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Old 09-29-2011, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Help me decide between: Banana Magic, Attack Banana or Rome Mod Rocker

I have been riding for a little over 10 years. I'm experienced and feel 100% comfortable on the hill. I haven't rode much for the past 3 seasons though, but I'm getting a season's pass this year and plan to get back into things in a big way. I'm really excited and getting some new gear. I ride the smaller mountains near Whistler, BC like Cypress, Seymour and Hemlock Valley. We get some powder days, but it never gets terribly cold. It's not crazy icy very often. Usually just kind of in the middle in terms of conditions.

There are a lot of new board technologies that are coming out or starting to mature, that were not around when I got my last board. I have a Gnu Altered Genetics 158, from about 2005/06 I believe (I can't find the year it is online). It's a great deck, but it's getting dated. It has regular camber and I'm pretty sure an extruded base. Nothing too fancy except for the core materials and some other things. I just want something new to get me more excited.

First of all, what I like about my current deck:
  • Responsive when carving
  • Decent in powder
  • Pretty good pop
  • Feels good on jumps and landings
  • decent all around

What I don't like:
  • Feels just a touch stiff. This is good when I'm hauling ass, but I don't get a chance to do that often (see below)
  • Feels a touch too big. Spinning feels a little like I'm lugging too much around
  • It's not the easiest to maneuver when going slow. I'm talking buttering around and just messing around. I guess this is because of its stiffness.

I'm now married and will be riding with my wife this season. She's a beginner, so I'll be doing a lot of waiting and won't be able to go Mach-1 down the runs all the time. I don't really enjoy doing that anyways.

What I want in a new snowboard:
  • Perform decent on pow days
  • Handle hits and landings
  • Go fast in straight line and in a carve
  • Be agile / maneuverable / playful enough to let me mess around off the groomed while I wait for my wife. I want to be able to butter around a bit, hit some little things on the side (banked walls, etc.)
  • I do not care about jibbing at all. But if it can do that too, it's a bonus
  • I don't ride the park that much. I prefer natural features. I do occasionally. I NEVER ride pipe though.

I have done a ton of research, trying to figure out which boards would be best for how I want to ride. I have a special place in my heart for Gnu/Lib as well, but open to anything well made.

My research has lead me to the following:

Lib Tech Banana Magic
From what I read, this seems like it might be a little on the stiff side for what I want. Just a little. Or maybe not too stiff, but just more targeted to going fast and being stable. Not sure how it performs on jumps and messing around off the groomed. Not sure if it's easily maneuverable at slower speeds. This review says it's playful... even more playful than an Attack Banana, which seems to conflict with how I understand the tech and designed purpose of both boards. Any feedback on this? I'm looking at the 2011 version, which is on sale (same price as 2012 Attack 'Nana) and the same as this year's. 157 should be the best size for me.

Lib Tech Attack Banana
This seems like it would be fun to mess around with. It won this year's best Good Wood from Transworld. Seems quite versatile and a cool balance of freestyle / all mountain. I'm worried that it might be TOO soft though (it's only rated .5 softer than Banana Magic on the Lib site)... or maybe just not stable enough when I do want to go fast. Seems like it would be OK in the pow. Not sure how fast it would be as it's an extruded base, but at least one review said it was pretty fast on the groomers. I was looking at the 156, but the 159 is a possibility as well. The 159 could possibly even things out and make it more stable, but still playful.

Rome Mod Rocker
I know the least about this one, but the reviews have been very positive, and the tech seems great. Awesome pop, a magne-traction sort of tech, and seems well suited for everything... leaning toward the freestyle end of the spectrum. I like that. Just seems like a great board. It's slightly more expensive for me than the other two though, but that's OK. To me, this seems comparable to an Attack Banana, but with faster base and maybe a little more stable going fast and doing hits + landings.

I am just a hair under 5'10" and my weight fluctuates between ~200 - 210lbs. I have size 11, 686 / New Balance boots that are relatively low profile. I haven't tried a reverse camber board yet, but I'm ready to try something new and feel confident I will figure it out without problems. I just hope their characteristics won't piss me off or anything.

I'm having a really hard time narrowing the list down further, and choosing the one that would be best for how I want to ride. I also need to match these up with a good binding. I was looking at the Flux TT30's or maybe Forum Republic's, both from 2011. I like the Flow NXT-AC-SE's but they are a bit pricey.

Sorry for the book, but I wanted to be as specific as possible. Does anyone have any feedback to give on these boards, based on real world personal experience or from a riding buddy? I'm looking to find out how they compare to each other, their pros and cons, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 158W banana magic and it has very deep sidecut 7M and carves very tight turns. The edge is really agressive so it take some getting used to. I would recommend the 158 over the 157 with your boot size. It is really good for advanced riders who can react quickly as it demands attention when riding due to the grip and sidecut. Once you get used to it and if you like to Carve alot it's a very fun snowboard.
I have not tried the Attack banana but the sidecut 8.3M for 156 8.4M for 159 is not as deep as the magic.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwbrian View Post
I have a 158W banana magic and it has very deep sidecut 7M and carves very tight turns. The edge is really agressive so it take some getting used to. I would recommend the 158 over the 157 with your boot size. It is really good for advanced riders who can react quickly as it demands attention when riding due to the grip and sidecut. Once you get used to it and if you like to Carve alot it's a very fun snowboard.
I have not tried the Attack banana but the sidecut 8.3M for 156 8.4M for 159 is not as deep as the magic.
Thanks! Do you find the board is easy to just mess around with at slow speeds as well? Or does it only want to go fast and gets grumpy if you try and maneuver it around without giving it lots of speed? Is it a board that you can also just have fun on and relax, occasionally, without having to micro manage it too much just to get down the hill?
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwbrian View Post
I have a 158W banana magic and it has very deep sidecut 7M and carves very tight turns. The edge is really agressive so it take some getting used to. I would recommend the 158 over the 157 with your boot size. It is really good for advanced riders who can react quickly as it demands attention when riding due to the grip and sidecut. Once you get used to it and if you like to Carve alot it's a very fun snowboard.
I have not tried the Attack banana but the sidecut 8.3M for 156 8.4M for 159 is not as deep as the magic.


Also, the 158 only coms in wide. Is that what you were suggesting? I never thought I needed a "wide" snowboard. I'm worried a 158W would be too much of a brute and not agile enough. Do my concerns have any truth behind them?
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ban magic is a great effin board. It's not that stiff. More like mid-stiff. Excellent edge power and you can lay down some sweet carves with it.

I rode it in Michigan and all we have is groomers basically. Not going to be the best jib stick, but definitely fun board to mess around on.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ban magic is a great effin board. It's not that stiff. More like mid-stiff. Excellent edge power and you can lay down some sweet carves with it.

I rode it in Michigan and all we have is groomers basically. Not going to be the best jib stick, but definitely fun board to mess around on.
Thanks. I was just talking to a shop staffer (The Boardroom in Vancouver) and I told him what I want to do: mess around while waiting for my wife, but be able to keep up with my friends on certain days, hit jumps and ride pow occasionally. He said the Attack Banana is just super fun, forgiving, and better for messing around. It's not as fast as the Magic, or as responsive in super fast carving... but those are of lower priority to me. I firstly want to have fun and work on some tricks here and there.

Have you tried the Attack Banana as a comparison?

After hearing that, I'm starting to learn toward the 159 Attack Nana or a 159 Rome Mod Rocker, as they are both a little more freestyle oriented rather than "haul ass on groomers".
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the 158 with size 11 thirty-two boots and can still drag my toes in a hard carve. Not sure of the lenght of your boots or you stance I ride 20+ front and 10+ rear but for carving I liked the 158 over the 157that I demoed. I don't seem to have any problem throwing the board around or pulling 360's strait airs with it. I also take it into the park but just recently started park riding. I weigh 210lbs and this board stomps the landing and is very stable at any speed. I haven't ridden a board without magne-traction in 5 years so i am use to it and wouldn't get a board without it. Some people don't like it but I don't know why. I have 5 boards with it in all the combonations of camber except EC2. I trust magnatraction to hold an edge on almost any surface except Nasty ice that you wouldn't want to be on anyway. Out of all the boards I have the Magic is the one I will never part with. I have been riding since the 80's, on Mervin boards only. So I really like their equipment Plus there made in USA by snowboarders.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwbrian View Post
I have the 158 with size 11 thirty-two boots and can still drag my toes in a hard carve. Not sure of the lenght of your boots or you stance I ride 20+ front and 10+ rear but for carving I liked the 158 over the 157that I demoed. I don't seem to have any problem throwing the board around or pulling 360's strait airs with it. I also take it into the park but just recently started park riding. I weigh 210lbs and this board stomps the landing and is very stable at any speed. I haven't ridden a board without magne-traction in 5 years so i am use to it and wouldn't get a board without it. Some people don't like it but I don't know why. I have 5 boards with it in all the combonations of camber except EC2. I trust magnatraction to hold an edge on almost any surface except Nasty ice that you wouldn't want to be on anyway. Out of all the boards I have the Magic is the one I will never part with. I have been riding since the 80's, on Mervin boards only. So I really like their equipment Plus there made in USA by snowboarders.
Thats great, thanks for the personal insights.

I went to a local shop today that had the Attack Banana 159 and I felt it was too skinny for me. The magne-traction also seemed very subtle compared to others. I decided against getting it, even though its reviews have been terrific. If there was a 159W in the shop, I may have left with it.

I saw a 157 Skunk Ape though, which is their wide model. It has C2BTX, Basalt topsheet and some other things. The only thing I wish it had was the sintered base, but there are pros and cons with both the TnT and the Sintered. I left with the Skunk Ape!

It's a wide board, but the sidecut is decent still, and the magne-traction is pretty aggressive. It's supposed to be really poppy (it's stiff) and easy to maneuver even at slow speeds. And of course it will shred through powder, is super stable and fast too. And the board is a little shorter than the others, so I should be able to throw it around when I want to get jibby. I think I'm going to love it. I hope I do, anyway!

Now I'm looking for a good binding combination. I'm looking at:
  • Rome 390
  • Ride SPi
  • Flux TT30
  • Forum Republic

What bindings did you pair up with the Magic? Anyone else have any suggestions for a good binding match with a 157 Skunk Ape?
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have the '10 Magic and it is an incredible board.

I came from an old cambered Ride All Mountain 155, to the '10 157 Magic. I was actually surprised at how awesomely different it was to the old board.

I can carve on a dime, its super fast and seems pretty poppy.

The only downsides to the Magic that I see are that it is a 157 when I wanted something closer to 154 (in '10 they only made 152 and 157) and it seems a little heavy, though that may be the result of it being too big for me.

I have Rome Targa's and I like them, came from Burton Cartels. Both are good bindings but the Targa's seem to hurt the top of my foot a bit, but that also might be because my boots are super old and breaking down. I'll be getting new boots this year.

Good luck with your board - the magnatraction is awesome.
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