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.
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.
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.
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.