Lib Tech Attack Banana ReviewFebruary 21, 2017
- A do-everything board
- Cheaper than it used to be
- Eco-friendly build; fabricated in the US
- No full-wrap edges
- Centered stance isn’t ideal in powder
The Lib Tech Attack Banana is one of the most versatile boards in the category and it’s designed for riders who spend a lot of time in the park as well as the groomers. We loved the loose feel that made us take different lines than we normally would. The one drawback is riding powder because the centered stance on the twin tip puts the rider too far forward.
The company behind Lib Tech, Mervin Manufacturing, is responsible for the reverse camber revolution that kicked off in 2006 as well as wavy edges that they call magnetraction introduced in 2002. Since then, the company has been at the forefront of board design that brings together camber and reverse camber and tech from more expensive board trickles down. Many Lib Tech boards, like the Attack Banana, dropped in price by $100 this year and include more tech.
As a brand, Mervin is known for long relationships with their athletes, like Travis Rice. Built domestically with environmentally friendly practices, Mervin is the greenest of all the major manufacturers. The Attack Banana is no exception.
The Attack Banana includes Magnetraction—seven edge serrations per side—performs admirably on ice. Unlike the other boards in the test, the Attack Banana also features rocker between the feet that makes for a much looser feel. The board is also available in three wide sizes, so riders with larger feet have an option built for them, instead of “one width fits most.”
A true twin the Attack Banana is the rare all mountain deck with rocker between the feet, making it ride a little looser. This isn’t a good or bad thing, just a preference. But it might take new riders a few runs to get used to. This looseness also makes it a prime candidate for new riders who want a board that they won’t outgrow.
POP + ENERGY
New for this year, all boards in the Lib Tech line-up include “Horsepower” that was previously only available on more expensive deck and deliver more pop. The Attack Banana includes a combination of three types of wood in the core, providing plenty of amplitude. More than we expected on a board with camber between the feet.
This board is a Swiss Army knife. The Attack Banana does well no matter where you ride it. But, it rides loose, as we’ve mentioned. Ride one to see if you like it—you should know in just a few runs and definitely within a half day. Some riders dislike the lag and others find that it makes them ride the mountain differently—searching out different lines—something that could also be said about the K2 Bottle Rocket.
As a true twin, the reverse camber between the feet make it better in the powder then it’s cambered brethren. Although the Attack Banana performs fine in powder, most riders prefer being set back—not centered—over the board on deep days.
The Attack Banana includes Magnetraction that leads the game in edge grip in difficult conditions.
SUSTAINABILITY + CRAFTSMANSHIP
The Attack Banana is built in Washington state by what Mervin jokes as “snowboarders with jobs” with non-petroleum based bio-plastics made from castor beans, non-toxic clear coats, and renewable forest products for the cores. Hence, Mervin leads the industry in “green” manufacturing. Wind power and water power fuels the factory heated by biodiesel. Scrap plastics, sawdust, and wood scraps are either recycled or repurposed. The craftsmanship is solid. The oldest board in our quiver is an old Travis Rice that has many days and base shots in it, but still performs. But, Lib Tech boards don’t have full-wrap edges, something some critics believe to make the board less durable.
We tested these boards in the Eastern Sierra, in and around Mammoth and June Mountain. Testing began at a trade show in February, where we took about 15 boards. We rode each for about an hour. After that, we whittled the number down to the six tested riding all the way into August thanks to Mammoth record breaking season. They were open daily until August 6. We rode in all conditions from bulletproof hardpack to pow and everything in between.
Stephen Krcmar splits his time between Mammoth Lakes and Los Angeles. A snowboarder, cyclist, and motorcycle guy, he skied 76 days last winter. He’s written about the outdoors for more than 16 years.