Whitelines’ Editor reviews the 2013-14 Lib Tech Skate Banana at the UK Boardtest in Kaunertal.
LIB TECH SKATE BANANA – TECH SPECS
SIZES: 145/148/151/149/152/154/156/159/162 – 153W/156W/159W/162W
SHAPE: True Twin
LIB TECH SKATE BANANA - WHITELINES 100 SNOWBOARD BUYERS’ GUIDE REVIEW
It’s no exaggeration to say that this one model has done more to revolutionise snowboard construction than any other board. Introduced for the 2007-08 season its ‘reverse camber’ shape turned received wisdom about profiles on their head – literally. Soon every manufacturer was releasing their own variation on the banana profile shape, resulting in the plethora of different types on the market today.
While Lib couldn’t actually patent the idea (as some boards back in the 80s had been built with reverse camber profiles) their re-introduction of the technology to the world of modern snowboarding did reap some benefits – according to the Seattle Times the year the Skate Banana was introduced, Lib Tech experienced an 81% increase in sales. The board is still their best-selling model to this day.
Unsurprisingly, given that the board is already so popular, Lib have tweaked the Skate Banana this season rather than altering it drastically. As well as the titular banana tech it also has ‘magne- traction’ – a technology that Lib Tech did manage to patent. This means that rather than being a continuous curve, the edges are slightly serrated like a breadknife, which helps them grip in icy conditions and makes carving (which can sometimes be a sketchy experience on a rocker board) feel more solid. Lib put stiffer birch wood along the edges of the core to add extra snap along the sidewalls, meaning this pops nicely when you’re spinning. To ride it feels playful enough for jibbers and forgiving enough for beginners, but there’s still enough power in the flex to pop a nice ollie.
As Whitelines deputy editor Tristan Kennedy put it: “Lib Tech have smashed it once again. Honestly, unless you’re a die-hard powder hound or a lycra-wearing racer, you can’t help but have fun on this board.”
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