|Riding Style||All Mountain Freestyle|
|Riding Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||< 8, 8-10, 10-12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Mervin|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Camber|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Lib Tech Box Knife 2020 - 2018 Review by The Good Ride
The Lib Tech Box Knife was just a fun freestyle to mellow mountain freestyle ride that has a nice take on their C3 camber profile by giving it some early rise before the quite long tip/tail. It makes it more floaty and more forgiving than standard C3 while still being pretty poppy and dynamic underfoot compared to a lot of other hybrid camber rides. It’s got the playfulness of a freestyle/park board and while the longer tip/tail might feel a bit much on occasion in the park you will like the way it floats for a twin in powder.
The 2019 and 2020 Lib Tech Box Knife model is the same as the 2018 model we reviewed so the old vid reviews still stand but the written review has been updated to reflect what’s happening in 2020.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
How This Review Happened: After a demo, we liked it so much we bought it. We spent our precious Good Ride dollars to buy this and review it.
Size: 154 and 157
Days: 10+ (own the 157)
Conditions: Firm to hard snow with some good patches here and there. One day in CO and one in OR
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs),
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV,
Bindings: Union Superpro with team ankle straps (similar to the contact but with taller straps), Bent Metal Logic
Set-Up: 22″, 22.5″, and 22.75″ Centered 15 front -15 back
The Lib Tech Box Knife doesn’t quite have the aggressive feel of boards like the Hot Knife. It doesn’t even feel as mountain friendly as the Proto Type Two or TRS but feels about the same as the Jibsaw that sits closer to the border between being a park only board and a board that can ride the moutnain well than the Yes Jackpot and Funslinger. It feels like it’s the most narrow and quick between the feet of all of these boards we mentioned.
Set-Up: 22” Wide. 21 front -6 back. Close to Reference and Set all the way back. 22” Wide. 15 front -15 back. Centered.
Approximate Weight: Feels normal and maybe a touch on the light side of normal.
Sizing: The Box knife is a bit on the narrow side of things but the 157 works pretty well for my specs. Feels like it’s best for size 8 to 9ish boots. The wides feel like they work better for 10ish to 11ish boots but not much past that. Mervin boards usually can handle a bigger guy and this can too but it feels like it likes a little lighter weight rider instead.
Flex/Buttering: The Lib Tech Box Knife has a lot of pop and energy in their boards. Even though it feels a little softer than it’s flex rating it has a quick snap back after a flex. It kind of feels like all the tech wrapped around the wood is there to accentuate its feel where it seems like some companies use the materials around the board to more disguise the wood feel. One isn’t better over the other but it’s just more of a description of how Lib and Gnu boards flex and feel underfoot. Maybe not as much as full camber but neither of us felt it was lacking energy underfoot. When it comes to buttering it has a medium to medium-soft flex off the snow but on snow, it butters very easy.
On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: So the camber profile of the Lib Tech Box Knife is somewhat unique I have only seen this on one other board in 2020 and that is the very freeride oriented BRD. There are all kinds of C3 and these two have the most mellow version of it. It has a stable feel to it underfoot that one foots and flat bases incredibly easy. It might be a touch more catchy than some hybrid camber boards but it is far more forgiving than all other C3 boards or mostly camber boards we have tried. It skids turns pretty easy and has a pretty forgiving nature for intermediate riders but won’t bore advanced to expert riders. It kind of sits in between some of our favorite Freestyle and All Mountain Freestyle rides that we referenced above. You could call it a freestyle ride or a mellow mountain freestyle ride and you would be right.
Edge Hold: There is pretty competent edge hold with the Lib Tech Box Knife. It holds well in hard snow. It still hangs in there in icy snow but other boards with more aggressive Magnetraction do a little better. Still, the stability between the feet with the early rise C3 is more preferable than hybrid rocker camber profiles like with C2, C2x, C2e, etc. that can feel lose and spinny.
Turn Initiation: Very quick edge to edge. It goes wherever we want it when we want it. Very good board for tight spots.
Turning Experience/Carving: So if it wasn’t for the softer flex this would do an amazing job as a carving twin. Still, the Lib Tech Box Knife is a lot of fun to lay into a carve and there is a pretty rewarding spring out of it.
Powder: In comparison to a board you can set back far the Lib Tech Box Knife isn’t that great. However, in comparison to other twins out there, it is on the upper end of the spectrum. All that nose/tail and early rise make for a good board for those that keep it centered and want to take on powder either foot forward.
Speed: What makes the Lib Tech Box Knife soo good in powder also makes it a little chattery at high speed. The longer nose/tail bounce around a bit more and make the board feel less damp when you pick up speed.
Uneven Terrain: The way the Box Knife weaves in and out of bumps is outstanding. It’s narrow, knifey feel, with a forgiving flex and camber profile makes this the kind of board I like to turn through bumps with. Powering over uneven snow is another story though and it is a bit on the bucky side of things. Still, you can handle a crowded Saturday no problem from the first chair to last.
Switch: Practically perfect either way. We like Asymmetrical Twins a touch better but this Box Knife is great for those that ride switch a lot.
Jumps: There is really good pop in the tip/tail so if you like to ollie a lot the early rise in the nose/tail won’t be that far behind full C3. It’s a little narrow and softer for going big but small to medium for most will be super fun. If you are really working on taking off and landing either way then this is a great call.
Jibbing: Yeah the Box Scratcher is the way to go there but the Lib Tech Box Knife isn’t bad at all. It’s a pretty confidence-inspiring kind of ride that I’ve actually taken my old and broken body into the jib-park with.
Pipe: So this is my kind of pipe board. Narrow, easy to make quick turns on the wall, easy throw around in the air, strong edge hold, stable in hard to icy snow and good camber to drive wall to wall. Some might like a stiffer flex but most will find this to be a great pipe board.
Lib Tech Box Knife Specs
Lib Tech Box Knife Images
Lib Tech Company Information
Lib Tech Box Knife User Reviews
Truly FREEstyle All-Mountain
After hearing all the hype about Lib Tech for years I bought the 2018 157cm Box Knife and man, the hype is warranted! What a GREAT BUY!
Before this I had the Ride Machete 158 and then the Never Summer Funslinger 157. I found the Machete to be a little too soft for an all-mountain board and obviously the Funslinger is fun in the park but not really anywhere else.
What I loved about this board is I can truly ride it all WELL. Some All-Mountain boards give you mediocre performance in a variety of areas so you can technically ride the whole mountain. This board ACTUALLY lets you charge wherever you want to go. I can go fast, I can ride tight tree lines, I can hold a carve, I can ride park and I can even ride pow on this thing. I have a Jones Explorer 159 and I honestly only get it out for deep powder days where I know that's all I'll be riding because the Box Knife is just so fun for everything else and I can still ride pow on it if I want. I could see myself getting another one of these down the road and possibly trying out the wide version because a feel like a size 10 boot sits in the awkward no man's land where it's not QUITE a wide board boot but also does wind up with some heel and toe drag at times.
The best flat freestyle snowboard
This is my third board and I've never been so satisfied with riding before.
Very playful, dynamic and poppy board, perfect if you like just to jump on every bump, buttering and just stylish riding on prepared slopes.
Definitely the board that matches my mind.
Thank you Good Ride for your help with my choice!
Versatile but a bit ”slippery”
I agree with the previous reviever that keeping speed up is essential with this board, otherwise it tends to spin on its own. Took a few days and embarassing moments to get the mucle memory in place.
Excellent edge hold in icy conditions. Great for jumping and buttering. Riding switch with this board is awesome.
As stated not a beginner board. I will probably by something else for next year solely due to the slippery feel. Still a good board but not for me.
Very versatile, poppy and reliable edge hold
Thank you James Biesty and your friends for the great reviews.
I have been riding about 5-10 different boards each season for about 7 years now. In the Alps from France to Austria, from bad hardpack to mostly 1foot of powder, sometimes 3feet. Some board I ride on test days, sometimes I switch boards with friends or I buy used ones. My favorites so far: Jibsaw 2012 Jibsaw 155 2018, LibTech T.Rice HP 153, Rossignol XV 163, LibTech Box Knife 154, I also have found a used Yes Standard 153 2018 model
C3 in my opinon ist the best carving contour of my boards because the tail grabs the best and sometimes even rescues me from wash outs when I thought it's too late. In case the tail washes out, with the following edge angle increase the edge gains so much grip again, high chances it saves you. I don't know that behaviour from other camber boards. Even on the Custom X I did not experience that. On very soft, fresh snow (slush and dough is kind of okay) I have to carve with more weight in the tail because the front camber tends to cut too deep through soft fresh snow if my weight is centered. The most edge hold is outside the Bindings and a good amount in the center.
The standard C3 boards are too aggressive for me for buttering with that long extreme camber about 7mm high under the bindings, it does not forgive any mistake. The early rise shortened and lowered 4mm Camber of the Box Knife just feels about perfect, it forgives minor mistakes but it tells me if I have made one by some kind of edge sticking/grabbing. It feels just like a reminder to stay focused.
The Jibsaw is more forgiving and absolute fun to butter because of more rocker and shorter camber with 5mm height just between the outer ends of the inserts (Stickers on the topsheet are not on the right spot IMO). The T.Rice is even more forgiving with just 2mm of camber under the bindings but that huge rocker makes the T.Rice very loose and unstable buttering on harder snow.
Edge hold on hard snow in my opinion:
Box Knife reacts fastest getting on edge, outside the bindings is a ton of grip, in the center there is a good amount of grip, very high reliable grip
Jibsaw reacts almost as fast with the most edge hold between the bindings, the tips are feeling loose, very high reliable grip
T.Rice reacts much slower but also with very high reliable grip then between the bindings.
The Yes Standards Midbite has a good amount of grip but less reliable. The amount of grip changes faster between hard and less hard surfaces. Then sometimes the front edge holds but the back edge slips or the other way around.
Edge hold/grabbyness on softer snow:
Box Knife a bit nose grabby
Jibsaw a bit grabby between the bindings
T.Rice same as Jibsaw
Yes Standard, I would not say grabby but you can hear and feel the underbite cutting through the surface of the slope. I feel it cuts deeper and slows down the board,
I am a german engineer so I have to measure everything like the height of the Magtek/Midbite, just to understand not to reverse engineer ;-)
Box Knife: 0.5mm
I prefer the T.Rice on softer snow, the Jibsaw works fine in all conditions and the Box Knife works best on normal to hard snow. All of them are nice in 1 to 2 feet of fresh snow with setback, Box Knife is not as damp as the others, feeling minor vibrations at about 30mph, nothing to worry. It has the most directional stability at speed flatbase. Most pop also is in the Box Knife.
Keep the board at speed and you will love it!
This board rips! Keeping your speed up is key with this one.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 star is because at lowers speeds it gets a bit squirely. I think the contacts are lifted too early. Allowing a little bit more length in the camber section would have made the board a little less auto-spinny on slow flat sections.
Edge hold is amazing, stability at speed is amazing. This board is at home on the jump line and decent on the jib line. It was a bit stiff.
Great board for amstrong intermediate
I’ve not bought a new board For a long time, but it became time to retire the old (nitro) board that I bought on my 2nd holiday 10 yrs ago.
I spent a day testing the 2018 boards and approached it with a heavy cynicism thinking that they wouldn’t be much different than the old tech.
First thing I noticed was how different the boards perform. I originally had my heart set on a Salomon Assassin, but it wasn’t for me. It just didn’t feel stiff enough for my taste and as I only spend around 10% of my time in the park, something capable of charging all of the mountain, Searching for hits and dicking about in the pow by the side of the piste was much more appropriate for me.
I pulled the trigger on this one as it seemed to be the best compromise. It’s been a game changer for me. Within 3 days, I’m riding switch more confidently and competently than I ever had. I’m pushing my (limited) boundaries on tricks without fear of catching an edge. It’s just made my time on the mountain that much more enjoyable.