2011 Lib Tech Jamie Lynn, 2011 Lib Tech Travis Rice, 2011 Never Summer SL
Wrote this in another place, but just some thoughts here. Preface, I am 5'11 180, and have an 11 boot. Rode Breckenridge and Keystone. Not as organized as other reviews, but just wanted to throw some thoughts out there, for anyone who was curious.
I demoed both the Jamie Lynn, and Travis Rice (both 157) for 2 full days. Split time each day, to really make sure things were all equal and fresh in my head, because I was trying to make a decision.
Thoughts: The Jamie Lynn was definitely faster than the Travis Rice. It has to be if you think about it. The Lynn is set back a little bit in stance, and is a directional board, while the Travis Rice is a true twin. They both have a flex of 7, but I'd say that Jamie Lynn was slightly less stiff.
The Jamie Lynn performs better in powder because the nose is up, versus the blunted board on the Travis Rice. If you bought the pointy 161, it will probably outperform the Jamie Lynn in powder, but if you bought blunted, it was definitely sinking more for me. Someone once told me, you should be able to make any board perform well in powder. I can't dispute that. Both boards would be good if you were good, but it's EASIER on the Lynn.
The magnatraction is less aggressive on the Lynn. This is one complaint I had. On steeps, the Rice just held. But with the Jamie Lynn, I found myself not counting on it after I washed multiple times. It was pretty cruddy up top the last day at Breck, and you could really see the Jamie Lynn struggle at times.
The Jamie Lynn was pretty similar to the Travis Rice in terms of pop. The Jamie Lynn also was more stable flat basing than the Travis Rice, and I think this had to do with the set back in stance, but maybe someone more tech savy can help answer why.
I can also say, the Jamie Lynn rides longer than the Travis Rice, if that makes sense. I am 5'11, 180, with an 11 boot, and I felt on steeps like I was wishing the Travis Rice was longer, but didn't have that same overwhelming feeling with the Jamie Lynn. Both boards were 157.
Overall, I just found the Jamie Lynn more versatile. Faster, better in pow, a little more flexible, although I wouldn't recommend it for jibbing, it still could lap a little in the park. It flat based a little better, and was less squirely IMO than the Rice. And, it would ride a little better on groomers because the board didn't feel as "short" as the Travis Rice, despite being the same length. The major negative I had, was that I wished the magnatraction was the same as the Rice.
Hell, might as well add the Never Summer SL. Had this guy for a day, and switched in and out with the Jamie Lynn. I also rode a NS Heritage a couple months ago, but I don't think it's fair to compare when you didn't have it on the same conditions, and you don't have your thoughts fresh in your mind.
The SL (158) is a great board for some, but not for all IMO, like many suggest on this board. It wasn't for me. That being said, here were my thoughts.
The construction on this thing is pretty special. Very well built, and you can feel it on the mountain. The board is a tank. And there is good and bad that comes with that.
The good is that it plows through everything. Felt good through the crud at the top of the mountain, and just blasted through the hard packed. Locked in well, and was the most damp board I felt out of all the boards I have tried. It gives you confidence when you charge (the Heritage is even better here, that carbonite topsheet really dampens the ride - best charger freeride I have ridden - and that includes the Turbo Dream).
The downside - it's a tank. It was significantly heavier to me than the Jamie Lynn, Travis Rice, Turbo Dream, Raygun, etc. I found the agility of the board was the worst of the bunch. Turn initiation, movement in the trees, going down some bumpy runs that were ungroomed, I just found myself wishing I was back on the Jamie Lynn or T Rice at that point. Very curious to see if the Proto is the solution here.
Speaking of a tank, I really feel the Never Summer SL is great for someone still learning, and needing confidence to begin really bombing runs. It will give you that. Almost zero chatter, just plows through everything, and makes you go faster than you might have gone on other boards. But as a more experienced rider wtih groomers, and trees, etc, I like feeling more of the hill. The Jamie Lynn, and Travis Rice were damp enough that they never really chattered to the point that I noticed, BUT, I felt more in tune with the hill. IE - when I was riding correctly, I knew it, when I was riding poorly, the hill let me know.
Golf analogy - great golfers prefer forged irons because they know when they miss hit. Beginners prefer the ultra forgiving clubs, because they like feeling good about every shot. I feel as someone who gets very confident flying down a hill, I prefer to feel a little bit more to know when I am not riding as cleanly - make sense?
Back to the SL, it was about the best in the powder out of all the boards. Jamie Lynn was pretty damn close. Turbo Dream was damn good too, again however, rode on a different day with the Turbo Dream, so there was no side by side comparison on the same runs, same conditions, and memory is foggy since I rode the Turbo Dream in December of last year.
I am not a huge park guy, so the SL didn't get a lap through there. I road trees, bumps, groomers, off piste, etc.
Anyway, would take any questions about these boards. Hopefully this helps
good reviews thanks! in your opinion how does the turbo dream compare with the libs you rode? i know it's tough to compare because you rode them on different days, but i'd like to know cause i myself have a turbo dream 157 and i was curious if it was worth spending the extra ~$150 on a t. rice or jamie lynn. i personally love the board myself but i have nothing to compare it to which i would have liked to do.
It's tough to say. What do you like about the Turbo Dream, and what are you looking for? Off the bat, I'd definitely say edge hold is better with the Lib stuff, so in all conditions, you get a lot more there. The Turbo Dream is a pretty sick board. Fast and stable, but I liked the play out of both the T Rice and Jamie Lynn a lot more.
Also, with the profile, the Lib Stuff rides a lot different. The Turbo Dream was stable and smooth, which comes from that 70% flat base to rocker. The Lib stuff is much more skatey. Leaning into the board is fun, and smooth. You get a little of that squireliness when you flatbase, but the edges of the thing were so much fun and responsive. It's hard to describe. It just rides edge to edge a lot different - more like a skateboard.
I also felt the Jamie Lynn and Travis Rice had more pop off hand. It was December though when I rode the Turbo Dream, so memory is foggy there.
I recommend trying before you buy. I came from a Raygun with a similar profile to the Turbo Dream, and the Lib stuff was very different, but in a good way. I could see how some might find this not the direction they wanted, and may even be thinking more of a stiff, cambered board to really bomb runs. Just depends again what you were looking to change with the Turbo Dream.
i really enjoyed reading this review not just for the opinions, but because all your comparisons were side by side as you say. You have credibility in my mind, as there were no ridiculously general or cliche statements that "everyone else" makes, and you took the time to state the positives and negatives for each board...though I think the '11 SL is the best board ever constructed :)
Thanks CJS, glad it was helpful. I really think comparing side by side is the only fair way to go. Sometimes you have more energy, sometimes the snow is better, sometimes you were just more into the day than others, and it all effects your review. That's why I was hesitant to even talk about the Turbo Dream and the Heritage.
By the way, really liked the SL. Just for me, I preferred other technology, but it was definitely top of the line construction.
i also know what you mean about the pop, compared to my last board it wasn't as much, just mediocre. i bought it for bombing the glades, powder and some park jumps and so far it has pleased me with its performance in all of these areas.
To describe it another way, the Lib feels really loose when flat basing, but is super fun when leaning to any edge. It's also more flexible edge to edge when you lean. Hope that helps.
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