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Expert Review: 2024 Lib Tech Golden Orca Snowboard [with Video]

Published on 09/14/2023 · 7 min readSnowboarding Experts Mike Leighton and Will Cabral tested the 2024 Lib Tech Golden Orca Snowboard in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
By Curated Experts Mike Leighton and Will Cabral

Curated Snowboarding Experts Mike Leighton and Will Cabral got their hands on the 2024 Lib Tech Golden Orca Snowboard this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every rider is different; if you have any questions about the Golden Orca or need recommendations on which board would be best for you, reach out to a Snowboarding Expert here on Curated.

Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.

Brand Claims

What does Lib Tech claim about this board? [Mike] Lib Tech claims this is an all-mountain resort ripper to the pillow-line dropper of your dreams.

[Will] The brand claims that the Golden Orca is an all-mountain resort ripper that holds up in powder.

Overall Impressions

What is your overall impression of this board? [Mike] I had the opportunity to ride the 2024 Lib Tech Golden Orca. We took this board on the very first run. Right after lunch, we went on a hike, and this board does live up to the hype based on my overall first impressions. It really did. I had a lot of fun riding it. I’m happy that I had the opportunity to ride it. It's been on the list for a while.

[Will] My overall impression of the Lib Tech Golden Orca was that it was super fun. For more of an advanced rider, this held up to whatever we threw at it. It was super fun, just going through high-speed groomers, popping off rollers, and sending it really deep.


How does it turn? [Mike] This board edge to edge is really good. It holds a nice edge. Its eight-meter sidecut handles the steeper terrain, harder carves, and higher speed carves a little bit better.

[Will] The Lib Tech Orca was fun, carving on big, wide-open runs. At speed, it really held up. With its C2X profile, it has a shorter rocker in between the feet, which helped to easily initiate those turns and roll into the carves.

What is the edge hold like? [Mike] There’s a little bit of rocker in the middle. So, you got that banana this way and then camber the other way out. It means it’s going to pivot well. It will be pretty forgiving edge to edge, but you’ll still get that nice edge hold. There’s also the Magne-Traction, which I actually didn’t notice all that much on this board.

[Will] This board is built from the idea of the Orca, but it has a longer tail. It’s meant to be ridden one to three centimeters shorter than your normal, standard-length board. For me, that’s more of a 158, 160, and we’re riding the 157 here today. It is on a pretty wide platform, so you don’t have to worry about any toe or heel drag if you have bigger feet. The edge hold was really great.

How damp is the board? Do you feel any underfoot chatter? [Mike] There’s a little bit of chatter in there, but it's not overwhelming. You’re not sitting there looking at your snowboard going, “Whoa.” That’s a little scary. You’ll get some energy in return when you come in and out of your turns. You’re going to get what you can give into it, which makes it a fun board.

How does it perform at speed? [Mike] It’s one to three centimeters shorter than your normal board. With the flex and the profile, it's pretty solid at speed and control of speed. There is a little bit of chatter, but it’s nothing you can't overcome that a stronger rider will struggle with.

[Will] Going at high speeds, this board easily initiated the carves and held up going deeper and deeper.


How is it for freestyle snowboarding? [Mike] It's super playful. It's super fun. It's looking for side hits, things to drop off of, duck into trees, ride switch, land switch.

Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Mike] This got a ton of pop and a ton of acceleration, too. I think I took like one turn in the drop, and all of a sudden, it popped and boosted pretty well.

[Will] I had a lot of fun on this board, buttering and popping off jumps. It’s rated as a seven out of ten flex, and I think it was a really good sweet spot. To me, maybe it felt a little stiffer than that, but in a good way.

Is it good for riding switch? [Will] Riding switch was very easy. This isn’t a volume-shifted board. It’s not exactly a true twin, but it was pretty similar riding switch. You could be really confident on it when you're trying to push yourself.

How is it for buttering? [Mike] The way the profile is, it will allow you to butter around if you need to slash.


How is it for freeride snowboarding? [Mike] If you’re going on a cat trip or a heli trip and you are with friends and going to build a huge step-down, this would probably be one of those boards to drive it. But you could take this pretty much anywhere, like if you’re going to see a lot of fresh snow and really fun and interesting freeride terrain.

How is it in powder? [Mike] We rode in some steeper bumps, just bouncing back and forth. We got it into some pow; it was great in there.

[Will] It feels stable riding through chopped-up snow. It wants to live in the powder, having a big nose like this to float you. And then, with the more twin shape, it does ride pretty well switch in powder.

How is it riding in the trees? How is its maneuverability? [Mike] With that eight-meter side cut, it won’t be super snappy, but it’s predictable. And with the C2 camber Magne-Traction and its little bit of a shorter tail, it does very well in uneven terrain and in the trees.

What terrain is this board good for? [Mike] Pretty much anything. This is a board that can ride peak to park. It’s not going to thrive in the park, and it's not going to handle a super steep, icy shoot, but somewhere in between, if the conditions are right, this is a board you can ride peak to park and have a lot of fun with. Once you get to the bottom, you’ll immediately want to go back up again.

[Will] This board wants to be in the tougher, more technical terrain. It held up on runs that had us riding steep moguls and needing to be on top of what we were doing to avoid the hazards.

What kind of terrain should riders avoid with it? [Mike] The bunny hill, maybe? No, but honestly, maybe if you're riding super-hard-pack, technical steep stuff, it might not be the board of choice. Or if all you want to do is go cruise around on greens or spend a ton of time in the park, that would be the only places I wouldn’t recommend this board for.

[Will] I wouldn’t say this board wants to be on the easier runs. You know, you’ll get through them. But it’s not what you buy this board to do.


Who would you recommend this board to? [Mike] This is a daily driver for an intermediate, advanced, and up rider. This could be something you ride every day. This will also be something you add to the quiver for trips for an expert or an above rider.

[Will] I would recommend this board to a strong intermediate rider looking to progress into the advanced category or an advanced expert rider.

Who should avoid this board, are there other better options out there for them? [Mike] The only people I wouldn’t recommend this to right off the bat are true beginners. This board wants to do many things, and you don’t want to be at the mercy of something named after an apex predator.

Snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you want help finding the right board for you, reach out to Mike or Will or any other Snowboarding Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations on the best board for you.

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Mike Leighton, Snowboarding Expert
Mike Leighton
Snowboarding Expert
After earning First Team All-America Honors in Snowboardcross in 2008 & 2009 at the University of Virginia, I started competing professionally in 2009. From 2009-2016, I competed at the NorAm and Grand Prix levels (finishing 12th at NorAm Finals in 2016), and I competed in the Rahlves' Banzai Tour, as well, in Lake Tahoe. My career took me all over North America and to Japan. ​ I was a Snowboard Professional for Breckenridge Resort from 2010-2017. During that time I earned an AASI Level 2 Snowboard Certification and an AASI Level 2 Snowboard Freestyle Certification. I also coached for Method Snowboard Academy from 2016-2018 in Snowboardcross and Big Mountain, qualifying two of my athletes for USASA Nationals, as well as, multiple podiums and wins in both disciplines. ​ I enjoy riding all over the mountain with an ideal run starting off with steep, fresh snow and ending with a run through the park with friends. I also love skinning to and accessing big lines in the backcountry, when the conditions are right, and have my AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Certification. ​ One of my favorite questions for my students when teaching was, "Who is the best snowboarder on the mountain?" Someone would inevitably ask, "You?" I would respond, "No, it's the snowboarder who is having the most fun!" That's my goal. I want to help each person be the "best snowboarder on the mountain" by helping them find the best equipment for their goals.
32 Reviews
424 Customers helped
Will Cabral, Snowboarding Expert
Will Cabral
Snowboarding Expert
I was born and raised in the Bay Area, California. I grew up skiing and riding around the Tahoe area especially at North Star. As I got older I began specializing in snowboarding, spending much of my time in the Wasatch mountains in Utah. I went to College on the East Coast in Virginia, and was a part of the University's Ski and Snowboard team, allowing me to visit some local mountains while also taking me on North East trips to places like Killington and Sunday River. I currently live in Denver, Colorado and in the Winter I live and breathe snowboarding!! I love exploring new places in the mountains whether that is a new resort, finding lines between the marked runs at a resort, getting out in the backcountry or going on a Hut trip. Last year, I spent time traveling around to the following resorts and having a blast doing it: Keystone, A-Basin, Breckenridge, Copper, Steamboat, Vail, Winter Park, Eldora, Park City, Snowbird, Squaw Valley, Jackson Hole, and Big Sky. I am constantly consumed by snowboard media, and especially like to listen to The Snowboard Project podcast. I am a huge Travis Rice fanboy and made a trip to the premier of "The Fourth Phase" in LA back in 2016. Last year, I was lucky enough to be in Jackson Hole during the Natural Selection Finals and spent all day lapping the Teton Quad Chair to watch some of the world's best freeriders in person. At my core I am a huge nerd! I am AIARE 1 certified and looking forward to taking more classes on snow science and safety. I am known for spending all day looking through snow gear and reading about the tech without realizing how long it's been. I am incredibly passionate about snowboarding and would love to get as many people as possible out surfing the mountain!!
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