BEST FOR: Building confidence.
THE TEST: Never Summer’s Proto CT won Outside’s Gear of the Year award in our annual Winter Buyer’s Guide because of its ability to treat the whole mountain as a terrain park. Here’s its all-mountain cousin, the Cobra. You get the same light swing weight and smooth transitions, while a similar shape—blunted tip and tail and rocker between the feet, with camber outside the bindings—provides just as much bite on edge. But its directional shape, with an elongated nose and setback stance, made it stable on steeper unconsolidated slopes and in deep powder.
THE VERDICT: Intermediate riders will appreciate its steeps-to-cruisers versatility and midlevel flex.