The 2016 Lib Tech Travis Rice HP is a true twin tip beast of a splitboard that should not be taken lightly. If you plan on sending it in the backcountry, this is the only board you need between your feet and the ground.
Find out how this Lib Tech split performed while touring and splitboarding in the Tetons of Wyoming :
Lib Tech T. Rice Splitboard Review
I will start with what I loved about this board, I had the honor of taking the 2016 Travis Rice Splitboard out on a chest deep day here in the Tetons. Without fail this board always directed me down the fall line and easy to keep the nose floating the pow.
Lib Tech Travis Rice Splitboard video
What I really dug about this splitboard though was how quick and responsive it was from edge. Typically when I test a new splitboard, especially if I’m riding tight trees I tend to be conservative in my riding as you just never know how the board is gonna to react. Mid way down the first run I found myself searching out every feature imaginable, pointing it full throttle and airing into deep snow without thinking twice. It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the footage and thought, wow that was only my first day on this board. Talk about epic!
The only problems I had with this split happened to be when touring. The board I tested was 161.5 cm in length, which is in the normal range of splitboard sizes I tend to ride. However I was bogging down a bit in the snow as I toured around and couldn’t figure out what was up until I got home.
So I pulled out a few other splitboards, my tape measure and started measure the distance from the tip of the board to the 3 hole binding interface. And to my surprise, (or not) It became apparent that the length on this splitboard freom tip to binding interface was 2-3″ shorter then all the other boards in the same size range. This is a huge mistake, I hope the board I tested is simply a second. As 28.5″ vs 31″ makes a hell of a lot of difference when touring. And since I spend 90% of my day in tour mode and 10% in ride mode this was hard for me to write about. But hey lets keep it real right.
Looking for a more specific big mountain splitboard? Checkout our Nathaniel’s Lib Tech Wingman Review, he has been guiding on that board in the Tetons and has some interesting findings.
Lib Tech has always had killer artwork on their snowboards. That being said I always thought people were kooks if they buy a board simply based on the way it looked. Now I’m going to have to sort of eat those words as this board has the sickest base graphics ever. Something about it really resonates with me, maybe you will dig it too.
If I remember right the last time I tested one of these splits (see review below) it rode VERY similar, aka super playful, fun, and oh so responsive. For years the hiccup with splitboards were they just didn’t perform at the same level of a solid. This particular split is one I would have no problem jumping in the bird with in AK or touring any locale.
Its a powerhouse of a splitboard designed with riders like Travis Rice in mind. The board has a softer flex although Lib Tech rates it a 7 out of 10 on the stiffness scale. What I loved about the board is how lively it felt, especially with all the aspen, basalt throughout the construction.
There is some serious love hate going on here?? The Magne-Traction is awesome when freeding in big mountain terrain. However it sucks big time when skating out. Think about it for a second, first you need to “try” and cut skins to fit the Mag edge. Good luck with that. Secondly as your skating out aka skiing those edges want to catch.
This is not a catch free touring setup. Whats hard is even though this board has issued touring its so solid under foot when you get to where you want to go that to be honest its worth some headaches on the way up or back to the car. Its the sort of board you will want to go full white room in knowing it will always be under your feet when you need it. You shouldn’t have to think much, this is snowboarding not algebra.
I have full confidence in riding the 2016 Lib Tech Travis Rice HP Splitboard, especially taking it to the air. If Travis does splitboard (?), this is the board he would use, and odds are you will enjoy it too. As the snowboard industry continues to move in interesting directions we should all make a point to support brands that are build by, well actual snowboarders..2014 Travis Rice Splitboard Review - Read more
Lib Tech T. Rice Splitboard Review
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 epic, but surely Karakoram binders would work well too.
Is the Lib Tech Travis Rice Splitboard Playful?
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.
Another solid splitboard from the mervin crew is the Beast Splitboard. Checkout Nathaniel