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2013 Lib Tech Snowboards: T. Rice Pro, HP and Split C2BTX

T.Rice Pro C2BTX

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.

T.Ripper C2BTXTravis 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.

T.Rice Pro  C2BTX

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.

T. Rice HP C2BTX

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.

T.Rice Split HP C2BTX

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.

 

2013 Lib Tech Snowboards: TRS- Total Ripper Series C2BTX

TRS C2BTX

If you have been following Lib Tech riders like Eric Jackson or Sammy Luebke, then you know that they destroy the mountain and are total rippers on the Total Ripper Series from Lib Tech Snowboards. Utilizing the C2 Power Banana/Camber Combo tech, the TRS is the choice for veterans and pros that need extra power, float and reliability in critical lines.

TRS Stealth C2BTX

The TRS is not for the beginner, especially at $560.  Winner of the 2013 Transworld Snowboarding’s Goodwood award, the TRS is for the Total Ripper.  The C2BTX profile gives the TRS a solid amount of pressure and stability from nose to tail, and makes the board very responsive.  Combine that with Magne-Traction, and the TRS is beast in the crud, hard pack and everywhere else on the mountain.  The TRS is a bit stiffer in flex (5 – 7 of 10) and is not specifically a jib board; it will handle rails and boxes, but would prefer to air over them with a little tail tap.  Basalt is the secret ingredient that is mixed with the fiberglass to keep the TRS snappy.  Landing switching is no problem with the twin geometry, and the TNT base is extra durable and fast without needing a lot of attention.

TRS C2BTX

The graphics this year are amazing!  Carl Smith has captured the flight and fear of the shred with his psychedelic skulls and moths.  There is also a toned down stealth version for those wanting a top sheet a bit more low key.   Either way, the TRS looks just as good as it rides.

As mentioned before, the TRS is not recommended for the rider that is just starting out.  It is kind of like buying a Ferrari for the kid that just got a drivers license.  But for the rider that already has a few years under his belt, this board will definitely get him on the fast track to shred-tastical greatness.

 

 

Lib Tech Tech: Magne-Traction, 30 Goodwood Awards and Counting.

Over the past decade, Mervin Manufacturing and specifically Lib Tech Snowboards have revolutionized the way we snowboard by taking the ideas and concepts from the Lib Tech Experimental Division and applying to actual production models. First was the introduction of Magnetraction, which allowed riders have more edge control and more fun. Then comes the banana.  Introduced in 2006, the Skate banana turned snowboarding upside with its BTX profile, easy pow ride and catch free fun.

Magne-traction:  “It’s not all butter… steak knife technology turns ice into powder.”  – Mervin Mfg.

Lib tech and Steven Cobb  invented Magne-Traction technology, and it has become a permanent staple in the Lib-tech and Gnu Snowboard lines.  A few other brands license the tech from Mervin Manufacturing, but it is pretty much exclusive to Lib, Gnu and Roxy snowboards.  Boards featuring Magne-traction have won 30 Transworld Snowboarding Goodwood awards to date.

A traditional edge is mostly straight.  Magne-Traction takes that edge and puts a serrated pattern in it. This allows for more contact points with the snow and ice.  More contact equals more control and more control is always good.   The boards I have ridden with Magnetraction are noticeably grippier, easier to turn and hold an edge very well, especially in firmer and choppier conditions.  While it won’t exactly turn bullet proof into pow-pow,  Magne-Traction does minimalize the “OH S—!“ factor when conditions are difficult.

2013 Roxy Banana Smoothie EC2BTX Women’s Snowboard

Roxy Banana Smoothie

New for this year, Roxy Snowboards has developed the Roxy Banana Smoothie EC2BTX snowboard with all mountain expert and Whistler local Robin Van Gyn.  When your days off from coaching groms are spent hiking back country lines, you need a board that will power through the various terrain British Columbia has to offer.  The Banana Smoothie is a great looking women’s snowboard that will make your day taste like magic.

Taking the Roxy Banana Smoothie EC2BTX out of the bag, the hand painted graphic pulls me in and it cool to see that there are actually sparkles in the top sheet.  But not just good looking, this board features the best tech that the banana loving shreds at Mervin have to offer.  EC2BTX is a mellower version of the hybrid power banana camber found in the C2BTX.  Still responsive when needed, the elliptical camber smooths the pressure along the nose and tail for the feel that Robin wants.  Add Magen-Traction to the mix and there is amazing control as the “steak knife” edges cut through the crustiest crust that ever crusted.  With a flex of 5 out of 10, the Banana Smoothie is at the stiffer end of the spectrum for the ladies.

Built for the powder hungry, snowmobiling, cliff-dropping, chute bombing female rider, the Banana Smoothie C2BTX is a great choice for the intermediate to advanced rider looking to spend more time in the trees, off of the groomers and outside of the resort.
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Let us know what you think about the Roxy Banana Smoothie EC2BTX in the comments below.

2013 Union Atlas Bindings

This years Union Atlas Bindings have arrived!   These bindings are light, strong and versatile and are recommended for all riders interested in shredding to the max.  We were pretty excited to see the 35 boxes come off the UPS truck and into our warehouse.  The first binding I picked up is the Matte Green Atlas, and I liked what I saw, felt and heard as the buckles easily slid through the ladders.

Union Atlas Matte GreenThe Atlas is a mid to high price binding at $239.95, but even just out of the box this binding shows its value.  The Matte Green Atlas that I took out was highlighted with flourescent green, and looks pretty cool.  It helps that green is my favorite color.  The Atlas is also pretty light, and once I started squeezing the starts and twisting the high back, I could tell this binding was definitely not a show pony.

Union Atlas Metallic BlueThe Atlas uses Union’s stage III  Atlas Baseplate which uses Dupont Zytel ST nylon and has a minimal footprint to prevent dead spots in the snowboard’s flex.   There is also two densities of EVA foam on the bottom to reduce vibration and aid in smooth board flex.  This adds up to a very lightweight and strong base that creates a comfortable and responsive ride.  All Union bindings come with a lifetime warranty on the base plate and heel cup.

Union Atlas Metallic Blue Close

The straps are pretty rad as well.  The ankle strap has a 3D construction which allows it to contour around the boot and has a good cushion of multi-density foams to give support where it is need without any hot spots.  There is also a convenient tool less adjustment.  The toe strap is very versatile in that it can be set all the way forward for the “toe cap” usage, completely vertical for the classic strap feel, and all spots in between.  This allows the binding to fit a variety of boots well without having to do too many adjustments.

Union Atlas Matte StoneUnion Atlas Matte Black

One of the stand out parts of the Atlas is the high back.  Designed to function even better than it looks, the symmetrical zonal ribs increase the stiffness of the high back  as they get closer to the heel for more response and support.  Towards the top of the high back the flex is increased to allow for extra tweakage and steez.   The best of both worlds are joined to allow for good mobility, support and response.

The Union Atlas is a medium flex binding and comes in several colors.  Leave a comment and let us know what you think, which color is your favorite and if you have had a chance to ride these give us your review.

 

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