I was going to wait to post about this untill I had a chance to ride my new decks but seeing as a few people have some questions about this now ill try to describe as much as i can without knowing how they actually ride. I plan on doing a full review sometime mid-winter. anyways I picked up a new 2011 -T.Rice 161.5 horsepower super early this season (didnt want to miss out) and just recently bought a 2010 T.rice that is almost mint on ebay. Before I bought these two boards i had a ton of questions about what the pros and cons of each construction - seeing as LIB can be a little vague.
I guess we'll talk about the horsepower first … when you first get ur hands on the board the weight or lack there of will be the first thing you notice. this is a very light construction which can be a good or bad thing depending on what your looking to get out of the board - like i said i havent had the chance to get out on it yet to know if that will hurt the stability but for me the light weight was a plus as this is not my only board. On LIBs website they call the horsepower a "similar performing board" and say that both the horsepower and reg. fiberglass version are a 7 on their flex scale. This in my opinion is not so - if the traditional version is infact a 7 then the horsepower is AT LEAST a 6 and i would personally go as far as saying its closer to a 5. This is neither good or bad - just different. This could benifit the guy looking for the153 or 157 and planning to do more park/freestyle riding or the smaller/lighter rider looking to get into a larger 161.5 or 164.5 and do more freeriding. I will say that, though the horsepower does have more flex, it feels stronger. like it will flex more but be less likely to snap. O and you get to be GREEN! which is cool with me. Other than that it seems to me mostly cosmetic differences. The horsepowers top sheet has some sparkle and by some i mean holy crap! a lot of sparkle. Its like glitter, kinda reminds me of a fishing lure - I really like it but some may not. and you get 4 colored sidewalls - mine are orange purple yellow and green - pretty cool.
As for the regular fiberglass version (keep in mind i have the 2010) it is heavier - when compared to the horsepower but not compared to an average board. It feels mostly like you would expect - not overly heavy at all. As far as flex its exactly as described - stiff enough to hold at speed and have some good pop but not like a plank either - deff more the board i could picture a guy like Travis wanting/needing. I would personally agree with the 7 in this case...And for cosmetics (talking about the 2011) seeing it in pics/videos it seem to have little to no sparkle when compared to the horsepower and because the horsepower is so sparkly some of the colors differ. where the top sheet of the regular board is white the horsepower is silver and some of the reds pinks and greens are different and on my 161.5 the big sun at the top is purple ... not blue. and the reg fiberglass get two colored sidewalls blue and white from what i can tell. and the bases of both boards are the same...
these are just some big basic things i wanted to know when i was board hunting ... none of the shops by my house carry real high end boards and only one carrys lib tech. So i was buying blind as there were no real comparisions of the two ... I was lucky enough to be in a position this year to buy two boards or i would have prob waited... So if i was only gunna buy one or the other what would it be? I would buy the reg. fiberglass version. I personally wanted this board to be a stiff, hard charging, speed machine - and i think the weight and flex of the horsepower might hinder that. On top of that I really dont think the horsepower will be $150.00 better. As a fun once in a while board yeah , but as an everyday kill it board - not for me. I deff dont regret buying it - at all and maybe when i hit the snow later this month it will change my mind, we shall see. any other questions ill try to answer if i can