Snowboard Review: 09-10 Lib Tech Skate Banana BTX

08 May, 2009

Location: Copper, Colorado

Snow Conditions: Bluebird with hardpacked groomers.

Setup: I rode the Skate Banana with Union Forces and my Rome Vamps size 8.

First Impression: It’s growing on me but I’m still so-so about it.

Size: 156cm

Weight: average

Flex: The banana is a softer ride, softer torsionally which makes it easy to turn and the flex varies on size (smaller sizes are softer, bigger sizes are stiffer). Since I was riding the 156 it was stiffer than the smaller sizes of skate banana. Even with the softer flex of the banana, the btx helped it float in a couple inches of new powder without me needing to remain in the backseat. With BTX it’s not difficult to press the board and the skate banana was easy to press and butter with the softer flex through the board.

Turning: The banana is super forgiving when turning, even if you caught in a hard place with it…it won’t make you pay for it. I encountered that at Copper where I should have eaten shit and a more aggressive board would have let me have it but the banana is just super forgiving. The mtx always gives it a good edge hold on the snow but on the skate banana I rode it definitely felt like the edges were detuned which is how I like it…less grippy. On just turning with the groomed runs, it held a turn throughout the long and short radius turns, I didn’t have any problem with coming to a quick stop or making a quick turn to avoid someone.

Stable: When i’m riding groomers on the Skate Banana I feel stable, when it’s groomed runs or powder runs….stable. When I’m riding chop and crud or bumps, it just feels so loose and off balance that I don’t feel stable when riding it. I was spent the morning with the Skate Banana in powder, in this video at the 1 minute mark I pointed the camera down at the nose of the banana to see how well it floated through the powder. The powder was lighter, easier to float through and it didn’t require me to stay in the back seat, most of my weight was centered or forward when riding the Skate Banana through the powder.

Pop: I spent a lot more time with the Skate Banana riding rails and popping ollies and being more freestyle thanks to my friends I was riding with. I only 50/50’d because I’m not a rail rider but it didn’t catch and handled landings fine off rails. On the groomers, good pop and not difficult to get the pop either.

Switch: No problem with riding switch on the skate banana, true twin and no catching.

Overall Impression: I can see why this board is so popular, it’s the easiest non progressive ride-everywhere board. I mean that in the best sense of saying it. It’s an easy ride, it doesn’t take much skill to ride it and it handles everything…it’s truely a good entry level board that will last years, it can handle powder, it can handle park, it’s very easy to ride. I’ve seen people charge on their Skate Bananas and that amazes me cause when I get to going faster with it, it feels so loose and off that I don’t trust it. I don’t think it’s a board that will ever push your riding, make you work for it. It’s like a bar slut, you know it’s a good ride…but you never have to work for it.

Shay’s Honesty Box: The Skate Banana and I have a love/hate relationship. I’ve tried to ride it at demo days but it generally is a board I can’t wait to get off of, so I set out to borrow the board for a day and really get a feel for it to see if I just hated the first impressions of it or if it grew on me after more turns. I didn’t hate it at Copper…but it’s still a board that is not my preference, I prefer the stiffer lib BTX boards.

*This Review was done in April 2009, please be aware that products may change.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the 2011 version of the Lib Tech Skate Banana BTX or shop their full line of Lib Tech snowboards

On-snow Photos

Lib Tech Skate Banana BTX Description


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. Peterborough
    May 08, 2009


    Couldn’t agree more with this review. I have an ’09 ‘nanner, and have also previously owned an ’08 (warrantied due to topsheet failure – Mervin were great about it). For me, the banana a great board for small, non-demanding hills (I ride in Ontario, Canada alot) and hard, early and late season conditions (trees, park, whatever), but it does not cut it in slush (exhausting, dangerous, floppy), and it’s nothing special in fresh (if pretty decent for a freestyle board). I am just over 200 lbs, and ride the 156 (intentionally got is small for the fun factor), and I really like it, but this board is not the quiver killer that Mervin props it up to be. This may be one of the best Freestyle/Jib oriented boards out there (poppy, capable leaving the park, flexy), but it fails in the All Mountain/Freeride category. By the way, keep up the good work on the best snowboard blog I have read.

  2. Anonymous
    May 08, 2009

    hey shay,

    very good review. i’m just planing may board for the next season and it should be one from mervin.

    – skate banana 156 w (btx)
    – jaimie lynn 156 w (btx)
    – gnu park pickle 156 w (btx)

    because you rode ech of this boards maybe you can give me some advices which would fit my demands in the best way.

    i would describe me as a cruiser. riding with friends down the slopes, a little 180 here, some powder there, a simple board slide on a box. nothing special. which of these 3 boards do you think is the best for this?

    my bindings are flux titan rk.

    best wishes from germany


  3. Anonymous
    May 08, 2009

    good review, but that bar slut comment was kinda unnecessary IMO. Especially coming from a woman who is all about the empowerment of women through snowboarding..

  4. Shayboarder
    May 08, 2009

    Peter, Thanks for your thoughts on the board as well! Always good to hear others inputs on reviews and how they liked the board or not..thank you!

    Daniel, I’d say the Phoenix above the pickle and banana…both of those are super fun but if you are crusing more, the phoenix is the better choice and still capable of the little bit of park or pow.

    Anonymous, I figured someone might take offense to that…as a woman i’m talking about male bar sluts but it was easier just to write bar slut.

  5. Marc
    May 08, 2009

    I would argue that objections to the bar slut comment are more sexist than the actual comment. It assumes that only women can be bar sluts. I tried to be a bar slut once, didn’t really work out though… business was slow.

    I totally agree with your review. I found the Skate Banana to be way too soft. The TRS and TRice BTX were, in my opinion, much better rides.

  6. Seriosha
    May 08, 2009

    Im so happy thats you write like taht about the Banana, i tried too the coming seasons model and had exactly the same problems with it… additional, on a icy run IMO it has no great edge hold, whatever they say about those hot butter knife edges…

    And actually i thought the slut thing funny, without thinkin about women as bitches generally… oh wait, those who start bitching around because of those comments are excepted 😀

  7. Zboy
    May 08, 2009

    I hope you were referring to me when you said you’ve seen people charge on the Skate Banana!!!! Hahahahaha! But really….

  8. Anonymous
    May 14, 2009

    Thanks for this review. I think I wouldn’t have understood where you are coming from, but I spent a week or so in Utah with my skate banana (I’m from the east coast). While I still love it, I finally got back on to big enough mountains in Utah to see that, past a certain speed, the skate banana is not the ideal. However, down lower on the mountain it was still lots of fun and was stable enough for most speeds. I did get on my brother’s boards (a rossignol plank and a very short bataleon distortia (girls’ board). That was very instructive, for even though I consider my bro’s Rossignol to be a piece of crap, it held up well at speeds and remided me of what it felt like to really get boost off small jumps – effortlessly. My banana was SO much more forgiving when I botched landings though. It was a good learning experience. I still hate/ed the trs btx which I had just before the skate banana and which I think was some kind of attempt at a mix or TRS and skate banana and was a total failure, but now I am looking at a harder charging board (I finally have to admit I need two boards). How’s the Yes look compared to the Signal Omni? I’m starting to think Signal Park Rocker and Signal Omni would be a good quiver of two. What do you think?

  9. Anonymous
    May 15, 2009


    Are you referring to a TRS or a TRS BTX? I had A TRS BTX which I was fortunate to get a base-crack on (btw, Lib was awesome about replacement) – I hated that board (replaced it with a Skate Banana). A regular TRS (MTX) would be a different story though. I am curious which you meant though. Have you ridden one?

  10. Anonymous
    May 15, 2009

    I just labeled a post question to Seriosha. I meant, Marc. Sorry.

  11. Anonymous
    June 12, 2009

    I have a 09 BTX skunk ape 157wide I really enjoy it. It has great edge hold. I am a agressive rider. It works out great. But I think it is a little to stiff for me. Besides that great board with great graphics.

  12. July 03, 2009

    Zboy, of course it’s about you and a couple other riders that I see in Steamboat just charging on it.

    Anonymous, I havent rode the signal omni yet, heard mixed reviews on it and the park rocker is insanely fun but I wouldn’t spend all day on it unless it was your straight up park board. I spent a day at Breck with it this season and fun but definitely didn’t hold up to other boards for all mountain riding on bigger mountains. YES’s are definitely hard charging boards, impressive and less of them out there.