Ive been a bit quiet for the past month due to coming back from New Zealand and spending some time with my family, and then moving out to France and getting ready for the coming winter.
Ive been in France for a few weeks now, working far too much and haven't had anytime to get out on the board. While there is more snow then this time last year, we aren't getting the dumps that they are getting stateside.....but its early days yet, winters are now starting a lot later in Europe. Im still confident we are in for a good winter. People love to moan about the lack of snow, but it will come and the way i see it is that you just have to put that bit more effort in to find what we do have.
SoI thought I would review my current Splitboard setup.
Never Summer Raptor
My current split is by made by the boys in Colorado. They are know for their unmatched build quality and ingenuity. Ive always loved Never Summer ever since buying my Proto 5 years ago, I feel that they represent what I love about the industry. Their branding is understated and isn't all about having a high profile Pro Team, its about the people who work on the mountain and in the industry who need a board that will stand up to 100 days a winter for many years.
My Never Summer Proto has been ridden in some shocking conditions and while it has needed some repair work, it's still going strong. This is testament to the quality of these babies.
My Raptor isn't a normal factory splitboard. Never Summer used to do a thing where you could choose any of their boards and they would remake it as a custom splitboard....which is how my Raptor was born.
It has the hybrid camber that all NS boards have, rocker between the bindings with camber underfoot. What this means is that you have the benefits of rocker when in the soft stuff, but the stability of the camber when landing drops. It does mean that when in touring mode you have a slightly smaller surface area but this is fine once you get used to it . The base is insanely fast and durable and edge to edge its very responsive. It's a stiff board, and paired with the Karakoram K clips means that even on piste it holds together well and rides almost as well as a solid board.
Ive tested on pretty harsh New Zealand snow conditions and now i'm looking forward to using it here in Europe on some long tours. So there we have it, Never summer..............Go buy one!