Board: 2017 Never Summer Warlock
Type: Freestyle – True Twin
Camber Option: Rocker Camber – rocker between feet, camber underfoot (overall rocker shape)
Rider Weight: 150 LBS
Resort: Keystone Resort Colorado
Conditions: Packed and groomed powder, standard Colorado conditions
Stance: 22” wide with +15°, -15° binding angles
Initial Thoughts: The Never Summer Warlock is a good choice for someone who enjoys the catch free feel and playfulness that rocker provides, but still wants a high performing snowboard on edge. The Warlock is a lot of fun in the park, and the medium flex brings stability for a solid ride while cruising and jumping. I thought this board would be pretty similar to the Funslinger, but in the end found it to be a bit stiffer and better suited for jumping and all-mountain than its asymmetrical little brother.
Carving & Edge Hold: The Warlock is very smooth edge to edge and doesn’t have a very aggressive side cut. I would say it has a freestyle side cut that is comfortable on the approach to features and jumps; it can also do some aggressive carving but doesn’t want to naturally throw you into a hard arcing turn without you asking for it. It feels comfortable and maneuverable even at slow speeds. Vario Power Grip is also built into the side cut on this guy, which creates two added contact points underfoot and really helps provide some extra grip.
Flex: Medium flex that gets more playful in the tips. The overall rocker shape brings out the playfulness in this board, you can get a lot of flex as you move your weight over the tips. I would say the flex is middle of the road right around a 5 out of 10.
Stability: Pretty average stability for a freestyle snowboard that is limited by its medium flex and overall rocker profile. At high speed it does get some chatter (to be expected with softer flex and rocker) but never to the point where you feel you will loose control. Stability is solid for landings on jumps and was something that stood out to me; it’s on a similar level as the Arbor Element.
Butters: The Warlock is a buttery snowboard. Despite having a medium flex the overall rocker shape makes initiating butters and presses easy, and also creates predictable flex zones to balance on while doing your trick. A catch-free feel in the tips while you swivel and slide on snow is also a standout on this board, again largely due to the camber profile.
Jibbing: Slippery and catch-free when sliding sideways on rail features, the feeling is reassuring and somewhat of a confidence boost. This is something that is true for all the freestyle boards on Never Summer’s line. The large nose and tail shape also provide nice platforms for locking into features and landing in a press.
Jumps: The Warlock is solid on jumps, especially in the small to medium range. It’s a bit stiffer and more stable than boards like the Never Summer Funslinger or Salomon Villain but overall is still relatively soft in the scheme of things. If you are looking to push mainly jump progression I would recommend something stiffer and regular camber like the Ride Helix. The Warlock still caters more to riders who want to hit jibs, and therefore makes a bit of a compromise on stability for jumps.
Pop/Snap: Pretty average pop, I was able to get some solid ollies with this thing but I had to work to get the height I wanted. It has some snap to offer but doesn’t shoot you to the moon. This is part of the compromise for performance on jibs and the catch free ride rocker provides.
Recommendations: The Never Summer Warlock is a playful and versatile snowboard for the freestyle rider who wants to progress on rail and jib features, but also have the stability to carve at speed and hit some decent size jumps without worrying. The overall rocker shape of the board helps with presses and butters, as well as floating in powder and turn initiation. I would recommend this snowboard to beginner riders and up.
Thanks to Never Summer for loaning us this snowboard for review.
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