Gnu Eco Choice 2016-2017

  • Price: £465
  • Sizes: 154.5, 157.5, 161.5
  • Flex: 5.5-7 (depending on length)
  • Profile: Combo
  • Shape: Asymmetric Twin

The guys at Mervin Manufacturing really wear their environmentally-friendly credentials firmly on their sleeves. As well as the Lib Tech World’s Greenest Snowboard, they also produce the Gnu Eco Choice.

The Gnu Eco Choice snowboard shares a lot of characteristics, such as sidecut radius and profie, with the Riders Choice. Both boards are designed for bringing freestyle to the whole mountain, with a asymmetric twin shape and all-terrain combo profile. Even the graphics are pretty similar.

“The Gnu Eco Choice is a snowboard for all seasons – as happy on a groomer as it is in the pow”

So how is it different? While the Riders Choice isn’t exactly the Exxon Mobil of snowbards (the wood core is FSC-certified, and much of the leftover materials from the production process are recycled) the Eco Choice ramps things up to 11. The topsheet is made from beans, and the paint used in the graphic is water-based. Also, the UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) used in the sidewalls is recycled.

As far as performance goes, you’d struggle to put your finger on any drawbacks caused by the production process. It still tears up the pistes, aided by the wavy Magne-traction edges and asymmetrical sidecut, not to mention the camber sections of the profile that sit right at your feet. The rocker section in the middle makes the board flex up naturally when you’re pressing it, and help keep you on top of the powder too.

All this adds up to make the Gnu Eco Choice a snowboard for all seasons – as happy on a groomer as it is in the pow. Obviously it’d be nice if the price were lower, but years of experience have told us that they’re doing the Lord’s work up at Mervin HQ, and their quality standards are worth paying for. Besides, it’s harder and costlier to make something that’s better for the environment.

No wonder Swiss recycliing enthusiast Nicolas Müller rides this one alongside his own pro model. Dudes of a similar persuasion should pick up a Gnu Eco Choice, and there’s a women’s version available too.

Tester’s Verdict

Ed Blomfield – Whitelines

I always get a warm glow stepping on a Mervin-manufactured snowboard, knowing it’s been made by dudes with tats who actually ride (and not Chinese drones whose hands weren’t small enough to stick processors into iPhones). With the Gnu Eco Choice, that feel-good feeling was enhanced by its environmental credentials – bio beans topsheet, recycled sidewalls, waterbased inks etc.

“The Eco Choice feels consistently stable, stomping landings with authority and floating well in deep snow”

So how does it actually ride? Well, the asymmetrical sidecut coupled with reverse camber in the middle do a great job of livening up what might have been a pretty standard steed; it turns easily, locks into heelside carves and invites butters without ever feeling sketchy.

Despite a decidedly normal waist width of just over 25cm the Eco Choice also feels consistently stable, stomping landings with authority and floating well in deep snow (again aided by that slight rocker). Since it’s a twin asym design, switch riding is also easy.

The graphics and finish are not the most polished on the market (look elsewhere for engraved sidewalls and tactile topsheets) but this brand knows its audience well: for beefy all-round performance with a clear conscience, look no further.

Trade Secrets

Dave Marx – Team Manager, Gnu

Nicolas Müller, living legend and Eco-Unrealist, was drawn to Gnu because of our Eco-Unreal processes and ability to build dream boards. With The Eco Choice he combines both practices that live at Gnu’s core.

Every Eco Choice is hand-built in the USA, at the world’s most enviroMENTAL board factory. This board enlists even greater eco processes, with ZERO hazardous waste in production. The Eco Choice is the asym twin freestyle/freeride performance board, perfected by Nicolas Müller.

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Selected for The 2016/17 Snowboard 100

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