I was just wondering if some of the other banana tech freeride geared boards would be as good as a choice as the banana
Yea dude, it really depends on what you want the board for. skate banana is popular for the park and because it was one of the first (maybe the first) board with rocker. Now Lib/GNU and several other brands have the rocker so there is a ton more to choose from. Just depends on what you are looking for...twin/directional, soft/stiff, etc.
You also may not even want banana tech depending on your riding style....however, the BTX seems to be pretty good for most stuff.