Lib Tech T. Rice HP Splitboard Review – 2013/2014
The Lib Tech T. Rice HP Splitboard rides like a real snowboard. When it came to splitboarding in the past I had felt like I was living out the “Three Bears” fairy tale. All the boards I tested were either too stiff to turn or too soft to charge on. That was however before I had the opportunity to test the 2013-2014 Lib Tech T.Rice HP split.
On Snow Notes
At first I was a bit taken back by just how wide the board is, almost 10” between my feet and 11” at the tip and tail. I honestly thought the Horsepower split was going to “ride me” instead of the other way around. However once the board found deep snow the float was incredible, this is a powder specific splitboard!
Going up the mountain was a breeze, I seemed to notice more width under each ski which helped for side hilling and balancing on steep slopes. Once I got to the top of the pass I was really impressed by how easily the board went back together and how flush the connections were. Lib Tech uses magnet traction on the outside edges of the board, and thankfully not on the inside.
The board locked together with Karakoram tip and tail clips and Karakoram splitboard locks. It seems everyone in the industry is moving towards this system as it really seals the boards back together.
For bindings I was using next year’s Spark R&D Magneto’s, which are insane (read our full review) but surely Karakoram binders would work well too.
Dropping in 3,2,1.. Within 15 feet I was already falling in love with the board as I flew down the pass. I was zipping through tree lines and finding untracked hallways full of pow. I was impressed by the torsional flex and response of the board, the slightest movements had the Horsepower and myself adjusting on the fly.
I started going Mach 10 and managed to forget that I was on a brand new board, and even a split for that matter. It’s rare for me to be able to feel 100% comfortable on a new stick. Maybe I should start riding Lib Tech / Gnu boards more often as this just felt right.
There is a reason riders like Travis Rice, Erik Jackson, Mark Landvik, Blair Habenicht, and Jamie Lynn all rock Lib Tech – the boards work, even right out of the wrapper.
As I was skinning back to the resort some kids were sessioning a little booter and I thought why not give it a go? Does hitting a kicker on a splitboard really work? You’ll have to check the video above. All I can say is I felt the horsepower as I was coming down the drop in ramp. For the first time in my life I truly felt like I was riding like Travis Rice.
There are lots of splitboards currently on the market with new models coming out each year. If you’re looking for a versatile board that can go almost anywhere be sure to check out the 2013-2014 Lib Tech T. Rice HP Splitboard which will be available in the fall.