Snowboard Review: 08-09 Lib Tech TRS BTX

11 Nov, 2008

2008-2009 Lib Tech TRS BTX

Location: Loveland, CO

Snow Conditions: A mixture of groomers and hard packed popcorn, choppy terrain.

Setup: I rode the Lib Tech TRS BTX with my Raiden Tigre bindings and my Vans Omni Focus boots.

First Impression: I heart you…I heart you…The Phoenix is out of the picture…I heart you. I’m not a racer but you know I wasn’t sticking to the snow with the base either.

Size: 157cm

Weight: little lighter than average

Flex: This isn’t a soft board, even as a medium flex it’s more longitudinally stiffer than torsionally. I had fun riding it because of the quick response and I could throw any type of turn at it and didn’t feel like it was lacking. When I rode the Lando is was slower edge to edge and it’s only a 1cm wider in the ww, the I consider BTX part of the flex, I didn’t notice it as much as other BTX boards meant for park or powder, reasonably mellow. I really want to take this board out in the trees though, with the easy to initiate turns and quick response edge to edge…plus the banana, I am can see this board ripping up the trees in powder now I just have to put that to the test.

Turning: It is the Total Ripper Series. I wish Lib Tech would be more specific on the tech side (without the marketing bs) it’s kind of a mixture of what is out there, I thought it rode directional but it could be true twin with directional sidecut…got me. Centered but with a directional sidecut. Regardless of the tech, I had no catching when turning or 180’s to riding switch. I still felt a lot of give when needing to quickly turn and overall when I’m doing a long radius turn, I didn’t feel that I had no arc to it. I could manipulate the board but keeping the board stable on edge.

Stable: Through the really cruddy popcorn snow, I had a tougher time staying stable and took it slower, than I had previously with a 160 Lando…could have been the size difference and it was only in the really popcorn crud that I felt that way. On the groomers just freeriding, I didn’t feel unstable at any speed I did.

Pop: Nothing really to test the pop on, tried a couple 180’s and butters. Didn’t try an ollie on it.

Switch: I noticed it rode differently switch and with a directional sidecut it would do that…I preferred to ride it regular.

MagneTraction (MTX):
I’m starting to warm up to the Libs with the more mellow mtx or maybe I’m just warming up to it period. The TRS held an edge on the icy, hard packed snow with no issues. I had control over the edging.

Overall Impression: So interesting point about this board, it was in the women’s good wood test this year and won…lib doesn’t make women’s board and went in under the women’s category. As a women rider I had no problems riding it and I’m suprised by the GW win…just because it’s not a soft park board…more do-it-all handle everything board.

A lot of people wonder about the base of the TRS, it is basically libs fasted unwaxed base. Jay waxed up the boards before we rode both weekends on the TRS, I didn’t feel slow on it but I also wasn’t racing. On the flat/cat track terrain I didn’t notice it being slow to start.

Shay’s Honesty Box: If I wasn’t riding a Never Summer Evo-R, I’d be riding this board but in a 159cm.

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. Jonny
    November 11, 2008

    My analogy for magnetraction is loose trucks/tight trucks in skating.

    Lots of people go either direction after a few years of skating roundwall and carving out turns I just left my trucks uber loose.

    Magne traction is loose trucks for skateboards w/o the wheelbite

  2. martinboards
    November 11, 2008

    nice analogy jonny.. now i really want to try magnetrak and see if i can relate it to the LOOSE ass trucks on my skateboard.

  3. Anonymous
    November 12, 2008

    the trs has been made more stiff this year, slightly. the trs series, like all mervin boards, loosen up after a weeks riding and never return to their original flex.

    having damned the flex… i should also say the tnt base works wonders on ice. bring to dry utah snow, and you may as well be ridding a sand paper base. horrible. fucking sucks ass. stick with one of mervin’s three or four sintered bases. get your shit together nik… mervin.

  4. Anonymous
    November 12, 2008

    Good Shay,

    Now you probably understand why this year I am keeping my TRS BTX 154cm 2008… And have the Lando BTX 160cm 2009…

    TRS is a fun board !

    Montreal, Canada

  5. Anonymous
    November 12, 2008

    Just out of curiosity… have you gotten to ride a T-Rice BTX? I just impulse purchased one b/c it was a great deal. (150$ off of an 08/09)

  6. Denno
    November 12, 2008

    Nice review Shay.

    I rode the TRS MTX pretty much everyday last year (100+ days)… it’s definitely an all mountain slayer on the freestyle and playful side of it. I loved it so much I bought the TRS BTX this year. I can’t wait to get out on it and think the banana will only add to how fun this board really is.

  7. Anonymous
    November 12, 2008


    I just got a TRS BTX and since I ride a lot of ice and crap (east coast) I felt ok about the base, but I am looking forward to 10 days in Utah in March and what you said about the base worries me. Any suggestions on how to deal with the base in those conditions?


  8. Anonymous
    November 12, 2008

    Anybody had experience with the TNT base in Powder conditions – or seen it underperform in any way?


  9. Shayboarder
    November 12, 2008

    I haven’t gotten to ride the Trice yet, but I will eventually. My friend Jay was riding it and he’s going to write up for me…since it fits his boot size better than me riding it. $150 off is a great deal!

    I think if you continuously and religiously wax the base you are fine. Denno who posted above is a friend of mine and rides his TRS everywhere, used to be Jackson Hole now Stevens Pass.

  10. Denno
    November 14, 2008

    I spent the entire season in Jackson Hole last year, so I was a little surprised to read someone having problems with the base in Utah. The snow quality is similar and I never had a problem with riding the TRS in pow. In fact, the only thing I do remember is how epic it was (JH had a record breaking snowfall last season) If anything, places with good snow and steep terrain, you’ll still be dumping speed!

    The same TRS I rode everyday is what I used in the Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom and qualified and placed against friends with longer boards and better bases.

    I moved back to Stevens Pass in Washington at the end of the season, but they still had a couple of months of riding including pow days. Pretty much the only time I did notice the base being an issue was in spring conditions in flat terrain. Waxing regularly and using wax for the specific conditions should make nearly all issues with the TNT a moot point.

    Will an experience rider notice the difference? Yes, but is it enough to kill your stoke on the board? No. If you can’t keep up, work on your riding skills, don’t blame the board!

    I’m far from being bad ass on a board, but if my experience doesn’t convince you, remember
    Landvik, Jamie Lynn, Jakob, Eric Johnson ride boards with the TNT base and they not only keep up, but pretty much kill it!

    At the end of the day, buy what you believe in, and have fun!

  11. WebLogiK
    November 23, 2008

    Hi Shay,
    i would like to know if the TRS BTX and Gnu RC BTX has more rocker than the Phoenix Blonde BTX because i own the Phoenix and find the rocker very small, compared to the Skate Banana!

    thank you

  12. Anonymous
    November 24, 2008

    Hi Shay
    I got out for a couple of hours on my new TRS btx. it’s a 159 and I’m about 165 lbs and just about 6 feet. The experience was wierd. I think it will take me a while to figure out how to ride this thing. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t get it: Some very easy stuff (toe side turns) I was washing out on and then harder stuff (for me) things like landings off of big jumps were so much nicer.

    I know it wouldn’t be too classy to ask your weight, but you seemed to enjoy your experience on the board, so I’ll just ask; does it sound like I’m in an ok weight range for this board? (lib put out weight based board size recommendations this year which recommended a very long board so I am wondering).

    Thanks again

  13. Shayboarder
    November 25, 2008

    Web, the more freeride boards have less of a noticeable banana tech on them…skate banana is pretty noticeable.

  14. Shayboarder
    November 25, 2008


    Hey! 159 is a bit longer for your weight, not sure what board your coming off of but that would help tell. The btx/mtx can take a while to get used to if you are used to regular camber. It more so sounds like the board was riding you.

    I weight more than you so the 159 is more my size.

    Keep riding it…it’ll take some time to adjust to it.

  15. Anonymous
    November 25, 2008

    i felt the same way and my height and weight are pretty much identical to the other ‘anonymous’. i’m pretty sure it will just take some time to get used to (previous board was a burton custom 162, so i dont think size is an issue), , however, i didn’t detune the contact points so i did that and i’ll see how it rides later this week.

  16. Shayboarder
    November 26, 2008

    Thanks anonymous for your input! Detuning definitely helps

  17. Anonymous
    December 01, 2008

    detuning definitely helped and i finally got used to the mtx. siiiick board, grips like crazy

  18. Anonymous
    December 01, 2008

    Thank you Shay,
    My previous board was an 06-07 Dark Series mtx wide 158. I liked it but I was (still am?) in the process of learning how I want a board to feel and after a while I found it was stiff for me, alot of setback, heavy, and I really didn’t need a wide. Before the Dark Series I lived in Utah and had a K2 Zeppellen 164. It was an awful board for me but I was a novice and assumed it would get better. I moved back east and its length and stiffness (and a lot of toe drag) kicked the crap out of me. The 158 Dark Series (and the MTX)! was a HUGE improvement, but I realized that I wanted something more playful, centered, but still all-mountain and still with MTX (it has saved my aging butt on ice and hard-pack) so I got the TRS BTX. I had a hard time deciding to get MTX or BTX and I think it’s the banana that I’m having a hard time with. I hope I will get used to it and like it. I did detune it before my 1st ride so I don’t think that’s the issue.

    Thanks Shay (and others) for your feedback.

  19. Shayboarder
    December 01, 2008

    Dang yeah Zeppelin sounds like it was a mess for you. Dark is a stiff board for one of their park boards.

    Keep riding your TRS, it sounds like it’s the btx you are getting used to. I hear you on the mtx, does save your ass on icy conditions.

  20. Anonymous
    December 04, 2008


    Did you ride this centered? Do you know of anyone who sets back the stance on a trs btx or on other twin boards and whether this is a good or bad idea?


  21. Anonymous
    December 04, 2008

    I currently have last years TRS 159 BTX. It’s a great board, but it did seem a bit long (I’m 6ft, 165). I was looking to switch it out this season with a shorter version and I can’t decide if I should drop to the 157 or 154. The waist width, stance width, etc. are the same from 159-154. Also the tip/tail is nearly identical. It looks to me as if I should go ahead and drop to the 154, the 157 just seeming too close in displacement to my current 159. Your input is always very solid, I’d like to have your thoughts (or any one else’s for that matter).


  22. jc
    December 05, 2008

    regarding the TNT base! Its not always so much about the base but the wax you use.

    I got some med range stuff from that was incredible. I became a wax junkie last winter, practicing 10 wax cycles before the board even hit snow – it held the wax great and was lightning, frightening beyond what I’ve ever experienced speed, acceleration, glide.

    I was careful to keep temp specific through the year and it was great in all conditions, I no doubt had the fastest board on the hill in a TRS BTX 159.

    Moral of the story WAX! WAX! WAX! and use good wax from the site mentioned- its 1/2 the price of the competitors equivalent and is truly incredible, the bars last forever because you can crayon the wax on!

  23. Shayboarder
    December 05, 2008

    In regards to the centered comment, Jay set it up and we tried to do centered, but there could have been a inch of setback. I try to center the stance on twins, you could try to play with it and see what you prefer. Take runs centered and then have a setback. If you are riding powder, i’d set it back.

    For the sizes comment, I’d drop to the 54 which will be fine for you. The 57 is too close to your 59 and if you want smaller, the 54 would be it without sacrificing the ww like you had checked out.

    thanks JC on the wax…I am amazed that people don’t wax their decks enough during the year. I have waxes I like but I also don’t race (other than employee nascar which is more fun for me than really racing).

  24. Anonymous
    January 17, 2009

    If you are interested, I do have a TRS, BTX 154cm to sell from last year in perfect conditon…

    For myself I prefer to keep my Lando 160cm… even if my Lando is less freestyle for me.

    If you are interested to grap the TRS , BTX 154cm here my

  25. Anonymous
    January 20, 2009

    Hey Shay –
    Just curious on your thoughts now between the TRS-BTX and NS SLR. Did one feel more stable at speed than the other? Which of the two do you believe to be more forgiving?


  26. Anonymous
    February 03, 2009

    hey i just purchased a 159 trs mtx after reading all the good things and kinda gambled a little bit, i wear a 10.5 to 11 boot and i was wondering if anyne had drag issues and if they did were you able to resolve it with boot selection?? i rode my friends canyon and completely fell in love with the fact i could fully lay the board over without worrying about my toes. . .but it also kinda felt like a barn door under my feet, haha. any inut is appreciated.

  27. Anonymous
    February 19, 2009

    OK. I’m happy. My 09 TRS BTX’ base cracked. I replaced it with an 09 Skate Banana. The Skate Banana is even better than all the hype around it would suggest. I love it. It makes the TRS BTX look (ride) “like a piece of puke”. Why did they make the TRS BTX at all? The Banana is just as stable carving and at high speeds and then is SO forgiving and (shock) has more pop than the TRS BTX. Also, the TRS had a very bizarre and difficult to control flex pattern (super flexy torsionally – really unpredictable). I thought it was just me and I would adjust to it, but the fact is it just sucked. I’m glad to be rid of it, but I am still a believer in Lib Tech, I think they just screwed up with that board. I mean, I loved my 07 Dark Series and I can’t get near expressing how much I love my Skate Banana.

  28. Anonymous
    February 19, 2009

    OK. I’m happy. My 09 TRS BTX’ base cracked. I replaced it with an 09 Skate Banana. The Skate Banana is even better than all the hype around it would suggest. I love it. It makes the TRS BTX look (ride) “like a piece of puke”. Why did they make the TRS BTX at all? The Banana is just as stable carving and at high speeds and then is SO forgiving and (shock) has more pop than the TRS BTX. Also, the TRS had a very bizarre and difficult to control flex pattern (super flexy torsionally – really unpredictable). I thought it was just me and I would adjust to it, but the fact is it just sucked. I’m glad to be rid of it, but I am still a believer in Lib Tech, I think they just screwed up with that board. I mean, I loved my 07 Dark Series and I can’t get near expressing how much I love my Skate Banana.

  29. Shayboarder
    February 20, 2009

    On the TRS vs SL-R, overall on charging the TRS felt more stable than the SL-R I rode but the SL-R had more dampening than the TRS…so on groomers the TRS was solid but on choppy bumpy terrain the SL excelled. Both are stable just in different ways.

    On the width and toe drag, are you having issues or is it something you are worried about? The ww is 25.3 on the lib tech TRS 159cm and with your size boots, what angle is your stance at?

    Banana vs TRS…different strokes for different folks. I feel the same way about the Banana that you feel about the TRS. I love the TRS, hate the banana.

  30. Josh
    April 09, 2009

    ok let me set one thing straight. this dude that is preaching wax doesn’t know what he’s talking about. the structure of your base hands down the most important aspect to keep your board moving. that means getting it tuned regularly, by a shop that runs it through a base grind. wax is important but only if your base is in good shape. anybody looking for board out there should check out never summer… far and away the best snowboard company out there.

  31. Vincent Chang
    December 29, 2009

    If you are looking for a longer board then I’d be willing to buy your 2009 lib tech trs btx at a reasonable price. you can e-mail me at if you’re interested. Thx