|Riding Level||Advanced - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Never Summer|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Men's 2023 Proto FR Snowboard (156)
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Never Summer Proto FR 22/23
|€ 799.95||Buy it|
Never Summer Proto FR Split 22
|€ 1169.96||Buy it|
Never Summer Proto FR Split 21
|€ 899.96||Buy it|
| PRFO Sports Canada |
Never Summer Men's Proto FR Snowboard
2023 Never Summer Proto FR Mens 156cm Snowboard
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Never Summer Proto Fr 2023 - 2022 Review by The Good Ride
Update 2023: The Never Summer Proto Freeride Hasn’t changed at all since my initial review so this is still valid for 2023.
Turn Ons/Swipe Right: Excellent Edge Hold. Tracks better than hybrid rocker. Good Turning Experience. Same Excellent Never Summer Dampness/Pop/Flex Personality
Turn Offs/Swipe Left: Can feel a bit hooky and locked in compared to Ripsaw and Shockwave Camber Profiles.
The Tripple Camber Tech of the Never Summer Proto Fr is a bit on the locked in catchy side but the adjustment period was pretty quick.
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.
Never Summer Proto Fr Snowboard Review- How it rides and who it is for
How This Review Happened:
Borrowed this for an extended demo and sent it back.
Conditions: Pretty good spring conditions. It shut off last year late feb/early march when I got this.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs)
Boots: Burton Kendo
Insoles: F.I.T. Gamechangers
Bindings: Union Atlas
Jacket: Volcom Coaches Jacket
Pant: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Hover Pant, Burton AK Gore-Tex 2L Swash Pant, Burton Gore-Tex Ballast Pant
Helmet: Smith Maze
Goggle: Smith 4D Mag
Gloves: Burton AK Tech Leather Glove, Burton AK Tech Glove
Similar Boards (but not the same): Yes Pick Your Line, Burton Flight Attendant, Jones Flagship, Rossignol XV, Lib Tech BRD, Weston Backwoods, Burton Cartographer, Burton Instigator, Korua Otto, Yes Typo, Jones Frontier,
Set-Up: 21.5” Wide. Stance Angles +18/-3, +18/+3. Close to Reference.
How it was tested
I took this out for most of the day and then at the end took out the Lib Tech Quiver Killer for a run and then the Never Summer Hammer for a run. Then I would often ride it the same day as the NS Hammer and switch back and fourth to get a feel of it. One day I rode the Proto Ultra as well to compare it to shockwave camber. Wasn’t a perfect comparison due to the different shapes of the boards but was super curious.
The Never Summer Proto Fr is a pretty middle ground board. Not to heavy and not too light but the dampness is just right.
(We don’t put in the exact weight because with wood cores there is no consistency in a boards weight)
I really liked the sizing of the NS Hammer in a 156 which has the same specs as the Never Summer Proto Fr when it comes to sizing, shape and width so I think I might like the 156 a little better. Still the 160 fit well and I think it all depends on what you are going for. If you want speed and better float go bigger. If you want maneuverability go one size smaller.
Here are some ideal US boot sizes for the Never Summer Proto Fr boards. You can of course go bigger or smaller but these work best for not turning the board slower than it should be and not having the dreaded Toe & Heel Drag.
Shape/Camber/On Snow Feel/Ability Level
The Never Summer Proto Fr has 5mm of taper which isn’t a lot compared to many freeride boards, but enough to feel different than your standard double ender all mountain board. It needs a little back foot weight but not much.
The camber profile is complex and very different than anything I tried. The short micro camber between the feet transitioning into rocker at the bindings, to camber and then a mellow rocker before the nose/tail took some getting used to. It didn’t have that learning curve like Tripple Base Technology had for me that took a few days. This only took me the morning to understand. The take away was it is more locked in than most hybrid camber boards and definitely more locked in than Never Summers Shockwave, Ripsaw and Rocker & Camber. It wasn’t quite there with the directional camber of the Hammer or other mostly camber rides but it wasn’t super easy to skid a turn.
One footing and flat basing were almost like other hybrid camber boards but had just a little different feel. Not sure if it was more loose or something else but it felt in between Shock Wave camber and hybrid camber.
What took some getting used to is the small camber section combined with the tip/tail off the snow felt a touch hooky. It felt like the edges were going to catch but then they didn’t do it as easy as you thought. Once I got used to that it was business as usual with NS.
The Never Summer Proto Fr doesn’t break in the middle on a flex like most of their hybrid rocker boards do but it was doable on a butter for sure. For being so damp this has good pop. I felt it popped the same way other hybrid rocker Never Summer boards did by loading it up in the camber area in the tip or tail and it popped well.
The Never Summer Proto Fr has that legendary NS flex personality that can handle just about any kind of uneven snow. Very competent powering over or through it but also great for just slowing down and turning through it as well. This is an excellent all day resort ride. If crowded Saturdays from first to last chair are what you ride this is a good friend.
This is a pretty stiff board and it can point it well. The Never Summer Proto Fr is more stable than Shock Wave straight lining, but I wasn’t 100% confident flat basing at speed with this little camber. I liked to still keep it on edge a little bit.
Base glide is easy and I love Never Summer bases. When well waxed they are up there with the best of them.
So here is one distinct advantage with Tripple Camber Tech. That mellow camber well between the feet really grips well. NS boards already did well in hard snow but the Never Summer Proto Fr and Tripple Camber Twin have more icy snow grip.
The 160 turned pretty quick even though it felt a touch wide for me.
Once I got this on edge there was a very balanced and fun turning experience. I think it would feel a bit more turny if you were a size 10 instead of a size 9 but it would still be pretty balanced. I liked the pop out of the turn with the Proto Ultra’s Shock Wave Camber Profile and the Directional Camber Hammer better but this was no slouch. Especially in harder snow it came alive.
No powder so hard to say. With a -2” set back from center of board at a 22.25” stance width, a little taper, and then combined with the nose/tail being off the snow this seems like a competent floater but it seems far from being a pow specialist. The Hammer has a little more set back on board but it has less overall early rise so that might be why. Maybe next time around I’ll get it in some deep snow.
Very doable switch. The Never Summer Proto Fr was fun tracking into small bumps on the hill but I think this has the potential to go big. The grip and semi quick turn initiation in pipe would be appreciated too.
So for me Never Summer Proto Fr was a fun board once I got used to it and I’m glad it didn’t take that long for it to happen. I felt a stronger connection to the Hammer and other Shockwave Camber Profile boards but this by no means a bad board. Just different than your usual Never Summer ride.
Never Summer Proto Fr Specs
Never Summer Proto Fr Images
Never Summer Proto Fr User Reviews