The Lib Tech TRice Pro needs little introduction. It’s the board Travis rides, the only notable thing going on for the uninitiated is that the 153, 155 and 157 all come with blunted tips, whereas the 161.5 and 164.5 have pointy tips for powder and off piste. I’d put up a video, but just go download The Art of Flight or The Fourth Phase- this man could ride whatever board he wanted and get paid handsomely for the privilege of it. He chooses this one. Enough said?
I’ve been riding the 157. This is a seriously fast, aggressive board and its freestyle outline defies the power below the surface. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a typical Banana from Lib Tech. The spec is their C2 BTX profile which tends to sit on the easier-going end of their range. But this board has not got the playful credentials of the Skate Banana or Box Scratcher – it’s a board for the mountain, not the dome.
I had an absolute blast ripping around resort on it. This is the first rocker board that I’ve felt really comfortable charging fast on. The magnatraction – edge serration – works wonderfully well at locking you in and cutting through tough patches without hooking you up (as I’d read elsewhere). To be honest, on an icey morning, this would be the first board I’d reach for out of my quiver.
Lib Tech Magne-Traction – works!
It also performs well in powder – but then that’s no surprise given who endorses it.
Where it wins out is in handling chop and chunder – crushing anything in its path. As a Mervin board you know it’s built strong, even at the risk a slightly weightier carry to the lift in the morning- but you don’t notice the weight once it’s strapped in- the blunted edges reduce the swing sufficiently not to feel like you’re riding a tank.
The Rocker profile – C2 BTX – does it all well
As a one board solution for holiday riding, I don’t think you could go wrong. The flex is aggressive enough to hold a carve. It probably takes a few runs to really get into it if you’re coming from a traditional camber background- so be prepared to push through this ‘wtf’ moment- when you do, the board comes alive and you realise why the best rider in the world currently puts his name to this toy.
I also found that setting the stance back a little really changed the character of the board for the better. OK- it lost a little playfulness and switch riding ease, but what was gained was a board that really growled- this is a classic American muscle car of the snowboarding world and you need to let it roar.
I love this board and can see it sitting in my options for several years to come.
LibTech TRice Pro 157
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