Intermediate Perspective on Lib Tech's TRS BTX
I'm 5'9" and 140 pounds; I have ridden a total of six times. The first ride was on a rental, the next time was on a borrowed Capita then the next
three times were on my first board...a 2008 Burton Custom X 158 (bad advice and a sale price got me into it) with 2008 Burton Cartels. So. I would qualify myself as a solid intermediate. I've skated my whole life, have surfed a few times and skied for 15 years (I used to jump cornices, hit the double diamonds, basically, I could ski most of the terrain except the really big scary stuff). Most sports I pick up quickly and snowboarding was no exception. I feel I have to qualify
this to give my review a little believability without seeming like bragging. I learned to board in Whistler, BC and have hit some of the other BC mountains but
this Lib Tech review will be based on conditions from Squaw Valley, California on Sunday April 26th 2009. Enough about me.
The board. 2008/2009 Lib Tech 154 TRS BTX (with MTX) with '08 Burton Cartels. Seemed really soft sitting in my living room comparing it to the Custom X but
once on the mountain it never felt like a noodle. I started the day at 9am first lift on the Gold Coast Express and the intermediate runs were icy corn rows. The TRS handled it beautifully. The X had Stainless Steel edges and bit hard when aggressive but on ice would slip out and kind of get away from you if not concentrating 100 percent. With the TRS it felt normal turning on ice, in other words, I didn't feel I had to adjust to riding on ice. And because of the reverse camber I never felt an edge catch (in fact I'm sure it saved me from a monumental crash when tucking through the flats). The day was mostly cloudy so by 10am-ish the snow was perfect dry fluff; not the normal wet spring conditions.
On these runs the board was very quick edge to edge, held a carve nicely (never washed out) and never chattered even over bumpy icy parts. Carrying speed through
flats I felt more comfortable leaning back a bit and riding on edge whereas the X I could ride flat. I think the banana tech saved me once because when I was
trying to ride flat I hit some bumpy grooves that sent the board sideways, bringing the tail around but I was able to lean back and catch myself and go into a
Feeling more comfortable on the TRS I moved to Siberian Express which had an "advanced only" section at the top. It was smooth but steep and the TRS felt solid.
Carrying speed thru steep stuff was easy on the board, just a little precarious because of the length: 154. I know the 157 TRS is a notch stiffer so this combined
with the length would probably eliminate the instability. This lift and run combo has a couple sections where you need to carry speed so I tucked, leaned back,
rode on edge and bombed the run to avoid having to hike uphill. Again, no chatter or noodle like qualities.
Moving on to 11:30ish. Shirley Lake Express. Short but fun true intermediate runs. No moguls, just semi steep. This board was an absolute blast to ride here.
Toe and heel turns were effortless; carving was intuitive. This is the board I should have purchased from the beginning. It feels forgiving enough to learn on
but firm enough to progress on. The base is fast but nowhere near what the Custom X was but this can be a good thing for beginners and intermediates such as
myself. It had a fresh hot wax from the local shop I purchased it from and carried speed well when you wanted it, again, different from the X which was just
flat out fast everywhere all the time. The TRS felt nimble and I always felt like I was in control rather than the board taking me somewhere.
I stayed on this side of the mountain until around 3pm and by this time the snow was typical wet grabby spring stuff. When trying to be aggressive in this snow
the nose felt a little soft for my taste but no board is perfect, right? I decided to take a couple runs thru a small terrain park and try some jumps. There are
about four jumps in a row about three and a half feet tall. The first run thru I got about 3 inches off the ground (need more speed!) the second run I got about three feet of air over a ten foot distance. The TRS flexed nicely on this second run going over the jumps but landed solid each time. I was beat by this time and called it a day.
On the traverse down to the parking lot (Mountain Run) I tried riding switch. It was easy to go goofy foot on the TRS without catching an edge and, obviously, easy to switch back to regular without having to jump or hop 180. The TRS has a centered stance and with the 154 length felt great everywhere I went. I guess that's why they call it the Total Ripper Series. I hope this helps someone; this is my first review of a snowboard but I felt this board needed praise. Needless to say I was bummed at the bottom; my season is now over. So, from an intermediate's perspective the 08/09 Lib Tech TRS BTX/MTX is a solid performer and one that I would buy again.