Lib Tech Hot Knife 2014 - 2013 Review by The Good Ride
The Lib Tech Hot Knife is a very appropriate name for the kind of ride it provides. This is a very fast aggressive twin with Lib Tech’s C3 Camber technology that is similar to the Jamie Lynn Classic C3 Series. This is basically a slightly softer true twin version of the Jamie Lynn C3 for riders that want a mostly camber aggressive all mountain freestyle twin. Not much changed from 2013 to 2014 Lib Tech Hot Knife. This was a board that came out in a limited supply in 2013 and we were lucky to demo. It made it out of the rookie stage and now it’s out for 2014 in larger supply.
Size: 156 Thanks to P3 and Mervin
Conditions: Practically perfect snow with some wind blown semi light sierra powder. Hard Pack with some icy patches and some days in between.
Riders: Peter and James
Bindings: Flux DS30 and Burton Genesis
Boots: Burton Ion and Nike Kaiju
Setup- Centered stance around 23″ wide 15 front -15 back
The Lib Tech Hot Knife has the aggressive camber feel of the C3 Jamie Lynn Classic and the aggressive Twin feel of the T.Rice but still has it’s own unique feel to it. If you are a normal size boot like a size 8-10 US the Hot Knife will be a much better call than the T.Rice. If you like the idea of the Jamie Lynn Classic but want a twin this is the better choice as well. This C3 hybrid camber is unique to the hybrid camber design world. There is a mini rocker that doesn’t touch all the way down between the feet and then camber that goes almost to same point that normal camber does at the tip/tail. It’s basically the opposite of C2 technology.
On Snow Feel: The Hot Knife is all about high speed assaults on the groomers regular or switch but it’s also a great aggressive park ride too for pipe and jumps. This sums up aggressive all mountain freestyle. Camber boards like the Hot Knife are fun to straight line or flat base. They track well without the loose feeling hybrid rocker shapes offer. This hot knife is one of those aggressive technical boards that likes to spring from an ollie or a carve. It adds a new twist to the old school stoke you can get from aggressive camber twin riding. The 156 gave us a lot of board for the size. Normally a board like this would be locked in with this kind of flex and camber but that little bump between the feet makes the board feel less catchy than it should be. One footing and flat basing is easy but there is consequence if you aren’t on your game.
Powder: This has a very camber ride and it’s almost not even a hybrid camber shape. The board doesn’t ride very well in powder. It takes some work to keep it afloat. This is one of those groomer to small amounts of powder boards. If you are all about the old school feel when riding the powder then you will like it but if you are looking for the hybrid camber performance that many boards have in deeper snow. You can’t have it all but combined with one of Mervin’s hybrid rocker shapes you have a great combo. I did have a little day old cold still almost fresh powder due to wind but it was only a few inches. It felt fine but in one deeper patch it just didn’t have the float that the C2 or EC2 camber profiles I have ridden.
Turn Initiation and Carving- For the right rider this is rather easy edge to edge on short to medium radius turns but it comes with a warning. If you are use to rocker or hybrid shapes you will find much more consequence if you aren’t very good turning edge to edge and you constantly have to be on your game. If you are a very technical rider you will absolutely love this board. Carving is exceptional for a twin and you can really feel the board spring out of a turn. It takes a little work to get the most out of a carve but it really rewards your effort.
Speed: It’s not a border cross board but it’s really fast and stable for a twin. The board picks up speed rather quick and seems to glide very well too. There is almost always a compromise in speed when you have a twin board but this is great for it’s shape.
Uneven Terrain: Very good balance between being good at speed and still being able to deal with crappy end of the day snow. If you have a good set of shock absorbent bindings you should feel pretty good dealing with bumpy ruttedterrain.
Approximate Weight- Mervin boards run on the sturdy but heavy side and this board is no exception. It’s on the medium side of medium.
Edge Hold: The Hot Knife has a more mellow MTX side cut that isn’t very apparent unless you look closer. It’s similar to the Impossible Series and the Attack Banana but with the camber shape it’s got a little more bite keeping it on the Great side of Excellent but still excellent. It’s not overly grippy either which is really good. Even in soft snow off piste it doesn’t grip too much like the old camber magnetraction boards or the current boards that have a more aggressive side cut.
Flex: We had a demo model which usually runs stiffer but even after it mellows out it will be more on the aggressive side of medium. It’s not quite the butter board and it takes a lot of work to bend back the hard angle down near the tip/tail.
Switch: It’s a true twin so it’s very easy to ride switch. Might be fun to see the asymmetrical side cut like some of the other boards have though.
Jibbing- Not the best rail/jib board. It’s made for the pipe and the kicker line.
Pipe: What a very aggressive pipe board for those who really know what they are doing. It’s got edge hold and will carve very well from the flats to the top of the pipe wall.
Jumps: Lots of spring here. There is a bend under each foot and it adds to the spring. The stronger you are the more the spring you can generate out of this board. The kicker line is a great place for the technical rider that understands the consequences associated with camber. It’s great for going medium to big.
All in all the true twin version of the Jamie Lynn C3 is a great board. It’s not for everyone but those aggressive all mountain freestyle riders that really like the old days of camber will really like the improvement that C3 offers to the ride.
2013 Lib Tech Hot Knife Review (almost the same as the 2014)
Aggressive All Mountain Freestyle
Advanced - Expert
On Snow Feel
Hard to Soft