Snowboard Review: 08-09 Lib Tech Phoenix “Blonde”

15 May, 2008

2008-2009 Lib Tech Phoenix “Blonde”

Disclaimer: I was told that the board I was riding might be different from the public’s release of the Phoenix…so just a heads up. I’ll update this as I find out more.

Location: Loveland, CO

Snow Conditions: A mixture of powder runs and groomers. The majority being powder turns.

Setup: I rode the Lib Tech Phoenix with my Rome Madison bindings and my Vans Omni Focus boots.

First Impression: YES! A mtx board where it’s not super grippy, rides like a regular board and it’s the Phoenix…love it!

Size: 154cm

Weight: average

Flex: It appears stiffer than it rides. The phoenix to me is stiffer between the bindings giving it that stiff feel if you hand flex it, but when you take it on snow…that gives you the control and stable feeling when carving, turning and just freeriding. With the new btx and softer nose/tail you still have the freestyle flex to do tricks with but overall a stable ride.

Turning: The phoenix is very predictable, but in a good way…you know what it is going to do and there’s no surprises. I put in the mtx part that the mtx is mellower on the phoenix which in my opinion is great. It lets the rider still control each turn, rather than the board just diving in, locking to the snow and giving you a ride without you wanting it. Most of the turns were powder turns, which I was able to switch it up from long radius to shorter quick radius turns through some of the varying conditions. Honestly this board I have yet to find a fault in any type of turns on it.

Stable: Since the morning was powder, I had no problems being stable with the phoenix. When the snow got crustier under the powder, the board handled the varying terrain very well. On groomers and hauling with the phoenix, it felt stable and didn’t notice any chatter or feel like I’d need to slow down.

Pop: Holy hell pop. Ive rode the Phoenix before, knew it was a poppy board with the golden fleece core. Combine that with BTX and you have a board capable of all mountain riding with freestyle flare, easy butters, good pop and fun. I did hit a rail with the phoenix and fell on my ass, but that was my own fault (shay + boxes = pain).

Switch: Briefly rode the Phoenix switch when I hit up the groomers just to get an idea, easy manuvering without catching an edge and handled riding switch easily.

Powder: This powder run here was with the phoenix. Even in the powder on flat terrain, the BTX helped with keeping speed, staying afloat and not getting stuck. Most of the morning with the Phoenix was making fresh powder turns, which even for riding a smaller board it was fine. Definitely with the BTX you can size down in board length.

MagneTraction (MTX):
I prefer a MTX that’s more mellow, gradual letting the rider do the work…not the board do the work for you. I told Jay that the mtx I prefer is the one I don’t notice, that I don’t feel like i’m riding an mtx board. Finally this phoenix was that and I’d be bummed if they changed the mtx on the board. It still gripped the snow well on the harder packed stuff but didn’t feel like you were locked into the snow. I liked that as a rider, I could control the board on edge.

Overall Impression: The phoenix has always been a favorite of mine, one of those do everything boards. I rode the blonde which is sandwich construction. You also have the half cap/half sandwich construction which is only offered on the redhead non-btx version of the phoenix. I grew up riding both cap and sandwich and find each one suits what you look in riding. I found it a lot more enjoyable with the mellow mtx and btx which trust me for me to say that is a “wow” moment. The phoenix is a do everything board, it handles varying terrain, it’s predictable and it’s that board that you know won’t let you down when riding any part of the mountain.

Ooh and it’s got Beans! Be interesting to see how the new Bean topsheet holds up as compared to previous topsheets.

Just my own personal graphic statement…any board with nipples, aliens and coffee is stellar in my book. The graphics of the phoenix always stay true.

Shay’s Honesty Box: One of few Mervin boards I’d own as an all mountain board for myself. The phoenix has never done me wrong and always impresses.

On-Snow Photo
Lib Tech Catalog Description
(Click on photo to open bigger)
View more Lib Tech here

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. Anonymous
    July 27, 2008

    Hi Shay:
    I noticed you said the board released to the public might be different. Heard anything yet. I see the new Lib boards are up on dogfunk and I think I may get this one. Have you ridden the TRS BTX? If so, could you compare the two in a quick response to this post? Also, does Jamie’s board utilize cap construction or is that just his older models?
    Thanks a bunch.

  2. Shayboarder
    July 28, 2008

    I haven’t heard anything yet, there’s a good chance it might be the same board but not 100% sure on it. I’ve ridden the TRS but not with the new BTX on it.

    In this post, I have a link to the Lib Tech Magazine which has all the 08-09 boards in it

    With the phoenix…multi-step construction on the redhead version is the half cap/half sidewall construction. The blonde version is the sandwich construction. Had to clarify that and I rode the blonde version not the redhead.

  3. Anonymous
    July 28, 2008

    Thanks so much. I think the one thing that has me “scared” about the board is the extruded base. I might end up going with a skate banana or a Trice or Gnu btx because they utilize a sintered base. Not sure. Anyway, thanks again for the info and Libzine. And congrats on one full year of blogging! Keep it up.

  4. Shayboarder
    July 28, 2008

    Good luck with the choices. skate banana is more the softer, park choice…I wouldn’t ride that board all mountain but the trice is a fine board as well…all of them vary on what you want out of the board.

    I did an interview with Dennis Kelly, he rides the TRS with the TNT base and competed in the Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom at Jackson Hole. Here’s what he said abou the base after the race “my TRS with a extruded/sintruded base was still fine/competitive. It made me feel good as a rider because balance and control are so important to being fast. These kids that start threads about their boards being so slow, getting passed by friend, and they need a faster base have less of an excuse now…. they probably suck!”

    I’m with him on the same boat, a waxed board that you keep up will be faster luckily with the TNT if you happen to miss waxing it’ll be faster than a sintered base that missed waxing. I try not to pay attention to the bases too much, wax plays an important role and the rider. I’ve loved boards that were extruded and boards that were sintered.

  5. Anonymous
    October 07, 2008

    Hi Shay,

    Winter is coming and I am changing my mind all the time for my next board this year coming (I am like a kid before Christmas)

    I figure that my 2 most important criteria are now Rockers and Twin Tip (with a capacity Backcountry) since I do have a freestyle board (TRS 154cm BTX)…

    Since I am between:

    Never Summer EVO R (or SL R) 158cm Versus Lib Tech Phoenix 160cm

    You said in your blog about EVO R that is less Damping than SL R…

    1. Is that bad or not?

    In the East Cost, we do have ice, Cruded a lot but I am advance rider…

    2. so do you think SL R, worth the Damping over the Twin Evo?

    3. At Hight Speed, Evo R was as good as Phoenix for Stability and feel?

    Thanks a lot again

    Montreal, Canada

  6. Shayboarder
    October 07, 2008

    Hey Francis,

    I’m just replying to your email right now with the questions

  7. Anonymous
    December 22, 2008

    Hello Shay I enjoyed reading the review.. I’m in the market for a new board and am stuck between a couple that you have done reveiws on.. The TRS BTX and the Jamie Lynn Phoenix Blonde. I do mainly all mountain riding, Im 6foot 165 which board would you recommend. I would be getting either board in a 157 just not sure which one would suit me better.

  8. Shayboarder
    December 28, 2008

    I don’t even think I could choose between those two boards. I really enjoyed riding both, phoenix is just a tad stiffer than the trs but really a lot of the same similarities. Tough choice on picking between them.