Back in high school my brother was a diver, speedo and all. He never really scored too well. What the judges viewed to be poor form, we as snowboarders saw as dope style. Outside of jumping and flipping, the two worlds never fully meshed. He quit. But ironically, it got us talking about our snowboards like springboards. And we like boards with a lot of spring.
I’m from New York and currently reside in the Pacific Northwest. Last year marked my first real season in deep snow, and my first season riding a Lib Tech (join the club, right?). The T. Rice Pro had caught my eye from the start, but I was hesitant to get it after hearing it may be a bit chattery while I became accustomed to riding the deeper, steeper lines of Washington State. Someone suggested something damper. But I don’t really like damp boards. I like ‘em a bit squirrely. I like a board with a lot of spring.
I got the T Rice Pro 157 and soon discovered it has a lot of pop. My biggest concern was that the board was out of league for a rider of my skill level, especially as a newbie at Baker—something like putting a 64-year-old minivan driver behind the wheel of a Maserati for a whirl down the Autobahn. While there did seem to be a bit more under the hood (or boots, rather), in time I found the board’s power wasn’t too hard to harness.
In powder it’s great for dropping the tail and enjoying the ride, roofless Caddy style. It’s also got more control while bombing bumpy groomers than one might expect, especially considering its freestyle savvy nature. The rocker in the tail engages when you weight it, and the opposite happens when you hit hard pack. On a firm surface the board has a camber-dominant feel, and while it’s still not as rigid as some true camber boards, it’s built strong and ready to charge through chunder. This combination of rocker and camber—Lib Tech calls it C2, and it’s basically banana out the tip and tail with camber between the bindings—makes for a poppy and playful, yet assertive ride. The amicable balance makes it an all-mountain killer.
The T Rice Pro is great for the kind of rider who doesn’t care for a cumbersome quiver of decks, the rider that doesn’t have the patience to swap bindings from one board to the next based on the local hill’s conditions. This past winter we traveled many a state together, and from frigid, blower conditions in New Mexico to heavy pow days in Washington, the T Rice Pro always served up a fun time. Sure, there are snowboards on the Lib Tech line that may perform better in certain settings than the T Rice Pro would, but for an all-around ride that’s reliable from winter freshies to summer slush, it’s a goodie.
The T Rice Pro, part of Lib Technologies’ Travis Rice Collection, comes in lengths of 150cm, 153cm, 157cm & 157cm-Wide with a blunted nose, as well as 161.5cm, 161.5cm-Wide, 164cm & 164cm-Wide with a pointy pow nose, and retails for $599.95. Learn more at lib-tech.com.
About the reviewer:
Weight: 155 pounds
Boot size: 10
Riding style: Ice Coast background, Deadlung inspired powder goon
Riding experience: 13 years, 50+ days per year
Typical board length: 153cm for rails, around 157cm for everything else