Expert Review: Lib Tech Golden Orca Snowboard · 2022

This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I bought with my own money in February 2022.

Man stands with a snowboard.

What an amazing board this is! Lib Tech Golden Orca 2022/2023 157cm. Photo by Nathan G.

Published on

About this review This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I bought with my own money in February 2022.

My take

I can’t say enough about how much I love the way the Lib Tech Golden Orca can just excel in any snow condition and respond so well. This board is a bit wider than most boards, which allows riders to size down 1-3cm from their normal-length board, and is fantastic for an intermediate to advanced rider looking for a board that feels great in both powder and harsher snow conditions.

Man gets air off the Orca snowboard.

Orcas love to surface on the top of the ocean, but who knew they also like to catch some air?! Photo by Nathan G.

About the gear

  • Model: 2022 Lib Tech Golden Orca
  • Size: 157

About me

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 195lbs
  • Experience: Over 20 years

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: February 2022
  • Days tested: 10
  • Mount position: Goofy
  • Boots: 2021 ThirtyTwo® Lashed Double BOA®
  • Boot size: 11
  • Bindings: 2021 NOW™ O-Drive
  • Where I’ve used it: Afton Alps
  • Terrain: I’ve used the board on natural jumps, groomers, off-piste, and even in a water-skip competition!

How it performs

Carving
5/5
Durability
5/5
Flotation
5/5
High Speed Stability
4/5
Turn Ease
4/5
Versatility
5/5

What I was looking for

I had actually ridden the 2021 Golden Orca (the previous year’s model) for a few rides and absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed the serrated-edge technology called Magne-Traction® that Lib Tech uses, which allows the board to carve amazingly well in powder as well as the hard-packed snow we often experience in the Midwest.

Why I chose this gear

I was really interested in the mild rocker between the bindings and camber-underfoot contour of this board, along with the Magne-Traction and a slightly wider board, which allows riders to size down in length due to the width.

I had tried the 2020 Lib Tech Orca as well, which is more directional with a much flatter tail than the Golden Orca. I enjoy riding switch so the 2022 Golden Orca was a great fit for my riding style and capabilities.

Man rides a snowboard out of a pond.

This was a little flare to the end of the pond skip, the crowd loved it, lol! Photo by Nathan G.

Man rides a snowboard across water.

This was me in round one in the pond skip at Afton Alps where I won the Last One Standing award! Photo by Nathan G.

What I love about it

  • Speed: This board feels great at higher speeds, and I feel confident on it. According to an app on my phone, I’ve exceeded 35mph on this board and didn’t feel uneasy at all.
  • Edge hold: I think the edge hold on this board is impeccable due to the Magne-Traction serrated edge. I ride mostly on bluffs made of artificial snow and tend to be really packed or even icy at times due to Minnesota’s low temperatures, and the edge hold performs very well even in the iciest conditions.
  • Groomers: This board is terrific on groomers and the camber underfoot sustains good traction paired with the Magne-Traction.
  • Powder: This board was really meant to excel in the powder and it really does float well with a wider nose that keeps me on top of the soft stuff. We get few powder days in the Midwest, but when we do I make sure to get out as soon as possible after a storm. The wider nose and slightly wider waist keep me floating on top as well.
  • Durability I’ve only been on this board for a few months so I can’t give it a true time-tested evaluation as far as durability, but I have hit natural drops and some jumps, and it feels great and like new even after a few months.
  • Weight: The weight of the board feels as expected. It’s neither abnormally light nor heavy, making it feel very balanced underfoot while riding in all conditions.
  • Switch riding: This Golden Orca is a directional board, but the tail allows me to ride switch with ease, unlike the normal Orca.
  • Stability: This board has an incredible amount of stability even at higher speeds.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Turns: The board’s turning ability is very good, but not as sharp or concise as a progressive side-cut camber board, and that’s the only reason I have rated it 4 out of 5 stars.
  • Park: I don’t really ride in the park much anymore since I’ve gotten older, but I would say this board would be decent, but not ideal for park riding since it is a directional board with some rocker between the feet and a bit stiffer than medium flex.
This is hands down my favorite board I've been on.

Golden Orca on Top. Photo by Nathan G.

Here's the Orca in guitar position!

Rockin' the Orca. Photo by Nathan G.

Favorite moment with this gear

I recently had my favorite moment with this board when I entered my first Pond Skip competition at my local resort and ended up winning the Last One Standing award. Riding on the water was just as easy as riding in powder, and it was a blast! This board literally feels amazing in all the conditions.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Golden Orca is on the high end of the price range for snowboards retailing at $800. I’ve ridden many less-expensive boards like Jones Frontier, Burton Custom, and Burton Process, which all perform very well, but I kept wanting to get back on the Golden Orca. I find that it’s worth the extra money because it just feels so good to ride.

Final verdict

This board is not for everyone, especially with its $800 price tag, but for intermediate to advanced riders who want a board that can handle all conditions with confidence, this is a fantastic choice. This board picks out all the best qualities in the other boards I’ve been on and really shines and outperforms them all.

Selling Lib Tech on Curated.com
Lib Tech Golden Orca Snowboard · 2022
$449.99
$524.99
14% off
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Written By
I've been the go to friend for tech and equipment recommendations for decades when it comes to snowboard equipment and apparel. I started snowboarding at a small resort in southeast Idaho about 25 years ago and instantly fell in love. I have been boarding at over 30 different resorts all over the Ro...

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