Snowboard Review: 08-09 Lib Tech Phoenix “Blonde”
15 May, 2008
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!
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.
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