|Overall Rating||Liked it!|
|Riding Style||All Mountain Freestyle|
|Riding Level||Advanced - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||8-10, 10-12, > 12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Mervin|
|Camber Profile||Mostly Camber|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Heavy|
|On Snow Feel|
Lib Tech Hot Knife 2019 - 2013 Review by The Good Ride
The Lib Tech Hot Knife is a very appropriate name for the kind of ride it provides. This has a very technical camber feel to it that isn’t great if you get off your game and have to skid turns and doesn’t float well in powder. That being said, it’s super fun to make good turns with and has great pop out of the tip and tail. Other than some very minor tweaks the Lib Tech Hot Knife hasn’t changed much over the years and this old review still stands.
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.
This is basically a slightly softer true twin version of the Jamie Lynn C3 for riders that want a mostly camber aggressive all-mountain freestyle twin. Not much changed from 2013 to 2015 Lib Tech Hot Knife. This was a board that came out in limited supply in 2013 and we were lucky to demo. It made it out of the rookie stage and now it’s out in larger supply these days.
Size: 156 and 153 Thanks to P3 and Mervin
Conditions: Practically perfect snow with some windblown semi-light Sierra powder. Hard Pack with some icy patches and some days in between.
Riders: Peter and James
Bindings: Flux DS30 and Burton Genesis
Boots: Burton Ion and Nike Kaiju
Setup- Centered stance around 23″ wide 15 front -15 back
The Lib Tech Hot Knife has the aggressive camber feel of the C3 Jamie Lynn Classic and the aggressive Twin feel of the T.Rice but still has it’s own unique feel to it. If you are a normal size boot like a size 8-10 US the Hot Knife will be a much better call than the T.Rice. If you like the idea of the Jamie Lynn Classic but want a twin this is the better choice as well. This C3 hybrid camber is unique to the hybrid camber design world. There is a mini rocker that doesn’t touch all the way down between the feet and then camber that goes to the same point that normal camber does at the tip/tail. It’s basically the opposite of C2 technology.
On Snow Feel: The Hot Knife is all about high-speed assaults on the groomers regular or switch but it’s also a great aggressive park ride too for pipe and jumps. This sums up aggressive all-mountain freestyle. Camber boards like the Hot Knife are fun to straight line or flat base. They track well without the loose feeling hybrid rocker shapes offer but come with consequences. This hot knife is one of those aggressive technical boards that like’s to spring from an ollie or a carve. It adds a new twist to the old school stoke you can get from aggressive camber twin riding. The 156 gave us a lot of board for the size. Normally a board like this would be locked in with this kind of flex and camber but that little bump between the feet makes the board feel less catchy than it should be. One footing and flat basing are easy but there is a consequence to the ride if you aren’t on your game and have to skid a turn or two. It’s not easy for skidded turns.
Powder: This has a very camber ride and it’s almost not even a hybrid camber shape. The board doesn’t ride very well in powder. It takes some work to keep it afloat. This is one of those groomers to small amounts of powder boards. If you are all about the old school feel when riding the powder then you will like it but if you are looking for the hybrid camber performance that many boards have in the deeper snow. You can’t have it all but combined with one of Mervin’s hybrid rocker shapes you have a great combo. I did have a little day-old cold still almost fresh powder due to the wind but it was only a few inches. It felt fine but in one deeper patch, it just didn’t have the float that the C2 or EC2 camber profiles I have ridden.
Turn Initiation and Carving– For the right rider this is a rather easy edge to edge kind of ride on short to medium radius turns but it comes with a warning. If you are used to rocker or hybrid shapes you will find much more consequence if you aren’t very good turning edge to edge and you constantly have to be on your game. If you are a very technical rider you will absolutely love this board. Carving is exceptional for a twin and you can really feel the board spring out of a turn. It takes a little work to get the most out of a carve but it really rewards your effort.
Speed: It’s not a boardercross board but it’s really fast and stable for a twin. The board picks up speed rather quick and seems to glide very well too. There is almost always a compromise in speed when you have a twin board but this is great for its shape.
Uneven Terrain: a Very good balance between being good at speed and still being able to deal with the crappy end of the day snow. If you have a good set of shock-absorbent bindings you should feel pretty good dealing with bumpy rutted terrain.
Approximate Weight- Mervin boards run on the sturdy but heavy side and this board is no exception. It’s on the medium side of medium.
Edge Hold: The Hot Knife has more of the .5 MTX. It doesn’t seem full-on but with the camber it still has a lot of bite. Definitely on the Great side of Excellent but still excellent. It’s not overly grippy either which is really good. Even in the soft snow off-piste, it doesn’t grip too much like the old camber magnatraction boards or the current boards that have a more aggressive sidecut.
Flex: We had a demo model which usually runs stiffer but even after it mellows out it will be more on the aggressive side of medium. It’s not quite the butter board and it takes a lot of work to bend back the hard angle down near the tip/tail.
Switch: It’s a true twin so it’s very easy to ride switch. Might be fun to see the asymmetrical side cut like some of the other boards have though.
Jibbing– Not the best rail/jib board. It’s made for the pipe and the kicker line.
Pipe: What a very aggressive pipe board for those who really know what they are doing. It’s got edge hold and will carve very well from the flats to the top of the pipe wall.
Jumps: Lots of spring here. There is a bend under each foot and it adds to the spring. The stronger you are the more the spring you can generate out of this board. A kicker line is a great place for the technical rider that understands the consequences associated with camber. It’s great for going medium to big.
All in all the true twin version of the Jamie Lynn C3 is a great board. It’s not for everyone but those aggressive all mountain freestyle riders that really like the old days of camber will really like the improvement that C3 offers to the ride.
Lib Tech Hot Knife Past Reviews
2014 Lib Tech Hot Knife Review
Lib Tech Hot Knife Specs
Lib Tech Hot Knife Images
Lib Tech Company Information
Lib Tech Hot Knife User Reviews
Amazing board for oldschool freestyler
What an amazing ride this board is!
After riding traditional camber boardsfor decades I decided to try a C2X, it was fun and playful board but I just couldnt stop my rotations on edge, like I had used to do and I continuosly struggled with the board not keeping on edge.
Luckily that board was stolen and I replaces it with Hotknife and I instamtly got my riding precusion back. This board is a continuation of thought. It is truöy a knife. Surfical blade slicing through snow and ice or what ever comes at its way. Jumps are joy with this and even rails are good, beacuse at least for me, I can precisely set my approach right, even though nosepressing is quite a lot more work.
All in all, if youre an oldschool freestyler like me, I cant overrecommend this board!
At the beginning of last season (2019), I bought a used 2016 Hot Knife for about $250, size 156W. Some of my best money spent, ever. This thing revolutionized my carving (pretty much all my snowboarding too). The magne-traction provides solid edge hold even on ice, and makes compacted snow feel totally fine. I can go down steep icy/packed runs with zero fear of slipping out or losing control.
The camber-dominant profile (C3) combined with the magne-traction makes for incredible carving. Since my edge can hold in virtually all conditions, I can carve anytime, on almost any slope. Where I live, snowstorms are infrequent, so it’s awesome to not have to wait for “perfect firmness” snow or velvet in order to carve. Also, the camber is the perfect stiffness and energetically springs me out of each turn. Simply epic combo. And it makes for great ollies off rollers, side hits and jumps too.
The wide size is also super important. At 26.5mm waist, it’s one of the widest standard boards on the market. Anyone who has medium to large feet (>US10) like me needs a wide board in order to carve hard, since toe and heel drag are unavoidable on normal ~25mm waist boards. I’ve noticed that the extra width also helps in powder. The board floats surprisingly well for a true twin, and it’s really nice to be able to ride switch during powder days to reduce rear leg fatigue, thanks to its centered stance. It’s obviously not a powder board, but it certainly gets the job done.
This is simply an awesome board for anyone who wants to take their carving to the next level, work on riding switch a lot, and enjoy fantastic edge hold on a poppy camber board.
Aggressive yet still playful
C3 is something else. It is so stable and aggressive. Edges just hold on this board. This did a great combo of how medium stiff this board is. It feels like similar to a skate banana in stiffness to me, but with an aggressive hybrid camber. I could easily Euro carve on this board even with it being shorter for me, 156.
The 25.3cm waist width is a little smaller than I would like, but my boots didn't dig in the snow too much, only certain times. The contact length is similar to the skate banana, so buttering wasn't hard at all. It just took more effort when leaning over since it wasn't a true banana. Once I got used to it, spinning and popping off carves were super fun. This board is a great all around board but maybe Inst foir beginners since it is more cambered. I did feel edges more catchy then what I am used to. In pow, this board is horrible as any would expect beinng mostly cambered.
I didn't like the .5 magnatraction. It felt nothing was even there. So on ice, this board seemed to slip more than I would like. They should have kept the magnatraction the same as any other board. I can see a .5 magnatraction for pow boards, since it does get catchy during those times.
Overall this board impressed me for the few weeks I used it. Great board for almost anything but powder.