I don’t know if you have heard of Travis Rice, but if you haven’t seen That’s It That’s All, Art of Flight, or the coverage of his Supernatural competition, then open up another tab and Google him real quick. You will see that what Travis Rice does on a snowboard is stupefying and amazing. Even though many of us may never be close to riding as well as he does, we can at least ride the same board(s) that he shreds.
Travis has a few different versions of his pro-model Lib Tech to choose from: the T. Rice C2BTX ($549.95), the Horse Power T. Rice C2BTX ($696.96) and the HP T. Rice Splits C2BTX ($969.69). Their is also a scaled down version for the younger ripper called the T. Ripper C2BTX ($429.95). All four of these boards come with Magne-Traction for maximum edge control in less than ideal conditions and the C2BTX rocker/camber hybrid that puts more pressure between the feet with the rocker, and extra stability and pop outside the feet with camber. They are all twins and ride in either direction with power and control. Every Travis Rice board also has a bio beans top sheet, which is environmentally friendly and light. The HP and Splits HP have a sparkle top sheet, which helps distinguish them as magical.
The T. Rice and the HP T. Rice have different shapes depending on the length of the board. The shorter decks (150, 153, 157) have a blunt nose and tail for extra free-style flair and spin. The longer boards (161.5, 164.5) are pointed for extra float and drive in the powder. The Splits HP are pointed and only come in 161.5 and 164.5.
Split boards come apart to be used as skis for back country hikes and then attach back together for the ride down. That doesn’t exclude this deck from being ok to ride at a resort, but its primary purpose is for the riders that are out searching for their own lines, not looking to wait in them. And coming in at the higher price point, this is certainly a snowboard that is not for the park rat.
When we start getting inside of the boards, that is where we can see more differences. The T. Rice has the H-Pop core, made with sustainable wood, and is wrapped in axis inversion fiberglass. The smaller sizes have a softer flex (5-6 of 10) for the rails and park jumps, while the bigger decks get a bit stiffer (7 of 10). Overall, the T. Rice is an excellent choice for someone looking to get an aggressive freestyle or freeride board, and with the sizes and shapes available, leaves a bit of room to decide which way to go. For a rider of about 170 pounds and size 10 feet, if he wanted to do more park but still have a board that will ride in powder days, the 153 or 157 would be a good choice. For the same weight and shoe size rider, but more into back country and free riding, the 161.5 would be the way to go.
The HP construction for the T. Rice HP and Splits HP means these boards are light and strong. The Horse Power boards are made with Lib Tech Snowboards Columbian Gold core, which is a special wood core designed for sustainability, fast growth, strength and lightweight power. These two also have no fiberglass in them, but are rather glassed with basalt, a fine volcanic rock that is lighter, stronger and way less toxic than fiberglass. In essence the Horse Power construction creates a stronger, lighter, more powerful ride that will get the rider down the steepest and deepest any mountain has to offer. These are the boards Travis Rice and pals take when they go up to Alaska.
If we look at the same rider, but make him a little more experienced and focused on getting more time off the groomers and in the back country, then the T. Rice HP is a good choice. It is a stiffer board, 7 of 10, but the C2BTX gives it a catch free feel that high-performance camber boards don’t have. The Magne-Traction ensures good edge contact in any condition. Transworld Snowboarding has given the T. Rice HP its good wood award for 2013. This board is an all mountain slayer that will do laps in the park, but is more tuned for cliff drops, narrow chutes, and pillow lines.
For the guy or gal already hiking in to the backcountry, the Splits HP T. Rice is a great choice for a split board. The Splits HP comes with Karakoram premium clips and latches, and is pre-drilled and ready for mounting. Some companies offer a split board kit which requires a bit of skills and tools, but this one is ready to go with no extra sawing or drilling. Skins, bindings and poles are not included.
The T. Rice Pro Model boards offer a lot for the intermediate to advanced rider. From park to pipe, back country powder to heli-tours, Lib Tech’s Travis Rice Pro Models have a board that is right for you.