The Never Summer Ripsaw is the board that started the augmented camber profile with NS and you could now describe it as a stiffer centered stance twin version of the Never Summer West. If you set your stance back in powder then the West is the call but if you don’t then the Ripsaw is the call. Other than some minor tweaks there hasn’t been much that’s changed from 2014-2017 but this review has been updated to reflect how the Ripsaw stands in 2017.
One thing to remember when looking at this camber profile is that wood isn’t 100% consistent so the rocker height can vary from board to board. In general the Ripsaw’s camber profile should be closer to the snow than boards with Never Summer’s Rocker & Camber profiles but again each board varies so don’t freak out if your camber profile is different than ours.
2014-2017 Never Summer Ripsaw Snowboard Review
The 2016 Never Summer Ripsaw is a little bit softer than previous years models but the 17, 14 and 15 are similar in flex. The Never Summer Ripsaw is for those who are more into taking on the mountain at high speeds regular or switch. It’s an aggressive but forgiving board for how aggressive it is.
Conditions: Many days with good groomed snow in the morning that’s pushed away mid day to reveal a thin hard block of snowment. I had one day with 8″ of thick Sierra Snow. There was some Rockies Snow and all of it was good. Only had 1/2 day with harder snow and a few days with really good Mammoth groomers.
Riders: James, Peter, Jimbo, Mike and a few others.
Boots: Burton SLX, Salomon F3.0, Burton Fiend LTD, Burton Imperial, Nike Lunarendore
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Genesis, Burton Diode, Union Contact Pro, Union Atlas, Flux SF and Flux DS
Set Up: Centered approximately 23″ wide 15 front -15 back.
Approximate Weight: 156 Ripsaw 6.4 lbs but weight’s can vary board to board. It’s wood in the core so no board is consistent with it’s weight.
Flex: The NS Ripsaw is pretty stiff for a Twin and not really for riders that like to butter and play around. Even with the super easy to butter Burton Diode’s I couldn’t get the Ripsaw to flex under foot that easy.
On Snow Feel: So after reading about this board I would of thought that the Never Summer Ripsaw would of acted like the Lib Tech TRS XC2 BTX but its more aggressive. The profile feels pretty stable for one footing or flat basing which is a nice improvement over their Rocker and Camber profile. What is interesting is you don’t feel your weight on that rather pronounced camber when going straight and it almost feels like a flat to rocker board. However you get a big surprise when you initiate into a moderate turn or lay into a carve and then it comes to life acting like a springy camber board. It’s definitely a solid departure from the old Proto and still a step up in terms of aggressiveness from the Proto Type II. It wants to go fast and it wants you to lay into a carve regular or switch but it doesn’t freak out if you want to mellow out and skid turns either. The crazy thing is a board this stiff shouldn’t be this forgiving for a twin with a freeride flex but this camber profile allows you to be more adventurous with less consequence than most boards of this flex will allow.
Turn Initiation: It’s very quick edge to edge and feels like a flat camber board until you lay into a more aggressive turn or a hard carve and then it becomes a completely different board.
Skidded Turns: It’s a lot easier to skid turns than most aggressive boards which is a real bonus. I think that’s why a lot of riders like this board because if you get off your game you can just skid out and stop.
Carving: It holds a carve much better than the old Rocker and Camber profile boards and it’s right there with many camber dominant boards out there. I couldn’t get the Ripsaw to wash out and I didn’t have to swing my knees wide to put pressure on the tip/tail like I have to do with Rocker & Camber boards. I could get more of a surf style lean back on the tail at the end of a carve and let the boards camber spring me out of the turn. It was just a little bit shy of a good true camber board and one of the better hybrid rocker boards I have carved with.
Edge Hold: Solid grip just like all NS boards. Really holds an edge without being overly grippy in softer snow. Not an ice specialist but will handle most conditions the average rider experiences without issue. I’ve been a big fan of the Vario Grip side cut for a long time and this is no exception.
Speed: Very fast and damp for a 156 twin. It kind of felt like someone mistakenly cut out a freeride board into a twin. I had some perfect uncrowded morning groomer days to bomb and the Ripsaw made me feel very comfortable at higher speeds. It can be a little bit unstable because of the tip/tail are lifted of the snow but it tracks a lot better than NS’ older Rocker and Camber profile.
Uneven Terrain: As the days get chewed up and bumpy I felt more than I normally do with the Ripsaw than I do with their softer flexing boards. Slower speeds aren’t as playful, shock absorbing and easy but for such a stiff damp board it’s better than you would think. It hammers through chunder well at higher speeds.
Powder: With the thick Sierra snow we had the Ripsaw was fine but anything over 1.5 feet we would all much rather be on the Never Summer West due to it’s slightly directional shape and set back stance. You can’t set it back as much as you can because of the centered stance. If you ride switch a lot in powder this won’t be an issue and it floats better than a lot of aggressive mountain freestyle boards we enjoy like the Hot Knife, Arbor Coda Camber and Rome Agent Rocker.
Switch: Practically perfect either way. If you like riding switch at higher speed then here you go. The only thing that would be better is the Proto Type Two if you ride duck and centered. If you don’t then the Ripsaw might favor your riding style better.
Jibbing: Didn’t jib with this. I’m not a strong jibber and this sucked away my confidence level for hitting jibs with this stiff board. I wasn’t in the mood to get bucked off a rail any time I rode this. None of us jibbed with this actually.
Pipe: The Never Summer Ripsaw has more of a camber drive wall to wall while still being more forgiving than camber. We only had a few runs in the pipe but I liked how it felt and would love to lap the pipe with it.
Jumps: The Never Summer Ripsaw snapped into the air on an ollie very easy and felt very stable on the small kickers I hit. This feels like it’s more at home going bigger and it feels like the extra camber could help you pull off an awkward back seat landing better than the Rocker & Camber boards. It’s still fine for smaller to medium jumps and has a pretty forgiving feel here for how aggressive it is.
I often took the Never Summer Ripsaw up with the Lib Tech TRS XC2 BTX since their hybrid rocker profiles with augmented camber are similar. They also have that same centered stance twin shape. They both have a very fun personality under foot but it seems like the NS Ripsaw was more fun to push it at higher speeds and has a little more spring out of the turn when carving. Compared to the almost traditional camber Lib Tech Hot Knife it’s a more mellow ride due to the tip/tail still being lifted off the ground where the camber touches the snow with the Hot Knife.
A lot of Never Summer fans will be deciding between the Ripsaw, West and Proto Type II. The Ripsaws Flex is a little stiffer than the other boards but all are about the same when it comes to speed. The Ripsaw will be more work to butter though. The Type Two’s Asymmetrical Shape will be for those that only ride centered/duck and ride switch as much as they do regular. The Ripsaw is pretty close to the Proto Type Two but doesn’t mind if you don’t duck it out. It also doesn’t mind setting it back but with a centered stance you can’t set it back much or at all depending on your stance width. The West doesn’t have as good a switch experience as the others but of the three it’s the best one board compromise for those that want directional float in powder and a centered experience on groomers/park.
All in all the Never Summer Ripsaw is a good board that want a twin that can be aggressive when you want it to be but still be catch free and not have consequence when you get off your game. However if you are looking for something you can set back the Never Summer West would be the better call.