Lib Tech - Skate Banana
Let me just start by saying I did search before I started this thread, and found a thread from last year (07/08). This thread will be dedicated to the 08/09 model, even if it hasn't changed much.
I begin by saying that I researched a variety of boards for all mountain freestyle. I wanted a board that would let me carve up the slopes, hit the park, mess around in powder (what powder we get on the ice coast), and be some what flexible.
Long story short, I found what I was looking for in Lib Tech's Skate Banana. In my opinion, it does everything you want it to do. The reverse camber isn't really noticeable until you're in the chairlift line-up. Here, it's a bit less controllable as it naturally wants to just rotate back and forth. You get used to it. This is my only complaint about the board, and really, it's more about reverse camber than anything. The magnetraction works extremely well, and I was able to test it out on two hills with varying groomed granular surfaces with ice that gradually was exposed as the day wore on.
To break it down.
- Carves well
- Butters and presses amazingly well
- Holds an edge well
- Makes spins incredibly easy to land (I'm not the best, and landed everything I threw.. it had a minds of its own)
- Very light
- Flexible, but with enough support that it's not a noodle
- Hard to control in a crowded line-up
- Sleepless nights caused by fear of it getting stolen
I was not able to test the board in powder. Would love to, and perhaps I will remember to update the thread later when I'm able to hit some fresh powder. More than likely, it won't happen until next season.
The board felt great at high speeds. I did notice that while landing some larger jumps that it was a bit squirmish, but this squirmy feeling was what allowed me to land almost any trick I threw. It's hard to explain, other than to say the board takes a second to lock in once it's hit the snow. You get used to it, and then eventually embrace it, and trust that the board is just doing all the work for you.
Overall, the board was exactly what I wanted: a snowboard for all conditions and riding styles. I demo'ed a Burton Love and would rate the Love around a 7/10, and the Skate Banana an 11/10. There's really no comparison. For what it's worth, prior to owning the Banana, I was riding a freeride Salomon that was heavy, stiff, and shitty, but I compare most of my findings to the Love which I demo'ed at the beginning of this season.