Welcome the Never Summer Swift Snowboard
By Chris Cahill, Seattle, WA: It’s no secret that the reemerging trend in snowboarding is having at least one interesting shaped board to round out your quiver- something set back, tapered, and individualized with a weird swallow tail or an obviously directional look to it. Many brands offer at least one similar board style to the Never Summer Swift Snowboard, but what most of those other boards lack is the history between its edges. The Swift, new to the 2016 line, is still packed with everything you would expect from the Never Summer construction with their rocker/camber profile, but with an interesting back story.
On the surface, it’s a directional deck that comes in 152cm, 157cm, and 162cm sizes that can rip everything from pow to hardpack, but the story behind its heritage runs deep into the memory banks of the founding Canaday brothers. Never Summer Sales Manager, Mike Gagliardi, filled us in on the interesting lineage of the 2016 Never Summer Swift Snowboard, below.
What is the inspiration behind the Never Summer Swift?
Our founders, Tim and Tracey Canaday, first built boards under the “Swift” name- we’re talking back around 1981. Very similar to what you see with the early Burton Backhills and Sims FE1500’s…..wooden planks with swallowtails, waterski-buckle type bindings, and designed to ride powder. The guys would hike back in the Never Summer Range, on Berthoud Pass or Cameron Pass, and get shuttle runs…earning their turns. We saw a reanimation of these old shapes coming back to snowboard design and knew we could come up with a better powder stick that would ride well in any condition.
In what ways did Swift Snowboards influence Never Summer?
Swift actually took a hiatus mid 80’s to early 90’s when the brothers went out to college in CA. When they came back to Colorado in 1991, design, shapes, and materials had changed to functional flex patterns, twin tips, and composites. The stoke to ride translated, but the new standard had evolved beyond what the first designs encompassed. The main inspiration really was the stoke to ride that pushed the brothers to launch the Never Summer brand.
What is something that we may not know about Swift Snowboards?
Tim will kill me, but you gotta see this old picture sometime of him with a ponytail, in short shorts and a tank top, just BOOSTING this rock on Berthoud on one of the old boards……insane shot, but he said “no one else sees this!” I think it was the tight shorts more than anything. The first boards were sold in their local shop in Fort Collins, CO (The Wright Life), and those guys are still a great partner of ours today. The die cut on the base of the current Swift comes right from the graphic on the original Swift models.
Are there other Swift inspired snowboards in the works for Never Summer?
We’ll see…..we have kicked around a few ideas about a split and other models with a similar story, but for the time being we want to see how the reaction is with the end consumers on this versatile shred machine. I probably got 15-20 days on it this Spring and couldn’t stop riding that board- people asked me about it all the time. It literally does everything well- from pow to rails and slush to hardpack. Everytime I looked down at that shape when riding I just laughed out loud. It took me back 30 years to my first boards, but with performance from 2016.
Shop all Never Summer boards including the Swift, here.