2012 Never Summer Proto CT Review

The Never Summer Proto CT is brand new for the 2012 lineup. It is a blunt shaped true twin with Never Summer’s Rocker+Camber tech and an invincible Carbonium topsheet. It is supposed to fall somewhere in between the Evo which is a true twin park dominator and the SL which is a slightly setback, directional all-mountain stick.

2012 Never Summer Proto CT

Conditions: Various.

Dave says: I rode the Proto CT for two days at Crystal Mountain in late March under bluebird skies on hardpacked groomers. Great snow conditions for late-season riding, actually.

Leo says: I rode the Proto CT in 12″ of Michigan freshies layered over hardpack.  Unfortunately, they groom the snow here even if it is natural (booooo).  However, there’s always neglected, ungroomed snow on the sides of the runs!  The other outing was on hardpack and East Coast ice.  The Powder was at Pine Knob and the crud was at Nubs Nob.

Size: 157cm
Stance: regs 15/-15 (Dave) 18/-12 (Leo)
Shape: True Twin Rocker + Camber
Bindings: ’11 Ride Delta (Dave) ’11 Rome 390 Boss & ’10 Flow NXT-FSE (Leo)
Dave’s stats: 6′, 210 lbs
Leo’s stats: 5’9″ 180 lb


Leo says: The Proto CT is just past mid-flex overall.  Never Summer rates it a 5.  I’d say it’s 5.5-6/10 on my personal scale.  Stiffer underfoot and through the tips, but not to plank-like levels.  Torsionally, I found the board to be stiffish.  For a frame of reference, the Proto CT is definitely stiffer both lengthwise and torsionally than the NS Evo.  I do have the very low-pro Burton Restricted Hail boots in 9.5 though.  The Proto CT 157 has a waist width of 25.3cm which is wider than my normal boards all of which have waist widths under 25cm.

Dave says:  Stiffer tip/tail with good flex in the center of the board, some torsional flex but otherwise stiff enough for most all-mountain riding.


Leo says: This is one of the board’s many strong suits.  Easily one of the poppiest boards out.  Not DH2 level pop though, but plenty enough.  Never Summer’s camber placement, the carbon stringers, and stiffer tips gets the ollie job done and then some.  I didn’t hit any kickers in the park with this unfortunately.  Over at Nubs, I was just popping off natural stuff in the trees and elsewhere.  Didn’t get a ton of air or anything, but I am confident that this board is a solid jumper.  Was very stable off everything I did jump-wise.

Dave says: the camber part of Never Summer’s R/C tech really delivers a good amount of pop on this board. Messing around on side hits and rollers or small jumps this board delivered, very stable landings on the few 15ers that I hit and I’m sure it would do fine on larger jumps, too.


[showmyads]Leo says: I was jibbing some small logs (branches? lol) at Nubs.  Interesting thing about the Proto CT is the dampening and flex combo.  I’m no expert jibber, but I normally wouldn’t expect to feel much underfoot for boards of this flex range.  You do though.  That much needed “locked in” feeling is there granted you really do lock onto a feature.  Another frame of reference, the Evo is a better jibber due to the combination of the dampening and softer flex.  As for butters, the Proto CT does the job.  It has a rocker profile and it’s not too stiff so butter away.

Dave says: The Proto CT delivers great pop to get you on the features and the flex is right, you could take this anywhere on the mountain and have fun riding it whether you’re buttering it up with flat-ground tricks or hitting park features. I did predominately natural features, a few log jibs, some side hits and spins on the natural tranny wall on Little Vincent trail at Crystal Mountain (MI).


Leo says: Another strong suit of the Proto CT is the handling.  I did find short carves to be a little slow edge to edge, but I’d like to point out my previous statement about my boot model and boot size.  Slapping the Flows on them definitely got rid of that problem though.  Medium to long carves held up excellent.  On steeper, hardpack terrain, the board definitely felt lively.  However, none of the feedback was enough to cause a wash out.  I took the Proto CT on a boardercross course at Nubs and man, this thing rocked on that course.  I was able to make tight turns with ease (had my Flows on it) going full speed while my buddies were crashing lol.    Flying off the rollers was really fun as well on this.  I just aimed it, caught air, and rode away.  This type of performance was unexpected considering that the Proto CT is a mid to mid-stiff flexing true twin.  And to be frank, I actually like the liveliness of the board.  I equate it to power steering in a car.  I hate it when cars have no feedback in the steering wheel.  I want to feel some of the response from the road while I’m driving.

I took the Proto CT through some very tight trees in the same hardpack/icey conditions.  I will say I had some problems there.  Making a tight turn at full speed is one thing, but making tight turns in succession with little speed is another story.  This is the prime reason why I prefer at least a mid-soft board in the trees.  This is where the Evo excels over the Proto CT in my opinion.  I can’t speak for a more wide open tree run, but my guess is the Proto CT is going to dominate that type of run.  In very tight spots, I’d rather ride the Evo.

Dave says: Minimal on this stick at all, handled all of the steeps that Crystal Mountain had to offer without any trouble. Super responsive when making short carves on the steeps and stable on the long lazy carves on the wide-open groomers. Conditions weren’t ripe for me to take any tree lines so I can’t judge that. For a true-twin deck with a more freestyle orientation the Proto CT was impressively damp on the corduroy and should hold its own even on nastier crud. Again the R/C tech comes in to play where you get the edge-hold of traditional camber to help you out on the icier spots.

[buybtn brand=”Never Summer” deck=”Proto” ptext=”The Proto CT retails around $540, pricey, but backed by some awesome technology in the Rocker+Camber, and the indestructible Carbonium top sheet.”]

Leo’s Take: $540… that’s pretty exotic for the vast majority of people.  You have to look at it this way though, Never Summer isn’t a company that’s trying to market their products to the masses.  This is evidenced by the lack of inventory on the Interwebz.  The fact is further evidenced by the lack of inventory as early as mid-season.  Basically put, good luck trying to find one of their more popular boards like the SL or Evo in your size during end-of-season sales.  This is not a bad thing at all.  They make a few really well made boards and I hope they stay that way.  Being a small, quality driven company is what probably enables NS employees to hop onto places like Internet forums to receive feedback on their products.  And you know what?  They actually listen and try to accommodate their current/potential customers!

Bottom line is, I didn’t expect to become such a fan of their products.  I normally try to go against the hype… actually no, hype thus far for me has turned out to be false.  The Never Summer hype has a solid foundation.  Two boards in and I’m hooked.  By the way, their carbonium topsheets are stupid durable.  I was sure that David was going to put some battle scars on it with his crazy double corks onto features into a tail press and chicken wing mctwist out antics… but nope.  Nothing.

So who do I see riding this board?  All-mountain freestyle riders, especially those looking for a quiver of one. Intermediate and above. A little much for a beginner, but definitely not going to destroy the novice like a stiff freeride board would.

Dave’s Take: Overall this was a super fun board to ride and could easily handle almost anything you throw at it. I’ve been a long-time NS supporter and I’d definitely like to add another one to my quiver someday, the Proto CT would make a nice addition! I’d probably not recommend it for a beginner, but definitely for more experienced, intermediate to advanced riders who are looking to get the most out of their stunt stick and who will really appreciate the all-mountain versatility and durability of NS boards.

13 thoughts on “2012 Never Summer Proto CT Review

    1. He said most of his boards are UNDER 25 cm and in addition, he didn’t say anything negative about it. He just stated a fact.

      What crawled up your ass?

    2. Yea, under 25cm. .4-5cm difference. On top of that, this season was my first time in a boot with such a low-profile so that’s probably another cause.

      And no, it’s not a big deal. After all, the Proto is my go-to board now. I was just saying what I experienced. It’s not just the waist width, it’s the combination of the shrinkage boots, flex, and what I’m used to.

      Zach: We know angry from a forum. That’s just the way he is. No offense taken.

  1. I’m looking to get a new board for this season. I’m not expert, I can’t do tricks, I can’t jump! I can get from the top of the groomer to the bottom as fast as i can without taking any falls. This will be my second season riding and I’m want to start doing ground tricks, from butters to some other things and I really want a board that will help me get there and still allow me to race down to the lift whenever I feel like just getting down the mountain. Would the Proto CT be the board for me? I currently have the Rome Reverb stay positive and I don’t know if i should upgrade to the NS or stick with what i have for now. HELP please!

    I am 6’1
    210 lbs
    size 11 boots
    current setup:
    boots – Rome libertine
    bindings – rome 390
    board rome reverb 160

    I know i went Rome wild lol.

    1. Nothing wrong with going Rome wild :)

      The Reverb if I’m not mistaken is a pared down version of the Agent. You’ve got the posi-camber version and it is more of “all-mountain” board, which probably isn’t the best for buttering & jibbing.

      For purely park/freestyle riding I would lean more towards the Evo/Revolver than the Proto C/T. NS boards are typically pretty damp and plenty of people will tell you that the Evo/Revolver handles very well for a park board, although it will be squirrely at higher speeds. However, if you’re looking for one snowboard that does everything, the Proto is a pretty good option. I still might favor the Evo/Revolver, though, I think it will have an easier flex for those ground tricks & butters, and you can always go back to the Reverb on days when you just want to cruise groomers full speed.

    i’m 5’5”, 130lbs
    riding yrs: 4
    current set up
    148cm sims
    burton mission
    32 lashed
    riding style: 75% charging the mtn, ollied off any small feature, 25% catching air in the park, nothing technical, just straight air and grabs, occasionally 50-50 off boxes/rails

    i can finally afford to buy a NS snowboard. i have always been a fan of NS, and no doubt in my mind that my next board will be NS to help me advance to the next level of my riding style. looking to spend a little more time in the park, spin tricks on flat ground as well as off small kickers, butter, basically just a more enjoyable ride and a bit more technical :D. i been reading quite few reviews both about proto ct and evo. i really like the proto but is the shortest version 152cm too long for me to be more technical? or i am better off with the evo? if u think evo is the better fit, would the 147 be fine since with the blunted ends, longer effective edge? I also will buy this yr ROME 390 BOSS binding to go with my NS board :)
    THANK YOU!!!!!

    1. I think the 152 Proto would probably be too long. The 147 Evo would probably be a better fit, and since you are not very heavy, some of the speed/stability issues that a bigger guy might have on a park board will not be as pronounced for you. Also, NS boards are famously damp & more stable than many others, anyways. Plenty of people ride the Evo/Revolver as all-mountain, even though they are really park/freestyle boards.

  3. I am really looking into getting a new board this season. For the most party I’ve been just an all mountain rider. Up where I am, conditions are the best as sometimes it gets icy and powder is very rare. I do plan on taking trips into bigger mountains with better conditions though. Because of this, I have my balls to go off jumps and stuff. I am trying to get into doing some buttering and get better at jumps. I’m not too keen on rails and boxes yet.

    I have my eyes set on the Never Summer Proto CT, I am a bit in the same situation as Roy H where I’m almost same size. I am not exactly sure on board size and if this board really is best suited for me. From reviews though, it seems to be the right one.

    I am 5’5″ – 5’6″
    about 140lbs give or take 5lbs
    Riding since about: 2004
    Board: 2006 Burton Custom 151
    Bindings: 2006 Burton Cartel
    Boots: 2010 Burton Ion

    Please help me choose the right board. Snowboard technology has changed alot since I was last looking into getting gear. I just recently found out what camber and everything was. Thank you!

    1. Sorry, a few typeos.

      -For the most “part”
      -Conditions “aren’t” the best
      -With powder and better conditions I have more balls to try jumps as risk of landing on ice is less

      I really should reread before posting.

      Thanks in advance for any advise~

    2. Hey Tommy you could do Proto in 150 or 152cm but I think you would also be fine on the Evo, same sizes. The Ion is probably not the best match for either of these boards since it is a relatively stiff boot and generally you want to pair similar flex in board/boots/bindings. With that in mind the Proto is a bit stiffer and flexes differently than the Evo. Proto better for jumping, Evo better for jibbing & buttering.

      My personal preference between these two boards is the Evo (we’ve got a review of that one dropping in the morning).

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