What is Speedodeeps spelled backwards? It’s “Travis Rice’s unsinkable powder freestyle twin”, and that’s certainly a better palindrome than ‘Madam, I’m Adam’.
In recent years, the Travis Rice section of the Lib Tech catalogue has been expanding into a full-blown line of its own. Looking past all the different versions of Travis’ pro models, there are some exciting new shapes that have emerged. One of those is the Lib Tech Speedodeeps, a pow-specific deck I picked up out of the blue in a case of spontaneous combustion of financial self-restraint. From the name alone, the Speedodeeps implies a love of going fast in deep snow both ways and that sounded perfect to me. Travis Rice writes,
”The SpeedoDeepS’ narrower nose shape easily transitions from turn to turn in pow. The [Banana] Hammock was a great pow board, but was scary as hell to ride in any hard or groomed terrain. The Speedo, on the other hand, handles any resort conditions you can throw at it.”
The Speedodeeps comes with an XC2 profile and a sintered base (woohoo!). XC2 sits in between C3 (practically camber) and C2 (camber-rocker-camber) on the Lib Tech profile scale, and although it has more rocker than C2, it’s labeled as more aggressive due to the extended camber zones. If you look at the XC2 graphic below, you will see that it has a shortened exaggerated rocker section between the feet and longer camber sections out to the tips.My initial impression was that it was going to be a super loose rocker board, and sure enough, stepping on it on the wood floor of the Japan Grabs studio, the Speedodeeps had a very strong seesaw effect going. The tips really want to shoot into the air, much more so than with C2. However, when riding it on snow, the Speedodeeps presses down flat easily and there is no hint of a banana pivot point between the feet.
The board flex overall is on the stiffer side but the xc2 keeps it playful and poppy. On top of that, it’s quite light for its size, resulting in a powder deck that is quite responsive and maneuverable. In short, the Speedodeeps feels like a fun freestyle board and you don’t notice the stiffness until things get hairy and you need it. Consider me a big fan of this profile.
Here is a real life photo of the XC2:Note this review is based on the 2015 Speedodeeps which is slightly different to this year’s model: The true twin shape has become a directional twin shape, which means there’s a slightly longer nose than tail. In addition, the wood composition used in the core has changed slightly too but I bet you’d be hard pressed (no pun intended) to detect a big difference in board feel.
How does it ride?
Similar to the regular Travis Rice line, the Speedodeeps has quite a wide waist. On the 166 it’s 260mm and at first I did notice the width on toe-side turns (with a size 10 boot). A couple of runs later though and I was used to it. It makes a very stable platform and I haven’t found it slow edge to edge. It has a very small effective edge (1050mm for the 166) which makes it handle like a 158, so I would suggest sizing up for it. I’ve heard people say that the Speedodeeps is skittish on high speed groomers but keeping your weight between the cambered sections should keep you over the effective edge and in control. I rode it on a narrow and bumpy banked slalom track and it held the turns just fine. In fact, it didn’t feel like it was out of its element. I think the longer camber zones of the XC2 and the magne-traction edges make a winning combination, and give you the bite needed to counter the looseness of the banana rocker.
Did I mention the diamond-shaped tips? The Speedodeeps has elongated tips that can be best described as having a lot of ‘wang’, perfect for extra powder clearance. I like them as they are stiff and don’t wash out. Airing and landing tail heavy is no problem as the tail will keep you hanging on. If you find yourself launching into an icy mogul field by mistake – just put the tail down first and it will ease you down as if it was powder…then you can deal with the moguls. The other bonus of the stiff tips is they don’t rattle wildly when riding on hardpack.
While the Lib Tech Speedodeeps fares well on non-new snow days, it really comes into its own when there’s powder to be had. I mentioned before that it rode short for its size on hardpack, and well, in powder it’s quite the opposite. The 166 floats like a….hmmm, it’s hard to quantify something that just doesn’t sink! Yet, in spite of floating like a much longer board, the Speedodeeps stays remarkably nimble in powder. The twin shape is a boon for spins and the board will give you the confidence to add an extra 180 to your airs. Here’s a little video showing the Speedodeeps in powder – thanks to the rocker and elongated tips, you’re guaranteed a dreamy float!
On my first powder day, with confidence and stoke levels high, I saw a juicy drop off the side of the cat track and threw a back 1 without thinking it through. I went bigger than expected and I remember having the time in the air to think, “Oh crap, cartwheel slam coming up”. I didn’t have the powder landing legs ready and landed with my weight centered on the board. I reached up to hold my goggles in place for the upcoming tumble, but the next thing I knew, I had made the softest landing and was gliding smoothly switch through the powder. I had been riding for the first hour heavily weighting the tail, as you do with a new board in pow, but now had found the sweet spot: riding it more centered was not going to sentence me to day-ruining faceplants, but rather would let the board plane over the snow. Riding it that way results in a super smooth ride, increased speed and floatation, and a fun rockery bounce when you pump the board.
I should try to balance this review with something negative but trust me, it’s difficult to find something wrong with a powder board that works so well for freestyle and all mountain riding. I guess the limited sizing is one point to nitpick. The Lib Tech Speedodeeps currently only comes in a 158, a 162 and a 166. Adding a 154 would open up the Speedodeeps experience to women and smaller guys (who ride boards up to 150), and at the other end of the spectrum, a 170 would work for the big guys who normally ride 165’s. So, apart from wishing this board was available to a wider range of rider, I have no reservations about recommending the Speedodeeps. This board is perfect for a rider who wants to keep jumping, buttering and going switch no matter how deep the snow is. So, while it helps Travis stomp his massive spins, it’s perfect for us mere mortals and our 180’s and 360’s into powder.
Here is the official Lib Tech Speedodeeps product video: