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Old 12-11-2012, 12:39 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by someguy View Post
You say there's zero difference, but the GNU Rider's choice has asymmetric sidecuts and a sintered base. The TRS and the Attack Banana both have an extruded base (TNT).
I said zero difference in construction between GNU and Lib-Tech in general (after you indicated a potential concern about GNU construction/preference for Lib-Tech), not specific to the RC and/or TRS.
Anyway, asymmetrical sidecut and sintered are not really construction issues, but board features. The fact that the RC has these features is exactly the reason that I described it as an upgraded TRS (which does not have them).

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What do you guys think about the asymmetric sidecut? Is it really a big advantage in your view? What do you think about the sintered <-> extruded bases?
Asym is a personal choice IMO. The theory behind the concept seems sound, but in practice some people see more of a benefit than others. For me personally it did not make much of a difference - in fact, I almost preferred riding the board the 'wrong way' around. There might be a learning curve as well
Frankly, the base makes no discernible difference. The extruded vs. sintered argument is an oversimplification - a high-end extruded base (like on the Lib-Tech boards) can easily be superior to a cheap sintered one.

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Originally Posted by someguy View Post
Since the RC has these (potential) advantages and it costs the same as the TRS and the AB, I'm starting to think about whether or not the Rider's Choice would be a better board for me. I tied myself down to the TRS and the AB, but maybe I should reconsider this decision.

What do you guys think about these things, especially regarding the asymmetric sidecut and the sintered <-> extruded bases?
As I said above, base should not really be a factor and asym is a question of personal preference, so there is no 'objectively' superior board among these.
Personally, I like the RC (the previous version without pickle/asym, though) but the TRS also has a very loyal following. These decks are quite similar in the way they ride, so you would not go wrong with either one.
The AB is slightly different (in the way that I described in a previous post). The general market reception has not been as favorable as for the RC and TRS, but some people really like it. Personally I rate it below the RC and TRS in general, but for certain situations (e.g., frequent pow) it might indeed be the better board.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:48 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hktrdr View Post
I said zero difference in construction between GNU and Lib-Tech in general (after you indicated a potential concern about GNU construction/preference for Lib-Tech), not specific to the RC and/or TRS.
Anyway, asymmetrical sidecut and sintered are not really construction issues, but board features. The fact that the RC has these features is exactly the reason that I described it as an upgraded TRS (which does not have them).



Asym is a personal choice IMO. The theory behind the concept seems sound, but in practice some people see more of a benefit than others. For me personally it did not make much of a difference - in fact, I almost preferred riding the board the 'wrong way' around. There might be a learning curve as well
Frankly, the base makes no discernible difference. The extruded vs. sintered argument is an oversimplification - a high-end extruded base (like on the Lib-Tech boards) can easily be superior to a cheap sintered one.



As I said above, base should not really be a factor and asym is a question of personal preference, so there is no 'objectively' superior board among these.
Personally, I like the RC (the previous version without pickle/asym, though) but the TRS also has a very loyal following. These decks are quite similar in the way they ride, so you would not go wrong with either one.
The AB is slightly different (in the way that I described in a previous post). The general market reception has not been as favorable as for the RC and TRS, but some people really like it. Personally I rate it below the RC and TRS in general, but for certain situations (e.g., frequent pow) it might indeed be the better board.
hey man I followed u guys discussion on and off and I have to say I couldn't agree with you more on this part. the built quality of a product needs to be carefully evaluated and not be mixed with features. That being said, a basic deck can be a higher quality product than a product of market gimmicks. But on the other side, personal preference does weigh a lot in snowboarding and maybe just that "steroided trs" aka gnu rc may gain favor in a lot of people (including myself) and leads us to believe it is superior than the "basic trs".

i just think both of you holds a point and there's really no need to bash each other
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:53 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Weipim View Post
hey man I followed u guys discussion on and off and I have to say I couldn't agree with you more on this part. the built quality of a product needs to be carefully evaluated and not be mixed with features. That being said, a basic deck can be a higher quality product than a product of market gimmicks. But on the other side, personal preference does weigh a lot in snowboarding and maybe just that "steroided trs" aka gnu rc may gain favor in a lot of people (including myself) and leads us to believe it is superior than the "basic trs".

i just think both of you holds a point and there's really no need to bash each other
No bashing here - he asked some questions and I gave him some answers. In the process he misinterpreted something I wrote (maybe I could have been clearer) and I corrected that misconception. No issue.
All in the spirit of being friendly and (hopefully) helpful.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:36 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I really like what I see here on these forums and thought I would chime in.

I'm stoked about getting a new board after many years of riding one that I thought I loved, and wanted to share my findings in the hope someone else gets value from my opinions. The Banana Magic is a very expensive deck and I wanted to share my thoughts so anyone considering one would have more information. While there are a few good (and positive) reviews of the Banana Magic online, there aren't a ton of reviews on the Magic relative to other Libs and wanted to post my thoughts in case someone else found some value here.

About me:
I'm 41 and I've ridden hard carving snowboards for more than 20 years. Typing that made me just feel old! God.

I grew up on Mt. Hood and gravitated towards alpine with the amount of wet snow and ice that we would receive there. Way back in the ancient past, I used to run alpine boards exclusively with hard boots on Mt. Hood year round. I love to use a boards tail to pop out of fast high speed carves.

For what it's worth, I've never ridden a rockered or "Banana" snowboard before riding the Banana Magic. Nor have I ever ridden a board with a wavy edge, aka "Magnetraction" or "Frostbite" what have you. Also, for what it's worth, before riding the magic I heard about rocker, wavy edges and hybrid camber and thought they were all complete and utter bullshit. I dismissed all of it. I stand corrected.

It should also be noted that I wasn't a Lib Tech fan in general. Having an alpine discipline background I tended to dislike the marketing the company used and having owned and utterly destroying two of their boards in the 90's I never considered getting one again until a couple weeks ago. they are made completely different now, and while I am impressed with Burton and Never Summer's build quality, Mervin MFG's stuff isn't shabby.

What I was looking for:
Since I was changing it up and thought I would need to give up the carve. I decided I wanted a twin tip this time. The last true twin I owned was the original Craig Kelly Air and thought it would be fun to go back to something like that. Something I could play around on at slow speeds and had easy turn initiation and could practice riding switch when goofing around on blue groomers with the kids.

Ideally this same board would still be able haul the mail with stability and carve linked crescent arcs but thought there was no way I could keep that trait.

Heck, while I'm at it I'd like the same board to also float powder well with out requiring me to stand on the tail all day and bomb straight down the bowl. The past couple years we have had some pretty decent powder days at Crystal, at least compared to what I grew up with. I was willing to go with a softer and wider board to get more float since I was willing to give up the carvyness and high speed stability to get the easy turn initiation and "playfulness" of a freestyle twin.

I didn't think such a board existed though, and expected to need to give up on one area to get more in another and expected to need to demo a handful of boards to find the one I liked. According to my local shop owner, the Banana Magic was this board. I took his word on faith and pulled the trigger and bought the thing.

I've never done anything this impulsive before. My last board a 2001 Tom Sims Signature Model 159 I demoed for two days before buying it. On the way up to Crystal Mt. after buying it, I was having some serious buyers remorse and wondered what I just done...

Board Impressions:
I am blown away by this deck. I've gotten 3 days on my Banana Magic this season since buying it and each time I ride it I like it more. I would not label it a park board, as it is fairly stiff. However, the stiffness makes it VERY stable on hard pack, groomers and in broken crud snow/shopped heavy powder. It's a very stable, damped feeling and confidence inspiring board. In fact this stability is what I consider it's defining trait.

It's surprisingly playful despite it's high speed stability. It carves very well, yet floats in powder. It holds on ice better than anything with a kicked up tail I've ever ridden yet feels quick to flip around and land jumps switch.

At 165-170 lbs with out gear I might be too light to butter around and jib on the 157 Magic, but I would wager a shorter one would be more playful - but then I'd be giving up some of the great float and stability. I'm not a park rider though so can't speak to that, but I'd probably want a softer more forgiving board to play around on in the park. I don't think I would ever be buttering around on any board anyway unless I was goofing off with my kid and for that the Magic will do it in a pinch.

At first, I was afraid it would be too playful as it would spin to switch with a thought ... but it felt stout and planted underfoot inspiring confidence. It feels skatey to me going slow.... and I was hesitant to point it down hill. But the faster I let it run, the more stable it felt. It feel like two boards in one. It's a little weird at first, playful slow, yet stable while fast. Crazy.

If you want a fast, stable and carvy twin tip board that is still surprisingly playful and powder friendly board the Banana Magic is amazing. Before riding one, I didn't think that a board that could do all of these things this well existed. I expected a much bigger trade off in the powder to have a board this stable and carvy all while being a true twin tip non-directional board.

Definitely go out of your way to demo one. I can't recommend a Magic highly enough for someone looking for a great all mountain free ride deck.

I am now a massive Lib Tech fan. I'm so stoked on this board that I actually ordered a t-shirt with the Lib logo on it. I've never done that before and normally am against wearing logo's and buying shirts and stickers. I'm so geeked on Lib that I'm laughing at myself.

I'm sure this is years old news to most of you, but I stand corrected on all the rocker/camber/banana bullshit. It's not B.S. It's completely amazing. This tech allows a freestyle 'play' board to have a performance envelope that it frankly shouldn't.

Same with the the Magnatraction edges. You can't feel it when you ride like I would have thought. It's great. It actually does work and will give you more ice grip. Nothing is fun on ice, but I haven't felt this kind of planted on ice hold since riding hard boots on a dedicated alpine board.

Do yourself a favor and demo one of these Banana Magics.

Playful at slow speeds: Check.
Confidence inspiring at high speeds: Check
Hold on ice like an alpine race board: Check
Floats in Pow: Check
Handles heavy and broken high speed chunder and crud: Check
Does this all riding regular AND switch: Check



Thanks for the review you just proved I made the right choice and getting the magic!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:51 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Comparing the LibTech TRS and the GNU Rider's Choice I found that I like the RC more because of the softer flex, the asymmetric sidecut and the sintered base. But one thing that made me wonder is the different shapes of the noses and tails. The TRS has the nose and tail bent up a whole lot more compared to the RC. I started to think and I can imagine that a stronger bent up nose and tail only has positive effects. With a higher bent up nose you should have better float in powder and the nose shouldn't dive in so easily, right? And also with a higher bent up nose/tail you should have better stability while doing hard bent nose and tail presses / manuals without falling over.
Can you tell me why the RC doesn't have the nose and tail bent up so much? What is the advantage of this shape? I think this is a major disadvantage, but maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:09 AM   #46 (permalink)
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No opinions about that?
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:57 PM   #47 (permalink)
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The highly scooped nose is more for riding deep snow and powder. It provides more float. I think it's a desirable feature for a board to have.

The flatter nose and tail is more for park and pipe where you would want your board to be more consistent in shape.

Is just depends on where what you want to do with the board.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:43 AM   #48 (permalink)
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I thought that the TRS is especially preferred by pipe riders but still it has this highly scooped nose.. but maybe mostly other features cause this.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:39 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Back on topic of the 2013 Banana Magic.

I still love the board. We are having a stretch of no new snow now for a couple trips up to the hill and it does amazing well on hard pack and ice. I think I have 13 days on it so far give or take. It might be in my head, but the board feels like it might be softening up and breaking in a little and becoming a little more forgiving with slow speed riding, but then I might be getting more used to the boards stiffness though too. I felt that it forgiving as slow speeds before I think due to it's rocker profile, but it feels slightly more so today if anything.

For what it's worth I still would never call this board "squirelly". I feel that it's stable and confidence inspiring at speeds that make your eyes water inside your goggles. The side cut is aggressive though, so while the board is stable at speeds the side cut likes to really make a hard carve. If you know the difference between a "slalom" side cut and a "GS" side cut, the Magic is definitely on the tight turning "slalom" side of things. This means that if you lean it over to carve it will turn NOW and make extremely tight arcing turns in a carve. At very high speeds this can equate to the board feeling like it turns too quickly in a carve if that's not your style of riding. I used to race slalom way... way, back and enjoy the side cut quite a bit but it might not be your style of riding. I would rather just use less of the side cut in a tun by not committing to a full carve if I choose to rather than not have enough when I want to make tight turn.

As to the board being "chatty" as high speeds. I think what some reviews are refering to is that the nose and tail actually will leave the snow slighly and "thrum" on hard pack (icey) conditions occasionally. I've heard rockered and even cambered ski's do this as well, and certain alpine boards used to do at high speeds when I ran plate bindings when I was running on Mt. Hood's glacier in cold hard pack conditions. I don't feel that it's any thing to be concerned about. The sound is nothing like the high speed nose flapping and shakes I would get from soft freestyle boards at high speed back in the 90's and early 2000's and I don't feel that the "thrumming" that rarely occurs with the Magic is anything to be concerned about. It just means your hauling ass.

Overall I still feel that the Magic is great well rounded board, and I am still super happy with the deck. It's nice to get compliments on it from guys that know what they are doing on the mountain each time I go up. I actually feel fortunate to own it.
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:04 PM   #50 (permalink)
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For what it's worth these reviewers on thegoodride.com agree with my impressions of the Magic. Kind of a nice validation of my opinion that I've stated in this thread.

If your looking for a powerful feeling, stout all around "quiver killer" type board that can do nearly anything during the season the Banana Magic is well worth checking out.

I'm looking forward to winter!

Link:
Lib Tech Banana Magic Review by The Good RideThe Good Ride

Review info:
Size 152, 157 and 158W
Days:3
Conditions: Mainly hard snow with some patches of softer snow
Riders: James, Peter, Kyle, Stephen
Setup- James Peter and Kyle rode centered around 23″ wide 15 front -15 back. Stephen rode the wide at about 24″ wide Centered 12 front -12 back.
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton Imperial, Burton Ruler, DC Judge, Nike Kaiju
Bindings
There is the skate banana, the Attack Banana and the Banana Magic. The only thing that all three of these boards have in common is ďBananaĒ in the name. We found this to be itís own kind of ride but the only board I can really think of that itís a little bit similar to is the Lib Tech TRS. They both had that stable all mountain twin (all mountain freestyle) kind of feel that fits a wide variety of riders. If you are looking to go big on the mountain or in the park this will be a good board if you are ok with the excessive price tag.
On Snow Feel: So this seems to be a unique hybrid rocker in the line that they call Enhanced Banana. It has a lot of rocker between the feet and then transitions to a very mellow eliptical camber that is almost flat. What is weird is it feels almost as stable as the C2 Power BTX rides we have tried and didnít feel like the Attack Banana. In soft snow it feels stable and in harder snow it can feel a little bit loose but less than most hybrid rocker boards we have tried. Maybe itís the crazy big ass MTX bumps between the feet holding it in place or maybe it flattens out really well under pressure. Who knows. The cool thing is itís mostly stable. It has a very aggressive but pretty forgiving feel and that is pretty hard to accomplish. Itís not really about buttering and jibbing as much as itís about, exceptional edge hold, picking up speed on the mountain reg or switch, hitting the pipe and going bigger on medium to large jumps.
Powder: We didnít get any deep powder but you can tell this is going to plain well in powder with this design and feel pretty floaty for a Twin. If you like to ride switch in powder then you will really like this board. If you like to set it back you might like Jamie Lynn C2 Power BTX Phoenix or other Mervin boards with a set back stance better.
Turn Initiation and Carving- This is not going to be the easy edge to edge ride that many hybrid camber boards have. When you flex the board it would feel like itís pretty challenging but the hybrid rocker allows the Banana Magic to provide moderately easy edge to edge transitioning. It just takes a little bit more work than most hybrid rocker boards and we like that. Short radius turns are pretty quick but if you arenít a solid rider it could be a little more work to skid your turns than other hybrid rocker shapes. Medium to wide radius turns engage the mellow camber and make the ride feel pretty good. It keeps it fun and gives a little return out of the turn. Drawing this out into a carve is pretty fun. Itís not that springy feel that C3 offers out of the turn but itís a nice compromise between having a forgiving floaty board vs. super great carving board. Just about any kind of turn is predictable and competent. You can lay into a carve better in harder conditions than you can with other boards because of itís massive MTX between the feet.
Speed: This has a fast base, aggressive flex and a pretty damp feel to it. Itís not in the top of the tops in terms of speed but itís really good. It keeps itís speed rather well in the flats and itís fun to haul ass regular or switch.
Uneven Terrain: Usually this type of ride and flex isnít very easy to negotiate mogul like terrain at slow speeds but this does pretty well. It can handle crowded end of the day snow pretty well.
Edge Hold: This has a different Magnetraction side cut compared to any other Mervin board out there. The Magnetraction is massive between the feet and then almost non existent as it extends out towards the tip/tail. It grips like the old camber magnetraction boards and gave me (editior) the feel way back when when they introduced the first Magnetraction Board called the ďmagnetractionĒ. It grips strong between the feet and itís a great ice board.
Flex: This feels borderline stiff torsionally and longitudinally. Itís not a mellow flex.
Switch: The same either way. Itís meant to be ridden both ways. (insert joke here)
Jibbing- NahÖ.it wasnít friendly to us but it can be done if you are a good rider. The flex is pretty stiff here but itís fine for sliding across non technical boxes and hitting bonks.
Pipe: This is one of the better pipe boards in the line. Super Grippy and aggressive while still being relatively forgiving. It drives from wall to wall well and feels at home in the pipe.
Jumps: We felt other boards were more poppy than the Banana Magic in Mervinís line but you sacrifice a little pop for stability at speed. Still we had no problem generating our own air around the mountain and launching kickers in the park was fun as well.
All in all this board isnít going to fit the description that a wide scope of riders describe but some will find this a match made in heaven. You know who you are. The rider that likes to push your riding regular or switch but still have a bit of a forgiving nature in case you push it too hard or feel mellow. Itís one of those rare aggressive boards that doesnít require your A game at all times.
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