I got a chance to try this board out for a couple days on the East Coast this past weekend. I’ll spare you the details and jump right into the juicy review stuff.
Where: Mt. Tremblant, Quebec
Snow Conditions: groomed / packed powder
Size: 158 cm.
Notable Technologies/features: Banana/reverse camber design, Magne-traction, made from green-friendly material, and art by Matt French.
First Impression: It’s stiffer than other Banana boards I’ve ridden which makes it more of a freeride board than a freestyle one. It’s official Lib Tech flex rating is 7/10, but it felt less stiff than that (a good thing in my books). The board didn’t feel too heavy or too light, so I was a little concerned with taking jumps with it, but it felt as balanced in the air as it did on the snow.
Feel: So depending on what type of board you’re used to riding, the Banana Magic is on the stiffer end compared to a typical park board and on the more flexible end compared to a typical all-mountain board. In other words, the board is neither overly stiff or flexible and is ideal for a freerider who wants some some extra flex compared to what you get from an all-mountain/freeride board.
Response: To put things in perspective, I ride a T6 (here’s my Burton T6 2010 Review) and I’m an aggressive rider. Given my experience with the T6, responsiveness of other boards is usually weak in comparison. However, I was pleasantly surprised with Lib Tech’s Banana Magic’s responsiveness. It’s deeper sidecut made turning fast and easy and going from edge to edge was a breeze. Overall, there were no issues with sharp turns or wider turns.
Magne-traction & Stability: The MTX technology definitely comes into play with this board, allowing you to be more aggressive with the turns compared to a same-flex board with no MTX. To my surprise, the board was also pretty stable bombing down the mountain.
Pop & Switching: The Lib Tech Banana Magic isn’t as playful and easy to press as park boards, but it certainly had more pop than typical freeride boards and was fun to butter with. As for switching, the board is designed as a true twin board and it rode that way. My buddy didn’t completely agree with me at first, but after a few runs, he got used to it and felt it did ride like a true twin board.
Overall Impression: Lib Tech is selling this as a stiffer Skata Banana for freeriding, and I think they hit the spot with that. The Banana Magic will be ideal for freeriders who like to get a little rough with their boards, but also enjoy hitting up the park every now and then. I just don’t recommend getting too comfortable in the park. The Banana Magic is definitely one of Lib Tech’s more aggressive boards that’s easy on the legs.