With a heavy team, US production and a firm stance on making environmentally friendly products, Lib Tech Snowboards is doing so many things right. These guys have been making boards since the 80’s and have come a long way over the years – all while sticking to their guns when it comes to making a quality product. Nestled in the beautiful pacific northwest, Lib continues to push the boundaries on “green” production – pushing out ZERO hazardous waste which is no easy task in today’s production world. They work closely with their team to continue to develop some of the best shapes in the industry and when guys like Eric Jackson, Mark Landvik and Travis Rice back a brand, you know they’ve got something good going. The 2018 season of boards is solid as always and in this article we will break down a few of our favorites so hopefully you can find the perfect board for this winter.
Lib Tech Sk8 Banana
Countless years in the game and still a best seller for Lib Tech, the OG Sk8 Banana is back for the 2018 season and ready to slay in the park as usual. Barely changed after all these years, the Sk8 Banana still has Lib’s classic Banana (BTX) Rocker profile mixed with their signature Magnatraction technology. This combo removes some of the issues with rocker being too loose – the Magnetraction adds extra contact points for better grip in hard pack offering better edge hold than classic rocker boards that don’t have Magnetraction. Truly built for the park enthusiasts but also great for the beginner crowd thanks to the forgiving flex and versatile shape, the Sk8 Banana also come stock with a Triax / Biax Fiberglass Combo that adds the perfect amount of snappy response without feeling too stiff or rigid. Other key tech to note is the Birch Internal Sidewalls and the Eco Poly Sublimated Top Sheet. Made in the good ‘ole USA and still kicking a$$ after all these years, the Lib Tech Sk8 Banana is always a good choice.
- Built for park riding but also beginner friendly
- Responsive yet forgiving flex
- BTX technology mixes soft and flexy rocker with Magnetraction for added grip
- Less aggressive profile
- Softer flex may not be ideal for heavier riders
- Can still work in powder but not ideal for hard charging big mountain conditions
Lib Tech Cold Brew
A new model from Lib and built to cater to the freeride crowd, the Lib Tech Cold Brew is guaranteed to be a favorite of the winter ’18 season. This powerful, directional board comes with a C2 profile which mixes the perfect amount of rocker and camber for a balanced feeling ride that can excel in many conditions. Sitting on the stiffer side of the scale, the Cold Brew is best suited for fast, steep conditions and also has the power to charge thru powder for those dreamy deep days. Also leaning towards the wider side (not quite a mid-wide but close) the Cold Brew is ideal for the bigger footed riders who want to try to avoid any toe or heel bite without going with a full blown wide option. Coming in just under $450, this board packs a solid punch for the price and an excellent option for anyone who wants a big-mountain capable board that doesn’t break the bank. Other key features include a biax / triax fiberglass lay up that adds a ton of pop for a lively feeling ride while the added Magnetraction offers extra edge grip for those icy or hard pack kind of days. Set your sights on the big boy runs this winter with the Lib Tech Cold Brew in hand.
- Great price for the amount of tech you get
- Ideal for intermediate to advanced free ride / big mountain riders
- Good float in powder but can still hold a mean edge
- Directional shape less idea for freestyle crowd
- Slighter wider shape may be unnecessary for smaller riders
- Could be a little too stiff / aggressive for newbies
Lib Tech Skunk Ape
The king of all the big boy boards continues to be the Lib Tech Skunk Ape. This large and in charge freestyle machine is only available in wide options and designed specifically for the bigger rippers out there. The Skunk Ape is a directional twin and perfect for big mountain freestyle and freeride. The wide shape offers bigger riders a ton of support and power under foot for stable, strong ride that can charge thru powder or spend the afternoon in the park. The C2 profile offers a happy medium flex with a short rocker section in between your feet and powerful camber humps in the binding area for supreme edge hold and precise carves while the added Magnetraction gives extra grip for the frigid, icy days. Triax / Biax fiberglass loads the board up with a responsive, snappy pop for launching off big kickers while the Aspen / Columbian Gold / Paulownia core builds a strong support system to float those bigger riders with ease. If you thought having a bigger foot or larger stature was going to keep you from ripping, fear no more. The Lib Tech Skunk Ape is here to save your winter. Designed by big people, for big people.
- Specifically designed for heavier / big footed riders
- Powerful yet playful, ideal for big mountain freestyle riding
- Snappy and responsive for a lively ride despite the beefy construction
- Not intended for smaller riders
- Stiffer flex due to being intended for heavier riders – may be hard to control for lighter weight riders
- Only available in wide options
Lib Tech Swiss Knife
Designed by Fredi Kalbermatten and one of the more unique boards in the lineup, the Lib Tech Swiss Knife is a direction freestyle / freeride machine. This specially designed shape has a floaty nose that flows into a powerful C3 Camber to a slight taper in the tail. The one of a kind shape offers great float on powder days while still packing a majorly powerful punch thru the midsection for precise carves and strong edge hold. The Firepower (FP) Construction builds a lighter weight and more environmentally conscience board while the Basalt Fiberglass adds a powerful and lively snap to the board without all the nasty chemicals associated with traditional fiberglass. For the big mountain chargers that destroy in all types of terrain, we highly recommend considering the Lib Tech Swiss Knife. If it’s good enough for Fredi to trust in the Swiss Alps, then chances are it’s good enough for the rest of us.
- Unique shape that offers versatility in all big-mountain conditions
- Powerful C3 camber mixed with a floaty nose
- Premium FP construction offers strength, reduced weight and a Green approach to board building
- More powerful shape that is not intended for beginners
- Big mountain specific build
Lib Tech Mayhem …Lost Rocket HP
When you bring together an OG of the surf industry and an OG of the snowboard industry, what you end up with is the magical creation that is the Lib Tech Mayhem …Lost Rocket. Legendary surf shaper Matt Biolos from …Lost Surfboards has also been snowboarding his entire life, so when given the opportunity to produce a board with Lib Tech he certainly was not going to pass that up. The Lost Rocket was built to be your classic resort fish. It can float on powder days and still slash carves on hard back like a boss. When it dumps, you can just lean back and enjoy the ride but thanks to the aggressive C3 camber, you can also charge hard on groomers and perform in less than desirable conditions. The wide body and pronounced nose slim down to a slight taper in the tail for added float, and thicker waist width means this board can also work for bigger footed riders who don’t want to worry about any toe or heel drag. When winter calls and you have to take your surfing to the mountains, the only board you need is the Lib Tech Mayhem …Lost Rocket.
- Shape that can float in pow and still slay on groomers
- Wider body reduces any toe / heel drag
- Collector worthy item
- Only available in one size
- Directional shape a little less freestyle friendly
Lib Tech TRS HP
An award winner season after season and a staple in the Lib Tech lineup, the TRS is back for your all-mountain thrashing pleasure. Originally designed to be a freestyle board, the TRS has morphed into an all mountain machine thanks to the versatile shape and hybrid profile. This true twin board comes loaded with Lib’s C2x rocker / camber profile – with a shortened, yet defined rocker mid section and lengthened, more pronounced camber section, the TRS can flex, press, lock in on rails and still rip precise turns and carve hard in fast conditions. On this board, riders have won Olympic Pipe medals, World Freeride Tour Gold and Slopestyle Championships – if that doesn’t validate the versatility, then we don’t know what will. Ideal for the experienced rider – or the determined beginner – that want to be able to slay the entire mountain and not be held back by board design. The Total Ripper Series (aka the TRS) is the one board that can do it all.
- Versatile, all mountain board
- Hybrid shape offers good float and solid edge hold at the same time
- Seasoned vet of the line, has won major awards
- None that we have found
Lib Tech Banana Magic FP
If you are ready to majorly step up your freestyle game this winter, the Lib Tech Banana Magic FP snowboard is exactly the way to do it. Built with Lib’s Fire Power technology, the Banana Magic offers a light weight and eco friendly construction paired with a true twin shape and their crowd-favorite C2 rocker / camber creating a versatile, lightweight and insanely fun snowboard. The C2 hybrid profile blends the perfect amount of rocker and camber for a board that you can press out and flex easily but still holds an edge without slipping out. Added Magnetraction gives you extra contact points for better edge hold in icy or hard pack conditions while the specially formulated triax / biax Basalt glass loads the board up with a snappy, responsive pop for a fun and lively ride. Stability at high speeds mixed with a jib-friendly flex equals one super fun snowboard that will absolutely get the job done this winter. If freestyle riding is your passion and you are looking for high-end tech in a versatile, fun board, then look no further than the Lib Tech Banana Magic FP.
- High end FP technology
- Versatile twin shape and C2 camber
- Advanced in tech but overall shape could work for a beginner as well
- Higher price point due to FP technology
- Definitely more freestyle specific so may not be aggressive enough for big mountain free riders
Again, these were just a few of our personal favorites. To check out the full selection of Lib Tech snowboards, click here. To see all the boards we currently have in stock regardless of brand, click here.