Hello and welcome to my Lib tech Skate Banana review. This review has now been updated for the 2016-17 season.
In this review the Skate Banana will be judged as to well it performs as a freestyle board.
O.k. let’s get straight into it.
Board: Lib Tech Skate Banana
Price: $499 (USD recommended retail)
Flex: Medium (4.5-6.5/10 depending on length)
Rating Score: 84.1/100
Compared to other Men’s Freestyle Boards
Out of 31 freestyle snowboard’s I rated:
- The average score was 80.3/100
- The highest score was 93.4/100
- The lowest score was 69.8/100
- The Skate Banana ranked 8th out of 31.
Overview of the Skate Banana’s Specs
Check out the Skate banana’s specs and available sizes below.
|Ability Level||Beginner to Expert||Feel||Loose|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker(but practically Continuous Rocker)||Shape||True Twin|
|Stance Setback||Centered||Edge-hold||Icy Snow|
The Skate Banana comes in heaps of sizes including some wide and narrow sizes. Lib Tech don’t tend to do women specific boards they just provide narrower boards of the men’s version. This is great for men with smaller feet and women who prefer men’s boards.
In fact there are so many sizes I had to split the table into 2 tables! The first table shows all of the “regular” width sizes and the second shows the narrow and wide sizes.
|Waist Width (mm)||247||252||253||255||255||258|
|Weight Range (kgs)||27+||30+||32+||34+||36+||43+|
|Weight Range (lbs)||60+||65+||70+||75+||80+||95+|
|Waist Width (mm)||239||242||245||261||265||265||267|
|Weight Range (kgs)||27+||27+||30+||34+||34+||36+||43+|
|Weight Range (lbs)||60+||60+||65+||75+||75+||80+||95+|
Unfortunately the weight ranges they use are fairly limited and vague. Usually this is a good guide to go from but I am very skeptical that someone weighing 95lbs (43kgs) will be able to ride a 162 with any control! Let alone manipulate the board into doing tricks!
Who is the Skate Banana Most Suited to?
The skate banana is suitable for a wide range of freestyle riders. Because of all the sizes above the Skate Banana caters for Men and Women and people of lots of different sizes.
Though the Skate Banana is said to have a medium flex I’d say it’s on the softer side than their flex rating of 4.5-6.5/10 (depending no the size) suggests. Maybe more like a 4-5.5/10. So whilst I think Lib Tech do try to market this as an all mountain freestyle board I would say it’s definitely more of an outright freestyle board (but a good one!).
You can take it out of the park for sure but you’ll probably want to still be riding freestyle on the groomers when you do. This is definitely a fun playful, loose feeling board as opposed to a hard charger.
The Skate Banana in More Detail
The Skate Banana scored really well in the freestyle factors but also wasn’t too bad in the non-freestyle categories such as powder, uneven terrain etc.
This board is a jibbing superstar! – it’s definitely not a noodle so it can do a lot more than just hit jibs and butter, but it still manages to really excel at buttering. It’s no surprise really given it’s continuous rocker profile (rocker underfoot is great for jibbing) and medium-to-soft flex (softer flex is also great for jibbing).
I know it says medium flex above but realistically I’d say it’s medium-soft.
This was the weakest point out of the big three freestyle factors (Jibs, Jumps & Switch) but it’s still definitely no slouch here. The main reason for scoring slightly less in jumps is probably down to it’s virtually continuous rocker profile. This profile is not ideal for landing jumps as it’s not incredibly stable underfoot.
That loose feel is awesome (for those that like it loose) but does make it trickier for stomping landings. That said, it’s fine on any small to medium jumps and for small natural jumps but gets a bit sketchy on the really big jumps.
O.k. technically it does have a Hybrid Rocker with some mild camber sections towards the tip and tail but it’s really very mild but will help somewhat with those landings.
Check out this video for more details
The Skate Banana has a true twin shape and centered stance. It is pretty much the same going either way down the mountain. This is obviously pretty important for the freestyle rider who wants to ride and land tricks in either direction.
If you’re someone who likes to ride the pipe, and has regular access to one, the Skate Banana will hold its own. It won’t be incredible in there but you can definitely take it in there. If the pipe is where you like to spend most of your time there are better pipe boards that might sacrifice something somewhere else.
And another quick video to break up all this text!
Rest of the mountain
If you want to take the Skate Banana outside of the park – to either treat the rest of the mountain like a park or just to ride some trails with mates (or both) – the Skate Banana won’t disappoint.
Whilst not a great carver and not super-fast, the rocker profile helps it in powder. It has a centered stance so not amazing in powder but you can take it in there. It’s also pretty good in the bumpy stuff.
For a softer flex board the Skate Banana has great edge-hold. This is at least partly down to Lib Tech’s magne-traction technology. So if you’re a freestyle rider who often rides in the hard and icy stuff this might well be your board of choice.
The Score Breakdown
Check out the score breakdown for the Skate Banana in the table below.
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
|TOTAL after normalizing||84.1/100|
That was good enough to get this board a spot in my top 10 freestyle snowboards.
It’s a popular freestyle deck and has been for years now – and for good reason. This year is the 10th anniversary for this board! Lib Tech have also released a 10 year anniversary version, which has a different graphic (see image).
In the Final Analysis
If you are looking for a board that will perform great in the park and can also handle itself well on the trails, whether treating the whole mountain as a park or so you can ride the trails with mates, then Lib Tech’s Skate Banana is a great choice.
And particularly if you have to ride in icy, hard conditions often then the Skate Banana is even better with a great edge-hold for a softer flexing board. So it gives you the ability to ride freestyle even in harder conditions.
If you are more big air focused or pipe focused there are better options for that but if you only do those things sometimes and like a board that is brilliant at jibbing, without being a noodle, then the Skate Banana has you covered.
Overall an awesome deck for the freestyle rider.
More Info, Availability and Current Prices
The Skate Banana is a very popular board and so it was easy to find it in various stores. Check out the links below for more info, availability and current prices.
- Lib Tech Skate Banana at blue-tomato (UK/Europe)
Thanks for reading and I hope this review has helped in your search for a killer freestyle deck.
If you’re interested in checking out some other freestyle options or want to see how the Skate Banana compared to other freestyle deck, check out my top 10 freestyle boards at the link below.