Hello and welcome to my Lib tech Skate Banana review. This review has now been updated for the 2018-19 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 Rating: Medium (4.5-6.5/10 depending on length)
Flex Feel: Medium-Soft (4/10)
Rating Score: 85.2/100
Compared to other Men’s Freestyle Boards
Out of 38 freestyle/jib snowboard’s I rated:
- The average score was 80.8/100
- The highest score was 90.7/100 (see below)
- The lowest score was 71.4/100
- The average price was $442
- The Skate Banana ranked 6th out of 38.
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|
Since Lib Tech now has a women’s specific line the narrow sizes are gone for 2020. The new Lib Tech Glider is the women’s equivalent of the Skate Banana.
|Waist Width (mm)||252||261||253||255||265||255||265||265|
|Weight Range (kgs)||30+||34+||32+||34+||34+||34+||36+||39+|
|Weight Range (lbs)||65+||75+||70+||75+||75+||75+||80+||85+|
The sizes for the 2019 model are the same as the 2018 models, except:
- The 162 is gone
- There is now a 165W (268mm waist width)
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)||252||253||255||255||258|
|Weight Range (kgs)||30+||32+||34+||36+||43+|
|Weight Range (lbs)||65+||70+||75+||80+||95+|
|Waist Width (mm)||239||242||245||261||265||265||265|
|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
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Skate Banana is capable of.
Board: Lib Tech Skate Banana 2018, 156cm (255mm waist width)
Date: March 4th, 2017
Conditions: Plenty of fresh powder around. Had been puking for a good few days leading up. Still bumpy and chundery in places as it was a Saturday but mostly soft good conditions on the groomers and plenty of powder off.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
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 (I find rocker underfoot to be 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.
Also with very little camber, there’s only so much pop available.
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.
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 likes a loose feel and 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||85.2/100|
That was good enough to get this board a spot in my top 10 freestyle snowboards.
This board is super easy to butter and is really playful and fun. It’s a great choice for the freestyle rider that mostly wants to ride the park but wants to still be able to have fun on the groomers and a particularly good choice if that’s you and you also ride in icy conditions a lot.
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.
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 decks, check out my top 10 freestyle boards at the link below.