Lib Tech Orca 2019-2023 Snowboard Review
|Riding Style||Alternative Freeride|
|Riding Level||Intermediate - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||< 8, 8-10, 10-12, > 12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Mervin|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker|
|Stance||Setback over 20mm|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Lib Tech Orca
Lib Tech Orca
Lib Tech Orca Mens Snowboard 159cm
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Lib tech Orca 22/23
|€ 699.95||Buy it|
Lib tech Apex Orca 22/23
|€ 1199.95||Buy it|
Lib tech Travis Rice Golden Or
|€ 799.95||Buy it|
Lib tech Travis Rice Orca Spli
|€ 959.96||Buy it|
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Lib Tech Orca 2023 - 2019 Review by The Good Ride
Turn Ons/Swipe Right: Excellent edge hold. Forgiving, fun, floaty, turny, shorter, wider ride.
Turn Offs/Swipe Left: Can feel a little loose and auto spinny. Often over recommended.
I put a lot of time on the Lib Tech Orca the last 4 years and this little shorter/wider ride offers up a floaty, grippy easy riding experience that many can appreciate.
Other than graphics, The Lib Tech Orca 2022 hasn’t really changed since it came out in 2019 and isn’t changing for 2023 either. The reason I updated this review was because I wanted to put this board through its paces in most conditions I ride and put together a very in depth review. So disregard the older reviews and use this one.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews and this is our unfiltered opinion. 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.
Lib Tech Orca 2021-2023 Snowboard Review- How it rides and who it is for
How This Review Happened:
Borrowed this for an extended demo and sent it back. 1 day demo. A few laps at a demo. Liked it so much, asked to keep it (only do this with favorites). Liked it so much we bought it. Precious Good Ride dollars were spent to buy this and review it.
Size: 150 & 153
Conditions: Everything from summer snow at Mt. Hood to hard and micro bumpy mid winter snow, perfect mid winter snow, varied spring conditions, decent pow and an early morning slackountry time with Drift Boards in pretty good powder.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs)
Boots: Burton Kendo, Burton SLX, Adidas Tactical ADV, ThirtyTwo Jones TM-2, ThirtyTwo TM-3XD
Insoles: F.I.T. Gamechangers, F.I.T. Gameghangers LP
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Strata, Union Contact Pro/Union Superpro
Jacket: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Tusk Jacket, Volcom TDF Infuse 3L Gore-Tex Jacket, Burton Banshee Gore-Tex Jacket
Pant: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Hover Pant, Burton AK Gore-Tex 2L Swash Pant, Burton Gore-Tex Ballast Pant
Helmet: Smith Maze
Goggle: Smith IO Mag, Smith 4D Mag
Gloves: Burton AK Guide Glove, Burton AK Clutch Mitt, Burton AK Clutch Glove, Burton AK Tech Leather Glove, Burton AK Tech Glove, CG Habitats Glove, CG Habitats Work Glove, Drop Tahoma Mitt, Drop Cascade Glove, Drop Web Glove,
Similar Boards (but not the same): Endeavor Scout, Prior Legacy, Jones Hovercraft, Never Summer Harpoon, Niche Pyre, Lib Tech Lost Quiver Killer, Yes Hybrid, Yes Y, Gnu Gremlin, Burton Show Stopper, Telos Backslash.
Set-Up: 21.5” Wide. Sance Angles +18/-3, +18/+3, +24/+6. Close to Reference and Set all the way back.
How It Was Tested
I decided to buy the 151 Lib Tech Orca and compared this to many boards on many different days. I often used this to compare to other boards I was reviewing. Any time that was done the same boots and bindings (usually Union Atlas) were used and they were ridden same day in the same conditions. I have also ridden the 153 Orca and compared it to the Apex Orca 153 and Golden orca 157 (more appropriate match up than a 153).
The Lib Tech Orca (We don’t put in the exact weight because with wood cores there is no consistency in a boards weight)
Here are some ideal US boot sizes for the Lib Tech Orca’s. You can of course go bigger or smaller but these work best for not turning the board slower than it should be and not having the dreaded Toe & Heel Drag.
Shape/Camber/On Snow Feel/Ability Level
The Lib Tech Orca has a decent amount of taper but it isn’t massive for having such a set back stance width. It still needs you to ride the tail pretty hard though. It is aggressive for C2x/Hybrid Rocker Style boards but it is still very forgiving. You can spin out or wash out or skid turns or what ever you have to do to not slam into snow if you get off your game. It’s not fool proof but it’s pretty forgiving for what it is. There is that same C2 feel underfoot that can feel very loose and auto spiny in harder conditions but in softer its less noticeable. That is the price you pay for it being this forgiving.
You have a really dynamic flex with the Lib Tech Orca. It bends pretty easy from center of board where the rocker is and pops really well in the tip/tail. It is pretty easy to butter and snaps easily into the air when it comes to an ollie. Yeah the Apex Orca pops harder but it costs soo much more.
So the base glide is pretty agreeable. Especially compared to the Gremlin. The Lib Tech Orca is still not a stellar glider but when well waxed it keeps its speed pretty well. If you keep it slightly on edge it does pretty well at higher speeds too.
So the Lib Tech Orca can have some clown shoe effect happening but the slapping nose (primarily the nose) or tail doesn’t seem to pass up too much chatter into your joints. It also didn’t buck and bounce me around too much in messy snow. In harder micro-bumpy snow the same goes. You feel it happening but don’t feel it ruining your turns.
The Lib Tech Orca can be loose and auto spinny in harder snow but once on edge this grips like a champ. If you really twist and engage that edge into hard to icy snow you can do more on it than you normally would with a normal sidecut. This is why it’s so recommendable for those that see hard to icy snow but still want to be ready for powder. It doesn’t grab too much in softer snow and like the camber profile it is pretty easy to get used to.
So the Lib Tech Orca is pretty quick edge to edge. Especially if sized correctly and I never felt wanting for more in tight spots. Once on edge you get an exceptionally turny sidecut that likes quick slashy turns, across the groomer carves and circle carves. That being said, it doesn’t shit the bed if you want to make higher speed narrower s-turns. When it comes to carving I had more satisfying times on competitors like the Gremlin and Telos Backslash that were mostly camber but I was pretty impressed with how well it carved if you mounted the binding over the high point of the camber and really leaned back into that tail throughout most of the turn.
So I have ridden the 150 Orca in some pretty light, to wind effected, to messy (funeven) to wet but still fun powder. It floats very well and the pretty aggressive magnatraction (disrupted sidecut) doesn’t make your turns feel too sticky. You get a decent amount of set back on board too with -4.125” at 2.175” all the way back. Then you have that big ass nose and little tapered tail. It’s not a dedicated pow ride but when set all the way back it’s really good.
The Lib Tech Orca does get over recommended and some people that love more camber dominant rides can often be disappointed. That being said it still has a very wide appeal for a lot of different riders. It’s a great way to explore a more set back shorter tapered kind of ride without much consequence.
Lib Tech Orca Past Reviews
Lib Tech Orca 2021 Snowboard Review Video Review Markers
Summary 0:05, Sizing 1:42, Camber 2:54, Flex 4:07, Speed 4:45, Uneven Terrain 5:31, Edge Hold 6:12, Turning/Carving 6:59, Powder 8:50
Swipe Right: Excellent Grip. Turns easy for a T.Rice board. Excellent Ollie Power.
Swipe Left: Grabs a bit much in soft to wet snow. Loose between the feet one footing and flat basing.
I guess we are technically the same species as Travis Rice but his boards never made us feel like we were. The main thing is his boards don’t like to turn. However, this somewhat short/wide, tapered directional, easy turning, semi-buttery, slashy, forgiving board works really well for us. In fact, I’ve owned a 153 in the past and now own a 150. This still has that aggressive straight line kind of Travis personality to it but for the first time it also works with us mellow riding mortals.
The 2019-2021 hasn’t changed but we get to know it better each year and try different sizes so we updated it.
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.
Lib Tech Orca 2021 Snowboard Review- How it rides and who it is for
How This Review Happened: We had some demo laps, owned a 153, and now own a 150
Size: 150 and 153
Conditions: Everything from really hard snow, to good snow to a few laps in some deep (approx 2′ of powder)
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs), Jimbo (Size 11, 5’11” 160lbs), Grant (Size 11 6’ 160lbs),
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Strata, Bent Metal Axtion
Set-Up: 21.5”-22.5” Wide. 21 front -6 back, 21 front -3 back, 21 front 0 back. Close to Reference and Set all the way back.
Similar Boards (but not the same): Gnu Gremlin; Never Summer Harpoon; Lib-Tech Quiver Killer, Yes Y, Yes Hybrid, Endeavor Scout, Prior Legacy, Jones Hovercraft, Burton Kilroy Pow, Korua Dart, Korua Pencil, Korua Café Racer,
The Lib Tech Orca feels pretty normal for its overall surface area.
We all matched up well the the 150 Lib Tech Orca but it was best for Peter and I. The 153 we rode and owned before worked well too but that was better for Jimbo and his size 11 US boots.
Boot Sizing Break Down
150 : 8-11
Shape/Camber/On Snow Feel/Ability Level
We are not that into the loose feel underfoot when one footing or flat basing in harder conditions. The Orca does skids turns easy and once that edge is set, it grips like a champ. While we have had more pleasure carving with lots of C3 camber boards like the Rocket, this does really well for a C2 board. Even though its edges can be grabby in soft to wet snow it has a very set back easy floating ride in powder that’s way better than any other T.Rice model.
So the surprise here is the 150 can butter really well. So could the 153. This Lib Tech Orca is stiff but the rocker in the middle seemed to make it all much easier to butter than you would think. It also pops hard and has lots of energy underfoot. It had really easily accessible Ollie power and had great pop from the center or tail of the board.
The base on the Lib Tech Orca isn’t going to win the glide award on a long traverse but it doesn’t suck. It is a great base for those that don’t like to wax all the time. The overall construction is damp and if you set the edge a little when pointing it the Lib Tech Orca can point it.
It doesn’t have that bucky bouncy feel that many shorter/wider boards have in uneven terrain which is pretty cool.
The massively disrupted sidecut with the Lib Tech Orca grabs hard in hard to icy snow but does a little too much in soft to wet snow. If you tell us that you ride in hard to icy conditions like the East Coast US then we say get this.
The 150 Lib Tech Orca had that quick easy turn initiation that I really liked. So did Peter and Jimbo. The 153 felt a little slow for my size 9 boots and rode a lot bigger than a 153 when it came to turning. Even with that much deeper sidecut it was slow. The 150, however was just about right. I’d rather have a board err on being too quick than too slow as I like turny rides.
Hybrid rocker boards like the Lib Tech Orca aren’t usually ideal for laying into a hard carving turn because the rocker in the middle hurries you up through the turn. This does have some of that hurry up, but does a very good job laying out a hard turn.
I only had one powder day on this. There was about 2 feet and my friend let me take a few runs on his. The Orca floats really well. It should with the decent amount of taper, rocker in the middle pointing the nose up and a setback on board of 4.125″ back from center of board with a 21.6″ stance width set all the way back. Even though the tip/tail don’t come all the way back to the snow after the camber there seems to be a little early rise in the nose.
What we liked about the Lib Tech Orca is that even though it is pretty far back towards the tail, there is still enough there to feel comfortable launching it. There is some tail there for awkward landings and it approaches a jump well.
The Lib Tech Orca is especially great for those that see hard to icy snow often but want to be ready for the deep days.The only drawback is…It’s so popular you might find yourself skating up to an Orca Pod in the lift line and feel like you haven’t made an original choice.
The Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca continues on from the Climax and Gold Member and goes shorter, fatter, more set back, more directional in shape, has a deeper sidecut and a decent amount of taper. It’s one of the first Travis Rice boards that we felt we had a connection to and it is a great choice for those that want an alternative to freeride shape that can hold an edge in just about anything but also be a fun board to bomb and carve with. Especially for a hybrid rocker shape.
The 2020 Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca is the same as the 2019 model but the review has been expanded and updated for 2020.
How This Review Happened: We had a couple of laps at a frantic manic demo day so take it with a grain of salt. Then I bought it, rode it a few more days, and gave it to a friend.
Conditions: Firm to hard CO snow, Firm PNW snow and bumpy groomer snow and pretty clean well-groomed med/soft snow.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Jimbo (Size 11, 5’11” 160lbs),Grant (size 10.5, 165lbs 6′) Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV for all
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Bindings: Bent Metal Transfers, Union Atlas, Union Strata, Union Falcor,
Set-Up: 21.5″ to 22” Wide. 21 front -6 back. 21 front 0 back. Close to Reference and Set all the way back.
Similar Boards (but not the same) That We Compared This To:
Burton Skeleton Key, Gentemstick Mantaray 156, Korua Dart, Korua Pencil, United Shapes Orbit, Yes Optimistic, Rome Pow Division MT, Salomon Sick Stick and a few more.
Approximate Weight: You can feel a little weight to this for a 153 but for the surface area it’s about on par with being a middle ground weight.
Sizing: I felt like the 153 might be a little bit much for me to handle but as long as I wasn’t in tight spots it works. Weight wise the 153 was fine but boot wise the 153 felt a little slow. Now that there is a 150 option that would have been the one I would have liked to try. Still, the 153 felt like it was the closest a T.Rice board ever came to fitting my specs as it usually makes a better experience for those with more of a mid/wide boot size. If you are more like a size 10-11 boot the Lib Tech T.Rice Orca will be a great fit but it can work with a little bigger boot size and it’s still very doable with a little smaller boot size like mine.
Flex/Buttering: I could butter off the tail a bit but it’s not the easy buttery feel you get from a lot of hybrid rocker boards like this but there is lots of potential energy underfoot pop wise if you have the strength to make it do so. It feels like there is some stiff wood underfoot and it pops well off the tail with good effort.
On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: While the Lib Tech T.Rice Orca still one of the most aggressive hybrid rocker boards I’ve tried and it has a little more consequence than most hybrid rocker boards if you get off your game and need to skid a turn but less than most of its hybrid camber peers. I think this will play out well for those that want a shorter fatter aggressive ride but with less consequence than you would think for its stiff flex/the way it rides. The hybrid rocker profile with not much going on in the front half but then going to a pretty short, curvy camber in the back foot makes for a somewhat stable ride in harder snow that can feel a little loose one footing off a chair or flat basing on a cat track but overall it’s more stable than most hybrid rocker boards. When the snow is softer it feels close to some hybrid camber boards but not quite there. It has that T.Rice let’s go straight personality but it isn’t as overboard as some of his other rides.
Edge Hold: Super strong grip that is great for those that often see hard to icy snow. Some might complain about it being overly grabby in softer conditions like a foot of thick wet powder but it’s not a deal-breaker for all. Some get used to it and some don’t.
Turn Initiation: It isn’t a quick turner but it turns easier/tighter than most of the super straight liner T.Rice boards in the line we tried… and we tried them all.
Turning Experience/Carving: The Lib Tech T.Rice Orca carves pretty hard and while it isn’t a super carver compared to some boards we compared it to above it is the one I want to take out when its hard to icy and I still want to have strong carvy turns. Like a lot of T. Rice boards, it’s more of an across the groomer carver turner but I felt like I could force this into a circle carve easier than most T.Rice boards. So it really likes more of a longer S-Turn over tighter turns it’s a fun board to turn and it has good spring throughout. There isn’t much of a washy feel off the back foot but it does still like a little more
Powder: At a 21.75″ stance width when set all the way back it has a difference between nose and tail of 8.25″ and a 4.125″ set back from the center of the board. That is a lot of directional float and even more than the already generous 2.5″ setback on sidecut would lead you to believe. Combine that with 10mm of taper, a big ass nose with a very mellow camber under the front foot that rises up before and a small tail you have a very floaty small ride. The grab in thicker powder might turn some people off but it’s not like the old full mag days.
Speed: This can bomb for having rocker in the middle. It’s very damp too and the base has good upper tier but not the best glide.
Uneven Terrain: Going through bumps is not particularly easy for my size 9’s on this ride but it’s the best it’s ever been with a T. Rice board. I could actually weave through bumps with a bit of work. It can power over things.
So overall the Lib Tech T.Rice Orca does a lot more to appeal to more average riders and it’s a great call for those that want an alternative freeride/shorter somewhat fatter hard snow specialist that can still
This is the review of the board we tried at the demo was not ready for primetime. The edges weren’t properly de-tuned and it did not feel right. However, the production model that Grant and I got on was much much better.
Lib Tech Orca Specs
Lib Tech Orca Images
Lib Tech Orca User Reviews
Orca 2022 - I didn't want to do it, but glad I did
Sooo......I didn't want to like it....but I did. I'm fortunate enough to have built a stable of boards this year and with a bunch of full camber boards, was looking for a more slashy ride to add into the mix.
I demo'd an Orca and spent a 7 or so hour on the hill and it didn't disappoint (I’m in my late forties and shouldn’t ride for that long but I was having that much fun). Bought it that day. The ability to get low and take advantage of some of the rocker for a slashy turn experience was really fun.
I was lucky enough to get it in a few good powder days too. Lots of fun in the trees, good float and decent glide. As the reviews indicate, ice/hard snow, I’m lucky enough to have a Gremlin and that is the no-brainer choice in those conditions. I’m excited to get the Orca in more springtime conditions as well. It seems to shine in the slushy snow so far too.
Is it the "throw out all my other boards quiver killer?" not exactly. Is it a fun, semi-stable, surfy great ride that I am now very happy to own despite the un-original factor? Yes.
For those of you wondering “Orca or Harpoon”, I’ve owned both, I like the Orca much better (and I am a long time NS fan).
2020 Orca Looks Like Penis
Bought the 2020 Orca, and Loved it. wife took one look and ruined the board forever "it looks like penis". Well, try to un-see that and good luck. Great board though.
Get it. It’s VERY FUN
All the hype. Man, all these foos out there questioning the hype...it is THAT FUN. Carves really good, floated great in powder, and a good time on groomed runs. Not as stable as my Capita Mercury at high speeds but lol, THATS A DIFFERENT STYLE BOARD. Any bit of Rocker in the middle is always scary smashing but this is still a bit stable with the C2x. This board does what it’s designed to do. Carve, float, and pop. And actually rides switch really well. Get one. But eff full price. Way overpriced, on sale or new or just go YOLO and get one. It’s worth it. Don’t be bummed when you try to bust it out on a very mediocre day and it doesn’t perform miracles. I’ll always have an orca after this. By the way, Andre Nickatina is the owner of all things Killa Whale so if you a Nickatina fan, GET THIS BOARD. (Pisces...well in a Virgo but I’d rather be a killa whale) And wayyyy more fun than the Jamie Lynn short wide for resorts. The Jamie Lynn is for POWDER. And it shreds in powder but if you want an all mountain powder shredding nimble lib tech USA made tripped out eat mushrooms vibe brand snowboard, this with serve you more as an err thing board. I could have went smaller, but 150 was perfect. If I was gonna drop out of a heli, which will never happen, I’d also bet the 153.
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