Inside the Pro Model: Sam Klein and the Never Summer ProtoSlinger

A freestyle board with true, consistent pop.

A freestyle board that can excel in all environments is hard to come by, but that is exactly what Sam Klein’s go-to Proto from Never Summer was built for. On his annual winter pilgrimage, filming clips from Wisconsin (where he’s from) to Mt. Hood (where he spends his summers), with plenty of time logged in Colorado and Utah along the way, Klein swears by one board and one board only, the ProtoSlinger. It’s an asymmetrical twin with a brand-new rocker camber profile that works in everything from the from the streets to powder. “It is the most durable and reliable board I have ever ridden,” says Klein. And why wouldn’t we trust him? He’s from the Midwest.

Sam Klein
Sam Klein. p: Alex Havey

In case you need some more convincing, don’t worry, we didn’t just hang up the phone after Sam gave us one quote. “The ProtoSlinger makes snowboarding easier,” he says. “It is a light jib board that holds stable in turns and dampens any chatter on the hill.” Who doesn’t love that? Chatter anywhere is pretty annoying. You ever been on a plane with a baby crying? We may be taking some literary liberties here, but we think Sam is actually saying that this board is the equivalent to putting on noise-canceling headphones while locking yourself in the bathroom on a busy flight. You are in your own world. You can do your business without fear of falling.

“Plus, it has a true consistent pop that doesn’t wear out,” he adds. “It pops like a way bigger board.” We told Sam that only Midwesterners say “pop.” The rest of us call it soda, but he wouldn’t listen. He just kept talking about how great the snap is. It is understandable though, it is in his DNA, just like the Carbon VXR laminate is in the ProtoSlinger.

Never Summer ProtoSlinger Snowboard
The Never Summer ProtoSlinger. P: Mike Basher

The ProtoSlinger is the definition of a daily driver, which is another thing it has in common with Klein. When he isn’t driving from spot to spot in his Never Summer van, filming for projects, Sam is driving around the Midwest, hosting events to get kids excited about snowboarding. Rail jams, movie premieres, giveaways—Sam gives so much back to the community where he grew up riding, which is even more impressive considering he is only 27 years old. We sure as hell weren’t giving back at 27. We were just trying to score free lift tickets.

“Watching all the kids ride is pretty inspiring,” says Klein about the grassroots events he loves. “It makes me board so much better. You don’t get burnt out when you are stoking these kids out.” Pair that attitude with a Green Bay Packers jersey and you get a pretty good idea of who is behind the ProtoSlinger, and in essence, the board itself: They are both hardworking, reliable, and will hopefully lose to the Cleveland Browns this year. Oh wait, scratch that last one, but you get the idea.

Check out the Never Summer ProtoSlinger on


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