Expert Review: GNU Riders Choice Snowboard

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

A man carrying the GNU Riders Choice Snowboard.

All photos courtesy of Kyle Kolbig

Published on

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.

My take

I like the GNU Riders Choice Snowboard for pretty much everything. It is my go-to when riding in the parks, woods, or anything sketchy. It is a great deck to use on the East Coast.

A man doing a backflip on the GNU Riders Choice Snowboard.

Backie!

About the gear

  • Model: 2022 GNU Riders Choice
  • Size: 162W

About me

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Experience: 20 years riding, freestyle coaching for 10 years

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: January 2022
  • Days tested: 35 days
  • Mount position: 12, -9
  • Boots: 2019 Thirtytwo Lashed, double boa
  • Boot Size: 12
  • Bindings: 2022 Rome, DOA
  • Where I’ve used it: Jackson, WY; Stratton/Killington, VT; Powder Ridge, CT
  • Terrain: Steeps, pow, parks, groomers, pond skim

How it performs

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

What I was looking for

I wanted a new all-mountain board that could do it all. I don’t ride a ton of powder and wanted something stable in icy conditions. I ride switch all day, so a true twin was a must.

Why I chose this gear

I love Mervin-made products and Magne-Traction®. I find that Lib Tech and GNU boards last longer than most, perform the best, and just send it. I considered a Neversummer ProtoSlinger and demoed one. It was pretty lightweight, but I didn’t like the stability at higher speeds or the pop—too noodly for me.

A man carrying the GNU Riders Choice Snowboard.

Hike those features!

What I love about it

  • Edge hold: This board holds a great edge despite being rocker dominant. The Magne-Traction really helps to grip and rip, even when it’s icy. The hybrid profile de-cambers well when digging trenches.
  • Turns: This board is super easy to turn and be lazy on. The C2 profile is a rocker-dominant profile and very surfy/forgiving.
  • Groomers: This rides groomers great, even on an icy morning. The Magne-Traction just grips and rips. Higher end base doesn't grind down quickly and gives me the dreaded, what I call, “edge high.” That’s when I can catch my fingernail between the base and edges—yuck. A grind and sharpen should fix it. This board holds up super well.
  • Powder: I love this board in powder despite the fact that I set it up as more a freestyle/park rig. For a true twin, this board floats. I set back my bindings with more of an aggressive angle if I only ride pow.
  • Trees: The ease of turning and ASYM heel edge allow me to rip around trees all day. But I would rather ride a cheaper board on the East Coast woods. I'm just asking for a core shot.
  • Park: This board rips in the parks. I love the ASYM heel edge for frontside spins, as I feel super comfortable coming off my heels. It does wash out a bit for me past 540, but that just might be me. I stomp larger spins cleaner on a traditional camber, but the ease of riding is worth the trade-off for me.
  • Durability: The core has held up super well and still pops, but since this board does not have a full edge wrap, the nose and tail get beat up easily.
  • Switch riding: Being a true twin, this board rips switch and feels the same as regular.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Speed: I find chatter when cooking full throttle. Mid flex will do that.
  • Weight: This board is heavier than others in the same price range.
  • Stability: I find slight nose and tail chatter when going full throttle.
  • Backcountry: The size I ride is 162W. It is heavy considering other decks at the same price point, so hiking gets a bit tiring.
  • Other: My version has a white base that shows everything I ride on, from tree rides to rusty rails.
Base of the GNU Riders Choice Snowboard.

The 162W comes with a white base and it shows rust from rails/boxes

Favorite moment with this gear

I put down the best three-pack of my life on this board. The board leaves a lot of room for error, so I was able to overshoot and recover to the sweet spot on the next kicker. Also, I was the only person to make it across a really sketchy pond skim, thanks to a C2 profile and a fast-as-hell base.

Value for the money vs. other options

This board is expensive. It is packed with GNU’s top tech and construction. I believe in science, so this board is worth every penny. Though a more affordable option is the GNU Money.

Final verdict

If one can afford it, this board will change their life. By far, it’s the best “do it all” kind of board for all resort conditions. It doesn’t give me explosive pop like a traditional camber, so maybe skip those slow sign ollies. I love this board in the parks and feel the most confident when underfoot.

Selling GNU on Curated.com
GNU Riders Choice Snowboard · 2022
$359.99
$419.99
14% off
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Written By
I've been riding for 18 years and employed as a coach/instructor for the past 10 at Stratton Mountain, VT. I've been lucky enough to find myself on a few Vermont Open podiums and usually call the terrain park home, but never on a pow day! I have worked with various companies in the industry as a p...

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