Our pick of this season's best Gnu snowboard gear

The year was 1977 when a young Mike Olson shocked the world/his High School when instead of making a clock or an ornamental vase in his DT class, he decided to make a snowboard much to the dismay of his parents and the outside world.

Fortunately for us, this didn’t deter the young Washingtonian because he and a friend Pete Saari decided to drop out of college in ’84 to start their own snowboard company and GNU snowboards was born.

GNU got into some grief when their distributor at the time, took the dividends that should have gone to Mike and Pete and began their own company Nitro Snowboards. After a lengthy legal dispute, the distributor gave them the name GNU back, but only after the two had created a parallel brand inspired by Liberace’s jumper…

In 1991, GNU was back up and running and was bought by Quiksilver in 1996, who own GNU’s parent company Mervin Manufacturing. A strong move, as in 1997 GNU exploded with the recent addition of the now infamous Danny Kass to the team. Later on, in 2014, Quiksilver decided it was time to sell Mervin, which was then purchased by Altamont Capital.

GNU now make boards with some of the finest quality materials and technology in the game. They also happen to make snowboards for the giants and the big footed: The GNU Skunk Ape has the widest waist width of almost any board on the market. You know what they say about people with big feet right?

They’ve also got a seriously strong women’s range, fronted by living legend Barrett Christy, whom we recently interviewed for our Luminaries Series, and Jamie Anderson. And the talent doesn’t stop there, as Forest Bailey and Blake Paul also represent GNU.


Scroll down or select from the links below to check out our reviews of this season’s best GNU snowboard gear.

Snowboards | Bindings | Boots


Gnu Banked Country Snowboard 2022-2023

PRICE: £530 / €580 / $600

Back in the Whitelines 100 for the second year running with a few choice upgrades for winter 2023, the Gnu Banked Country once again had our test team frothing. It devours steeps, chomps up powder bowls and eats technical descents for breakfast.

There’s no shortage of snowboards that talk a big game and claim to dominate across a variety of terrain, but the Banked Country is a ride that knows exactly the terrain it’s built to govern. In bounds or off the beaten track, you get a consummate playmate that wants to ride hard and fast, and won’t be afraid to take any prisoners.

Who Is The Gnu Banked Country For?

Rookies, this one ain’t for you. The Banked Country is for confident, athletic and advanced riders. You’re a fiend for powder, but Mt Baker Banked slalom is the highlight of your year. One board to encompass both your passions. How delightful.


Selected for the Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2022-2023 Gnu Banked Country here


Gnu Head Space Snowboard 2022-2023

PRICE: £495 / €560 / $560

Gnu has been unabashedly weird since the late 70’s. True, they do things a little differently, but there’s no doubt that they are purveyors of some of the finest snowboards on the market.

The frontman of Gnu’s pro team, Forest Bailey, thinks outside the box. From his choice of street spots to his avant garde artwork, Forest is happy to shake up the status quo. His Head Space pro model is a weird and wonderful testament to freestyle in the modern age.

Who Is The Gnu Head Space For?

Advanced riders who prioritise creativity and freestyle but need a snowboard that will let them really push their limits both inside and outside of the park ropes.


Selected for the Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the 2022-2023 Gnu Head Space here


Gnu Barrett Women’s Snowboard 2022-2023

PRICE: £485

Named after legendary snowboarder Barrett Christy, this iconic board is the longest-running women’s pro-model snowboard on the market. In fact, to date, Barrett is still head of design for female snowboards at Gnu. This all-mountain model has been carefully honed over the years, aimed at confident riders looking for a backcountry-orientated deck. The setback stance and wide nose promise good float when it’s steep and deep, while the bumpy magne-traction edge offers excellent grip, even in bulletproof ice. As the barrelling graphic suggests, it’s primed for surfing the mountains. Added bonus: when you buy this board, proceeds are donated to charity Boarding For Breast Cancer.



Gnu Ladies Choice Women’s Snowboard 2022-2023

PRICE: £546

Jamie Anderson’s pro model has gained a decent following over the last eleven years – for good reason. With its medium flex and all-mountain/freestyle focused design, it’s the most versatile board in Anderson’s collection, suitable for keen-but-green riders right up to advanced shredders. The progressive asymmetric cut means you can send more power down through your heelside edge, offering greater responsiveness. Plus the eco-credentials are particularly strong here – from the topsheet made from bio beans to the FSC certified wood core. We also can’t fault the graphics; Sarah King has been illustrating Anderson’s boards since the get-go, reflecting the champ’s free-spirited style.




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