Never Summer Atom Splitboard – Powder Snake!
For the last two season, the Never Summer Swift has been my favorite board. New for the 19-20 season the Atom emerges as the most fun splitboard! I use the term Powder Snake as this was mentioned to me by another rider who loved the way this board charged – Joe Triscari.
Never Summer improved the touring experience on the Atom by keeping the area underfoot a bit flatter. This allows the board to gain better traction on the way up. As all you backcountry skiers and splitboarders know, this is where we spend the majority of the time. If you can save some energy on the way up, it can allow for more fun on the way down!
Although I love the way the Swift floats in powder and handles variable conditions with ease, the only drawback was a slight hindrance on touring. Most days this was not an issue, but it was an opportunity. And opportunity Never Summer addressed with the Atom with great success.
I was handed the board at the beginning of May for testing. Some of you may think that is a bit late, but we had one of the best Mays in recent years. With several pow days and amazing conditions! After leaving the NS factory in Denver, I headed up to the mountains to set up base camp for the next few days. I lucked out with a significant snowstorm dumping 8″+ inches of dry powder. Lap after lap, I could not stop laughing from having so much fun.
The board naturally floats with ease. No need to lean back on this thing, but if you do, get ready for some epic buttering! The first few days were hero powder days. The kind of days you tell all your friends about.
As temps warmed up, the snow became denser. This made for great testing conditions as well. Hot, wet pow is still a hell of a lot of fun. So long as the board can maneuver in it. The Atom rose to the task at hand again. I was genuinely surprised and stoked on how easily it handled the heavy snow. Watching the videos of these cement powder days, you can hear the excitement I was experiencing. Hard not to be ecstatic when your board is doing what you want it too!
One of the best things about Never Summer boards is their durability. For one, they are hand made in Colorado. Two, they have a three-year warranty. Through in the feel under your feet and the ability to charge any line you want, and you have a winner. I hit plenty of land sharks, dropped the board out of the truck and all the other random stuff that happens to ski and snowboard gear. Not much to show for all that, other than a minimal cut on the Carbonium top sheet.
Materials and Build
NS uses a lighter weight core on this board. I won’t give away the secrets, but the Paulownia mix is full of pop and is legit. Flex is slightly stiff, although I did not really think it was stiff. Then again, I am used to riding stiff boards, so my feeling might be off. The white color on the top sheet looks good and keeps the board from absorbing heat, which helps keep it from icing on overnight trips. Something I really appreciate.
There is a slight taper to the board, something in the 8-10mm range. The Ripsaw profile really shines in both touring (thanks to the new flat zone underfoot) and on the descent.
I have been using the Phantom Hercules Hooks on most of my boards the last two seasons and love them. They are made here in Colorado as well. It is really great seeing two awesome Colorado snowboard companies collaborate on this (and all NS splits!) board. It really is a win/win situation.
Review of the Never Summer Atom Splitboard
If you have not been able to tell, I am really impressed with this board. After seeing it at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, I knew I had to get out on it. My man Vince Sanders made sure that happened. The board I tested was a 160 wide. Though it was almost as long as some of my 162 boards. The wider board turned with ease and kept my size 11.5 boot (next seasons Thirty Two Jones MTB boot) from ever catching on steep turns.
Every day out on the Atom was a joy. I don’t think I have had this much fun on a board since…. the Swift. That is saying quite a bit! Available in the fall of 2019 MSRP $1059. If you are thinking about getting this board, I can assure you it will not disappoint.
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