Head 2 Head: Lib Tech Orca vs. Lib Tech Golden Orca Snowboard

Published on 11/23/2023 · 7 min readSnowboard Experts Colby Henderson and Franco DiRienzo test these boards against each other for carving, freeriding, and freestyling.
Colby Henderson, Snowboarding Expert
Franco DiRienzo, Snowboarding Expert
By Curated Experts Colby Henderson and Franco DiRienzo

Last time, we pitted the Lib Tech Orca against the Never Summer Harpoon. This week, we’re at Mount Snow wearing hoodies on a beautiful spring day in Vermont. We're here for another battle, only this time it’s a veritable fish fight between the 2021 Lib Tech Orca and the 2022 Lib Tech Golden Orca. Which one is king of the mountain?

Check out the video below or read on to see what happens.

And before we jump in, a quick note that we aren’t sponsored by any brands to create this review. These are our own personal opinions on these boards. Now let’s get to it!

A bit about us

Colby Henderson

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 160 lbs
  • Years Snowboarding: 20
  • Favorite Terrain: Trees and powder

Franco DiRienzo

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 210 lbs
  • Years Snowboarding: 23
  • Favorite Terrain: Trees

Lib Tech Orca

  • All-mountain freeride
  • Directional
  • Horsepower construction
  • Whale tail technology
  • C2X profile (camber/rocker/camber)

The Lib Tech Orca is a volume-shifted, directional, all-mountain, freeride board that features Mervin's C2X profile, Magne-traction edges, and a two and a half-inch setback on board.

Lib Tech Golden Orca

  • All-mountain freeride
  • Directional
  • Firepower construction
  • Power kink tail
  • C2X profile (camber/rocker/camber)

The Lib Tech Golden Orca is a brand new board from Lib Tech. It is their all-mountain, freestyle-friendly, freeride board. It features a one-inch setback, C2X profile, and Firepower Construction in a much more switch-friendly tail.

First up...

[Franco] This was a carving day.

[Colby] The main difference I found in the carving was the way they turned - how tight the turning radius was. The Orca enables a lot quicker turns like when you get on your back foot, you can really snap yourself out of a turn, make super tight turns.

The Golden Orca has much longer drawn-out carves, with the Firepower Construction, the longer effective edge. The Golden Orca is a 157. The Orca is a 153. The Golden Orca, that thing absolutely rips carves. It's so stable. The edgehold is ridiculous. If I have to pick one, maybe just because it's new and different, I think the Golden Orca. At speed making those longer drawn out turns when you're really flying was really fun.

[Franco] Really fun.

[Colby] It's a tough call. It's like a personal preference thing.

[Franco] I found the Golden Orca to actually be a little softer in the nose with a pretty stiff tail. And having that longer length, the 157 versus the 153, plus that extra tail, it'll shoot you out of the turn, but it wants to make that longer arcing radius turn. The Orca, because probably you're so setback that you're kind of sitting on that tail anyway, it felt like it wanted to engage the turn quicker and it wanted to come out of the turn quicker. So it was easier for me to do quick snapping turns, get across the hill. It's just personal preference.

If I have to pick one for carving, which is going to be my only board for carving, I'm probably gonna take the Golden Orca because I love it. I bought it. It's amazing. You should buy it. It's one of the most fun boards I've been on in a long time. It might be the funnest board I've ever been on.

Next up...

[Franco] Okay, let's do freestyle. For freestyle, I mean, the Golden Orca rides switch way better. The Orca rides switch okay.

[Colby] Pretty good.

[Franco] Yeah, it probably switched pretty good because it's so stable with the Magne-traction, but it's hooky and it wants to pull you because you're two and a half-inches setback, there's not a lot of tail back there. Riding this thing switch, it's no problem. It's made for riding switch.

[Colby] It rides switch like a twin. I've always felt like the Orca does pretty well for its design as a super directional board in the freestyle category. But having that extra length in the tail for that rear camber zone, it's got better pop, it's so stable for landings. The longer length though, you're not gonna be able to whip it around as easy as the Orca, because even though the Golden Orca is still slightly volume shifted, you're not gonna ride it as short as you're gonna ride the Orca.

[Franco] Colby rode a tail butter for, I don't know, five minutes.

[Colby] Just straight-lining through...

[Franco] Just straight-lining.

[Colby] ...mashed potato chunder. On this thing.

[Franco] They both tail butter really well. The Golden Orca, you can lock it in a little bit easier. I almost want to say though, the pop almost feels the same, because that tail on the Orca is so stiff. It's just short.

[Franco] But if you're just popping straight airs, they both have really good pop. They're both exceptionally stable to land on because of these wide platforms. Bottom line, freestyle, what's your pick?

[Colby] Golden Orca.

[Franco] Golden Orca.

Last up...

[Colby] As a pow board, I think the Orca still takes it, just because of the two and a half-inch setback. It is a little bit wider. It's just, that's what it's made for. And I mean, if you set these bindings back even more, this thing becomes unsinkable in deep snow. Honestly, on a pow day, I'm gonna pick the Orca. But for bombing, if I were riding some bigger mountain stuff and I had some more wide open spaces and big drawn out pow turns, I think the Golden Orca would be amazing. Yeah, buddy!

[Franco] I think that turning radius, like if you're in tight trees a lot, you're gonna have to stay on the Golden Orca. Whereas the Orca, it pulls you a little bit quicker. For the average rider out there, for a freeride board, you're probably gonna go Orca. If you don't ride switch a lot, get an Orca. If you ride switch a lot, get a Golden Orca.

The verdict

[Franco] Today, we had a fish fight.

[Franco] We picked the Golden Orca against the Orca. And we're gonna talk about real quick, if you had to own one board, only one board, and you can only own one board, which one is gonna be? For me, it's the Golden Orca. It can do everything. And you probably do everything really, really well. I can take it on a groomer day. I can take it on a spring day. I can take it on a pow day. It's gonna be better than most boards on a pow day.

[Colby] I mean, I own the Orca, but I just think the more versatile board is the Golden Orca. I just think it's a better resort, daily driver. The ability to ride switch, it's gonna do well across all conditions. And you're not gonna be limited by the super directional shape of this which was kind of like the complaint for some people. And it's funny too, because I always thought of the Orca as just a super versatile pow board. That's kind of what it's known for. But this thing, it's just, it's just a step up. It's the next evolution. I think Lib Tech did an awesome job. The board got loose from smiling. Isn’t that what you want from a snowboard?

[Franco] It's so much fun.

[Colby] As you guys can see, different snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you have a question about which one of these boards might be best for you and your riding, hit up either me or Franco's profile or any of our other awesome snowboard experts’ profiles. Shoot us a message and we'd be more than happy to dive into it with you to figure out which one's best for you.

[Franco] That's right guys. And as always, if you're enjoying this content make sure to like our video, subscribe to our channel, hit that notification bell so you know when we get new videos coming up. You guys have given us some great choices for what boards we should take out next for Head 2 Head. Keep the comments coming. Let us know what other boards you want us to be riding, because this is too much fun!

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Colby Henderson
Snowboarding Expert
Franco DiRienzo
Snowboarding Expert
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