The Lib Tech Skunk Apes Horsepower is very much like the Big Footed specialist the Skunk Apes except it has a lighter slightly snappier feel to the board. Lib Tech Boards in general run on the sturdy/heavy side so this isn’t going to be one of those ultra-light boards. However it will be sturdy and a little bit lighter.
The 2015 and 2016 Skunk Apes Horsepower comes in split but other than that it’s pretty much the same board as the 2014.
Conditions: Hard pack with a little softer snow here and there.
On Snow Feel: This is very similar to the almost stable Skunk Apes. It makes you feel almost like you are on hybrid camber in most situations. The only time it doesn’t feel as stable between the feet is in harder to icy conditions.
Powder: We like that even though this has a hybrid rocker profile that’s pretty floaty it still has a set back stance. This type of MTX can be a little grabby in softer thicker powder like the Skunk Apes but it’s not as bad as some are.
Turn Initiation and Carving: This is a pretty easy board to get edge to edge for short radius turns. Wide radius turns are fun and pretty lively. Carving is not quite perfect but very good for it’s camber profile. It’s MTX grabs the snow well and the camber in the tip/tail help complete the carve with a nice spring out of the turn.
Speed: The Horsepower feels a little more chatter than the regular model. It must be because of what they took out to reduce the weight. It’s base can glide through a long flat cat track very well and it’s pretty stable at high speed for a hybrid rocker board.
Uneven Terrain: The Skunk Ape is a little less stiff and aggressive in the bumps compared to the regular Skunk Apes but it’s still not a noodle. With a good pair of shock absorbent bindings it can do pretty well with shitty crowded end of the day resort snow. It turns pretty quick for you wide footed riders.
Approximate Weight- We didn’t scale it up. This didn’t feel like it was in the same category as some of it’s ultra light competitors. Instead it felt like a medium to borderline light but very sturdy board. It did feel lighter than the standard Apes.
Edge Hold: Really grips well and if you are a wide footed rider who see’s hard to icy snow this is one of your best choices. If you see more soft snow this will do ok but there are less grippy boards that might appeal to you.
Flex: The horsepower version offers up a similar flex but it feels a little softer, more snappy and lively. It’s a little easier to butter too.
Switch: This is a directional twin like the regular Apes and it does a pretty good job centered up riding switch.
Jibbing– Not the best here but as it softens up it does get better.
Pipe: Great pipe board. If you like to lap the pipe you will have a good time with the Skunk Apes. It’s very forgiving and drives pretty well from wall to wall for a hybrid rocker board.
Jumps: The Horsepower feels like it has a little more spring but not enough to really say for sure. One of these days I’ll get 2 wide riders out on both Skunk Apes models so we can do an A B test.
I have to admit that if I was a wide footed rider I’d want the Lib Tech Skunk Apes Horsepower but I wouldn’t really have a really sound argument as to why. Both ride very similar but something seems more appealing with the Horsepower version. Maybe it’s the lighter more metallic graphic or the slightly snappier ride but this seems a little more appealing. Despite that statement it’s still hard to recommend this almost $150 more ride with a level head. However if it appeals to you like it does to me then I won’t fault you. I’d say if weight is important to you and you want a little bit easier flexing ride then you might like the HP version better.