Expert Review: GNU Money Snowboard · 2022Published on 05/03/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2023.
All photos courtesy of Devin Johnson
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2023.
The GNU Money is a great low-cost park deck that is a lot of fun to ride. The board is lightweight, looks amazing, and performs well for riders of all skill levels.
About the gear I own
- Model: 2023 GNU Money
- Size: 156
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 150lbs
- Experience: 16 years of snowboarding/skiing
- When I bought these: March 2023
- Days tested: 14
- Mount position: Set back 1”
- Boots: 2022 Burton SLX
- Boot Size: 9
- Bindings: 2021 Union Falcor
- Where I’ve used it: Utah resorts
- Terrain: Mostly groomers and terrain park, also trees and powder
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a park deck for the spring (and summer this year). I wanted something twin and super poppy. I also needed a budget board that was still of good quality and will last.
Why I chose this gear
I bought the GNU Money because it was a killer deal and matched the board profile I was looking for. I also really like the graphic—classic Jeff Davis pulling a Japan grab with all the style. The main reason for buying this board is because it’s a Mervin board. They are the best, built in the USA by real boarders. The other boards I looked at were the Lib Tech Box Scratcher and GNU Finest. The main reason I went with the Money was based on price alone; I’m on a budget.
What I love about it
- Edge hold: It holds a great edge for a park board, being a lower-priced deck that is fairly narrow in the waist. The Magne-traction helps and also hurts the board in this regard. The Magne is very aggressive and hooks up really hard, sometimes when I don’t want it to. It’s hard to engage a turn slowly. Once I lean over into the turn, the Magne grabs me and forces me into the turn, making it a hard board to flat base. If I lean deep into a turn, it hooks up really well, but I have to be really balanced to keep it from slipping out.
- Groomers: This board is so fun on the groomers. It’s snappy, and I can quickly bounce from edge to edge. I really enjoy flat ground tricks, Eurocarves, and side hits on the Money. It’s easy to pop and really playful.
- Trees: The Money performs surprisingly well in the trees, as long as it's not too deep out. It's so snappy that I can rip through tight sections of trees without feeling loose. The Magne-traction plays a good part in the trees, really helping the soft board hook up in the bumps.
- Moguls: Soft boards are always fun in the moguls. They just flex and bounce around the bumps. It's far from practical for riding moguls, but those who just want to pop around doing 180s from bump to bump will be stoked.
- Park: This is where the GNU Money shines. This board is made for park in every way. It’s twin and poppy, the profile is narrow in the waist, and the tip and tail are wide enough to have some surface area for stomps. The board takes very little effort to load up. A lot of times, I find myself popping way too hard on accident. It spins so fast and easily that I have to think about slowing the rotation not to overshoot it. The C2 profile is also really nice on the knees. It’s like landing on a cushion which is nice for long park days.
- Durability: This board is super tough, like all Mervin boards I’ve owned. The base on this board will last a long time. I have old Mervin boards that have been abused for years but look amazing. Durability is what GNU/LibTech is known for.
- Weight: This board is incredibly lightweight. It almost feels like a toy compared to some of my other boards. The light weight is great for park laps and ripping the groomer all day, but it makes the board very unpredictable when riding through rough terrain.
- Switch riding: As a park deck that's also a proper twin, this board rides switch amazingly. I feel like it rips equally hard in both directions, but the aggressive Magne-traction takes a little getting used to when riding switch.
- Stability: The air stability of this board is really great. When spinning or popping super hard, it feels balanced and composed. While riding, it’s not the most stable board due to the flex, but that’s what I expect out of this board. It feels stable while landing jumps and airs, even on groomers, until I get up to high speeds or on bumpy terrain, and then the stability fades quickly.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Speed: This board is pretty terrifying at high speeds, especially in rough terrain. I can lean back, and the rocker profile will keep me floating above the chop on the groomers but slowing down is not an option. The board is soft, so high speeds don’t feel comfortable. Riding into a jump feels good, but it can get a little bucky when going fast due to the C2 profile.
- Powder: This is not a pow deck. It is not made for the deep days. Riding on a 4” day was really fun, but I stuffed the nose quite a bit, and it was very difficult to keep the nose up when making turns. Also, leaning over for a deep pow slash was very difficult. (On the other hand, pow park is super fun.) Even the soft snow on the groomers on pow days made the Magne very grabby, and it seemed to want to hook up and go, which is unfortunate.
- Versatility: This board is made for the terrain park. Sure, it can ride the whole mountain, but at the end of the day, any board can. I wouldn’t have bought a budget-friendly park deck if I were looking for versatility.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite days riding this board have been the sunny park days. My favorite moment on this board was trying to learn an old-school Japan grab to match the topsheet art. I got the pic, but I’m struggling to get that old-school tweak.
Value for the money vs. other options
This is a no-brainer. This board is the best bang for one’s buck. Good luck finding a better deal for a great park deck. The base on this board is durable, and the materials are really solid. I shopped almost exclusively by cost. Mervin made this board a deal so I could save some money. I could name some other boards that are equal in quality, but I guarantee they cost more. Check out the GNU Finest and the LibTech Box Scratcher for something similar.
This board has already paid for itself in fun factor alone. When I’m on this board, I just want to jib the whole mountain. I can’t stop spinning and popping off every side hit I find. The GNU Money is what I expected, and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.