Lib Tech's Horsepower Tech
So Lib Tech just announced yesterday they're coming out with a TRS HP for $696.96. Do you guys feel HP construction really worth the upgrade price?
I'm not really feeling this trend that Lib Tech's doing in trying to get us to buy a $700 snowboard by holding back on their non-HP versions.
I get the boards are made in the US and we're supporting our country by keeping the money supply rotating here at home, but Never Summer seems to be doing a great job offering kickass boards for a much reasonable price.
What's your take on Lib Tech's Horsepower tech?
The HP lines replace fiberglass with basalt fibers.
Basalt fiber is made from a single material, crushed basalt, from a carefully chosen quarry source and unlike other materials such as glass fiber, essentially no materials are added. The basalt is simply washed and then sent to be melted down.
The manufacture of basalt fiber requires the melting of the quarried basalt rock at about 1,400 °C (2,550 °F). The molten rock is then extruded through small nozzles to produce continuous filaments of basalt fiber. There are three main manufacturing techniques, which are centrifugal-blowing, centrifugal-multiroll and die-blowing. The fibers typically have a filament diameter of between 9 and 13 µm which is far enough above the respiratory limit of 5 µm to make basalt fiber a suitable replacement for asbestos. They also have a high elastic modulus, resulting in excellent specific tenacity—three times that of steel.
Basalt fiber is similar to carbon fiber and fiberglass, but basalt has better mechanical properties than fiberglass and is lower in cost than carbon fiber. It is used as a fireproof textile in the aerospace and automotive industries and can also be used as a composite to produce a wide range of products
High strength and high modulus fiber
Excellent shock resistance - good for ballistic applications
Low cost alternative and can replace carbon fiber in some applications including filament winding
High temperature resistance and good light resistance
Good fatigue and corrosion resistance properties
No need for special processing equipment
Easy to handle and process
Environment friendly. Basalt-reinforced composites can meet OEM's disposal requirements because complete disposal by incineration is possible. Huge contamination issues are often caused by incinerating glass fiber composites.
Can be recycled
Exhibit no health and safety risks
Compatible with many resins - unsaturated polyester, vinyl ester, epoxy, phenolic, etc.
Better chemical resistance than e-glass
TLDR: Horsepower boards use a material better than fiberglass and about twice as expensive.
I drank the kool-aid and bought a banana magic, i like it. the shiny graphics are cool too.
Horsepower is rad. Some people don't like the little top sheet chips (file the edges, makes it better), but it's rad. There's some wicked tech in their boards, and they're the greenest hippest operation going, as far as I'm concerned. Fan boy right here.
I think I'm going to write them an email or visit the factory sometime and show off my collection to them. I'd like to ask them why they keep making more boards with TNT bases and less with sintered. A few people have complained about this. For instance, I like the graphics on this year's Birdman so much it's hard, but I got last years model (still looks rad, base sheet is sweet too) and it's sintered as opposed to this year's TNT. I find it weird that it's the only HP board without a sintered base.
Basically, it's your call if you want to buy a board in either rendition. HP boards are lighter and should be stronger, and sometimes have better bases like I said. Plus, shinies!!
I got this email yesterday too. I was kinda choked. I just bought a 2014 banana magic and probably would have got the trs horsepower.....
HP is purely marketing fluff. Mervin has that little bit of that Apple mentality where if they tell you something is better, most of you don't even question it. OP is, good job.
Is Basalt better? In some ways yes. In some ways no. Part of the extra cost is that it itself is more expensive. It also is thicker and takes more resin to set. This makes it a heavier material to work with. So to keep weight down you have to use lighter more expensive materials elsewhere. A strong benefit is that basalt is crazy strong and nearly impossible to break. Can you use it without jacking up the price? Yes, it's in the Salomon Man's Board for example. Mervin, instead of just adding basalt to the board replaces glass with it. It's just not necessary. You can get all those benefits of the ride without doing that and you keep the price down. The whole eco thing is pointless right now. They're still using resin, and UHMW, and base material... all bad shit. Snowboards are not eco friendly. Does every bit help? Meh. You will do a hell of a lot more for the environment by recycling and carpooling than Mervin does by replacing glass with basalt.
So, is the TRS HP worth it? No.
In terms of keeping money in the country and NS and all that, stop. It's a global economy. Get over it. And NS is not reasonably priced, their cheapest mens board is just under $500. That's fucking expensive. If they wanted to help the local economy they'd get rid of their eagle tax and sell the Evo for what it's really worth, $400.
I don't even wanna get started with the TNT base. I already feel like any $500+ board should have a sintered base. I wanted the TRS for it's mid flex and versatility, but for $560 for a TNT base, I passed and went with the Proto HD. Now that there's a $700 TRS with a TNT base, I'm at a lost for words.
The isospeed 7500 I use which is top quality only costs $22 a board and thats buying 10m quantity from a reseller.
Mervin would probably pay $5 or less per board. Its a no brainer to put the best base money can buy on a snowboard when its that cheap.
Most sintered bases on mass produced snowboards are cheap low end product.
The price points I get with both manufacturers. There is so much more than just material costs. Especially in the US. That gap between overseas manufacturing and domestic is shrinking though.
Lib does like their kool aid. They have given the industry a kick in the nuts from time to time. Seems that they are always trying to do that even when they are not.
I just wish they did full wrap around edges.
snowboarding is getting expensive these days, with prices going up faster than the tech is advancing. but in 30 years, there might not even be snow. so.
What's "Worth it" is in the eye of the beholder. Personally I find standard lib decks to be a little on the plank-ish side, maybe even a little dead feeling. But upgrade to HP construction and those little problems go away, the boards are just plain more lively.
Whether or not that's worth it to you is totally subjective. For me spending an extra bill on a slightly better board isn't that significant when I look at how many days I'm going to be on it.
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