Overview: If there was to be a “hip” snowboard company, the cool kid on the block, the one who has all the fresh new jams and probably knows which underground band is going to make it next it would be LIB Tech. The snowboard company that seems to come out with the craziest technologies and just seems not to take itself all too seriously. Famous for its line of “Skate Bananas” (a reversed-cambered or “banana technology” snowboard), LIB Tech has a whole new line of fresh boards with new and constantly improving innovative design elements. I had a chance to ride next season’s (2011/2012) Skunk Ape, a wider and stronger board for those of us bigger guys who want to enjoy some of the marvels the Skate Banana has to offer but don’t want to have to suffer from severe toe and heal drag. The retro inspired graphic looks pretty sweet and definitely helps set this board even further off from the rest. More features seem to be packed into this deck than one should be able to handle. It features the exclusive “C2 Power Banana” technology which offers traditional camber underfoot with “banana”, or reverse, camber between the bindings and Magne-Traction, which is basically serrated edges that help the board cut into any type of snow, be it groomers, powder or the dreaded ice; and pop, pop and more pop.
First and foremost, the LIB Tech Skunk Ape was pure joy to ride. It felt stiff, yet flexed when I needed it to and turned on a dime. This board just wanted to ollie, spin and hold an edge with relatively little effort. It was a lot to take in on the first run, so I had to take it for a few more just so I could see what the Skunk Ape was able to do. The Magne-Traction was strange to get use to being that it felt like the edge dug into the mountain at a much more severe angle than a traditionally cut board. I felt many times that I was going to wash out but the board always held the line; a feature that with time I would most likely get use to. This board did perform well in a variety of different conditions and it did seem to hold the edge on ice much better than decks with a straight edge. The camber reminded me a lot of Burton’s Flying-V technology and it rode very similar as well. The only complaint I had was that the board itself was a little heavy, which put my foot to sleep multiple times on the life. Other than that minor annoyance, the Skunk Ape was a great snowboard that had a number of awesome features that are going to help progress the snowboarding industry much further.
The Bottom Line:
LIB Tech seems to have done it again by creating a unique board with awesome features and specs. So if you’re looking for a cutting edge wide board packed full of the newest technology snowboarding has to offer look no further, the Skunk Ape will make everyone on the mountain jealous of your extreme awesomeness.
The snowboard and more extensive explanations of LIB Tech’s full line and technological advancements can be found here: