This is my review of the Never Summer West Bound snowboard.
I’m a certified snowboarding instructor with years of experience on the mountain. I have used many different boards over the years and know how to accurately access critical attributes on and off the snow.
The Never Summer West Bound is a fun a slightly aggressive freeride snowboard. It has a little extra versatility and flex than a fully focused freeride model, making it a good option for intermediates, but this also compromises some high-end performance.
In this post, I’ll dive into the details and provide you with a full review of the board. My goal is to give you all the information you need to know to make an educated buying decision.
Let’s head west.
Never Summer West Bound Overview
The Never Summer West Bound is another quality option in the brand’s lineup. It’s a capable board with freeride intentions but has a forgiving nature that makes it a good choice for intermediate riders looking to launch bigger lines.
Freeriding is a technical and aggressive snowboarding style, and if this is your preferred type of riding, you need equipment that is as burly as the mountain you intend to dominate. There is little room for error, and this applies to your body and your board.
While the West Bound is a capable snowboard, I don’t think it entirely lives up to its freeride intentions. If you are a demanding rider looking for a highly aggressive, responsive, and stiff stick to cut through intense conditions, this isn’t it.
Still, the board can work for more intermediate-level riders who are just starting to explore freeriding in all of its glory. Having a slightly forgiving nature allows you to improve your skills without being overwhelmed and overpowered.
The West Bound comes with a medium-stiff flex that allows for freeride characteristics in the snow. It’s far from the stiffest option, which means you’ll sacrifice some power and response. But this also increases versatility for effective all-mountain riding.
A directional twin shape works well in various conditions and allows you to tackle technical terrain at higher speeds. The Vario Power Grip Sidecut is a unique design that amplifies high-performance and fun, and I’ll get into the details of that in the sections below.
The board is equally fun to ride on big mountain lines as it is in powder or on groomers. I wouldn’t say it’s a top all-mountain option because of the freeride lean, but you get extra versatility that is easy to enjoy.
With seriously strong construction, you can expect reliable performance and durability, no matter how you choose to ride this board. There are plenty of construction features that make this it nearly bombproof, and I’ll highlight those below as well.
I don’t think the West Bound is a great value, mainly because it has a higher price tag without delivering high-end freeride performance. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad option. It’s just not a recommended choice based on freeride capabilities alone.
The West Bound can be a solid board in the right situations. It’s an excellent choice for intermediate riders looking to develop their freeriding skills and will give you versatility on the mountain that is both aggressive and playful.
This board falls somewhere in the middle of freeride and all-mountain performance. It has the stiffness and aggressive nature to handle technical freeride situations while being forgiving enough to give you the versatility to explore.
A directional twin shape combined with medium-stiff flex allows for a hard-charging snowboard that can cut through crud and carve up groomers. This is great for riders who want variation but also want to develop their skills on the hill.
Looking at its freeriding capabilities, the West Bound will give you a lot of float and response in powder. An early rise nose keeps you up off deeper snow and lets you sit back and enjoy the ride when the big flakes start to fall.
In more extreme and technical situations, I think the lack of stiffness starts to show. This isn’t the board to use if you are jumping off a helicopter and charging down some uncharted backcountry bowl – it’s just not quite up for that challenge.
It can handle speed well, and the profile shape allows you to rip while maintaining control and response. You get a good blend of camber and rocker, highlighting its versatility and keeping edge-control on demand.
Don’t expect this one to give you much in the terrain park or other freestyle situations. You can huck a big air off a cliff or something similar, but the West Bound is too stiff for park rats to take advantage of.
The West Bound features some very high-quality construction elements that make it another option in the Never Summer lineup that is nearly indestructible. If you want a board that can take a beating without missing a beat, you’ve found it.
Fusion Rocker Camber gives you the aggressive yet playful nature that this board possesses. Rocker under your feet and in the tip and tail gives you a lot of float and bounce, while camber outside the feet provides plenty of power.
On top of this, the Vario Power Grip Sidecut is a unique feature that uses the board’s shape to your advantage. This design increases edge hold in the rockered sections of the board to give you stable and effective control even when you aren’t pushing limits.
The board also has a super light wood core that uses a blend of strong and resilient woods to provide the beating heart for the rest of the build. This material is flexible but powerful and responsive – everything you want a freeride board to be built around.
The West Bound also comes with a Durasurf XT sintered 5501 base. Never Summer uses an exclusive plastic material here, making the base very fast and highly durable. This is the fastest base the brand has, and it uses the same material in all its high-end models.
A coextruded polymer top sheet adds another measure of durability and strength to the board. This is more of a cosmetic design feature than a performance-minded one. It is resistant to chips and scratches and also provides some grip for your boots.
A few extras built into this board help increase its value, performance, and construction. Never Summer has a reputation for building boards that hold up well, and many of these features enhance that.
The West Bound comes with a Recluse web carbon layer laminate that keeps the board’s flex sturdy and stable throughout its life. This works to provide the same reliable performance on day one as day one-thousand.
It also has an RDS 2 damping system that helps limit chatter and vibrations when riding at higher speeds. This is accomplished by using the three laminate layers to absorb movement and vibrations when you ride, resulting in noticeable stability.
To smooth things even further, elastomeric underfoot stabilizers are also built into the board. These are found in the binding mounting area and help reduce vibrations with the health of your feet in mind.
You also get sintered P-tex sidewalls that hold all of these laminates effectively in place. You won’t experience a crack or a split in your sidewalls. P-tex is also used in the base of the tip and tail for extra protection and durability.
The West Bound is a quality snowboard. It’s well built utilizing fantastic construction and materials, and it performs well in a variety of situations. But I don’t think it makes for a good value because of a higher price tag and not quite high-end freeride performance.
Intermediate riders who are looking to increase their freeriding skills might find this board a good value. It has enough stiffness to take on more technical lines without being overwhelming while still providing versatility.
If you are an experienced freerider looking for high-end performance that can live up to the demands of the style, this isn’t it. The West Bound is not a fully focused freeride model, and that reduces my value ranking overall.
Whether you want a board that focuses more on freeride or any other style, there are plenty of options to choose from. Check out the recommended alternatives below.
The T. Rice Pro is one of the best freeride boards you can get your hands on. It’s a highly effective and capable machine that can eat up big mountain lines while still giving you versatility in plenty of other situations.
The C2 profile shape gives it an aggressive nature that is perfect for experienced freeriders who want to conquer it all. It also has a twin shape that allows you to blend freestyle elements into your freeriding.
This model has more of an all-mountain focus compared to the Never Summer West Bound. It will give riders the ability to tackle anything and everything that comes their way while delivering superior performance throughout it all.
Traction Tech 3.0 edges give you serious control and stability in a wide range of conditions, and a progressive sidecut allows you to dig in and grip when the going gets tough.
This is another excellent freeride board that will give you reliable performance on your way to those big mountain lines. The Custom Flying V has a hybrid camber/rocker profile that gives you play, power, and response on demand.
The Never Summer West Bound is a well-built board that is a good option for intermediate riders who want to improve their freeriding skills. It’s a quality option but lacks true high-end freeride performance and isn’t a good value for every rider.About Lorraine