|Riding Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Mervin|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Camber|
|Stance||Setback over 20mm|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Lib Tech BRD 2020 Review by The Good Ride
The Lib Tech BRD has been around in a split and now comes in a solid 2020. It has a short C3 camber profile with a good bit of rocker before the nose and even some in the tail. We had a great time on this in everything from powder to spring groomers.
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: We borrowed the 159 for an extended demo. We had a couple of laps on the162w at a frantic manic demo day.
Size: 159 and 162w
Conditions: and an early morning slackountry time with Drift Boards.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Strata
Similar Boards (but not the same) That We Compared This To: Yes Pick Your Line, Burton Flight Attendant, Gnu Mullair, Jones Flagship, Lib Tech Lost Round Nose Fish, Never Summer West Bound, Rossignol XV
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 on the light side of normal.
Sizing: The 159 felt great for my 9 feet and did well with my 185lbs and it feels like it could handle 8-10 boots easier. It also felt like if you are a lighter rider you would have no problem handling this. The 162w was super easy to handle for Peter and our far from mid/wide boot sizes and this is a great choice for those that want a board that will eliminate toe/heel drag for 10-12 boots but still feel super quick and easy to handle. If you run on the heavier side it can handle your weight but it will make the boards personality loose a little more energy underfoot compared to some.
Flex/Buttering: The extra early rise in the nose and tail seem to make the Lib Tech BRD butter better than you would think for a medium bordering on med/stiff flex. Feels softer than my Gnu Mullair and my Flight Attendant for sure. There is a good personality with this board and even though it feels a little softer than some boards it has a lively return after you flex it that snaps back fast. Mervin(Lib-Tech/Gnu) boards have this personality that is unique in the industry. They almost always produce a lively board flex wise that’s hard to explain but it feels like they let the personality of the wood core come out more than other boards and you can feel that underfoot. That new top sheet also seems to help with giving the board some more energy underfoot despite having less camber than other C3 boards.
On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: As I said above, the camber profile with the Lib Tech BRD really has a lot more rocker than almost all C3 boards we have tried other than the Lib Tech Box Knife. It is forgiving and stable without being too locked in. It sits on the border between being stable and semi-locked in. It is much easier to skid turns with the Lib Tech BRD than every other C3 ride in its peer group and I think an athletic or quickly progressing intermediate can handle this no problem. It has a pretty surfy feel that likes more back foot weight on groomers but doesn’t need much in powder. It one foots well off the chair and flat bases well down long flat cat tracks too. You can also see in this pick of the BRD stacked on top of the Mullair with what we are talking about. It is more like hybrid camber than C3 and maybe it deserves its own name like C3F (Float) or C3.1.
Edge Hold: The magnetraction is pretty mellow but it still has a competent grip in harder snow without being grabby in softer snow. If you want more grip you can find it in the Mullair and XV but the grab of the BRD is almost non-existent in softer snow where most can feel the XV and Mullair grab a little to a lot depending on what board you came from.
Turn Initiation: The Lib-Tech BRD is super-fast edge to edge but isn’t twitchy or hookey. It is the kind of board I’d like to have when I’m in tight spots like a dense tree line or steep narrow chute.
Turning Experience/Carving: So boards like the Mullair, Burton Flight Attendant have more camber and spring out of the turn but the Lib Tech BRD has more camber than the YES PYL, Jones Flagship and XV making it a pretty fun board to carve and turn with. It is a great compromise between having good float and being semi-forgiving while still having a very enjoyable springy turn. You can carve pretty hard with this. I didn’t feel like I needed that much more back foot weight with this 15mm of taper compared to the 8mm of taper with the Mullair. It’s washy if you try to ride it centered but it’s not too washy in comparison to some boards I rode with the same taper. There are a lot of bends in this board with the rocker before the tip/tail, camber and then the passive bend in the middle but it all seems to come together to make this board a lot more fun to turn than we thought it would be for how good it is in powder.
Powder: The extra rocker in the nose, the 15mm of taper into a short tail and the set back on board really make this a great floater. At a 22.5″ stance width set all the way back you can get a difference between nose and tail of about 7.25″ giving this a setback from center of the board of 3.625″. In the 1.5 feet of powder we had, it felt like the Lib Tech BRD wasn’t even trying. It could almost be a dedicated powder board but you would miss out if you didn’t take this out on groomers. The tail sinks well and keeps that nose up. It felt quick and slashy and it’s the kind of board that will kill it in the trees but also is super fun in wide-open terrain.
Speed: Pretty good speed. The board has some chatter in the 159 which matches my specs way better. The 162w didn’t have as much but it wasn’t matched up properly. Still, it’s more than fine for those that like to occasionally point it and have it not feel squirely. The base has good glide to it. Not top tier but definitely upper tier and it does need to be waxed pretty regularly.
Uneven Terrain: The Lib Tech BRD just jams through a bump line and I love how it weaves through them. It’s pretty good in tracked out snow but it’s not a chunder buster either. It’s somewhat light/snappy flex can also feel a little bucky in micro bumpy hard snow but it’s more on the middle of the spectrum. It will do fine for those that ride all day at a resort that can get crowded and messy.
Switch: Doable but not ideal.
Jumps: There is really strong pop and this is fun to hit a natural little jump with. It has enough tail to land well and it’s a great board for those that like to get some air off natural terrain.
Pipe: Yeah it works in the pipe as long as you like a more directional pipe experience.
So, all in all, the Lib Tech BRD takes is a nice compromise between giving you a stable forgiving camber like feel in all conditions while still floating super well in powder. It is a great directional daily driver.
Lib Tech BRD Specs
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Lib Tech Company Information
Lib Tech BRD User Reviews