Expert Review: GNU Riders Choice

Published on 03/08/2023 · 7 min readThis review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested in March 2020.
Brit Bruhn, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Brit Bruhn

About this review This review is my own honest opinion of the snowboard, which I tested in March 2020.

My take

I LOVED the GNU Riders Choice Snowboard. This board is geared towards intermediate to advanced riders looking for an all-mountain board that can handle any terrain. It's one of the best modern snowboards as far as I'm concerned. I enjoyed this board so much that it will be getting added to my quiver next season! It's a must-purchase! Add to cart!

About the gear

  • Model: 2022 GNU Riders Choice
  • Size: 154.5cm
  • Shape: Twin shape
  • Profile: Hybrid Rocker-Camber

About me

  • Height: 5’3”
  • Weight: 138 lbs
  • Experience: 21 years of snowboarding

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: March 2020
  • Days tested: 1
  • Mount position: Regular Rider
  • Boots: Vans Ferra Pro Women’s Snowboard Boots
  • Boot Size: 7
  • Bindings: Women's Burton Lexa
  • Where I’ve used it: Keystone Resort, Colorado
  • Terrain: Groomers, trees

How it performs

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

What I was looking for

I didn’t have a ton of expectations for this board besides the fact that people love riding this mountain-freestyle board. I have ridden the female version of this board, the GNU Ladies Choice, and loved it so I had a feeling I was going to love this one as well. I was super excited to test ride this board and even though the size was big for me, I still had a blast ripping it.

Why I chose this gear

I really wanted to test ride this board because I have heard great things about it, and I can see why. I also just really like Gnu snowboards. Gnu is one of the best in the snowboard industry. This board can handle any terrain and is made for all-mountain rippers like myself.

I was stoked to test this board because I am in the market for a new quiver killer for those days where I want to play everywhere and anywhere without switching boards. I am looking for a board that can handle park laps and go find cliffs and rips trees, but also is a board that can have fun getting to those places. This board is exactly that and will be getting added to the quiver!

Additional features I love include cool graphics, an eco-sublimated poly topsheet, and eco-minded construction including a paulownia core—making this ripper one of the lightest out there as long as you pick out the appropriate size for your weight and height. Carbon power bands and stronger sidewalls provide radical response for quick, snappy turns.

What I love about it

  • Speed: I had no issue with cruising at higher speeds on this board. I was in full control and didn’t feel any chatter. The sustainable wood core minimized chatter. No wax was needed my first few days out with the gloss that comes from the factory but did need to add wax later in the season.
  • Edge hold: Unreal edge hold! Magne-traction edges (a.k.a edge serrations) create great edge hold on this board and I could really lay into my turns which is always a great feeling.
  • Turns: The GNU Riders Choice really shines when it comes to railing turns, the asymmetrical sidecuts let me turn with minimal effort. Was able to get from edge to edge very smoothly.
  • Groomers: This board excels on groomers. I had a lot of fun just cruising the groomers and playing around. The rocker camber hybrid contour gives riders the best of both worlds: edge hold, pop, and catch-free turning.
  • Trees: I only dipped into the trees for a little but I was able to move through the trees effortlessly. Being able to get from toe edge to heel side edge quickly is a huge bonus when ripping tree lines. A deeper sidecut results in efficient maneuverability to avoid obstacles. Nice and poppy!
  • Moguls: If moguls are where you like to ride, I think this board would do just fine crushing them out because this board is pretty stable while riding and is a medium flex. Whether I want to jump over the moguls or quickly maneuver through them, this board will have my back.
  • Park: I didn’t take this board in the park due to the size I was riding (it was larger than my usual size), but this board is ready to rip the small-large line. This board is a hybrid rocker-camber that provides stability, asymmetry, pop, and flex, which is great for park riding and hitting jibs. Wider widths will do well on rails and boxes.
  • Backcountry: I haven’t taken this board off the resort, but living in Vail, I would totally rip this board out of our gates at the resort. This board has great stability and can float in pow. While I was riding it, I was able to quickly get from edge to edge so I know I feel comfortable taking it out in the sidecountry. It would be sweet if they offered a splitboard version of this one.
  • Durability: I only got to test-ride it for a few runs, but GNU makes some great boards. With GNU riders in mind in the making of this board, I think the GNU Riders Choice was made for strong powerful riders.
  • Switch riding: The GNU Riders Choice is an asymmetrical, true twin so switch riding is a breeze on this bad boy.
  • Stability: This board was made with park riding in mind, and as a result, has some great pop. I did not feel any chatter under my feet when I took it out for a few laps.
  • Flex: A medium flex (6 out of 10) makes this ride sturdy enough to handle those steeper lines as well as flex enough for butters and presses.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Powder: I wouldn’t buy this board if I was going to just use it for deep pow days, but anything around six inches or so of fresh snow is no problem. I would not recommend this for powder because there are specific powder boards. For those looking for a board that can handle deep pow, I would recommend looking at a board that is designed for pow.
  • Weight: I was riding a bigger board so it felt pretty heavy to me while I was skating, spinning, on the chair, and getting the board off the ground. Additionally, the larger board made my stance feel a bit too wide but it is most likely only because the board was bigger than what I usually ride. The width of this board is ideal for riders with larger shoe sizes. Rider weight and height are the two biggest factors for determining what board specs you should be looking for.

Favorite moment with this gear

I really enjoyed cruising on this board. I only got to test ride a 154.5, which is pretty big for me but even with a big board I still had a lot of fun. I felt super stable and I could really lay into my carves and get from edge to edge quickly. I love carving so having a board that can keep up with my carves is always a great feeling.

Value for the money vs. other options

The GNU Riders Choice is pretty pricey, but this board is built to last and take me on great adventures on resorts and off resorts. Having a board that can perform in all settings is a huge win for me. Other comparable options are the Never Summer Proto Synthesis Drag Free or the Men's Burton Custom Flying V Snowboard.

Final verdict

In summary, the GNU Riders Choice is made for riders who don’t want to be held back by their board. The Riders Choice will go all over the whole mountain. The guts of this thing! It is a tough utility board made for riders looking to rip everywhere and anywhere all day long and is best suited for riders of any ability level but ideal for intermediate to advanced riders. It did a great job handling everything I threw at it. Be sure to pair this board with a set of medium flexing bindings for the best performance. If you're looking for new boards, this is certainly one to consider adding to your board quiver.

If you want to see this board in action, check out the video below by our Curated experts for more information.

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