flex between the feet but then a nose that gives a good bit easier and a tail that is in between. It was easier to butter in the tip/tail than I thought it would be and it just pops so hard on an ollie. For Davey it was a little more work but for me it felt pretty easy.

Uneven Terrain

NS Cougar Uneven snow

So even though the Never Summer Cougar is pretty poppy it doesn’t carry over into being hard to ride in uneven snow. It isn’t the dampest in Never Summer’s line but it’s still very damp and a great all day ride.

Edge Hold

I felt that Triple Camber Fusion tech gripped a little better in the Valhalla and Proto Fr but the Never Summer Cougar is no slouch. It handles hard snow very well. On top of all the passive camber that engages when fully weighted there also seems to be a very subtle disruption in the sidecut as well.


I thought with this shorter/somewhat deep sidecut that the Never Summer Cougar wouldn’t go straight as easy but it had no problem pointing it.

Base Glide

You have a very smooth and easy gliding base. NS does bases well and as long as you stay on your waxing you get really good glide.

Turning Experience/Carving

NS Cougar Circle Carve

So ollie power and turning was the highlight for me with this Never Summer Cougar. You have a very easy to turn board and then when you get it over on edge it has a very balanced turning experience. Strangely it feels much more straight liney in powder than it does on groomers. Still it carves like a champ and this Recurve Triple Camber really gives you a lot more spring than traditional hybrid camber. I didn’t have the Hammer but it felt like it had more spring out of the turn. Then you add in this poppy construction it was super satisfying.

What was cool with the Never Summer Cougar is you can drive a front footed, center weighted or back foot weighted turn. Other NS camber profiles like Rocker & Camber, Ripsaw & Shockwave all don’t center weight turns well. They need you to commit to either the front or back foot to engage that camber over each binding. The Never Fusion Triple Camber’s small camber between the bindings can center weight a carve pretty well but it’s harder to engage the larger/more springy camber in the tip/tail. You really have to lean hard into the front or back foot to engage that camber but it doesn’t feel as satisfying as Ripsaw or Shockwave and especially so with Recurve Triple Camber.


Never Summer Cougar In Powder

You get pretty good directional float with the Never Summer Cougar. It’s not full on freeride float but it’s very good for an all mountain board. We got this in a lot of pow and set it as far back as we could for our stance width’s. We found it to change personality and feel not as turny as on groomers. It didn’t want to slash as much as go straight. Both Davey and I like more slashy turny riding so for us this was a complaint but for others who like to charge it might be a bonus.

With a 22.25” stance width set all the way back you can get 2.65” back from center of board. That is very good for all mtn but not ideal compared to most freeride boards.


NS Cougar Switch

I was really impressed at how well the Never Summer Cougar rode switch for having 5mm of taper and a pretty healthy set back on sidecut. It tracks really well into jumps and also pops hard into the air. Didn’t ride pipe but it might be pretty good here. Pass on jibs.

Final Thoughts

So other than the more straight liner only feel when set all the way back in pow this NS Cougar was a treat. I liked this soo much I asked NS to keep it. For me it is like the Korua Otto I love but better fits my boot size. If you like to carve and get air this Cougar is a great choice.

If this review helped, we’d appreciate if you:

Never Summer Cougar Specs

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Never Summer Cougar User Reviews

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