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.
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...
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