Snowboard Tested and Rider Specs:
- Never Summer Valhalla 2023-2024
- Never Summer Valhalla Size: 160cm (waist width 26 cm)
- Bindings: Union Falcor (Large)
- Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV size 11
- Stance: approximately 22.5″
- Rider Height: 5’11″
- Rider Weight: 195
Conditions/Terrain Tested: Groomers, park, chop
Features from Never Summer:
- Directional Shape
- Profile: Triple Camber Fusion
- Flex: 8.5
- Mounting Pattern: 2×4
- Wood Core
- Laminates: Full Recluse Carbon Web Layup, STS Pre-tensioned Fiberglass, Bi-Lite Fiberglass
- Co-Extruded Polymer Topsheet
- Durasurf XT Sintered 5501 Base
- Sintered P-Tex Sidewall
- P-tex Nose/Tail Protection
Never Summer’s newest board, the Valhalla, has been generating a lot of buzz online and I had been wanting to take it out for a spin. On a recent weekend up at Targhee, I stopped by the Never Summer demo booth and was fortunate enough to take one out for a few laps.
Graphically, the Valhalla is very aesthetically pleasing. The board offers a beautiful contrast with a sleek, black topsheet and Viking graphic. The bottom also was not a typical Never Summer base because it has a printed ptex base. It has a fun shape with a big round nose, 7mm of taper, and a bat tail.
The Valhalla uses Never Summer’s triple-camber fusion technology, with camber underfoot and between the bindings. Triple camber is definitely a unique feel but once you adjust it’s very stable and allows for excellent edge hold.
On my first run on the Valhalla, I struggled to figure the board out. It is definitely stiff, without much flex in any direction. It has a full Recluse Carbon Web Layup which is a diamond-shaped layout of carbon stringers from tip to tail. Typically, a fair amount of the other Never Summer boards will use these to stiffen boards in specific areas, but not usually the whole board. Never Summer rates the Valhalla an 8.5 out of 10 in stiffness and I would agree that holds pretty true. On run number two I started to figure the board out a bit more. It requires some effort to get edge to edge and wants to be ridden pretty aggressively. Once on edge, it holds really well and without chatter. I was able to really lay down some long, drawn-out carves. There’s a video of Never Summer team rider, Nick Larson, carving on an iced-over lake in Colorado that gives a good feel for what this board can really do.
Unfortunately, I was not able to get out in powder but I am sure the big nose and rocker would make this board excellent on deep days. It’s designed to offer a slightly set-back stance and I am sure would be a lot of fun in deeper snow also.
On a whim, I took it through the jump line and really liked it there. Historically, I like a softer board when hitting jumps, but found this was really stable on landings.
Run number three, I really was able to make the board come alive. I played around carving, riding it switch, and pushing the speed. It’s very stable and I hardly noticed any chatter. It is definitely not a beginner board, but would be a lot of fun for someone that can get in there and push the limits.
The Never Summer Valhalla is not for the faint of heart or a beginner. It took some getting used to but once you figure the board out it really charges. It’s on the stiffer side but this allows the board to handle chop, uneven snow, and speed with ease.
Curtis Chandler – Guest Reviewer
I recently had a chance to demo the Never Summer Valhalla (156cm) at Targhee. I’m a 44-year-old, 158lb intermediate rider with size 9.5 boots. The 156 seemed to be the perfect size for my specs. Snow conditions were far from ideal. No new snow had fallen for 6 days or so. The groomers were still in decent shape, but everything else was crusty and nasty. That being said, I still had a blast on the Valhalla…so much so that I went home, sold a couple of boards in my quiver, then ordered the Valhalla for myself.
Riding the Valhalla felt like saddling up on a stiff, damp missile. It was fast, stable at high speeds, and stomped jumps/small cliff drops. It was my first time on a Never Summer board with triple camber and felt weird underfoot at first. After a few runs, though, I wanted to go as fast as possible and carve up the entire mountain. The board was like drinking a cup of confidence. As I said earlier, I’m an intermediate rider, but on the Valhalla, I felt like an advanced-intermediate. It was so much easier to slash turns and straight-line compared to so many freeride boards I’ve tried out this season. Even though the snow was trash, I took it off-piste and was surprised at how easily it plowed through (and damped) the crud and chunder.
In my hand, the board felt a bit on the heavier side. On the snow, however, it didn’t feel that way at all. It was pretty nimble underfoot. To be honest, it took some work to access the pop on ollies, etc., and didn’t spring back with quite as much snap as some other boards I’ve enjoyed. I tried in the park for a bit, then just embraced the reality that the Valhalla is not that type of board. Straight jumps and airs were just fine. Spins, presses, and rails however were either a chore or a nightmare. When I finally got a chance to try it in the powder (7 inches or so), it floated and carved well, but was not as nimble as my other pow boards (K2 excavator and Jones Ultra Mind Expander). That being said, my other decks are volume-shifted, and the Valhalla was more true to size.
Just my opinion, but binding choice and stance setup seemed to make a huge difference on the Val. On demo day, I was using my Union Atlas Pros (really stiff), and the stance was set up for me by the folks from Never Summer. When my own board arrived, I floundered a bit figuring out where to best set my bindings (no reference stance on the board). Eventually, I found something that worked for me that felt like the first day. When I tried some other, softer bindings on it (Jones Orions, Now Select Pros, Now Drives), I didn’t enjoy the feel of the ride nearly as much. Stiff seems to be the way to go on this deck.
Overall, this deck slays. It does everything (except park) really well. Not quite a quiver killer, but a keeper for sure.
- Stable at high speeds
- High-End Construction and 3-Year Warranty
- Excels in powder
- Took some getting used to
|Price:||(4.0 / 5)|
|Performance:||(4.8 / 5)|
|Design:||(4.8 / 5)|
|Overall:||(4.5 / 5)|