|Overall Rating||Liked it!|
|Riding Style||Alternative Freeride|
|Riding Level||Advanced - Expert|
|Fits Boot size (US)||10-12|
|Manufactured in||USA by Mervin|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker|
|Stance||Setback over 20mm|
|Approx. Weight||Feels Heavy|
|On Snow Feel|
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Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca 2020 - 2019 Review by The Good Ride
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.
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. 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 Travis Rice Orca Specs
Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca Images
Lib Tech Company Information
Lib Tech Travis Rice Orca User Reviews
Orca 4 life
Bought a ORCA 156 before my trip to whistler this year (2020)
Didn’t thought i has going to like to way i did... until the first the of fresh 30cm powder and i fell in love with this thing!!! Really stable, good pop and for me it feels light!!! Good on icy conditions and also for carving in grooms... just get to know ur size and go for it!
All mountain powerhouse
Picked this board up on a deal (£385)a couple of days before leaving for 10 days in France/Italy,also took; yes optimistic/rossignol Xv / and never summer funslinger.didnt think I was going to like the orca and so didn’t rig it untill halfway through the holiday but boy so glad I did! I rode it with burton step-on bindings and photon boots and what a fantastic combination! I had the 153 and thought this would be too small for my weight/height but I was wrong this thing has outrageous glide/speed/float for its size and I was constantly leaving the other guys in my group behind including those on flagships!
(prepare my own boards and have always used Hertels racing 739 wax which is incredibly fast and long lasting) this thing is a one board quiver,it’s not as stiff as they rate it and fast carving on the piste is a delight,and I’ve never rode a board in powder as light/responsive and nimble as this! This thing is a keeper and I’ve just bought the 156 To go with it! Just buy it !!
A 153cm board and 6'0x 235 lb are not sposed to go.........
im VERY happy to say here ,they do!.
quite amazed really.
edge hold on super long slick packed pow groomers was SUPERB, on ice it was relatively superb (realtively, bec. there is no good ice!)
Didn't get the deep fluffy stuff like the godly pillow stack but got a cpl of days old calf deep on 30* ish sidecountry and it was excellent.
no digging, it handled my size no probs at all, super quick turns that didn't flap about , cud hit the front foot down and it charged had a few , HELL of a good runs, really really very impressed as I wasn't expecting what I got.
slashing pow banks- absolutely -superb.nose is a bit wide but the tail releases and the surf carve is great .
tight trees with pow stashes- superb
crud- superb, smashed thru it, little chatter in the nose but a lot less than my other boards
bottom mountain slush- simply the best.
jump turns on steep crud. -very good , board weight is perfect for this BUT the wider nose does come into play a bit compared to slightly slimmer nose boards but not enough to worry about.
THE most impressive aspect of this was how it handled the long groomers on edge.. truth be told I had little faith in it a 153 and as I was pretty much the only one out that afternoon I put it as far as I cud go across the hill .
Toe side its just sensational, heel side that nose does come into play a bit more but not enough for me to can it.
I did want for slightly longer and the 156 im sure wud be better suited but then again it wud come at the price of nimbleness which is what I want this board for NOT for big carving, as I have others for that.
IF your a heavier guy and want a super stable , nimble stick to poke around the resort stealing stashes and laying decent grooves on the piste, dodging trees on the side and going warp thru powder fields between cats .THIS is a board that you must consider, I didn't have ANY belief how good it went , its got super nice torque so u can do wiggle turns with ease. and equally trench carve the piste, im trying to find a weakness in it and im sorry icant.
as an all rounder this is now my fave board, its super light , its nimble ,its wide enough to handle decent pow stashes and u can carve it.
I dunno what else you can ask for , this is my all rounder. its a quiver killer.
Bought it for trees, can't stop riding it everywhere else
Been riding the top of Mammoth with the Jones Mountain Twin and Flagship for the last few years, and love them both - especially the Flagship 162w. It really excels in the steep and deep, but I find if i'm riding in the low angle trees on stormy days it is too long and cumbersome. I wanted a smaller board that could whip through the trees, fit my size 11 boots and also stomp a landing. Enter the Orca. This thing came alive in powder the first time I rode it. I bought it as a quiver board, but honestly I find myself grabbing it even on normal days. Chutes, sidehits, drops, steeps, layed out carves -- this does it all! 10/10
I'm very impressed
First off, I *used* to be a park rat. I rode park consistently from 2010-2017. With that being said my entire snowboarding journey I've only owned park boards. The older I got the more I started to ride groomers, trees, powder, steep runs, pretty much anything except park. (I'm only 22). I knew this board would be really different and I didn't know what to expect.
Well.. I'm stoked I made the purchase. I normally ride a 154 and went with the 153. I didn't care about the whole "size down" B.S.! The first time I went out it was icy and cold. The 2020 Orca dug right into the ice and made the most crisp turns I have ever experienced on ice. It blew my mind. Handled that late afternoon slush better than any other board I've had and also killed it in the little bit of powder we had. Oh and this thing is super easy to catch air on when you want to. Overall this board can do almost everything you want to do.
THE ONLY reason I give it a 4/5 is because the price tag and the fact that it's not truly for the entire mountain. It's not really designed for rails. It is fine on boxes and jumps, but I wouldn't do park laps with this thing. Maybe one lap or two a day. BUT I didn't buy it to be a park board.
Just buy it
A bit overrated
Ok, so it's not horrible by any means, but if you're expecting the heavens to open up with sirens coming from the sunrise, you're wasting your time.
It's ok, carves relatively well, does better than most in powder....but hey, so do many other shorter fatter boards out there.
Did Travis say it was great... yup....but Travis can ride a toaster down the mountain faster than most can ride their actual boards.
If you can't find it on sale....just wait, because this is a bit overpriced nonsense - and this is coming from a lib fan boy.
Not Only Hype
Where to start?
Well obviously a lot of hype but finally managed to take this baby out.
For long time I was on the cuspid of choosing the 153 or 150 version, I was afraid that the 153 was going to to much to handle for my 70kg.
In the end, base on my riding style I went for the 153 and man if it was the right choice. I usually ride twin boards 155/156.
Let's start with the cons, as there are none. Well it's not a easy board so you will need leg strength to pilot the predator.
My riding style is POW, carving and boosting down piste.
I was able to try the board on each of these terrains and man it's been the best board ever. Stable as a train on track and floats with no effort at all. Amazing how you get to the end of the day with way more less fatigue. I binded the board with some union atlas.
I tried initially with a set back stance (aligned with second hole of the board) result was even more float but a bit slow in turning as there was some lag from nose to tail. Aligned the bindings to the first hole and I definitely think it's be setup for all mountain.
Rips ice like a bulldozer, and weirdley in anyway feels large. Freestyle is not definitely the thing. But it has good pop and closing those 180 360 I didn't feel any difference from my old twin board (the hybrid profile really gives you a lot of margin correction)
My 95kg mate (that rides usually a custom 163cm) tried it out and he was not believing how could a 10 cm shorter board be such a bomb.
Couldn't be happier. Best board ever tried
I am an all mountain rider, with a focus on pow. This board is by far the best board I have ever used! Turns and floats effortlessly in powder, and very stable on groomers and hard pack. Excels in tree lines. You need to size down a bit for orca. I ride a 156 normally, for orca I ride a 153 and it is perfect.
Bro! This board is siiiiiiiccckkkk!!!
LIB Tec Orca
Love your site and reviews, very spot on in so many cases but I think you got on the wrong foit with the Orca. Spotted Rice ride in Japan on youtube in November, came to Zillertal the other week with our RV after a long Wepowder.com inspired mega dum forecast drive from Sweden. 3m if snow in one week in Austria. It was so deep and you had to ride the trees for the first part of it. My Nitro Mountain 160 was too small, my Jones Flagship 164 to big in the trees but luckulky they had the Orca in the shop. Albeit wit many other short fatty powder surfers but Orca stood out, no competition in the shop.
And, yes, it did deliver from the first turn. I even owned the Ride War Pig 154 last year, to try out the short and fatty trend but it was very bad, very akward in the trees. The Orca was a dream, very good float and very nimble and fast in the powder, like my old Salomon Sickstick.
Now in Livigno, Italy and after 9 days with powder and a couple of very loong carving runs I must say what an all rounder. So good also on the groomers. I have to toe orient my Cartel M binding on the rear foot but then it is a dream also in the piste. Shure, it is a charger but you can also keep the speed down with tight carves. And it is so good looking.
I have, inspired by this and your reviews also bought a Burton Skeleton Key 158 as the waiting for next dump - tool. Really nice also, and more relaxing and playfull in the slopes but not the same bite on the hard and not the same totally right feeling in the powder as what the Orca has.
Thank you for your good work, just became a patreon.