Behind-the-Scenes: Never Summer Factory Tour

Words: Candy Dungan Photos: Kira Martinez

Never Summer is known for durable, well-constructed snowboards made in the USA. This November, Shred Betties toured Never Summer’s Headquarters for a behind-the-scenes look at their 2016 Women’s line. From construction to testing and graphics to marketing, Tony Sasgen, Never Summer’s International Sales Manager, shared it all with an emphasis on the ladies!

Tony shows Candy how the core is milled

Never Summer boards are handmade – assembly line style – in a huge warehouse North of Denver, Colorado. The process is intricate, and the construction is precise. Here are a few highlights from the construction process:

Finished cores with inserts drilled.

• Birch wood is used under bindings, but Aspen is used for the rest of the board’s core for amplified pop.
• Carbon strips are used to make specific areas of the board more rigid, and the patterns are adjusted depending on the model of the board.
• Pre-cured pretention fiberglass is used to add strength and snap.
• Different fabrics are used for top sheets to cater to different rider preferences – for example, Never Summer’s mat fabric doesn’t scratch, but it does resist stickers. The glossy boards will easily scratch, but they will take stickers well.

Strengthening the board with a fiberglass sheet

Never Summer boards are made for the aggressive rider – male or female. Their women’s line offers two different camber profiles: rocker camber and amplified camber (i.e. Ripsaw rocker camber). Rocker camber is a mix of traditional camber profile and rocker profile. Most boards on the market use a mix of rocker and camber – the difference is how much rocker versus camber they use and where they use it. Never Summer has designed its profiles to create three pressure points, instead of the traditional two pressure points. This gives the board a more aggressive and controlled ride.

These presses create the camber profiles

The board shape is cut after pressing.

Never Summer carries freestyle, all-mountain, and freeride boards for women. The brand manipulates the flex patterns and side cuts of each board to create models for different riding styles. Their women’s boards are inspired from their best-selling men’s boards – just shorter, narrower, and with softer flex patterns.

Never Summer’s 2015-16 Women’s line includes two all-mountain boards, a freeride board, and park board. Here are our favorites:

Aura – All-Mountain – NEW!
The Aura is new to the Never Summer line up and is the only board to feature the amplified rocker camber profile that originated on the Men’s Ripsaw board. This profile is made to have incredible edge hold and pop, while still feeling playful thanks to its mid-flex pattern. It comes in sizes 146-155 with the split board option and is made for the aggressive all-mountain rider who charges everything – big air, big mountain, big jibs.

Raven – Freeride
The Raven is designed for huge carves and high speeds with its’ mid-firm flex patterns and directional stance. It’s not for the jibber, but the aggressive, big-mountain, female rider. Like the Aura, it comes in a split board version for those who seek uncharted terrain. The sizes range from 146-157, and it features the original rocker camber profile.

Onyx – Freestyle
The Onyx is a soft, buttery, lightweight, spinning machine – and I can say that because it’s my personal, go-to board. There are plenty of lightweight, poppy, park boards on the market, but the Onyx stands out because of its ability to hold down a carve at high speeds. At 5’7 and 135 lbs., I take my 143 Onyx to speeds above 60 mph and through snow as deep as a foot without a problem – chatter unheard of. There aren’t many park boards on the market that can do this. Even better – I’ve begun my third year of aggressively riding the 2013-14 Onyx, and it’s still going strong. 

The 2015-16 Onyx comes in sizes 140 – 149, catering to the smaller, female rider. It features a twin shape with the original rocker camber profile and the Press Flex Core with soft flex for that playful feel. Although this board is made for aggressive, female, park riders – It’s also a great option for entry-level snowboarders because of its forgiving, soft profile and ability to grow with you as your riding improves.

No matter your interest and skill level, you can count on Never Summer for a well-constructed and sturdy board that will last you 100-150 aggressive riding days on snow – and they’re not done with us yet!

Never Summer continuously works to improve its women’s product line and is releasing a freeride board with the amplified Ripsaw Rocker Camber profile for the 2016-17 snow season. For more info about their new board – check back in February for the Shred Betties SIA gear reviews!

Finished products awaiting shipping and factory seconds with notes about damage.

Posted by Kelly Vance on 12/14/15

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