Lib Tech Banana Magic 2014 - 2010 Review by The Good Ride
The Lib Tech Banana Magic is a fun All mountain freestyle twin that allows you to be aggressive without the consequences of most aggressive boards. The Banana Magic is a very unique board that has minor similarities to many Lib Tech boards but overall is very unique. Riding this board gave me the feeling that it was aggressive but at the same time felt forgiving so I didn’t have to be on my A game at all times.
Size 152, 157 and 158W
Conditions: Mainly hard snow with some patches of softer snow. Other days it was softer more perfect snow with some occasional hard patches.
Setup: James Peter and Kyle rode centered around 23″ wide 15 front -15 back. Stephen rode the wide at about 24″ wide Centered 12 front -12 back.
There is the skate banana, the Attack Banana and the Banana Magic. The only thing that all three of these boards have in common is “Banana” in the name. We found this to be it’s own kind of ride but the only board I can really think of that it’s a little bit similar to is the Lib Tech TRS. They both had that stable all mountain twin (all mountain freestyle) kind of feel that fits a wide variety of riders. If you are looking to go big on the mountain or in the park this will be a good board if you are ok with the excessive price tag.
On Snow Feel: So this seems to be a unique hybrid rocker in the line that they call Enhanced Banana. It has a lot of rocker between the feet and then transitions to a very mellow eliptical camber that is almost flat. What is weird is it feels almost as stable as the C2 Power BTX rides we have tried and didn’t feel like the Attack Banana. In soft snow it feels stable and in harder snow it can feel a little bit loose but less than most hybrid rocker boards we have tried. Maybe it’s the crazy big ass MTX bumps between the feet holding it in place or maybe it flattens out really well under pressure. Who knows. The cool thing is it’s mostly stable. It has a very aggressive but pretty forgiving feel and that is pretty hard to accomplish. It’s not really about buttering and jibbing as much as it’s about, exceptional edge hold, picking up speed on the mountain reg or switch, hitting the pipe and going bigger on medium to large jumps.
Powder: We didn’t get any deep powder but you can tell this is going to plain well in powder with this design and feel pretty floaty for a Twin. If you like to ride switch in powder then you will really like this board. If you like to set it back you might like Jamie Lynn C2 Power BTX Phoenix or other Mervin boards with a set back stance better.
Turn Initiation- This is not going to be the easy edge to edge ride that many hybrid camber boards have. When you flex the board it would feel like it’s pretty challenging but the hybrid rocker allows the Banana Magic to provide moderately easy edge to edge transitioning. It just takes a little bit more work than most hybrid rocker boards and we like that. Short radius turns are pretty quick but if you aren’t a solid rider it could be a little more work to skid your turns than other hybrid rocker shapes. However if you know how to turn properly this won’t be very hard at all. Medium to wide radius turns engage the mellow camber and make the ride feel pretty good. It keeps it fun and lively edge to edge and gives a little bit of spring out of the turn. Just about any kind of turn is predictable and competent.
Carving- When I was drawing this out into harder carving turns the Lib Tech Banana Magic is pretty fun and borders on being great. It’s not a bad ride at all here. It’s got a good super aggressive grippy MTX side cut which helps it carve well in harder conditions where others wont. However the flat to mellow camber at the tip/tail didn’t have the spring for me that some other Mervin boards with more camber do when it comes to a hard nipple scratching carve. After a few days on this I found that the spring out of a hard carve was fun but not as good as some of the XC2 BTX and especially the C3 BTX boards that have more camber going on. Some of them also have enough edge hold to carve in hard conditions very close to the Banana Magic as well. With the addition of Mervin’s more camber filled boards like XC2 BTX in 2014 and C3 BTX in 2013 its carve appeal has dropped a little bit making it right on the border between good and great. You could call it either way. In 2013 this would of had a higher rating but after riding this on the same day with XC2 BTX and C3 BTX I felt it came in a close 3rd to XC2 BTX and some C2 Power BTX boards I rode but C3 is the clear leader. Still it’s a nice compromise between having a super grippy, forgiving, floaty board vs.super great carving board.
Speed: This has a fast base, aggressive flex and a pretty damp feel to it. It’s not in the top of the tops in terms of speed but it’s really good. It keept it’s speed rather well in the long flat cat tracks I deal with in Tahoe at times and it’s fun to haul ass regular or switch.
Uneven Terrain: Usually this type of ride and flex isn’t very easy to negotiate mogul like terrain at slow speeds but this does pretty well. It can handle crowded end of the day snow pretty well.
Edge Hold: This has a different Magnetraction side cut compared to any other Mervin board out there. The Magnetraction is massive between the feet and then almost non existent as it extends out towards the tip/tail. It grips like the old camber magnetraction boards and gave me (editior) the feel way back when when they introduced the first Magnetraction Board called the “magnetraction”. It grips strong between the feet and it’s a great ice board.
Flex: This feels borderline stiff torsionally and longitudinally. It’s not a mellow flex.
Switch: The same either way. It’s meant to be ridden both ways. (insert joke here)
Jibbing- Nah….it wasn’t friendly to us but it can be done if you are a good rider. The flex is pretty stiff here but it’s fine for sliding across non technical boxes and hitting bonks.
Pipe: This is one of the better pipe boards in the line. Super Grippy and aggressive while still being relatively forgiving. It drives from wall to wall well and feels at home in the pipe.
Jumps: We felt other boards were more poppy than the Banana Magic in Mervin’s line but you sacrifice a little pop for stability at speed. Still we had no problem generating our own air around the mountain and launching kickers in the park was fun as well.
The Lib Tech Banana Magic is a board for the rider that likes to push your riding regular or switch but still have a bit of a forgiving nature in case you push it too hard or feel mellow. We all liked this ride and it could definitely work for many riders. Especially for those that value edge hold over almost anything else.
A quick Look at the 2014 Lib Tech Banana Magic.
2013 Lib Tech Banana Magic Review
A quick Look at the 2013 Lib Tech Banana Magic.
A quick Look at the 2012 Lib Tech Banana Magic.
All Mountain Freestyle
Advanced - Expert
On Snow Feel
Icy to Medium
User Reviews of the Lib Tech Banana Magic
Another Review GoodRide didn't do....
This board is amazing, but I have to call out GoodRide. Just a 3 for carving? You guys clearly didn't ride it. It has Lib's most aggressive sidecut, and despite being a true twin, wants to carve and carve hard. Easily behind the Darker series as the best carver of the group.
Look, I know they are difficult to find for demo, but stop reading specs to guess on a review, and actually ride it. The site would be so much better if you leave it without a review and say you are still waiting to demo.
The Superbanana review was a joke. It was even more ridiculous that you admitted you hadn't ridden it, yet decided to review it anyway based on reading the specs.
Seriously guys, if you didn't ride the damn board, don't review it.
This board continues to Impress
I continue to be very happy with this board. Here is a video of a run ... I have a few posted. http://youtu.be/ASC47encBHE - My second trip with the board I was able to push my speed, control, and jumping. The more I ride the board the more confident I get about advancing my skill level. I rode switch a little and this board def makes switching back and forth easy. The control you have and how quickly you feel you can stop with this board is amazing. I highly recommend it.
FUN FUN FUN and FAST FAST FAST
5' 10" 195 lbs. 157 Banana Magic. The top speed on this board is yours to decide bc the edge gives you the confidence to control anything the mtn surprises you with. This board wants to carve and it can carve quick and tight. No terrain is going to scare you, it can cut into anything. You will want to stay busy moving this board around the mtn bc it's so easy and fun. I found that I adjusted my riding to be more centered (coming from a traditional camber board). This felt a little uncomfortable at first as you feel like your weight is too much forward, but I didn't have any problems. It actually feels better to be more centered with your weight IMO. The Rocker between your feet allows you to float and the edge makes slight carving so easy. Bombing a steep run with your weight centered is very fun and riding the rocker chews the bumps up. I didn't have any issues with the board chattering. I can't wait to get a little more comfortable and start hitting launches. I hit a few but was going so fast I decided to wait til I had a little more experience with the board under my belt before pushing it. Can't wait to get back on the mtn and see what other doors I can open with this board!