Lib Tech Banana Magic Snowboard Review

2020 Lib Tech Banana Magic All Mountain Snowboard

The Lib Tech Banana Magic Snowboard is an all-mountain freestyle powerhouse, the snowboard is built with one thing in mind: fun. TheBanana Magic is undoubtedly one of the most fun boards I’ve ridden in a long time, but its aggressive construction means you have to stay on your A-game at all times.

Lib Tech Banana Magic Review

The Lib Tech Banana Magic Snowboard is funky, it features a unique hybrid rocker profile the company calls “enhanced banana.” To be honest I have sworn off riding bananas ever since I first jumped on a Skate Banana way back when. Nicole from Lib Tech was incessant that I take this board for a lap during the SIA demo, I paused and said no then she literally put it in my hands, so I thought ok I will take one lap and return this board and switch over as fast as possible to something else. I was already “judging” this board without ever riding it, mistake #1.

According to Lib, this is a “magical dynamic blend of our highest Banana Tech rocker between your feet and a secret numerical formula of camber at contact points.” This translates to a lot of rocker. Solid pressure between your feet with mellow, almost flat, camber at the tip and toe.

Mike Hardaker's first lap in the 2016 Lib Tech Banana Magic Snowboard Photo Ben Koelker | Mountain Weekly News

Mike Hardaker’s first lap Lib Tech Banana Magic Snowboard Photo Ben Koelker | Mountain Weekly News

On Snow Notes

So how did the Banana Magic handle on the snow? I loved it chunder, steeps, deep pow, and cliffs. We especially loved it in powder. Where didn’t we love it? It’s a bit tough to handle on the hardpack (with the Magne-Traction hooking up) and isn’t really made for buttering and jibbing (though it can be done). These days I spend all my time shredding powder in the backcountry, this is the board designed to slay real mountains!

Let’s talk about powder for a second. The Banana Magic is incredibly floaty for a twin-shaped snowboard, thanks in large part to the mild tip pressure of the enhanced banana. It’s the perfect board for those that like to switch up their stance in powder. Those that prefer a more set back stance might be better off with a different Lib Tech snowboard, ideally a directional board.

On top of powder, what I liked most about this snowboard was both its speed and pop. The fast base and aggressive flex equal a quick little ripper that keeps chatter to a surprising minimum. The profile and medium-stiff flex also equate loads of pop. Lib definitely has some poppier boards in their line up but, once again, the Banana Magic gets the job done without a second thought.

The only thing that was tricky to get used to turn initiation and edge control, especially in hardpack snow. It has a different type of Magne-Traction than other Lib Tech boards, causing it to hook up super tough in turns. The Magne-Traction features huge serrations between the feet and then barely anything at the tip and tail. It grips super well, especially in ice, but the aggressive Magne-Traction means you’re going to have to work at it. It equates to a fun, lively, and predictable edge – just one that you have to stay focused on. But, in all honesty, who the heck is riding hardpack these days anyway?

Hippies tend to like green things, Mike Hardaker in the moment on the 2016 Lib Tech Banana Magic Snowboard Photo Ben Koelker | Mountain Weekly News

Mike Hardaker in the moment on the Lib Tech Banana Magic Snowboard at Copper Mountain Photo Ben Koelker | Mountain Weekly News

Lib Tech Manufacturing

As always, Lib Tech poured their heart and soul into the Banana Magic to make it both incredibly fun to ride and good for the enviroment . As Mike Olson’s daily rider, it features the experiMENTAL Division’s favorite high-performance mix of lightweight, strong, and environmentally materials. These include basalt glass in place of fiberglass, a Colombian gold core, and bio-beans top materials. And like all Mervin boards, the Banana Magic is handcrafted in the good old USA.

Overall Impression

The Lib Tech Banana Magic is a solid snowboard through and through. It’s great in pow, chunder, steeps, and cliffs, but will be a little difficult for most riders on hardpack. It features one of the most aggressive sidecuts in Lib’s lineup and incorporates a lot of our favorite Lib technologies into one design.

Throw on some sick artwork by Quincy Quigg, and here is a snowboard that both looks good and absolutely shreds.

Sound like a good deal to you? Then find out more about the Lib Tech Banana Magic ($749.95) and get ready to get your fix of pow-tassium!

5
Lib Tech Banana Magic
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About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. When not on a board, Mike worked for Snowboarder and later oversaw TGR's online publication. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief.

9 Comments on "Lib Tech Banana Magic Snowboard Review"

  1. richard shapiro | January 27, 2016 at 1:11 PM | Reply

    Hi.
    got a Banana Magic this year, and wanted to chime in.
    1. I grew up on camber boards and going fast. rocker is great for freestyle but not so good at speed on hardpack. however, the !BTX! is a whole nother thing. it carves BETTER than a camber board. not the same, it might take a while to adjust, but this thing has edgehold and carve for DAYS! it eats ice! and the board can be very versitile, the rocker/camber gives you great control over the board. ridiculous. if you know how to turn really well (I was LVL3 AASI instructor, so im a turn geek) this board is a whole new ball of wax. and I never felt the edge was too grippy, it’s there if you angle it and power it, but it’s quick and easy to turn if you want it.
    2. variable conditions. on a real mountain, you might hit pow, then an icy spot, then some chunky blown snow, then some bumps, etc… this board is like a huge 4X4 truck in variable conditions! because of the !BTX! the nose naturally rides up and over anything, and the edge will hold on anything. every day I ride it I get more confident just charging into conditions, cause I know the board is cutting through it. most camber boards are a lot more touchy in these conditions, IMO.
    3. freestyle! with the rocker, when your flat, this board is easy to spin and butter. works great off of jumps, a nice combination of control and forgiveness. if your just freestyle only, move along, but if you want freestyle capacity all over the mountain, this thing rips…
    I can’t thank the guys at mervin for coming up with such a sweet ride, perfect for me!

    a couple things I don’t like…
    I would make the nose and tail a LITTLE BIT bigger. just my preference.
    with the magna traction, probably not the best jib board. I don’t really jib, so…
    I wish they would let jamie lynn do the graphics. a banana magic with the JL fundamnental graphics? that would be a dream. the graphics are OK, but not great.
    it’s expensive.

    oh, and a couple people were asking about the stiffness vs skate banana. the banana magic is a little stiffer and has more “camber” than the skate banana, but also more rocker, so the board has the rocker thing, but works better at high speed and high power. skate banana=park banana magic=all mountain. the banana magic is a little lighter, also.

    hope this helps
    LOVE LIB!

  2. @Mike
    Thank you once again!
    So basically the only major change is the stiffness – the attack banana is a 7/10 and this one a 5/10.
    All the best.

  3. Thank you so much for reviewing it, sounds like a tasteful banana.
    I did ride(and still doin’ it ’til the last square feet if snow) all this season a attack banana, 159w. I’m thinking of buying this sk8 banana, do you think it will be a major change to this one? Thanks a bunch in advance.

    • Mike Hardaker | April 1, 2015 at 9:22 AM | Reply

      ERC,

      Right on, we appreciate the comment and for reading our review. The Skate Banana will be a little softer, its a twin tip freestyle board that can be taken anywhere.

      -Mike

  4. thanks, Mike. I understand where you are coming and with that explanation behind it does make sense.

  5. great Review. but would like to know what is wrong with the Skate Banana? I am riding a Gnu Pickle (amongst other Lib Tech boards) which has similar contour as the Skate Banana and do love the Pickle as it is so easy to ride but has a good amount of stability on the piste as well. I am curious so thanks for your reply.

    • Mike Hardaker | March 12, 2015 at 10:42 AM | Reply

      Zee,

      I have been snowboarding since 94 so I learned to ride Camber. When the Reverse camber phase same along we almost had to “re-learn” how to ride our boards again. Carve turns become butters down the mountain.

      That being said I took a skate banana out at a Demo at Copper Mountain many moons ago and it sure was fun spinning in the park, however it wanted to continue that all the way down the mountain. So personally I prefer more camber, which is weird that I enjoyed this board so much..

      As with any of our reviews, check em and them demo them BEFORE you buy 🙂

      -Mike

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