Never Summer Harpoon
sizes: 144, 148
notable features: Fusion Rocker Camber, Vario Power Grip Sidecut, extended transition area, early rise nose, NS SuperLight wood core, Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 base
As the most all-mountain freeride-centric board in the 2023 Rude Girls x Snowboard Mag Board Test, the Never Summer Harpoon shined on the trails of Sunshine Village. The Harpoon has a traditional tapered shape that, along with Never Summer’s Fusion Rocker Camber, drives power through each turn while remaining stable. The only thing missing to really put this board to the test while the crew was at Sunshine Village? A powder day. Ally Watson, Rude Girl and Snowboard contrib summed it up, saying, “The Harpoon handles well all over the mountain but would really excel in powder. It is super stable in landings which makes me thing it would be a fun board to hit some natural features on a pow day.”
In 2022, the Harpoon landed in the Platinum Picks and this fall, the men’s version was featured as a highlighted shaped deck. The Harpoon is a crowd pleaser for anyone who wants to rips turns on groomers, navigate steep trails, and float in powder. It’s a true all-mountain performer and the Rude Girls were impressed with the board’s ability to hold an edge on hardpack as well as cut through chunder. “This board is really good at turning, and has a very surfy feel with the rocker between the bindings,” commented Cori Stevens. “It’s super fun for cruising down the mountain without putting in too much effort.” Ie, the Harpoon is easy to step on and have a good time right away.
Ally Watson brought up a nuance in the edge-to-edge transition, saying, “Due to the wider waist, the Harpoon requires a bit more effort to move from edge to edge. NS uses various sidecuts [in this case, the Vario Power Grip Sidecut] to enhance edge hold, so once you are on edge, this carves like a dream.” Diving deeper into the specific sidecut, Ally added, “The sidecut acts like a serrated knife and allows this rocker forward board to hold an edge well while entering and exiting turns smoothly. It didn’t feel catchy or aggressive in and out of turns.”
Chelsea Dore added that the wider waist increases the Harpoon’s stability. “I loved that is slightly wider; it kept me stable at high speeds,” she said.
All in all, the Harpoon lived up to its missile reputation, perfect for riders who want a stable yet responsive snowboard to put pedal to metal. “The Harpoon is a charger board for sure,” added Chelsea. “It was fast and fun.”
With its long-nose shape, the Harpoon isn’t designed to take in the park, but Chelsea found that the board can hold its own on jumps. “I took it out first thing in the morning and jumped right into park laps,” Chelsea said. “I was nervous at first because of the shape, but it rips!” If you’re in the market for a park-specific snowboard, the Never Summer Proto Slinger may be more up your alley, but if you’re into natural features and side hits, with an occasional lap through the jump line, the stability of the Harpoon is a feature that will definitely help you to make the most of your mountain exploration.
“Overall I had the best time on the Harpoon,” Chelsea continued. “It’s surfy and fun, it holds an edge, and it rips!”
What sort of rider would enjoy the Harpoon?
The Harpoon is a powerful board, but its camber profile makes it approachable for riders of varying levels. “While the Harpoon has enough power for aggressive riders, the camber profile is forgiving enough for intermediate snowboarders looking for a board that will help them progress their all-mountain riding,” commented Cori.
Ally agreed, noting, “A rider of any ability would have a great time on the Harpoon. The hybrid rocker camber profile adds a bit of forgiveness to the board, while some of the more technical features add up for an aggressive rider. I think this board fits its purpose well and would be really impressive in the perfect conditions. It is perfect for a freeride-focused boarder who wants something playful and reliable for all conditions.”