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Magnatraction edges and Libtec boards

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The guys at the local shop brought in a Libtec 180 wide as they know I am a sucker for riding long boards, having watched numerous vids on carving, riding on hard pack and icy conditions they assured me this board would do it all. Now my standard board is a Rad Air 187 Wide Tanker which rides beautifully in powder, or on hard pack, my Rad Air 200 Tanker is slightly narrower and goes from edge to edge really easily, however trying to do lay down carves at 30mph in wide turns is really hard work, so I was suckered into buying this board.

I took it up the mountain at Pas De La Casa on Thursday morning, admittedly the conditions were flat light, light powder on the hard pack and trying to judge any distances, undulations was very difficult. However, I did really struggle with this board, the front felt loose and wanting to break away in heel carves, the extra grip I expected from the undulating edges didn't really materialise, in fact the board felt rough and chattery, not smooth like my other boards. I also felt like I was going to catch an edge at any moment whilst in transition from one edge to another due to the light dusting of snow on the hard pack. I persevered for a few more runs before taking it back to the locker and bringing out my 200, my feeling being that in these conditions, if I continued with the Libtec it would have probably resulted in a serious wipeout and injury.

Anyone else got an opinion or experience with these types of edges, are they as good as the promo material suggests, is it worth trying to adapt my riding style to get the best out of this board, or give up an sell it?
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I have used some of the Lib boards in powder, where they still had the crinkly edge. There they were irrelevant. On piste, well they don't win races or we'd all use them. Enough said?

Otherwise, these chaps published their own test which tells you what you'd expect:

http://youtube.com/v/IRIt2rna2Pk
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I really like my Rossi Krypto which has magnetraction on hard snow/ice and I didn't feel like I had to adapt my riding. I'm much more of a charger than a jibber but am no eurocarve expert! I need to sharpen my edges far less often than on my old Nitro Supra Team.

The first reviewer in the vid above liked their Rossignol too. Completely agree with their no-brainer conclusion, sharper edges no matter what the tech will grip ice better!

What is the camber profile like on the Libtech? Is it very different from your other boards?
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philwig wrote:
I have used some of the Lib boards in powder, where they still had the crinkly edge. There they were irrelevant. On piste, well they don't win races or we'd all use them. Enough said?

Otherwise, these chaps published their own test which tells you what you'd expect:

http://youtube.com/v/IRIt2rna2Pk


brilliant. And clearly shows what ICE really is......its not whats on the hill 99% of the time!
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Have a Rossignol Krypto and a Rossignol XV amongst the quiver and must admit I love riding both of them. Quick edge to edge, turn like they are on rails, and better grip on hardback or ice than any of the boards I've had before. Loving the magnetraction edges.
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leggyblonde wrote:

What is the camber profile like on the Libtech? Is it very different from your other boards?


I think this is probably the issue rather than the magnatraction. Riding a C2 banana board for the first time will feel very different.
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snowrider wrote:
leggyblonde wrote:

What is the camber profile like on the Libtech? Is it very different from your other boards?


I think this is probably the issue rather than the magnatraction. Riding a C2 banana board for the first time will feel very different.


Agree. I've only ever ridden cambered boards so maybe not the best person to comment but profiles like the majority of Lib Tech, Never Summer, etc. really don't make any sense to me. It's like you're taking the worst aspects of a cambered board (lack of forgiveness / more prone to catching an edge) and combining it with the worst of rockered boards (lack of grip / carving ability, less control at speed).

Surely rocker towards the tip and tail with camber between the feet makes much more sense and does the opposite of the above combining the benefits of camber and rocker such as lots of the Yes line, Capita DOA, etc.

Or am I missing something?
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ChrisP3 wrote:
snowrider wrote:
leggyblonde wrote:

What is the camber profile like on the Libtech? Is it very different from your other boards?


I think this is probably the issue rather than the magnatraction. Riding a C2 banana board for the first time will feel very different.


Agree. I've only ever ridden cambered boards so maybe not the best person to comment but profiles like the majority of Lib Tech, Never Summer, etc. really don't make any sense to me. It's like you're taking the worst aspects of a cambered board (lack of forgiveness / more prone to catching an edge) and combining it with the worst of rockered boards (lack of grip / carving ability, less control at speed).

Surely rocker towards the tip and tail with camber between the feet makes much more sense and does the opposite of the above combining the benefits of camber and rocker such as lots of the Yes line, Capita DOA, etc.

Or am I missing something?


The profiles of Lib Tech etc. is not aimed at piste carving. If this is your priority then camber is your best option. What it does do is make a board that is playful i.e. easy to press and butter. It also makes a true twin that rides well off piste, put your weight on the back and you effectively have a nose that starts in the middle of the board and so stays up easily. Compared to a full camber or camber between feet rocker nose and tail true twin it is way better in deep snow.
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I think we have have solved the problem!
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snowrider wrote:
ChrisP3 wrote:
snowrider wrote:
leggyblonde wrote:

What is the camber profile like on the Libtech? Is it very different from your other boards?


I think this is probably the issue rather than the magnatraction. Riding a C2 banana board for the first time will feel very different.


Agree. I've only ever ridden cambered boards so maybe not the best person to comment but profiles like the majority of Lib Tech, Never Summer, etc. really don't make any sense to me. It's like you're taking the worst aspects of a cambered board (lack of forgiveness / more prone to catching an edge) and combining it with the worst of rockered boards (lack of grip / carving ability, less control at speed).

Surely rocker towards the tip and tail with camber between the feet makes much more sense and does the opposite of the above combining the benefits of camber and rocker such as lots of the Yes line, Capita DOA, etc.

Or am I missing something?


The profiles of Lib Tech etc. is not aimed at piste carving. If this is your priority then camber is your best option. What it does do is make a board that is playful i.e. easy to press and butter. It also makes a true twin that rides well off piste, put your weight on the back and you effectively have a nose that starts in the middle of the board and so stays up easily. Compared to a full camber or camber between feet rocker nose and tail true twin it is way better in deep snow.


I can see the benefits for pressing and buttering and also how it would make a board that was easier to skid turns but not convinced otherwise. Look at the Jones Hovercraft or Gentemstick range - boards that are made for powder but still carve brilliantly and their profiles are camber with some early rise. Given; these are mainly directional so maybe it's a solution for a twin but the negatives seem to far outweigh the positives.
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snowrider wrote:
... The profiles of Lib Tech etc. is not aimed at piste carving. If this is your priority then camber is your best option. What it does do is make a board that is playful i.e. easy to press and butter. It also makes a true twin that rides well off piste, put your weight on the back and you effectively have a nose that starts in the middle of the board and so stays up easily. Compared to a full camber or camber between feet rocker nose and tail true twin it is way better in deep snow.
Sure, those boards aren't aimed at holding edges on the piste. They were fashionable a few years ago as they are easier to sideslip. It depends what you want to do.

I can't imagine anyone riding a Tanker wanting to get within spitting distance of most Lib Tech stuff. I know they made the Dough Boy, but recently they've been addressing other sections of the market.

--
I've ridden the odd powder board designated "twin", and I'd take a directional board any time. I've also ridden almost every reverse-camber powder board and they were mostly terrible. Not riding balanced is a novice survival tactic which may get you down, but it's extremely tiring and you'd absolutely not be able to keep up with better riders.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
All depends on your riding style. If you want one board to do everything then a Lib tech makes sense. If you only want to do carving or off piste then off course a directional board is better.
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It's not uncommon for people to carry more than one board to address that issue.

With a few exceptions the Lib stuff is aimed in my opinion solidly at where the market is: novices. Can't hold an edge? Try our crinkle-cut edge. Can't control the edge? Try reverse camber and forget about turning... I guess I'm not a huge fan, although the Charlie Slasher was ok albeit a bit dead, and the Travis Rice boards would have been ok if they'd been directional... wink
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the only time I ever get my gnu out is at l2a in the summer when the park is bullet proof. you can file off the edges on them and still hold an edge between features.

other than that its horrible.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
This is just my opinion, Never buy banana boards, boards with magnatraction, A-symmetrical boards. These are created for people with poor riding technique as they are designed to make your life easier when snowboarding, but all they really do is just let you get away with riding poorly.

Through all my BASI courses, a solid camber board is what you are really after, and anything else generally gets questioned. Obviously this is because on instructor courses, you should be riding correctly and having to rely on a board to help you out.

If you are after a really good hybrid board, check out a Signal wavelength, camber through to your feet then rocker, I played on one of these on my ISIA tech course in april, you can get some explosive power out of that thing, its stiff but also very playful.

I ride a DC Media Blitz 2016 season board. I am an all mountain charger, I can do everything on this bad boy. Its traditional camber, true twin. Huge effective edge on it, and its really stiff, which makes it a powerhouse on the piste for carving, total boss when it comes to park, and wicked for freeriding.

Bit of a rant, but not a fan of boards that are designed to let you away with poor tekkers.

-------------

Owner The Northern Movement Snowboarding Scotland
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 Poster: A snowHead
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The Northern Movement wrote:
... not a fan of boards that are designed to let you away with poor tekkers.


Me neither. That's why you get polarised opinions on the web I think.
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These newtrends are revenue generating fads which certainly don't benefit the vast majority of intermediate boarders imo. I've bought a number of boards and ultimately returned to my 10 year old Rome design with its scratched base and imperfect edges. Spend the money on lessons not a shiny new board would be my advice.
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With that attitude, wooden cross country skis would be the only thing available to slide on snow.

Innovation is great. Admittedly it doesn't all work and not everything suits everyone but I think we should accept (as we interact on a web forum) that technological progression is good in the long run.
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I agree innovation is great. Metal edges, improvements in construction and materials have made huge differences in modern boards compared to early ones. My point is that some technology doesn't progress the sport and is more a ups for a manufacturer than a genuine earth shattering improvement and I stand by my comment that most riders wont notice any benefit. I reserve the right to change my mind though. I'm not a total Luddite
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Aye, but there's a difference between genuine improvements and gimmicks. It's up to you to decide which is which, but it's not all that hard to predict which is which. So taper in powder boards, or metal boards on piste for example just work, where as.... that's not the case with much of this other stuff.

I reckon anything which claims to make it easier to be a bad rider is probably bogus. People need to buy things to avoid the process of learning, so that's where you're going to find this type of "innovation". I'll tell ya now, it doesn't work. Even rocker skis... sure, you can ski powder without skill or grace, but they don't "work", in that you're still a lousy tired noobie skier.
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The Northern Movement wrote:


Through all my BASI courses, a solid camber board is what you are really after, and anything else generally gets questioned. Obviously this is because on instructor courses, you should be riding correctly and having to rely on a board to help you out.



gona take this off on a tangent somewhat here and your probably not gona like it. But this is precisely the reason why a lot of people frown and sigh when the subject of basi and snowboarding comes up.
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And Telemarker will laugh at a fixed-heel noobie lousy skier because they took the easy option to avoid the proper learning process wink

I really like a rocker-camber-rocker for an all mountain board. If a BASI instructor wants to look down on me, that's fine but there are many pro snowboarders with these "gimmicks" who would look down on them. Its all relative.[/quote]
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Well that seems to have stimulated a bit of debate! Been back to the guys in the shop, the issue is not the magnatraction edges per se as someone observed above, it is the combination of the hybrid rocker camber profile of the base. If I had taken it off into some powder, my opinion of the board might have been a bit different. It is a bi-directional board and if you listen to what Donek say about sidecut radii, you can understand the way the board behaves. My mistake in somewhat believing the hype in the store about how brilliant these boards are. As stated above, sharp edges are everything! Anyone want to buy a 180 wide Libtec?
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Tankerdriver wrote:
Anyone want to buy a 180 wide Libtec?


No way, Jose!

I always felt the Libs were a gimmick without ever actually riding one, then I rode a Skunk Ape and hated it. Couldn't put my finger on it then but now thinking back it must have been the loose skate feel that just isn't cricket!

As far as hybrid boards go I've owned several and they seem to work depending on which variation. The winner being cam between the feet and rock tip and tail but only for a freestyle twin for me. My mountain charger is a stiff chambered bad boy.
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@eddiethebus, really, who? And do "a lot of people" have the first clue what they're talking about?

@The Northern Movement, did we meet in Tux last year? I'm sure I remember being introduced to someone who taught at Glenshee!
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Tankerdriver, leggyblonde

I've an original 'Banana' from about '06, not had much chance to ride it over the last three years, but that's about to change.

It's the most fun I've ever had on a board, full stop. No one board suits everyone, so be wary of people saying always and never.

As not many are into boarding on ice, or entering races, so some of the stuff posted is stretching things a bit wink

And while getting up to a reasonable standard of technical ability is a must, most of us are lucky to get a week or two away, so it's mostly about fun, and your way of getting it. People banging on about anything other normally have an agenda.
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@BCjohnny, Completely agree!
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wink
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You know it makes sense.
Quote:

And while getting up to a reasonable standard of technical ability is a must, most of us are lucky to get a week or two away, so it's mostly about fun, and your way of getting it.


I actually totally agree with this, which may be a surprise to some! If you're having fun doing what you're doing, and you can do everything you want to do, then don't change, keep having fun! If you get to a point where you want to do more stuff (steeps, trees, big jumps...) and your technical level is holding you back though, then don't be a tool about it.... wink

I have a fully reverse-camber board with a soft flex. It is an absolute hoot to ride and I am rarely without a smile on my face if I'm riding it. It is sh*t to carve on though!

I memorably did a long, steep(ish) run in epic powder on it (because someone was demoing my freeride board). The float was amazing for such a small board and the surfy feel was awesome. The mega-twitchiness at speed just added a light frisson...
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stevomcd wrote:
I actually totally agree with this, which may be a surprise to some! If you're having fun doing what you're doing, and you can do everything you want to do, then don't change, keep having fun! If you get to a point where you want to do more stuff (steeps, trees, big jumps...) and your technical level is holding you back though, then don't be a tool about it.... wink


Wrote the same thing and edited it out before posting.

But that's the best advice anyone can take.
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Having only ridden directional camber boards for the last 20 years I decided to splash some cash today on a Lib Tech TRS in the sales to finally see what these new boards are about, it seems to have multiple two and three letter acronyms on the tech sheet, a wavy bottom and wavy sides. I'm looking forwards to finding out what all the fuss/discussions/arguments are about.

Unfortunately I won't get to try it out till a weekend glacier trip in the summer or a trip to a dome.
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Tankerdriver wrote:
Anyone want to buy a 180 wide Libtec?


You'll probably struggle to sell it in this country post it up on the Facebook group "Dig my quiver" they love lib tech over there or stick it on eBay using the international postage service they provide, be prepared to take a fair hit on it though.
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I'm writing this reply about 8 months too late, but this thread only came to my notice and I feel compelled to weigh in.

I used to ride traditional camber boards because that's all there was till a few years ago. Then I discovered Rocker (or Banana boards) and immediately felt the advantages, namely, I was riding all day without getting tired or without having to constantly be on my guards in case of catching an edge.

There is one main disadvantage. Change of direction and responsiveness are not as sharp on Rocker boards.

However, when the new shape boards with Magnetraction came out, those shortcomings were mostly addressed.
I am a big fan of Rocker-Magnetraction boards and have owned Lib-Tech boards for a few years and have only nice things to say about them. My only criticism of them is that they're slightly wider than other manufacturers and Narrower boards are hard to come by in their range for people with small feet like me.

I have owned a Skate banana (not my favourite), but since then a Box-Scratcher (Fantastic board, taught me how to Ollie and jump properly), A Banana Magic which is fantastic.
If you're worried about catching an edge then try the Travis-Rice-Pro model as it has a bevelled front edges to reduce edge catching.
I love Magnetraction. Those who think haveing better edges for icy conditions is somehow a cheat or a sign of weakness don't know what they're talking about. No other edge enhancement techs (that other manufacturers claim their boards have them) work.

Admittedly, Twin boards feel different from directional boards (And I prefer directional) however the great advantage is that once your front leg gets tired, you can change (from regular to goofy or vice-versa) and have your board feel symmetrical. If you change legs on a directional board, you immediately feel how strange it feels as the board is designed to travel in one direction only. But you get used to it. Being symmetrical, on the centre of the board, seems and feels strange at first, but again you get used to it.

Don't listen to naysayers; try boards out for yourself.

I hope this helps.

Be well, Rez
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BoardLover wrote:
...... the advantages, namely, I was riding all day without getting tired or without having to constantly be on my guards in case of catching an edge.
... the great advantage is that once your front leg gets tired, you can change (from regular to goofy or vice-versa)
...Don't listen to naysayers; try boards out for yourself.


The basic point is that these boards can reduce the consequences poor technique, as you describe.

It's all good, but it may limit your progress as those bad habits don't get beaten out of you so quickly.
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Well I tried my TRS 159cm hybrid board a couple of weeks ago in Kitzbuhel for the first time and did enjoy it. My normal board is a 163 camber.

In powder it floated and turned with ease and was a joy.

Piste riding on perfect snow was good.

Maneuverability in deep chop and moguls was very good.

There was no ice anywhere so can't comment on the magnetraction.

One downside was when riding flats as soon as you needed to edge I felt the magnetraction slowed you down faster than a normal edge would.
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philwig wrote:
BoardLover wrote:
...... the advantages, namely, I was riding all day without getting tired or without having to constantly be on my guards in case of catching an edge.
... the great advantage is that once your front leg gets tired, you can change (from regular to goofy or vice-versa)
...Don't listen to naysayers; try boards out for yourself.


The basic point is that these boards can reduce the consequences poor technique, as you describe.

It's all good, but it may limit your progress as those bad habits don't get beaten out of you so quickly.



You seem to be determined to let the world know what a perfect technique you have. Let me be the one to say, on behalf of all of humanity: 'Well Done'.

Some of the best Snowboarders in the world ride these boards, and their techniques cannot be faulted.

The TRS is a great board also. the magnetraction is good for all conditions, not just Ice.

Be well,
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Ok short answer, imho, is that magnetraction is a bit gimmicky and in reality came about to compensate for the lack of edge grip inherent in reverse camber boards.
I echo the above sentiments that many trends in hardware become popular in their letting novices become 'intermediate' quicker/easier (the downside, again imho, is that someone who's learnt on a banana is really going to struggle to ever learn to carve well...). I feel similarly about reverse camber, easy-entry bindings and boa boots (awaits serious flaming!)
I've ridden a lot of boards of different camber profiles and am a firm fan of a cambered true twin with a little early rise as found in my Ride DH2.5, similar to the YES and others mentioned above.
I find reverse camber between the feet a bit like snowblades, a laugh but very limited.

Back to wavy edges, as said i believe they're there to make up for the lack of grip inherent in rocker. Moreover I'm a rider who tends to move my weight fore and aft, loading the tip as i drive into a turn and popping out the end on the tail: I can really notice the change in grip as i round and exit each turn, weight to the tail and i lose grip 'tooth' by 'tooth' of the Mag. edge. Not for me which is a shame, otherwise I'd LOVE a Jones mountain twin.

By comparison i really liked the smooth consistent grip of Salomon's Equaliser sidecut.

Just my 6 eggs Smile
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BoardLover, well said, this thread is turning into the usual 'my religion is better than yours' crap.

But I'll add this ....... if you're up to a reasonable standard you should be able to make pretty much any board under your feet go well, regardless of profile. Maybe some of the more opinionated here aren't quite the rider they think they are ......?
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Seeing as we're bickering I'd like to state that the TRS is certainly not a 'great board'. It's ok at best. Better snowboards can be bought for less money. They may not have bread knives for edges though.
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I ride a 159 Vapor and a 161 Barracuda. The Vapour is a mega stiff cambered board, designed for pipe work... which makes it a weapon on hard pack pistes. It carves like that was its mission in life.

My Barracuda is slightly rockered with a very early nose lift and is my off-piste board. It floats brilliantly and does everything you could want from a powder board, but is a bit more piste friendly that something like a Phish, Branch Manager or Storm Chaser. It doesn't carve, it just slides a fully loaded edge.

The only way to ride ice is to not try to edge slide it. Point down, get past it, sort it all out later.
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