Thoughts: Never Summer Raptor X vs The Heritage X

Written by JT on . Posted in Reviews

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on the Heritage vs Legacy article, so I decided, at the request of several people to write up my thoughts on the differences between the Heritage and the Raptor.  While the two boards share the Carbonium technology, they are far from identical.  Let’s discuss the differences, and why you would choose one over another shall we?

Since we’ve covered the Legacy vs The Heritage, let’s take a look at the Raptor first.  If you’ve spent any time in the past riding the Titan, you’ve probably developed some pre-conceived notions about Never Summer’s flagship board.  You can pretty much throw all those thoughts out, because they don’t apply to the Raptor.  While the Raptor is an aggressive Big Mountain/Freeride board, it’s not quite the same beast as it’s predecessor the Titan.

First and foremost, let’s take a look at the new profile that Never Summer introduced on the Raptor this year.  If you’ve ridden the Rocker & Camber technology on previous Never Summer boards, you’re already ahead of the game.  There is however a difference on the Raptor.  While it does have R&C tech, it has a very unique profile.  The Raptor has a setback R&C profile, meaning, that the Rocker is rear biased, while a longer front camber section up further towards the nose, improves stability, and makes shredding POW almost effortless.  Never Summer refers to this profile as “Directional Rocker & Camber.”   Never Summer also developed a new core for the Raptor, which incorporate both softwoods and hardwoods, allowing them to reduce the weight of the Raptor, while still providing the same durability for their boards, that Never Summer is known for.

Raptor X Topsheet

The Raptor includes a unique carbon stringer configuration, that sets it apart from the Heritage, and the other boards within the Never Summer line this season. The Raptor includes two Carbon X configurations within the base of the board.   The top configuration includes includes two carbon V’s which are slightly longer than the V’s found on the Heritage model. On the base, the Raptor includes a second smaller V placed within the the larger V located near the tail.  These carbon stringers are designed to give the board more pop/snap out of the tail, but also are placed appropriately near the binding inserts, giving the rider more control and response over contact points.

The Raptor itself is a pretty damp board, and isn’t the stiffest board, but definitely isn’t a noodle.  While some people complain that Rocker boards lose the pop/snap that camber boards have, with the Raptor, you don’t have to worry about that.  You can load this board up, like you would any traditional camber, and it’s going to pop/snap nicely for you.  Never Summer has taken the best elements of the Titan, merged them with the Directional Rocker & Camber profile, to give riders a board, that’s not only still a mountain killer, but can be ridden as an everyday rider out on resort groomers too.  I would caution though, this isn’t a park board, nor is it aimed at those riders.

Flex: [ 6.5 out of 10 ]  Dampness: [ 7 out of 10 ]

Size          Waist           Edge       Sidecut           Tip/Tail

161             26.3               124           Vario 790          31.3

165             26.8              128           Vario 810          31.9

169             26.9              133            Vario 830         31.9

Taking a look at the  Heritage, and pulling some of the text from the previous article, the Heritage was the board, everyone either loved, or hated.  With an aggressive sidecut, and unforgiving ride, the Heritage either felt just right, or overly aggressive.  As I said previously, the board would just flat out kick your ass, if you didn’t  ”respect” it.  That was then, this is now!  The Heritage for this season has been vastly overhauled, and is a whole different machine.  It’s still sporting an aggressive sidecut, but with a whole more forgiving flex, core design, and of course the new carbonium topsheet!

Heritage

Flex: [ 5.5 out of 10 ]  Dampness: [ 6 out of 10 ]

Size          Waist           Edge       Sidecut           Tip/Tail

156             26.0               121           Vario 740          30.5

159             26.1              124            Vario 743          30.7

163             26.8              127            Vario 770          31.5

166             26.9              132            Vario 780          31.2

The Heritage X uses the Carbonium Laminate Technology.  The Carbon strings in the Heritage are set differently, and are incorporated on both the top and on the base.  The base configuration includes the addition of carbon X strings placed at the beginning of the binding inserts, and the top configuration includes the addition of a very mellow carbon V, (identical to the top of the X on the base) set at the beginning on the binding inserts.  Essentially what this does is provide better torsional flex, and provides strength in the design and build.  Never Summer changed the core in the Heritage this year to be a much lighter core, which shows in the weight of the board

What, Why, and Stuff

Having covered a bit about both boards, it’s pretty easy to see these two board are very different animals, and have two very distinct riders. The Heritage still incorporates a more aggressive sidecut, in conjunction with a more playful flex, providing freestyle riders the ultimate board.  If you hit the park from time to time, but find you’re more of a freestyle/freeride person, the Heritage is going to be the better choice. Sporting the standard Rocker & Camber design, the Heritage is going to be the more rail friendlier of the two boards, and provide the softer flex pattern of the two.

If you find you’re a person that likes to charge hard, make aggressive turns, and drop steeps, you’ll find that while you can ride the Heritage, the Raptor is going to be more suited to your riding style.  The Raptor is going to be slightly damper, and a bit more stable at higher speeds.  With the Directional Rocker, you’re going to find deep POW is much easier to navigate, and carves are only limited by you the rider. I feel like the Raptor loads up better for ollies,  but the Heritage provides more of a freestyle feel. Both boards come with the Carbonium technology, making their topsheets, much more durable.

Tags: , , ,

Comments (17)

  • Cam

    |

    Great review. I've been on N.S. boards since 2000 and have had many of them. I have mostly used SLs for my do all boards and premiers for deep pow days. I switched everything over to the R.C. stuff in 09 but in 08 I had one of the cambered heritage boards. I loved the way it rode, and I only sold it off because I knew I should recover some of the cash I had into it and wait to get one with R.C. later. I had a Premier F1 172 last season and it was definately a sick powder cruiser. For this year I just scored a Heritage 162 and a Raptor 169. This review is pretty much what I already expect from both of these boards and now I'm more hyped than ever for this winter. It's supposed to be a gnarly one!

    Reply

    • JT

      |

      Cam,

      Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it, and definitely agree. These two boards are a blast, and you can't really go wrong with either of them. I'm definitely stoked for this coming season!

      Reply

  • Glenn

    |

    I just received my new Heritage 158 yesterday and can't wait for the snow to start falling here in the Northeast. I've ridden NS – SL's for the past 4 years with traditional camber, so I'm looking forward to riding the RC technology. Your review helped to make my decision on the Heritage over the SL. Being a heavier rider (230lbs) I'm looking forward to riding something that will have a slightly stiffer flex than the SL.

    Reply

    • JT

      |

      Glenn,

      Congrats on the new board, and thanks for the comment. I really enjoyed the new Heritage this past season, and will be riding one again, this season. It's really just a great fun board! Once you get some turns in, let me now what you think of it!

      Reply

  • MO

    |

    Raptor X is going to be my board this year. Thanks for all the info!!!

    Reply

    • Jeff

      |

      Me too! I pick mine up tomorrow, so stoked!

      Reply

  • David

    |

    Thanks for your reviews I have found them very helpful! I decided to go with the Heritage. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on what size I should get. I am 5' 8 about 175lbs. I live in the East and spend most of my time in the woods, doing bumps or on the trails. I never go into the park and prefer short radius turns rather than long carving turns. 158 or 155 any thoughts. Many thanks,
    p.s. I asked you this on another thread but wasn't where to ask this.

    Reply

    • JT

      |

      David, Thanks for the comments/question. I think you could go with either size, although I'd lean towards the 155. With the R&C tech, you can scale the boards back (size down) allowing you to really get that board in and out of trees quicker.

      Reply

  • ben wharton

    |

    hey ya'll (i'm from the south) i think i'm gonna get a ns premier. i'm 6' 175lbs, adv intermediate with 10.5 boot. what size? i like cruising FAST, but also want powder ability for backcountry trips west. also need control on east coast ice. any help would be awesome. looking at the 161 i think. even a 163? been riding a burton cascade 163 cambered for many years (10!) thanks….
    great reviews above, by the way!

    Reply

    • JT

      |

      Ben,

      While I haven't ridden the premier, I would think the 161 would be just fine. With the R&C Tech you can generally size the boards down from what you would normally ride. While you can always go bigger, you'll find a smaller board will respond quicker in tight turns and such.

      Reply

  • Andy

    |

    Which board would be better for tight trees? How about for bowls?

    With respect to the Raptor, can beginners and intermediates ride it, or is it "too much" of a board for them? I remember in the past reading that the Titan was considered "too much" for anyone but advanced or expert riders.

    Reply

    • JT

      |

      Ooh, this is a good question. I think in the trees, I'd prefer the Heritage as it's definitely a bit "looser" feeling on the snow than the Raptor, so would probably be more fun to sling through the trees. I think in the past with the flex pattern, and stiffness of the Titan, it was and still is definitely an "aggressive" board. In bowls, both boards are a great choice. The Raptor is in my opinion more rider friendly than the Titan, although it's still a board aimed at that big mountain free ride person who likes to ride hard, fast and steep. I've talked to a few non Titan riders this season who picked up the Raptor, and all of them seem to love it.

      Reply

  • Chris

    |

    great info – thanks so much. im an advanced rider on a budget so im still on an 09 heritage x 159 that i got on closeout. im absolutely crazy about it. this board allowed me to get off the larger ride yukon 163 with no sacrifice whatsoever. i love the aggressive sidecut – can just crush turns on it. i dont want to ever get off it because its been so perfect for me. for its size, its so unbelievably stable at high speed on big turns – which is what i need most but its just so damn versatile when im in the park or in the trees or even in powder. i havent stepped up to the new tech yet but i could use advice in doing so. from your review, it really sounds like the rap x is what i need going forward, but this notion of downsizing with rc makes me think i would be giving up the versatility of the her x. if i went to the 161 raptor x would i be giving up that versatility that the heritage x provides?

    Reply

    • JT

      |

      Chris,

      Good question, and glad you dig your Heritage, those are great boards! While the Raptor is definitely a hard charging board, the Heritage still has an aggressive sidecut, it's just better tuned with the flex/feel of the board. I think you could stick with the Heritage and be just fine. I have a Raptor this season, and while I love the board, it's definitely not my everyday rider. I'll turn to the Heritage for everyday shredding. There are two reasons for this. 1.) The Heritage is more versatile as a board in more situations, and 2.) The Heritage is also a bit more playful, and easier to put on edge. If you have a chance in your area, see if there's a Never Summer Demo day (the NS Reps try to have a bunch of them around the country) and hope on both boards.

      Reply

  • Ollie

    |

    Thanks for the awesome review -

    Reply

  • Ollie

    |

    Thanks for the awesome review – I'm trying to choose between the Heritage X and the Raptor X. My style is pretty much freeride – I spend most my time off piste/on groomers, with very little time in the park, so I want a board that is good at carving/holding an edge/good in powder, BUT I want a board with lots of pop that for example can manage to pop off its fakie edge for a cab 360 off the flat (not that i'm buying a board for 1 trick, but it illustrates the point!!). Does the Raptor have enough pop for this or is it too stiff? I'm assuming the Heritage can… For me the choice between the two is a toss up between superior board performance for freereding (i.e. Raptor) versus a better board for messing about! I would rather the Raptor on this basis, but really want a board you can piss about on and do tricks/spins off natural lips, moguls and random bumps… Will the raptor be playful enough?! Thanks

    Reply

    • JT

      |

      I think if you're looking for a more playful board that can still hard charge then I'd lean towards the Heritage X more than the Raptor, especially for what you've described. Both boards have the Carbonium topsheets, which adds to the responsive feel, but the Heritage is going to lend itself more to the playful nature you're describing than the Raptor would. The Raptor has the setback R&C profile, and the Heritage incorporates the standard NS R&C profile.

      Reply

Leave a comment