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.
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.