|Overall Rating||Liked it!|
|Riding Style||All Mountain Freestyle|
|Riding Level||Beginner - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Mervin|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Light|
|On Snow Feel|
Lib Tech Banana Magic 2019 - 2010 Review by The Good Ride
The Lib Tech Banana Magic is a fun All mountain freestyle twin that is a good choice for those that want a forgiving ride in Icy conditions. To us, it kind of feels like a more mellow playful TRS with the most aggressive Magnetraction between the feet of all the boards in the Lib-Tech line. The 2019 Lib Tech Banana Magic model seems to be the same as 2018 so the old review still stands.
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 its own kind of ride. It’s more stable than the Attack Banana and has a different feel than the TRS but has properties of both.
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 elliptical camber that is almost flat. What is weird is it feels almost as stable as the C2 BTX rides we have tried and didn’t feel like the Attack Banana. In soft snow, it feels stable and in the harder snow, it can feel a little bit loose but not super loose. Maybe it’s the crazy big ass MTX bumps between the feet holding it in place or maybe it flattens out really well under our body weight. 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 plane 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. Stil,l this and the Attack Banana seems to have a slight advantage when it comes to floating over other C2 BTX boards. It’s not a huge advantage but just a slightly easier float.
Turn Initiation– The Lib Tech Banana Magic takes a little bit more work than most hybrid rocker boards and we like that. It’s still by no means hard but I think it’s because of the really aggressive MTX holds onto the snow a little more before letting go when transitioning from edge to edge. Short radius turns are pretty quick if you know how to make good turns. However, if you know how to turn properly this won’t be very hard at all. Medium to wide radius turns to engage the mellow camber and make the ride feeling pretty good. It keeps it fun and lively edge to edge and turns are generally easy to make. 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 holds a really really good edge. It’s got a good super aggressive grippy MTX side cut which helps it carve well in harder conditions where others will wash out. However, the rocker in the middle going to flat to mellow camber at the tip/tail didn’t have the resistance into and spring out of a carving turn for me that some other Mervin boards with more camber do when it comes to a hard nipple scratching carve. That being said it really impressed us with how it could hang with many C2 BTX boards I’ve ridden. It’s a bit behind the XC2 BTX boards and a large bit behind the C3 boards out there though. If this was 2013 it would have had a higher rating but lately more boards are coming out with more camber that carves much better.
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 kept it’s speed rather well in the long flat cat tracks I deal with in the Sierras at times and it’s fun to haul ass regular or switch. With most hybrid shapes there is always some chatter but the Banana Magic keeps the chatter to a minimum for its camber profile. The only issue is the stability between the feet. You want to keep this on edge and it’s not the easiest board to flat-base. It’s like so many hybrid rocker Mervin boards out there that give you this feeling when not on edge that it wants to spin on you. I liked XC2 BTX better for speed here but it’s not super loose compared to many BTX boards or some EC2 BTX boards. So it’s no bomber but it doesn’t feel like you have 2 clown shoes on either.
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 the crowded end of the day snow pretty well.
Edge Hold: This has a different Magnetraction sidecut 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 it reminded me of the first Magnetraction Board I owned called the “magnetraction”. It grips strong between the feet and it’s a great ice board but sometimes it has a little difficulty letting go in the softer snow. Great board for those that see icy conditions a lot.
Flex: This feels borderline stiff torsionally and longitudinally. It’s not a mellow flex but it can butter around ok.
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 but I wouldn’t want to lap the jib park with this all day.
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 enough and feels at home in the pipe. If there was a little more carvy drive this would be about perfect for me.
Jumps: We felt other boards were more poppy than the Banana Magic in Mervin’s line but it’s still got some upper-level spring. Still, we had no problem generating our own air around the mountain and launching kickers in the park was fun as well.
So overall the Lib Tech Banana Magic is a board for the rider who sees hard snow, likes to push your riding regular or switch but still have a bit of a forgiving nature. We all liked this ride and it could definitely work for many riders. Especially for those that value edge hold over almost anything else.
Lib Tech Banana Magic Past Reviews
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.
Lib Tech Banana Magic Specs
Lib Tech Banana Magic Images
Lib Tech Company Information
Lib Tech Banana Magic User Reviews
Only if I could marry it....
I think the review title says it all. I know TGR doesn't need another review of this spectacular board. It's all been said. This thing is MAGIC. It seems to have two distinct personalities.
1. A hard charger (that is damp) that doesn't come apart at speed and in the slop.
2. A playful cruiser, that has plenty of SNAP when loaded properly! I love that I can get a bit lazy on this board and get in a full 8 hrs on hill. (Impressive given that I've shattered my knee and femur years ago)
Coming from camber decks (burton custom and custom x, ride timeless/yukon/prophet) it's surprising to see a banana / rocker carve so well; not having to be at my best and constantly focusing. I'd actually have to say that for carving, its closer to 4 snowflakes on the TGR rating scale - IMO. The deep side cut also allows this thing to turn very very quickly.
I don't have a heck of a lot more to add to the other reviews aside from the fact that I'm on my 3rd Banana Magic (just purchased a new 2016). Not that there was anything wrong with the previous models - they actually held up well, and had great re-sale value. I just loved the next gen graphics and got a some great end of season deals.
In my experience, the board hasn't changed much in 4 years, with the exception of some minor tweaks that seem to make it just a bit better (if that's even possible).
Gotta say thanks to Lib for this one.
Carvin' and Chargin'
Note: Neither boots nor bindings are broken in.
2016 158W the set up barely fits on the board while having a waist with .6 points over my prefect width. @ centered 18 -18
This board lives to be on edge. Haulin ass on edge is straight magical. Puting the board flat at speed however feels extremely squirrely, They say the Banana Magic has a unique ride, but for now its extremely squirrely and can catch an edge at slow speeds in spring slush. However you will not lose an edge at speed, you will hit that speed where you know you can't crash or that's life. It is very stiff i was under the impression it would be medium flex, its as stiff as my 15 year old camber rock.
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!