|Overall Rating||Liked it!|
|Riding Style||All Mountain|
|Riding Level||Beginner - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||> 12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Mervin|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Normal|
|On Snow Feel|
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Lib Tech Skunk Ape HP 2020 - 2013 Review by The Good Ride
The Lib Tech Skunk Ape HP is one of the few boards out there made specifically for bigger people with wide feet. The Skunk Ape is like a slightly more directional super-wide TRS with a setback stance.
After the re-design in 2019, the 2020 Lib-Tech Skunk Ape did not change, so the video review still stands but we did expand on the written review.
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 had a couple of laps at a frantic manic demo day so take it with a grain of salt.
Approximate Weight: It’s a heavy board but it’s also a big board so it’s normal for its surface area.
Sizing: This is a true wide board that works for riders 12 and up but the Ultra Wide (UW) is one of the best all-mountain options for guys with bigger feet….well one of the only options.
Flex/Buttering: On the medium side of medium stiff. Stephen couldn’t butter the Skunk Ape HP as well as he thought he would and he loves to butter. It does have a very poppy fast return when it’s flexed in the shop and off the snow.
On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: The C2 camber profile has a lot of bends to it and wood doesn’t always cure the same way but overall, the Lib Tech Skunk Ape HP has a borderline stable feel underfoot in softer snow and a semi-loose feel. If you aren’t a bigger footed rider like Stephen who is on the lower side of the sizing spectrum at 12.5 this is going to be hard to skid turns. If you are sized right the Skunk Ape will be easy to skid your turns like most C2 boards are for other sizes.
Edge Hold: Holds an edge super well and grips well in hard to icy snow. It can grab pretty hard in softer snow. Some can get used to it and some can’t.
Turn Initiation: For the right boot size, it is med/fast and snaps into a turn pretty quick.
Turning Experience/Carving: The extra edge hold grips well and allows the Lib-Tech Skunk Ape to carve harder in all conditions but it is not going to be a powerful dynamic carver like a C3 board is. Still, it’s pretty good for hybrid rocker.
Powder: The set back on sidecut is the same but the change to the 2019 and 2020 shape seems to have a little more set back on board and directional float.
Speed: Pretty stable and fast for a hybrid rocker board. The base has good glide to it and keeps its speed. It doesn’t have super high high’s but the lows aren’t that low either. Especially if you don’t wax it.
Uneven Terrain: A board that poppy doesn’t have as much dampness as some but it isn’t that bad and can handle a crowded resort all day pretty well.
Switch: Less as good as the older model but still very doable.
Jumps: There is really good pop to it and it’s a good choice for air on the mountain as well as in the park.
Jibbing: Not a really easy jibber unless there is a lot of weight on your frame.
Pipe: Great big footed pipe board. Nice momentum from wall to wall, strong grip and somewhat forgiving.
So there aren’t many options out there for hard snow big guy boards that can do it all. This is one of the only choices we know of in the all-mountain category so that makes it a great choice.
Lib Tech Skunk Ape HP Past Reviews
The Lib Tech Skunk Apes Horsepower is very much like the Big Footed specialist the Skunk Apes except it has a lighter slightly snappier feel to the board. Lib Tech Boards in general run on the sturdy/heavy side so this isn’t going to be one of those ultra-light boards. However, it will be sturdy and a little bit lighter.
The 2015 and 2016 Skunk Apes Horsepower comes in split but other than that it’s pretty much the same board as the 2014.
Conditions: Hard pack with a little softer snow here and there.
On Snow Feel: This is very similar to the almost stable Skunk Apes. It makes you feel almost like you are on hybrid camber in most situations. The only time it doesn’t feel as stable between the feet is in harder to icy conditions.
Powder: We like that even though this has a hybrid rocker profile that’s pretty floaty it still has a setback stance. This type of MTX can be a little grabby in softer thicker powder like the Skunk Apes but it’s not as bad as some are.
Turn Initiation and Carving: This is a pretty easy board to get edge to edge for short radius turns. Wide radius turns are fun and pretty lively. Carving is not quite perfect but very good for its camber profile. It’s MTX grabs the snow well and the camber in the tip/tail help complete the carve with a nice spring out of the turn.
Speed: The Horsepower feels a little more chatter than the regular model. It must be because of what they took out to reduce the weight. Its base can glide through a long flat cat track very well and it’s pretty stable at high speed for a hybrid rocker board.
Uneven Terrain: The Skunk Ape is a little less stiff and aggressive in the bumps compared to the regular Skunk Apes but it’s still not a noodle. With a good pair of shock absorbent bindings, it can do pretty well with the shitty crowded end of the day resort snow. It turns pretty quick for you wide footed riders.
Approximate Weight- We didn’t scale it up. This didn’t feel like it was in the same category as some of its ultra-light competitors. Instead, it felt like a medium to borderline light but very sturdy board. It did feel lighter than the standard Apes.
Edge Hold: Really grips well and if you are a wide footed rider who see’s hard to icy snow this is one of your best choices. If you see more soft snow this will do ok but there are less grippy boards that might appeal to you.
Flex: The horsepower version offers up a similar flex but it feels a little softer, more snappy and lively. It’s a little easier to butter too.
Switch: This is a directional twin like the regular Apes and it does a pretty good job centered up riding switch.
Jibbing– Not the best here but as it softens up it does get better.
Pipe: Great pipe board. If you like to lap the pipe you will have a good time with the Skunk Apes. It’s very forgiving and drives pretty well from wall to wall for a hybrid rocker board.
Jumps: The Horsepower feels like it has a little more spring but not enough to really say for sure. One of these days I’ll get 2 wide riders out on both Skunk Apes models so we can do an A/B test.
I have to admit that if I was a wide footed rider I’d want the Lib Tech Skunk Apes Horsepower but I wouldn’t really have a really sound argument as to why. Both ride very similarly but something seems more appealing with the Horsepower version. Maybe it’s the lighter more metallic graphic or the slightly snappier ride but this seems a little more appealing. Despite that statement, it’s still hard to recommend this almost $150 more ride with a level head. However, if it appeals to you like it does to me then I won’t fault you. I’d say if weight is important to you and you want a little bit easier flexing ride then you might like the HP version better.
Lib Tech Skunk Ape HP Specs
Lib Tech Skunk Ape HP Images
Lib Tech Company Information
Lib Tech Skunk Ape HP User Reviews
I had been previously riding a 2008 Skunk Ape in 162cm. I've always had to ride stiff boots/bindings to get fast turn response. As I started getting into parks more the board just wasn't cutting it anymore.
The 2014 Skunk HP just plain rocks. I've been throwing everything at it and can't find something its bad at. It really just slays the entire mountain. From trees to end of day crud to getting pop off of jumps.
The board is easy to initiate turns but felt very stable at speed (which was a worry of mine seeing the 2 stars above).
The board is expensive for sure (couple places sell a blem for a little cheaper) but knowing I'll have the board for another 5 years or so its a little easier to justify.
The fact that it makes riding so much more intuitive and brings some of the fun back that was missing from my 'work to turn' previous setup makes it an easy buy for me.
Running setup with burton genesis bindings (also killer).