Category Archives: Reviews

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.

Ride Ninja Helmet for your Head

The Ride Ninja Helmet is a great audio enabled helmet. It is super comfortable and has a furry interior for extra warmth on the cold days. It also vents your goggles really well. On the front of the helmet there are holes that are designed to allow for the goggles to vent out the top. I found that it worked nicely. In the past I have worn helmets that block ed the top venting on my goggles and they fogged right up. I think the best feature on this snowboard helmet is the Dialed In fir system that Ride Snowboards uses. A dial at the rear tightens it till you get a good custom fit.

Ride Ninja Helmet

Besides the good fit and venting the audio sounds great. The ear flaps have the speakers built right in. So all you got to do is plugin your tunes and your set. I find it is a great defense for talking to boring old skiers.

If you are in the market for a new helmet the Ride Ninja Helmet is defiantly one to consider. I give it a thumbs up. So get one right here at

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.


Get Off Piste with K2 Panoramic

With ski resorts getting busier and busier these days more people are heading to the backcounrty. K2 has a long history of blazing trail out of bounds. The K2 Panoramic is their flagship splitboard. This board is built for out of bounds riding. It has a big spoon nose and a taper tail so it floats like crazy in the powder. This board uses the Voile split system which is regarded as the best in the industry.  The system allows for the board to still have a ton of torsional rigidity  even though it is a splitboard. This is huge because i have ridden boards that did not have the Voile setup and the board really felt like it was split in two. With the Voile mounting system you know your on a splitboard but it feels much more solid. The Panoramic is solid at high speeds even for a splitboard.

I think one of the best parts of this board is K2 integrated skin system. The connection that the skin makes with the bottom of the board is much cleaner than a regular skin. The biggest improvement is that snow has a much harder time finding its way between the board and skin.

K2 Panoramic

Why splitboard you ask. Well there is a secret that rondane and telemark skiers have known about for years. SKINS. Skinning is by far a faster mode of transportation than snowshoe. Most of all it takes substantially less energy. So you will still be able to shred after you have hiked for hours to get that perfect line.

The K2 Panormaic package is the way to go if you are just getting your first splitboard setup, it is a no brainer. We have the K2 Panoramic Snowboard in a kit that includes the Voile mounting hardware and skins so all you need to do is slap your bindings on and go. We also have the K2 Panoramic and other splitboards available as a stand alone if you already have the hardware and skins.

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