Hands-on Gear Review

Lib Tech Travis Rice Pro Pointy Review

2017/18 Travis Rice Pro pointy
Top Pick Award
Price:  $600 List | $419.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Well-made, fun, floaty, rails turns at higher speeds, decent pop, made in the USA.
Cons:  On the heavier side, not as playful as others on firm snow or while going slower.
Bottom line:  It might take a while to get used to – it's not for the timid.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
Shape:  Twin
Camber/Rocker:  Hybrid-Rocker/Camber
Flex:  Stiff-Medium
Manufacturer:   Lib Tech

Our Verdict

Our testers really enjoyed the look and the shape of the Lib Tech T Rice Pro Pointy, something we've come to expect from Lib Tech in general. Overall we found this board to be really fun and playful, despite being on the heavier and stiffer side. If this were a fully cambered board the ride wouldn't be nearly as fun. The size we tested was a bit bigger than everything else, although it didn't feel it and it simply rode smaller than expected. Its Magne-Traction bumps really bit into harder snow but it released from turns with ease -– a product of the rocker, we can only assume. It performed exceptionally well in pow, as do most rocker profiled boards. It popped better than other rocker boards tested, thanks to its medium-stiff flex. The only downside we found was that it wasn't nearly as playful on harder snow, or groomers, when compared to the rest of our fleet. This was to be expected, though. We've found that stiffer, heavier boards with longer sidecut tend to be a little less responsive if not pushed to their limits.

New Look
For the current season Lib Tech rolled out some new graphics for the Travis Rice Pro (pictured above) and as well as a slightly modified shape. Read on for more info.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Chris Edmands

Last Updated:
Friday
November 17, 2017

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Shape and Graphics Update


The T Rice Pro got a fresh new topsheet design for the current season, as well as a slight tweak in the nose and tail shape. Lib Tech informed us that the new shape won't change the ride of the board, it's more for visual appeal. They said that the slightly increased point in the nose may improve float in powder a bit, and the slightly blunter nose could be better for butters and presses, but we have no direct experience with this claim as of yet. Below you can see the graphical iterations for both the pointy and blunt versions over the last two seasons. We only tested the pointy version, so the review that follows only speaks to that shape.

The full spread of graphics for the Travis Rice Pro over the last two seasons. From left to right we have the most current pointy and blunt version  followed by the pointy and blunt look from last year.
The full spread of graphics for the Travis Rice Pro over the last two seasons. From left to right we have the most current pointy and blunt version, followed by the pointy and blunt look from last year.

Hands-On Review


This Travis Rice Pro board looked intimidating at first with its angry looking serrated edges, its pointy tips, and very wide waist. Not only that, but Travis is known for being absolutely burly in the mountains. That's a trait we thought would live in his namesake board although we found it to be friendlier. In fact, we found it to be a more serious riding board than all the others, while still being capable of taking it down a peg or two if needed. Its banana'd base, along with its width (the widest we tested) made it float exceptionally well. The Magne-Traction kept it locked into turns, but its monster sidecut and weight made it less nimble while going slower.

Getting into a "euro-carve" on packed powder.
Getting into a "euro-carve" on packed powder.

Edging and Carving


Once up to speed on edge, there was no other board that quite matched the Travis Rice Pro. We granted only two 10 out of 10s during all of our testing and this was one of them. When other boards got all "weak in the knees" and slid out, this award winner powered through. You need a big run to unleash its full potential, though. Normally, a board as wide as this one would suffer when transferring from edge to edge, but the banana on this one helped make those transitions smooth and precise. The only other boards that came close in performance for this metric were the Jones Explorer and the Burton Flight Attendant.

The Travis Rice Pro earned big points in edging and carving.
The Travis Rice Pro earned big points in edging and carving.

Float in Powder


Rockered base profile? Check. Wide waist? Check. Good in the pow? You know it! Regardless of its stiffer flex, it floated extraordinarily well. Often times, stiffer boards want to fight in pow, but the banana reversed that effect. The Travis Rice Pro received a 9 out of 10 for float, as did the Never Summer Proto Type Two, Rossignol One LF, and the Arbor Wasteland, as they all have a bit of rocker.

Stability at Speed


Back when snowboards were less tech  skiers often referred to us as "knuckle draggers." You can call me a "fore-arm dragger" if you'd like.
Back when snowboards were less tech, skiers often referred to us as "knuckle draggers." You can call me a "fore-arm dragger" if you'd like.

The only thing that would have made this Lib Tech's 9 out of 10 score (in stability) suffer would be the rockered base. However, the stiffness helped to even things out when cruising at high speeds. The Jones Explorer features a camber that is directional, while the Rome Agent is fully cambered and wide. Never once during our testing did the Travis Rice Pro feel unstable.

Playfulness


The Travis Rice Pro did not excel in this category, scoring a 6 out of 10, the lowest score awarded in this metric. This competitor simply blew it in the Playfulness category; but, it's difficult to obtain such high scores in the other metrics without sacrificing in others. The board is wider than the others in our lineup. Not only that, but it's pretty darn heavy and has a monster sidecut. All things were great for the other metrics that were measured, but not here. The Rome Agent also scored poorly because of how stiff, wide, and cambered it is, while the Never Summer Proto Type Two, Arbor Wasteland, Capita Defenders of Awesome, and Burton Custom Flying V excelled, earning near-perfect 9 out of 10s.

Pop


A staple move while rolling through the park.
A staple move while rolling through the park.

As with the other rockered, or hybrid-camber/rocker boards, it has a little less spring in its vertical achievements. It is a stiffer board, which helps it keep some of its pop. The Rossignol One LF, Jones Explorer, and Arbor Wasteland share the Lib Tech's pop score, primarily because none of them are cambered. But 7 out of 10 is still decent.

Best Applications


Powder, backcountry jumps, and giant high-speed carving.

Pushing Magne-Traction to the limit on the Lib-Tech.
Pushing Magne-Traction to the limit on the Lib-Tech.

Value


This board is fully worth the $599.95 price tag.

Conclusion


The Travis Rice Pro is an amazing ride if you have powerful legs, and you like to go fast and push it to the max. This board could be tough to handle if you're on the smaller side. Our lead tester was a 6'2" tall and weighs 185 pounds and still found that he had to ride the board powerfully. We'd estimate that if you're under 5'8" and sub 150 pounds, it might not be the board for you.

Other Versions


We tested the wide and pointy version. It also comes in standard widths and/or with blunt-shaped tips.

Chris Edmands

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Most recent review: November 17, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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