The Beginning: The Never Summer Twenty-Five (25th Anniversary Snowboard)
The roots of the new Never Summer Valhalla grew out of the classic, limited freeride board, the 2016 Twenty Five. That year we were celebrating our 25th anniversary and created a flagship freeride board that embodied Never Summer’s reputation of quality, performance and durability. The Twenty Five offered a damp, cushy ride with a mid/firm flex rating to handle any big mountain terrain. Featuring our most extensive damping system at the time. With twice the amount of elastomeric rubber as in a freestyle board, for unmatched stability riding fast and hard. For power and performance we gave the board an extensive amount of carbon fiber. Combining a top and bottom carbon matrix to maximize response and strength. The result was a lightweight yet powerful configuration that provided torsional rigidity and energy transfer without sacrificing the control a rider needs. The Twenty Five had our Ripsaw Rocker Camber profile making it a very versatile board, loved by many longtime Never Summer fans and riders coming over from brands like Lib Tech. Capped off with a super fast, durable, U.S.A made sintered base and a ultra tech co-extruded, textured polymer thermoplastic topsheet, that not only looks cool but works as a built in stomp-pad. It was also built in a very unique “Bat or Swallow tail” shaped splitboard.
How could we make this board even better?
This unique shape and the performance of the Twenty Five was etched into my mind and I vowed to resurrect it one day…..
Flash forward to 2021 and open the gates of Valhalla. After persuading owner/designer Tim Canaday to revisit the Twenty Five split shape, he set out to design the ultimate, hard charging freeride weapon. Tim started by altering the tip shape slightly but keeping the 7mm of taper for powder floatation and turn fluidity. A new slightly deeper sidecut was implemented for a more precise, sharper turn. Next, we turned attention to the profile and flex. Our groundbreaking Triple Camber had to be used here for its vicelike edgehold. A third camber area is flanked by two small rockers. This center camber reduces some of the pivot of the rocker and allows the board linear tracking for straight lining stability on catwalks, low angle terrain and higher speeds. While maintaining the overall versatility, ease of turning, increased glide and float in powder of the center rocker of our Original Rocker Camber. The primary edge hold starts from this center camber and is increased when the two camber pressure areas on the ends of the board are engaged. For the Valhalla the triple camber was modified slightly with a longer transition area in the nose, giving it a little more early rise and a slightly shorter camber section in the front. This allows an aggressive, stiffer board better powder floatation and more forgiving, surfy feel over the nose of the board. This would give it the float and then some say a Ride Warpig but a much more solid, hard charging board for carving hard packed snow and powerful slashing.
Prototyping the Valhalla
Prototyping began with making the board in different flex patterns. Both, firm but one softer than the other. These were tested by Tim himself, NS employees, team riders and an organic Never Summer facebook group. One member even went as far by generating a poll on what sizes we should offer, if released.
After compiling all this data, it was decided that the stiffer flex pattern was the way to go. Full Recluse Carbon Fiber webbing was added, giving the board greater stability on firm snow and ice. To counter this stiff flex in softer snow, the Valhalla has a generous set back of 1” on effective edge and 2” on material. This gives the board a longer nose, to keep it afloat in the deepest powder. While the shorter tail allows a rider to rip through the tightest trees, moguls and steeps. Extensive testing was also done on the amount of rubber damping we put it into the board. Never Summer snowboards are known for a damp, smooth ride. This is the result of the amount of vibration absorbing elastomeric rubber and placement of the rubber in our construction. We wanted the Valhalla to have these good damping characteristics but not to be too damp, more crisp, light and highly responsive. More like driving a Ferrari and not a Cadillac. To achieve this feel, we went with our RDS 2 damping system. This lightweight system uses three narrower laminated damping layers that provide the perfect combination of vibration absorption and liveliness. For durability, we added aluminum tail protection and full wrap metal edge on the nose.
The First Limited Edition Valhalla
After almost 2 years of research and development, we were ready to release a limited version of the Valhalla. In January 2023 the LTD Valhalla hit the market to rave reviews
The limited Valhalla featured a super cool, sublimated, sintered p-tex base. Offered in a variety of lengths to accommodate a wide range of rider sizes, 147, 153, 156,160 and 164. The 147 and 153 sizes quickly became a favorite of our women team athletes and smaller riders everywhere.
The Valhalla is a directional, freeride board for a rider wanting downhill performance. It has a longer, more upturned, early rise nose, making it easier to ride deep powder and slush. Perfect for those pow runs in bowls, glades and chutes.
Although, you can ride switch or fakie with it’s upturned tail, this is not a twin tip board and not ideal for doing so. The Valhalla also has 7 millimeters of taper that allow the board to finish turns beautifully, laying down perfect arc’s and make it agile for riding tight trees, bumps and steeper terrain. The added pressure points of Triple Camber, combined with a stiffer flex make it superb for deep eurocarving on groomers.
Also, optimum edge hold for riding ice, crud and hardpack snow conditions. Quick and agile in shorter radius turns, stable and fluid in longer radius turns. The Valhalla excels for high speed stability and riding fast. Bomb early morning runs and have control in the variable, choppy, late afternoon conditions.
For the 2023.2024 shred season, Never Summer has some great freeride snowboard offerings; Valhalla, Swift, Proto FR and Lady FR. Let’s compare these models and determine which would be the right board for you.
The godfather of the Shaper Series underwent a shape upgrade for 2024. It now has a new tail and more elongated nose shape. This resulted in a centimeter increase on each size for added float in low angle powder. All other specs and overall ride that made the Swift legendary for the last 7 years, remain the same. The Swift has more rocker with the Fusion Rocker Camber, this along with the greatest amount of taper (20mm) and set back give the swift the longest and widest nose for ultimate float in the deepest powder. This tapered shape and Fusion Profile make the Swift very forgiving and easy to ride, giving it a “surfy” feel. Perfect for riding tight trees, bumps and technical lines. To balance this looser or surfy feel on hardpack, the Swift has a stiffer flex rating and has a considerable amount of rubber vibration damping. This helps with carving edge hold on hardpack and smoothing out the ride in chunder or cutting through tracked out powder lines. Making it a very versatile and stable freeride board, unlike other powder boards on the market. So, if you’re looking for the ultimate powder board for a big cat skiing or heli trip, a board to navigate through the tightest trees or a solid, surf inspired carving board, look no further than the 2024 Swift.
The Proto FR sits between Valhalla and Swift. Triple Camber technology gives the Proto FR appreciable edge hold over the Swift on harder snow or ice. While it’s moderately softer flex making it a little easier to manage at slower or variable speeds than the Valhalla. The Proto FR also has our most extensive, most advanced damping system ever for a smooth ride that is ideal for an intermediate rider cruising groomers to a seasoned expert setting top snowboarding speeds. For a rider wanting a more balanced feel, the FR is just slightly set back and has a more symmetrical shape. Not so set back like the Valhalla or Swift, allowing a rider to put their weight over the nose of the board while pressing into a hard turn. This more balanced feel also helps with riding switch and more all mountain freestyle than other more directional freeride boards. The longer tail also helps for stomping landings of cliff drops. The Proto FR is perfect for a rider wanting a super cushy riding board with vice like edge hold of Triple Camber with a more upturned, early rise nose for powder. From back bowls to trees to laying out carves on resort runs, the Proto FR slays all types of conditions and terrain.
The Lady FR also Never Summer’s groundbreaking Triple Camber design. This along with an extensive Carbon Fiber webbing offer excellent grip, especially on a hard heelside turn. Catwalks and straightlining are a breeze on the Lady FR. Powder float is captured with Front E nd Rise Mechanics and a slightly tapered shape. It’s an awesome board for an intermediate or advanced woman rider wanting a more directional ride but with just a slight set back stance. If you’re not into park, this is the perfect board for riding all over the resort. For a hard charging woman rider, we recommend the Valhalla. The stiffer flex integrated with Triple Camber enable an aggressive female rider to capture high speeds, while have precise response. The more set back Valhalla with it’s increased, early rise nose and it’s cut out tail shape, offer greater float to hover in deep, backcountry powder. The Valhalla’s wider platform is great for a woman’s size 8-10 boot to reduce overhang for deep carving and add to that float in powder. Whereas the Lady FR will have some of these performance attributes and an easy to manage board.
I like to describe the Valhalla as an aggressive Swift. Or if the Swift and Proto FR had a baby and it turned out to be a heavy metal loving wild child, that would be the Valhalla. It’s a very set back, directional board with a more pronounced early rise nose, like the Swift for powder float but with the unmatched edge hold of Triple Camber. Edge hold on ice, boiler plate, hardpack and wind scoured snow on the Valhalla is remarkable, like the Proto FR and than some. It’s light, crisp and responsive under foot for knifing in and out of turns. The Valhalla’s firm flex is for a powerful rider who demands precise performance.
If you’re an experienced, dynamic rider wanting the control to take your snowboarding to the next level, look no further. Valhalla waits for you.
For further validation or info, check out these reviews.
Kootenay-Valhalla BC certified
By: Ramon P.
164 Valhalla lives up to its name big time. I normally ride 164 T. Rice pro, 165W Jones flagship and 163 midwide Arbor. All good boards. I’m a big guy. Riding 30 years, own 5 NS boards going back to ‘98. Board arrived just in time for a 7 day BC Canada riding trip at Baldface/Valhalla/Whitewater has made this THE freeride board of choice. Super stable, turns on a dime and in tighter trees, responsive, floats exceptionally well, sticks deep landings and just plain rips! Point and shoot!! I’ve gotta say I’m speechless. Perfect cut, setback, nose length, width. How can this be made any better?
Swift on steroids
Neversummer, you guys killed it with this board! Thanks for hooking it up with the 164 Valhalla. I have many NS planks in my quiver and also jones, bataleon, and DC. I am stoked y'all made a triple camber fusion board. It feels like a swift on steroids to me. This is one of my favorite planks to ride and it could be a quiver killer for many people. The 164 is a little beefy for tight trees and short turns, a smaller size would be more ideal in that regard. However, I got the 164 specifically for steep icy conditions in the areas that I ride and it handles way better than any of my other boards in these conditions. Absolute pow slasher too. Keep up the fantastic work, Neversummer!!! Y'all rock!!!
Blown away at how good this is!
By: Chau T.
Have ridden a number of NS, Jones, & Bataleon boards and this one takes the cake. 5'4" 165# Sz 8 boot 153 Valhalla. Noticed a ton of control in the trees, moguls, glades, everywhere. Gotta be the Triple Camber tech. Quick turn initiations, fast edge to edge, super stable and damp, good pop & float. Locked in carving.
All wrapped up in a light, fast, agile package. You guys have outdone yourselves with this board. Amazing ride and my new all time favorite!
All Hail the Valhalla!!
By: Tom H.
One sentence synopsis:
The Valhalla rides like a triple camber love child of a Westbound and a Swift.
Now the important stuff.
Stance setup is particularly important on this beast. The insert packs are set deceptively far back, NS website says 1 inch but it feels like more. I got the 153 and wasn’t paying attention when I set my stance last night. First two runs this morning were very strange, lots of chatter and just felt “off”. On my 3rd run the nose buckled on a hard toe side carve and shot me backwards onto my ass. (Thank you AzzPadz)
I’d ridden the prototype of this board last year so I knew something was wrong. I re-measured my stance and sure enough I had 23” of nose and 15” of tail. I moved my bindings up 2” (forward most inserts) and good god what a difference, it literally came to life under my feet.
It’s extremely fast and stable yet has just enough playfulness to let you surf turns as well. Although NS gives a stiffness rating of 8.5, it feels more forgiving than that number would suggest. For comparison, I’ve ridden the Proto FR and that board is totally unforgiving unless you’re going Mach 2. The Valhalla is very quick edge to edge and plows through any and all chunder. This is a big deal to me since I only weigh 150 and tend to get bucked around in choppy conditions.
For everything except Park/Jib this could be your one board quiver. All in all another NS masterpiece.
By: Zar of the Gnar
Edge hold like I've never felt before... It must be the Triple Camber. I ride several NS models including the Swift, Chairman, Big Gun, PT2 and a few others. Chairman is my favorite because of my hard charging freeride style until I jumped on the Valhalla. I compared the Valhalla to my friend's TwentyFive (one of the best shapes and boards NS ever made) and it looks like an upgraded version of it in my opinion.
Feels super stable at the highest speeds and can absorb any thing in your way. I don't know that I have my stance dialed yet as I felt a bit slow on my trasitions in the old ridden-in bumps in the trees but I'm sure with some small tweaks that will come.
Thanks NS for this beaut!
Swift on steroids
By: Logan B.
I can't express how much the Valhalla blows everything else I've ever ridden, out of the water. On groomers this thing holds an edge so well thanks to the triple camber. Fast or slow I can lean so far over this board and it just wants to track. Transfering from edge to edge is effortless and quicker than anything I've ridden. At high speed (50mph) the Valhalla actually feels more solid than my East. In powder, this board just wants to float no matter what (and I didn't even have my stance set all the way back). To my surprise.. I actually enjoy the Valhalla more than the Swift for powder. I've never felt more in control going super fast in powder/trees. The Valhalla really can do it all, and it truly reignited my love for this sport in a way I never could have imagined.
The name suits you
By: Richard M.
I had the opportunity to ride the Valhalla, I had high expectations, since I currently ride an FR and Ultra limited, it exceeded my expectations.
The triple camber holds the edge as you drive this machine fast and furious through any terrain, there is nothing it can’t handle. Transfering from edge to edge is effortless and quicker than anything I've ridden. At high speed (68mph) the Valhalla actually feels so stable that it makes riding it effortless, . I've never felt more in control going super fast in powder/trees. The Valhalla really can do it all,
I look forward to adding this board to my quiver with the rest of my NS collection. I look forward to. Vince and the teams future innovations.
“Once again, I salute mother nature, and I salute my half-life Shred Boys, who will ride with me eternal on the slopes of Valhalla!” - Vince Sanders
Words written by: Vince Sanders