The Lib Tech Skate Banana has a loose, soft and playful feel that is not really an all mountain freestye board but you could definitely say it’s a do anything park board. The Skate banana feels softer than its flex rating and will make a good park board for freestylers of almost any level in any condition.
The 2014 and 2015 Lib Tech Skate Banana changed up the BTX profile so it’s a little different than previous models but not too much to be crazy different. It was so subtle that I didn’t even catch it at the time I rode it until Mervin mentioned it on the site. Then the more I thought about it the more BTX felt a little more stable between the feet. It still felt like a continuous rocker board compared to the C2 shapes out there.
Conditions: a little bit of thick sierra pow to semi-icy snowment.
Riders: James, Peter and Jimbo
Boot’s Used– Burton Hail, Burton SLX, Nike Kaiju, Burton Ambush, Burton Grail,
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Genesis, Union Contact Pro, Burton Malavita, Flux RK30
Set Up: Approximately 23″ Wide Centered 15 front -15 back
So The Skate Banana and the K2 Gyrator are the boards that started the reunion with Rocker in the snowboard industry. To many people in the beginning did not see this board for what it was but now with the evolution of hybrid camber and Hybrid rocker shapes they do know.
On Snow Feel: If you like to slow down and jib, butter and press around the whole mountain and then hit the park you will like this board. It’s a forgiving playful freestyle specific board made for riders of all levels. It’s got a loose feel between the feet that’s really accentuated in hard snow and mellows out in soft snow. It’s very difficult to catch an edge which is why this is the kind of board I’d personally like to be on when developing my freestyle skills. Often times instead of catching an edge you just spin out. Flat basing isn’t that easy and one footing requires you to be on edge. So it’s an all rounder park ride that can also take a slow speed jib, butter, press ollie, find natural stuff to bonk on kind of ride on the mountain.
Powder: The Skate banana is not a bad powder board for those who like to hit powder switch as well as regular. It’s a twin with a centered stance so don’t expect much unless you are coming from camber. Then it will blow your mind.
Turn Initiation– Very very easy to get from edge to edge. If you like a little work for turning then you won’t like this. If you don’t want to think about how to turn your board when hitting different obstacles in the park then you will love the Skate Banana.
Speed: Fine for most places in the park but the chatter starts quickly as you pick up real speed on the mountain. It’s not one for flat basing because it has that loose truck skate board feel.
Uneven Terrain: The Skate Banana isn’t a champion of speed but it can handle bumpy uneven snow very well.
Approximate Weight– Like all Mervin boards they are made on the heavy side. You trade a little weight for reliability.
Edge Hold: This isn’t the best magnetraction board out there in terms of edge hold but it’s arguably the best when it comes to a board of this flex. You can loose a little edge hold on a detune without completely loosing control like you can with many jib to do it all park boards.
Flex: Softer than they say it is. It’s playful and incredibly easy to butter press and twist.
Carving– This is a waste on a carve and it’s pretty washy. You can get a bit of a lean in but you can’t commit to a carve like you can with hybrid rocker boards.
Jibbing– Just super fun here. If you aren’t that strong in the jib park you can take a whole new approach to it and learn a lot. If you rip then you can practice ultra technical tricks you weren’t comfortable doing in the park. The forgiving rocker and flex make the Skate Banana a very good ride here. It’s very close to the Box Scratcher here and the jib park is one of it’s strong points.
Pipe: If you keep your edges sharp the Skate Banana will perform more in the Good category but if you utilize the tallents of this board for the jib park it will just be average in the pipe. It doesn’t drive wall to wall well but it holds an edge and it’s forgiving coming back down.
Jumps: If coming from camber you will have a little adjustment time because all the spring is from the center of the board. Once you get use to it you have a very fun board to ollie that has a good amount of pop. When hitting most small to medium jumps you will have a great time but when they get pro size you will want something more stable and stiff.
All in all the Skate Banana is one of those park specific boards that is hard to resist. It’s very playful, fun and there is a reason its still around.