Lib Tech Travis Rice Goldmember Splitboard Review

Lib Tech Goldmember Splitboard Review

When it comes to the descent the Lib Tech T. Rice Gold Member Splitboard is in a category of its own. What is it that makes this splitboard tick?  Find out in my review below:

Lib Tech Gold Member Splitboard Review

Which makes total sense as if Travis Rice is putting his name behind this board, this is the sort of splitboard he would actually use in the backcountry. Perhaps he does, perhaps he doesn’t? But this board surely rides the way Travis does, heck you can buy it and ride like Travis.  Enough Said?

All kidding aside what makes this splitboard a blast to ride is the C2* profile which offers a nice blend of rocker/camber.  Toss in a directional shape with a tapered swallow tail design, and the Lib Tech Gold Member splitboard is built for riding powder.

One of the great things about this board is the camber underfoot.  When it comes time to load the Gold Member Splitboard and pop off stumps, pillows or whatever the backcountry throws your way, it doesn’t take much effort to let this board fly. Especially considering it is built with the lightweight Firepower construction.

Toss in 7 burly Serrated MagneTraction contact points and rest assured when it comes to shredding the gnar these edges will lock into place.  Some people actually recommend de-tuning these a bit.  My only advise would be to watch these edges around dogs especially as I managed to cut myself just grabbing the board.  Talk about sharp edges.

C2 Profiles and Skinning

Loved the board on the way down, had a hard time with this splitboard on the way up hill and here’s why.  With a rocker/camber profile, the board rips (see above) however when it comes to skinning these profiles make things much tougher than they should be.  Camber offers great edge hold on the way up,  rocker or reserved camber does the opposite.  If you have ever toured with a board with rocker under the binding while in ski mode, most likely you have experienced the feeling of your skin sliding backward.  It’s a sinking feeling and a great way to exert way too much energy on the way up.

We used to think it was the skins fault, then we started looking closer at the profiles. One nice thing about this boards design though is how easily skins can hook to the notched swallow tail, a trend we are seeing a ton of lately in powder boards.

T-Rice Gold Member Splitboard Swallow Tail

So while this board rips going down, it’s sort of a pain to tour on in *certain conditions.  When touring in deep snow, or when setting a skin track the Lib Tech T. Rice Gold Member profiles works fine for the up.  However, once you get on a well-traveled skin track, that’s when the trouble begins as the board has no real way to grip underfoot. For someone touring in interior BC, this may be a great splitboard option, for someone in Colorado, not so much.

What Can be Improved?

K-Klips Splitboard Connector

Perhaps it’s just me, or we got a bad set but the K Klips don’t seem to actually lock the board in place?   Even with the tap shown locked, the 2 pieces of the board would easily slide apart.   As mentioned above the profile could use some tweaking for the accent, but at what cost would it affect the ride down?

One of the things the snowboard industry is struggling with is making splitboard products that work as well on the way up as they do on the way down. This board is a prime example, the board rips.  I would have no hesitation being dropped off atop a peak in Haines and riding the Gold Member Splitboard downhill.  Would I want to tour up the same peak on this splitboard, not a chance? So this is where the industries at as of late.

T-Rice Gold Member Splitboard Karakoram

Overall Impression

The Lib Tech T. Rice Gold Member Splitboard is a very lively board to ride thanks to the use of Lib Tech’s locally sourced woods including; Balsa, Paulownia, Aspen, Birch and more. The entire process of making this board from the dyes to the base and everything in between is made as are all Mervin products are by hand in the most environmentally friendly ways possible.

Once we can dial in the profile on these Lib Tech splitboards moving forward they will be a force to be reckoned with. For now, you may want to take one for a test drive – demo before throwing down for a Lib Tech T. Rice Gold Member Splitboard ($969).

T-Rice Gold Member Splitboard with Spark R&D

 

T. Rice Gold Member Splitboard
3.5 / 5 RATING      

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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. Mike spends most of his time splitboarding in the winter months and backpacking throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the summer.

4 Comments on "Lib Tech Travis Rice Goldmember Splitboard Review"

  1. the new lib “splt brd” is the perfect answer to the downfalls of this board — the c3 profile works SO much better for going uphill and I personally think it’s the best going downhill as well. as for the k-clips — tighten them!!! they are adjustable, prob just need to be cranked down to get the proper pressure.

    • Aaron stoked to hear you are enjoying the new Lib Tech Split BRD. They have another new board coming out for 2020.

      • Mike – Any idea what the new lib tech split will be? I’m thinking of upgrading to the goldmember split but if they dropped an split version of the Orca i would buy without hesitation

        • Cy,

          We have yet to see the 2020 Lib Stuff, paging Lib Tech. Working on our 2020 snowboard test results. Be sure to signup for our Newsletter and I will blast out info when the board becomes available.

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