Review: 2009/2010 Lib-tech Skate Banana/2011 Union Force
Board: 2009/2010 Lib-tech Skate Banana 156
Bindings: 2011 Union Force's L/XL
Riding style: Advanced. 5 seasons under my belt. I love hauling ass all over the mountain, going through the woods, finding anything to jump off, and playing in the park. I love jumps and I could practice my jibbing all day.
Location: East Coast, VA
Conditions of first ride: Groomed/packed/icy in spots/soft in other spots. It wasn't very sunny early in the morning, so it was pretty rough. As the day went by, it got a bit warmer and softened the snow up a bit.
First day of riding:
I know I should probably wait until I ride the board a few times, but after yesterday, I have to share my experience with everyone, as it was very positive.
I was a bit nervous strapping on this board, since I had never rode a banana(rocker) style board. I knew the magnatraction was going to be amazing, because I had ridden a MTX lib a few years back. Suited up, walked on the run and strapped in. The Union Force bindings are extremely comfortable. I had to do very little adjustment to fit my almost worn out burton boots. I set my stance similar to my old board, which was an 06/07 Gnu Danny Kass Vertigo. 15* up front, 12* rear.
I had read about people getting used to the BTX combo, and giving yourself a few runs to get used to it, going slow...ect.
I had no issues getting used to it. I jumped on and rode hard. I was absolutely amazed. This board handles so damn smooth. The transitions from my heel and toe side were perfect, every time. After my first run, I was on cloud 9. The flex of the board is really nice, much softer then my old GNU and it absorbed everything. I love the dampening of this thing. After a few runs on the easy stuff, we went to the diamonds. It was noticeably icier up there, and I really wanted to see how it responded to speed. The magnatraction tore through the ice. I literally had to ask a friend (on a normal cambered board) if it was icy, because the only thing that made me think so, is the sound difference. It really is perfect in icy conditions, You don't have have to press hard on your edge get the traction, its always there.
The Union Force's were outstanding. Their flex was perfect for my type of riding. I put the universal toe cap sort of in the middle of my boots toe area, and the top of the boot. I'm guessing due to the shape of my Burton boots it fit the best that way. I had no issues with the caps slipping or coming loose all day.
I really can't say anything bad about this board. It's almost impossible to catch an edge due to the banana design, and I can honestly say there were a handful of times that I thought I was about to catch an edge, and if I was on a normally cambered board, I would have eaten it, hard. It handles so well, like an AWD car that can go anywhere and perform great.
My favorite part about this board is how smooth it is. Riding this board is extremely easy! You don't have to give much effort AT ALL for it to go where you want. I love to go fast. I was skeptical that this board wouldn't do well going fast, due to it's soft/medium flex. Boy was I wrong. I was hauling ass and felt 100% stable. I have all my confidence in this board and can't wait for this coming Thursday to get back on it.
With that said, I never went to the park. Something about a brand new board keeping it scratch free....yea yea. I was having such a good time just freeriding with this board that the park would have to wait. They didn't have that good of features up.
This Thursday they will have their larger park open and I will update this thread after messing around in the park. This board has great pop and I can't wait to hit some boxes.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask. This is my first review so I'm sure I forgot some things.
EDIT: Hit up the park a few times last week.
I was amazed how well and easy it was to land on jumps. Hit a few mid sized jumps and the landing was always smooth. I love the flex of this board, and I plan on trying the large jumps next week.
The pop on this board is something I've never experienced before. You'll find a whole new playground on runs and popping off anything you can. Every little lip or hip in the snow you'll want to just pop off of. It's super easy to give this board a nice lean back and pop it up.
Hit a few boxes as well, couldn't have expected anything better. Super easy to press and handled perfectly around the park.
There were some real soft spots around the mountain the other day, not quite powder like but way better then the hard pack shit we usually get. It floated so well, what a feeling.
Once again, if anyone has any other questions, feel free to post it up or PM me.
Last edited by Roundabout136; 12-25-2010 at 11:06 AM.