REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Review: Lib-Tech NAS Park & Pipe 176cm
Lib-Tech (Mervin Mfg.):
Park & Pipe NAS (Narrow Ass Snowboards) 2007-2008
117-85/82-111 @ 176cm
HANDCRAFTED BY SNOWBOARDERS WHO HAVE FRIENDS THAT SKI.
(not that there's anything wrong with that)
[click here for large pic]
[click here for larger pic]
Lib-Tech / Mervin Mfg.
address: PO Box 981060
Park City UT 84098, USA
fx: 435-252-3301 http://www.LibTech.com
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
approx. $300 usd each street price (sold in singles) $600 per pair
Freeride park & pipe
Your Rating (with comments): (1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
7 all around, 8 or 9 in the park (see other testers reviews later) - I'm not a "park & pipe" guy, so my review has to rate this ski for all-around-the-mountain usage, bearing in mind the ski should pivot, ride switch, spin, pop with plenty of spunk at any speeds off all kinds of terrain and handle any surface types without whining or protesting, and be durable to the n-th degree to cope with getting the b'jeepers beat out of it.
This ski plows through unfriendly surfaces steady-as-a-rock (for an 85mm waisted ski), dead-on stable slapping back down to earth and actually has pretty good bite on hard snow for a park and pipe ski. Pretty strong and begging to be punished, it feels like you can abuse it on any terrain. Keeps its manners at higher speeds, never getting squirrelly or causing trouble. Predictable and solid. Not a willing carver, but you can get it to carve with the right stance and go pretty much anywhere on the mountain you want to go and it won't give you any grief. Lots of rebound pop if you load it up and weight it properly. Rowdy if you stay on it. Relax and it just wants to drift around. Lib-Tech wanted a de-tunable P&P ski you could rip around the mountain with without suffering from "one trick pony" problems associated with other P&P skis with rounded edges. I think they got it. One reservation: If you want to preserve your "Magne-Traction" bumps on the ski, DO NOT run it through an automated tuning machine set to grind the edges. It will grind down the "high spots" and you'll gradually loose your bumps. DO THE SIDEWALLS BY HAND with a very small stone and file when you need to. Go ahead and grind the bases and get your bevel and roundings the way you want, but be careful with the sidewall tuning.
Technical Ski Data:
Wood core ("from select dead trees"), fiberglass sandwich, PE sidewalls
"Handbuilt near Canada in the USA." Edges do NOT wrap 360 degrees.
Unconventional mounting position alert: Some people will want to use traditional park & pipe binding mount positioning with this ski. Lib-Tech recommends using the bump provided on the ski as the boot midsole point. It may seem a little "forward", but that's the way this ski works with its Magne-Traction design. Use the bump for midsole. That's what Mike Wilson recommends....or as it says on the ski "Mount mid-sole on bump....or don't."
Unique "Magne-Traction" variable width running surface (looks like a crinkle-cut French fry down the sidewall). The ski's width undulates in waves. Waves are deepest and most closely spaced underfoot, gradually becoming less aggressive in depth and more spread-out as you go toward the tip and tail. (see pics below). Lib-Tech borrowed this technology from their successful snowboard line and applied it to their NAS (Narrow Ass Snowboards). Lib-Tech claims you can dull your edges for optimal rail and pipe gliding as well as catch-free tip and tails, for smoother tricks and fewer falls, and the Magne-Traction bumps will still allow you to grip a hard surface better than the other park and pipe skis. In theory, it should work.
First test day: Re-groomered, reprocessed old ice storm junk ground into a few centimeters of "Frozen Granular" (loose and packed) on top of yellow hardpan with sections of some death cookies and death cookie crumbs mixed in. Some really nice dense corn in the sun, deadly pock-marked rotten snow ice fields off piste (you could bounce a bowling ball across it). Not bad, but not packed-powder either....good test for a ski's "friendly behavior" tendencies and anti-deflection prowess across different materials.
Analogies: (this ski is like...)
This ski is like strong truck that does great doughnuts and some wheelies, but takes a steady hand on the wheel. Not for lightweights.
After Skiing These, I Want To...
Get some park and pipe pros to really work them over and tell me what they think. In this case, I am just the civilian tester.
Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences (be honest):
5' 11", 190 lbs. Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Not an instructor, but 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).
More reviews from some more days on snow to come in later posts and more reviews by more people coming...stay tuned...
Second day report:
Conditions: Packed powder, tightly groomed cordouroy, 2-3 inches of semi-tracked, slightly windblown cold snow with some bumps and junky snow patches.
The Lib-Tech park & pipe NAS can pretty much go anywhere without any complaints. Beats through the densely blown easten crud just fine...only problem is a very low shovel angle...not much "float" up front, but then again, it has plenty of contact length up front when you want it. Lots of muscular pop when you load it up. No problem lifting my 190 lbs up and out with just a little flex and release. Really predictable, really manuverable, good swing weight balance when mounted "mid sole on the dent" as recommended. The Magne-Traction really doesn't make the ski handle any different than a traditional design in factory tune, but when the edges are dulled for long lengths along the ski's forebody and tail, the ski can still be made to bite on the packed snow when you need to, probably more than a "normal" ski. The P&P ski is pretty strong. I think you could get a lot of miles out of a pair and it will still handle like new. I think a strong P&P skier could rip on this ski and it would hold up great. Lib-Tech has a really strong ski for the money.
I think the Magne-traction design would make more difference on the wider skis (freeride 93mm waist and powder (149mm waist) than the P&P ski. At 85mm underfoot, this ski can grab the groomers just fine, even without Magne-Traction. A wide Magne-Traction ski might show a more dramatic difference in grip than the same width ski without the "wiggles." There are tons of people who rave about the NAS POW Series for a reason.....more reviews to come...
The test conditions were regroomed ,frozen, death cookies with some light slough on the sides.
Lets just say you have expectations by looking at the design. Assumptions are made.You immediately notice the magna trac sidecut! It looks like a crinkle cut french fry. Then you ski on it and realize why the first 3 letters in assume are ASS and you immediately realize how wrong those assumptions are.
This ski truly rips!
Really smooth and stable in longer ,higher speed turns and was actually fairly quick in shorter radius turns. The word smooth comes to mind. I wanted to take it into some deeper snow but there was none to be had. Went from the bullet proof groomed stuff to the slough on the sides of trail and it did not waiver. Very predictable and quiet. Totally enjoyable. Very responsive, but seemed more at home at a higher speed longer radius turns. Edge grip was excellent, didn't notice any difference as to whether it was a"normal" edge or the magna trac. Nice damp feel,smooth edge to edge. You could get the ski out from under you and it would load up and respond and carves nice arcs. Great all mountain ski...would love to ski it in some blower powder..but it is the East!
The graphics are great .
I give this ski a 9+. Great for everything. Can't wait to take it out on a powder day! The LibTech crew has it going on!
Only small issue is the guys in the service shop.How do you run this ski through a machine without wrecking the edge! Oh well,guess you have to tune them yourself!
Several companies provide discounts or donations to support our ski testing program.
Your browser does not support iframes.