The Never Summer Ripsaw and Never Summer Chairman snowboards both have a hybrid camber profile known as the Ripsaw Rocker Camber. This involves an exaggerated rocker between the bindings and camber towards the nose and tail.
Never Summer is no doubt one of the best in the hybrid profile business. So, how do you choose between two boards with the same camber profile?
While both boards are designed for advanced snowboarders, the Ripsaw is more suited to powerful riders who like to charge steep groomers, do aggressive carves and hit bigger kickers. The Chairman, on the other hand, is a better option for those looking to cruise big mountain back country and powder.
|Key features||Never Summer Ripsaw||Never Summer Chairman|
|Style||Aggressive all-mountain board. Twin shape||All-mountain freeride board. Directional twin shape|
|Stiffness||Medium-stiff flex||Medium-stiff flex|
|Profile||Ripsaw rocker camber (hybrid)||Ripsaw rocker camber (hybrid)|
|Rider level||Advanced to expert||Advanced to expert|
|Size||156, 159, 162, 157X, 160X, 163X||157, 160, 164, 161X, 165X|
NS Ripsaw vs Chairman: who are they for
Never Summer has designed both the Ripsaw and the Chairman for advanced and expert riders with aggressive and powerful snowboarding styles. Boards labeled with an X have extra width for heavier riders.
The Ripsaw in particular is for those who like to bomb down hills at speed, carve fast and hit ramps – all in one day. This is an aggressive board created for bigger jumps and spins, and won’t serve you well if you’re looking to play soft and do slow butters and jibs.
The board is made for a powerful and heavy rider. Although there are no variations made specifically for women, an expert female with the right weight would likely find the Ripsaw to be a good match.
The Chairman, on the other hand, is made for riders wanting to ride big mountains and deep powder while still charging fast on piste. Like the Ripsaw, this board also isn’t ideal for soft and playful butters.
If you’re looking for an all-round adventure board that will serve you well in backcountry powder and carving on groomers, the Chairman could be your trusty steed.
Never Summer Ripsaw vs Chairman: powder
Both boards have an exaggerated hybrid rocker camber profile. The rocker between the bindings and towards the nose and tail helps grip the board into the snow.
The camber under your feet helps float the Ripsaw through shallow powder. The push-back is great and you don’t have to put much weight on your back foot for the front to lift up.
The Ripsaw has a centered stance which means you can’t manipulate and set your stance as far back as you may want for powder. Because this board works best when riding fast, it can be a bit too aggressive for slow, deep powder.
The centered stance on the Ripsaw is great for those who enjoy riding switch in powder, but if you’re looking for a board that cruises more effortlessly through powder, you may prefer the Chairman.
The Chairman has a directional twin stance which means the bindings are slightly set back. This combined with a light but durable wood core and additional volume in the nose allows the board to float better over powder.
The Chairman is also fun on groomers when hitting pockets of fresh snow, but doesn’t have as much power through its turns when riding through deep or heavy powder. This could be an issue for those riding in Sierra cement and slushy powder.
Never Summer Ripsaw vs Chairman: carving
The Ripsaw is a carving expert. The rocker camber makes it super easy to hold your edges and ride rail to rail on fast groomer carves. The combination of the hybrid profile and its grippy sidecut mechanism makes it difficult to catch an edge.
The Ripsaw is responsive at high speeds and rides well in hard pack snow. The board isn’t made for ice, but will be able to handle itself in icy conditions because of its deep grip. If you turn back and look at your S carve tracks, it’s easy to see how deep the rails dig into the mountain.
For those looking to lean back into surf style carves, you will be able to do so without having to torque your knees wide to put weight on the tail. This really is a top hybrid board in all its glory.
The Chairman is also impressive in the carving department. The set back stance gives you stability when carving and it’s easy to hold an aggressive carve with the sharp edges. The Chairman is great for carving through shallow powder, hard and firm snow, but you might come up short if you take it into icy snow.
While any center rocker profile can take some getting used to, both the Ripsaw and the Chairman will cruise through high speed carves, absorbing shocks and gripping the snow.
Never Summer Ripsaw vs Chairman: turning
You’ll only get a true feeling of the Ripsaw’s stiff flex when you ride fast and do big turns. The stiffness can make it feel a bit heavy at first, but with enough speed you’ll no longer notice it.
From the start of a turn, the Ripsaw holds its grip. Surprisingly, the Ripsaw is easier to skid turn than other aggressive high-flex boards and gives you room for error if you skid out of a fast carve.
The Chairman is laminated using carbon max technology. The more carbon, the more power and responsive performance. The carbon gives the rider a level of torsional rigidity without losing control of one’s knees.
Never Summer Ripsaw vs Chairman: trees and slow sections
Riding slowly through trees is a better experience on the Chairman than the Ripsaw. The Ripsaw is not as agile when riding slow and feels a bit heavy to turn.
The Chairman is a better board for big mountain riding through trees and powder, as the stiffness holds its own on most terrains. Choose your line and commit.
Never Summer Ripsaw vs Chairman: fast riding
Both snowboards are speed machines. The rocker in-between the bindings make it easy to gun down runs without catching an edge. Both boards are responsive and forgiving if you mess up at speed.
On the Ripsaw, you will have no problem darting through cat tracks and flat sections as long as you center your weight. It almost feels like it has a flat camber when riding on the base but changes shape completely when you start carving.
The Chairman is created with extra graphene in the base. This allows it to absorb extra wax which makes it slide even faster. The base is made from durable materials, making it a great option for heavier riders.
Never Summer Ripsaw vs Chairman: rugged terrain
Riding through chopped up snow is a breeze on these snowboards. You can take advantage of the stiffer flex and ride fast through chop while still maintaining a good grip.
The Ripsaw is particularly good for pushing through turns and carves on uneven terrain, and cuts through chop and powder pockets super well.
The Chairman has a very damp base, which helps reduce chatter and vibrations. For such a stiff board it makes uneven terrain feel a lot better than you might expect.
The Ripsaw has extra lamination layers and underfoot stabilizers which absorb shocks and stabilize the board – great for dodgy knees.
This being said, trying to cut through choppy snow at a slow speed on either the Ripsaw or the Chairman can be a struggle. Both boards are a lot more stable when ridden at speed.
Never Summer Ripsaw vs Chairman: jumps and tricks
Getting pop is never easy on a hybrid board because the risen camber under your feet gives you less to push against. You will need to put in a lot of effort for a small pop, which is why these profiles aren’t ideal for small hops, butters and jibbing.
That said, in comparison to other rocker profile boards, the Ripsaw has a decent amount of pop and is fun in the park. It was designed with bigger kickers in mind. It has a wide landing base and its twin shape makes it possible to comfortably land in switch.
The exaggerated camber under the bindings is forgiving for those awkward landings. The Ripsaw has a light yet durable core which makes it able to withstand impacts without being too heavy.
If you’re looking at hitting tricky side hit jumps at a slower speed, the Ripsaw would feel less controlled on your approach. Overall, its stability and edge grip make it a good take-off and landing board for bigger kickers.
The directional shape of the Chairman suits directional aerials well. However it is possible to land switch as the stance is still relatively centered.
Again, if you’re looking to hit boxes, rails and rocks, go for a freestyle board instead.
Riding experience: switch riding
Being a twin board, riding switch on the Ripsaw feels natural, as long as your bindings are set up relatively straight. On the Chairman, even though it’s a directional board, the set back isn’t far enough back to make it uncomfortable to ride switch.
The Ripsaw has special power grip side cuts which provide more contact for rail to rail riding, useful when riding switch. If you like to ride switch at speed, the Ripsaw should be at the top of your list.
To recap, if you’re a powerful all-mountain rider looking for a board that will serve you equally well on groomers as in the backcountry, the Chairman is a good option. The Ripsaw is a better call if you’re looking to combine big kickers and fast groomers in one session.
Keep in mind that neither board is the best option for slow and playful jibs and butters. They are both better suited for the more aggressive rail to rail rider.