Mervin’s C2 vs BTX
19 May, 2009
I can always count on the BMB forums to give their honest opinion, usually it’s not the nicest but it’s always honest. They recently had a good point that when I reviewed the Lib Tech Dark C2 I didn’t compare it to the BTX version. I figured this would be a good time to discuss C2 vs BTX.
Mervin Manufacturing is the brand behind C2 and BTX technology and create Lib Tech, GNU and some Roxy snowboards. This is the first year for C2 technology to hit the market from Mervin but BTX has been around for years in the Mervin lines. For 09-10, there are five models coming out of Mervin Manufacturing that will feature C2 Technology: Lib Tech Dark Series, Lib Tech Trice, GNU Billy Goat, GNU Danny Kass and GNU B-PRO. I’ve been able to try 3 of those boards that feature the new C2 technology and was able to try 2 of those boards when they were BTX.
BTX also known as Banana Traction features a rocker banana between your feet and flat from inserts out to the contact points. The contact points are raised slightly because of the rocker making it less catchy. When the board lies flat on the ground (see the image above), you can see the rocker being the first thing the ground is touching and how the nose and tail are lifted up.
When riding a BTX board, it always varies on the flex of the board how it will ride, handle and suit your style. It does make riding it easier, less catchy, easier to press, butter and float in powder since the nose is already lifted up from the ground. The majority of models in the Mervin lines feature BTX now, from straight freestyle boards to freeride boards to a powder rocker on the Banana Hammock model.
C2 Technology takes the banana rocker in between the feet but puts camber from the inserts out to the contact points. When the board is flat on the ground the rocker is what is touching the ground (remember if you put a cambered board on the ground, there would be a gap between the ground and in between the bindings, camber) but with rocker, it’s the opposite, that section is towards the ground which makes the nose and tail lifted up. In the case of C2, where the inserts are and out, there is camber there so at that location, the board is lifted up with camber from the ground.
The five models that feature C2, four of those are pro model snowboards with three of those pros focus being on big mountain/backcountry riding. The softest flex of the five is the women’s model, the GNU B-pro coming in from 4.5 to 6 on the flex scale, the Danny Kass features a 6-6.5 on the flex scale, Trice features a 7 on the flex scale, Dark Series with a 7.5 and Billy Goat with the stiffest flex of 8 on the scale.
When you look at the riders who ride C2, they’re focus is on backcountry or big mountain riding. BTX is still very fun but it’s focus isn’t on big mountain riding. C2 is the answer to that, it allows the boards to be consistent and steady. In my opinion, C2 is freeriding and BTX is freestyle.
I was able to ride the Lib Tech Dark Series and GNU B-pro when they were BTX models and rode them earlier this year as C2 models.
Both of the models I noticed were stiffer with the C2 than in previous years with the BTX and they gained a bit more stability and handled better freeriding. The C2 made them less freestyle friendly, it was harder to butter/tail press on C2 than with BTX. Still possible but not insanely easy like it had been before.
With BTX I used to feel a loose feeling when riding, especially on the softer boards and less noticeable on the stiffer boards. The C2 completely removes that loose feeling, giving a freeriders board with a good mix of rocker and camber. Even with the C2 you have better float in powder than with a regular cambered board, but the better float is with the powder rockers. However if you mix your riding from groomers to powder, C2 can handle it. Both boards feature MTX which gives them both a good edgehold on icy conditions, I would say equally good.
GNU Blog post on the SIA Innovation Award which lists the Danny Kass and Travis Rice as C2