Lib Tech T. Rice Orca 2019
The newest addition to Travis Rice's quiver of endorsed boards is a stubby little creature called the Orca. With a long, low-entry nose and quick-kick tail, the Orca excels in terrain like that at Baldface. It's exceptionally quick in the trees and begs to slash every undulation in sight. With a directional, rocker-dominant hybrid profile that places reverse camber with in the center with positive camber in the tip and tail, the Orca swims quick and loose through seas of pow. Riders used to a camber-dominant rig took a couple laps to adjust to its playful demeanor and felt it would ideally fill the spot in their quiver geared toward fun, featured pow runs. However, those more accustomed to boards with rocker were immediate fans, even seeing its potential beyond the pow. Available in one size only—153—the Orca's short length is offset by a 26.7-centimeter waist width. This extra surface area combines with an elongated nose and short tail to give the board float typically associated with a board five to eight centimeters its senior. Baldface proprietor Jeff Pensiero has unlimited powder-covered terrain out his back door and can ride any board he pleases. Each time he linked up with us for a lap, this was the board he was on. That should say something.
Specs and Features:
- Long, floaty nose
- Short radius Whale Tail Technology
- Tight 7M trench gouging sidecut
- Powerful, poppy contact
- Rugged sustainably harvested core
- Eco sublimated top
While it's hard to have a bad time riding powder, doing so on a board designed specifically for that purpose elevates the experience. Float is the ultimate goal of a powder board, which can be achieved through a variety of characteristics. Taper means the board's nose is wider than its tail, allowing the board to plane easier in deep snow. Setback inserts work in a similar way, creating more nose than the tail. Strategically designed rocker and camber profiles can enhance float by affecting the way the board reacts to powder. Additional surface area, especially in the nose, is an especially importance trait in a powder board and can be enhanced through additional length, width, or a blend of both. We found the ideal venue to assess these characteristics, by way of a place called Baldface Lodge. Nestled in the British Columbia backcountry, Baldface is accessible in the winter only by helicopter—or a combination of boat and snowcat when there are too many flakes falling to fly. It is a powder paradise unlike anywhere in the world. We showed up here to a fresh meter and a storm that piled up deeper and deeper. Reviewing powder boards: It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.