BRAND: Lib Tech
INTERVIEWEE: Jesse Burtner – Marketing Manager
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: Please pick the three most exciting boards from your new 17/18 line and tell us about them.
T Rice Pro – The T. Rice Pro is Travis Rice’s power freestyle bird of prey. His go to board for huge Jackson Hole kickers, park laps and all mountain ripping. Coming off of the huge release of his movie “The Fourth Phase”, Travis and his board enter a new phase of freestyle dominance with an updated shape, Horse Power construction, Magnetraction® and C2 – the perfect blend of rocker and camber under foot. Travis rides these straight off the shelf, no special sauce added, other than all the special sauce Lib Tech adds to every single board we make! Art by long time collaborator Mike Parillo!
Box Knife – New to the line this year the Box Knife is jib/park/freestyle precision and power. It’s the “left brain” to the Box Scratcher’s “right brain” with a soft flexing Camber3 contour and early rise tips and tails. Built for bigger and faster jib/park scenarios the Box Knife adds some power and control to the rail game and floats powder amazingly with the early rise tip and tail. A new team favourite for progressive creative all mountain freestyle. The art by Christina “Pika” Burtner is the left side of a “right brain / left brain” art piece made whole when placed beside the Box Scratcher.
Cold Brew – The Cold Brew is an every man’s board that is far from ordinary. Not only does it have all of the traits that make each and every Lib Tech special (handcrafted in the USA by snowboarders in an environmentally nicer facility creating zero hazardous waste with revolutionary Banana technologies and Magnetraction®) but it also has a dependable, performance ride all it’s own. An all mountain directional resort ripper with mild taper, textured snow shedding Poly top and C2 perfect rocker/camber hybrid the Cold Brew is smooth and wide awake. Featuring stunning photography from our in house photographer Tim Zimmerman.
Construction. Using any new inserts / edge tech / cores / sidewalls / glue / wood types / metals / bases / other materials? Or are you using this stuff in any new ways? Here is the place to talk about the new details that make your boards better.
Our textured Poly top sheet material is back and used in more places in the line. Harkening back to Lib Tech’s first boards the textured top is fun to feel and great to ride. It sheds snow but provides traction getting off the lift and the stickers and stomp pads work just fine as well.
Other unique constructions this season include our continued use of spread tow carbon in combination with PET plastics in the core of the T. Rice Climax, creating an incredibly light yet still damp ride. We continue to use recycled content
Where will you build your boards, any changes? What makes this production facility the best solution for you?
All our boards are built by us at Mervin Manufacturing in Sequim, Washington USA (near Canada). We can, and have, conceived, prototyped and tested a board in a single day at nearby Hurricane Ridge. We use non toxic and low VOC resins for the sake of our environment and the health of our skilled craftsmen who are building boards 24/7. We have a state of the art proprietary eco sublimation printing process that let’s us get amazing vibrant colours without creating the toxic hazardous waste that every other snowboard manufacturer creates through silk screen.
Where is the pricepoint that’s working the best right now? Right at the top, at the bottom, or somewhere inbetween?We’re primarily middle and high end priced with the Cold Brew marking a dip in to a new lower price point for us.
How long is your warranty, anything new here? How does this affect your brand, marketing & positioning?
We’re seeing a lot of small, grassroots snowboard brands getting traction again.
We love grass roots brands, we are grass roots and every day is a new adventure into the process of creating dream boards for ourselves and our friends and team riders. Lib Tech is still just a group of snowboarders, skaters, surfers, skiers and other general froth puppies who got lucky enough to make a job out of passion. Founders Mike Olson and Pete Saari work every single day on driving the direction of the brand, the shapes, materials and new technologies that keep us ripping with huge smiles on our faces. To us, new grass roots brands are our brothers and are important to snowboarding, they show that snowboarding is always changing, always fun and still a little pit punk rock.
What inspired your topsheet & base aesthetics? Where is the trend here – muted, flashy, photos, what? Any cool collabs/limited editions?
Working with artists is one of the five pillars of Lib Tech’s philosophy (rippers, artists, craftsmen, technology, environment) and part of what we think makes us the world’s best boards. Snowboarding is an art and so art should be celebrated to it’s fullest on boards. We continue to work with some of our favourites from the legendary power freestyle godfather, Jamie Lynn to Lib Tech staples such as Skunk Ape skater, snowboarder graffiti artist Quincy Quigg, classic Lib contributor and employee Nick Russian, the prolific Mike Parillo, Think Thank’s own Christina “Pika” Burtner and a slew of other rider driven art pieces and concepts from Scotty’s Greenest cactus to Matt Biolos’ surfy resin art. Every board is special and every graphic is part of what put’s the “dream” in dream boards.
Shops are asking for a two-year product life cycle to help sell boards on price longer. Any thoughts on this, or featuring any carryover boards in the line?
We are carrying over our Banana Blaster kids board for that very reason. There’s no reason every board should go out of style every year based solely off of the graphic. The Banana Blaster has a sick Jamie Lynn graphic and we’re stoked to run it twice!
Doing splitboards? What are you doing to push this segment forward?
Split boards are important to us and very important to Travis Rice. His Goldmember FP Split is state of the art and is currently our only split board. We are excited to follow Travis’ passion in to more split projects and see where it goes.