Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

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Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby PE395 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:08 pm

I’ve ridden a fair number of snowboards over the years. They usually differed in predictable ways. Stiff ones rode better at speed, soft were more fun buttering around switch and riding slow. Some felt lively and snappy, others dead and damp. My current ride was getting beat, so I started looking around. I’d heard a lot about Lib Tech and Gnu’s “Magnatraction”, and more recently “Banana Technology”, and figured it couldn’t be a hoax if so many people were riding it. I’m a geek about this kind of stuff, so I figured I’d write a better review than I could find online. Plus it's probably a more positive contribution than continuing to rag on Patina in another forum.

Over the holidays a friend lent me a Lib Travis Rice 157 with Magnatraction. MTX as they call it is basically a wavy serrated edge on the board, so there are multiple points of contact along the rail. When I first saw it a couple years ago, I thought “That’s gotta feel catchy and sketchy”. I mounted the board and headed out on a day when the mountain was pretty scraped off. The T Rice itself was solid for a shorter deck. But the MTX was pretty impressive. It carved normal on softer snow, but when I got onto real hardpack, it held a rail like nothing I’d ever ridden. Sometimes on steeps I’ll spin out my tail edge, but this board had bomber edge hold. Thing is, I could still break it loose at will when just cruising around. I was sold on the Magnatraction, and figured I had to try the Banana tech.

I demoed a Lib Tech TRS 159 BTX from Wave Rave. It’s a pretty basic all-mountain directional twin shape with a medium flex. The MTX is combined with Banana Tech (BTX) which is reverse camber. So instead of the board being arched from tip to tail, it’s got rocker between your feet. The nose and tail are flat from the boots out. The idea is that you flatten the board against the snow when you stand on it for better edge pressure. Lay it on the floor and you can spin it like a propeller. I looked at that and thought “I’m gonna spin this out everywhere I go.”

First off, the BTX is a genuinely different ride. You really feel the board beneath your feet and between your bindings. Where I’d normally feel the power and control of a board at the end of the tail or nose as it flexed and loaded, here the edge pressure and control was coming from directly under my feet. The feeling was more like a skateboard. The nose and tail almost felt like they were up off the snow. I could lay the board on a rail like a euro hardbooter, but it would run straight over crud and flex into the troughs between bumps. I even took it on terrain I normally hate – hacked bumps on steeps – and it fit into all the nooks and crannies well. As for feeling like it would catch an edge, it was the exact opposite, I could smear it all over and never feel like a scorpion was coming. It does take a bit of getting used to when jumping, but I think it’ll be extra forgiving on landing spins. I didn’t hit so much as a fun box with it. I’ve since bought the same board, and rode it in powder over my knees last weekend. In the soft stuff, it rides somewhere between a regular board and a powder/tapered style board. The reverse camber floats really well and keeps the board up on top of the snow well. Once things are tracked, it runs over the chunder really well. The ride may not be for everyone, but if you’re thinking about throwing down for a new board, be sure to check one out to experience something really different. There are other reverse camber boards out there now and I’m sure more are on the way, but I think the MTX/BTX combo is what really makes these boards work.
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby psg » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:30 pm

I read this a few days ago, checked the Lib Tech blog today, and behold:

http://www.libtechblogs.com/blog/2009/0 ... rs_bt.html

For the record, I've had nothing but great experiences with my Skate Banana for the past two seasons, and likewise for my Snow Mullet this season. I ride the same stance for everything on the Skate Banana, from knee-deep pow to groomers to park to boardercross, and it handles it all like a champ. And for those really deep days, the Snow Mullet, with BTX and a tapered design, can plow through anything!
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby PE395 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:35 am

I have a Burton Fish 156 for super deep days, which I obviously didn't ride the last two seasons. D'oh! That Mullet is the ticket though, 'cause the Fish gets sketchy when things get tracked. That Lib blog is cool.
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby snowboard247 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:37 pm

thanks for the review. I appreciate hearing peoples in depth input, as ive been looking into a btx board as of late.
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby Grizzly Barfly » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:31 am

I have been riding the Magnatraction for four years. It rules!!!! I got the TRice 61 Banana this year and was disappointed. It was not nearly as stable at speed as the regular Magna. I gave it four full days of riding, and was lucky to trade it for a standard Magna that once is super great! I'm a huge Lib fan, but I must disagree with the Banana for med-high speed all mountain riding..........
......you just lose your turn.
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby Eitan » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:49 pm

look into the GNU altered genetics BTX board
that board is sickkkk
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby onegoodturn » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:21 am

I've been riding a TRS BTX 162 for a few weeks now and like it a lot. It rides longer than a 162, it smoothes out chopped up stuff and I can still carve a turn on super hard pack.

I started out with a wide duck foot stance and rode that for a few days. That didn't feel quite right so I went back to my favorite surfing stance 24 -12 and narrowed it just a bit. Now it feels really good and I can go for a lot longer before I start getting tired.

I really don't know how it's going to ride in steeper terrain yet since I've only ridden it at June so far. I'll be up for 12 days starting late this week and will try it in some steeper stuff over at Mammoth a couple of days.

This board is definitely a carving tool. Put it on some nice groomers like Gunsmoke or Rosa Mae and carve some really deep turns.

The only pow I've had it in so far was about 6" as it was still snowing and filling in our lines each run. It worked really great that day, felt like I was surfing. Looking forward to riding it in deeper stuff. Hopefully later this week.

It looks like there is even newer tech arriving now Leb Tech will be coming out with it and Never Summer has it already. It's rocker and camber tech. That's rocker between your feet and camber under your feet and out. Combine that with magnetraction and we might have the board that works on the steeps also. Next year's Lib Techs will have this, can't wait to try one.

Looks like all of my beautiful Arbor wood decks might end up on the walls of the cabin.
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby ridewkdays » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:40 am

So, onegoodturn your saying they are going to add more changes to the Banana traction (BTX)?
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby onegoodturn » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:58 am

ridewkdays wrote:So, onegoodturn your saying they are going to add more changes to the Banana traction (BTX)?


Yes, instead of rocker between your feet and flat under it's going to be rocker between and camber under out towards the tips.

I saw it on their website yesterday but don't see it today. They said next years models will feature it.

Edit to add: they are calling it the C2 Power Banana for now. I saw the tech yesterday but not today.
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby ridewkdays » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:46 pm

That's interesting. Glad you mentioned that. I will have to be on the look out for it.
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby PE395 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:13 am

OGT, you'll love your TRS in the deep pow. I heard about the Power Banana as well. Curious to try it, since one of the things I like best about the BTX is how catch-free it rides, which I think is a product of the flat nose and tail. That said, if the Power B puts a touch more downward pressure on the tip and tail it could improve the ride. With about 8 days on the TRS I've found that on hardpack I need to stop thinking of it as a 159, and ride it more like a 145. I know that sounds weird, but I really used the full rail on my cambered boards, especially loading the tail into and out of turns. When I imagine the TRS' edge as being only beneath and between my bindings, it rails much better since I'm not relying on a tail that in some ways isn't there.
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby elway » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:20 pm

I just did a little online research on the C2 power banana and it does not look to me like they are offering it on the 2009 TRS BTX - Only the Travis Rice and Dark boards. Am I missing something?
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby onegoodturn » Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:23 am

I rode the TRS for 9 out of 11 days at June last week and I like it more than ever. The first couple of days there was still some pow stashes to be found, it worked great. But I could see myself on a bit longer Lib Tech Snow Mullet in some steeper and deeper stuff.

Like you PE395 I find that riding it between my feet works best. These boards were born to carve. There were a couple of days of some hard pack that with other boards I would have come in and waited for it to soften up.

This is a board the I will ride till it dies. Now, does anyone out there know of someone with experience tuning these boards?
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby PE395 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:47 pm

OGT, I know Lib sells a tuning tool, but I think it's just a shorter length Dakine-style edge tool, so it "fits" better in the Magna curves. Not sure about the need. As for sharpening, Lib also claims you can even run your edges detuned if you want, because of the MTX. I think a yearly base grind may be all I do.
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Re: Lib Tech TRS BTX review...kinda long

Postby onegoodturn » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:09 am

PE395, was that you going up J1 yesterday?

I rode the TRS Saturday in some nice pow at June. It wasn't super deep or anything but I can tell the board is going to work great in deeper stuff. I'm totaly sold on this board now.

Maybe next spring I'll add a longer Snow Mullet and the perfect 2 board quiver will be complete.
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