Gnu Head Space 2022-2023 Snowboard Review

Tested and selected for our top 100 snowboard products of the year: the Gnu Head Space

  • Price: £495 / €560 / $560
  • Category: All-Mountain / Freestyle + Park
  • Sizes: 149, 152, 155, 155W, 158
  • Flex: 4.5-6/10
  • Shape: Asymmetric Twin
  • Profile: Combo
  • 3D: No
  • Base: Sintered

Why We Chose The Gnu Head Space: It’s different, but in a good way.

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.

“Forest Bailey thinks outside the box; from his choice of street spots to his avant garde artwork”

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.



Shape, Profile and Sidecut

As mentioned, the Head Space is a little different — possibly most evident in its shape. At first glance it looks like every other true twin, but Gnu have tricked out the Head Space with an asymmetric sidecut. A deeper (i.e. shorter) sidecut radius on the heelside counteracts your body’s biomechanical inefficiencies. This means less edge angle is required to initiate heelside turns, balancing out the power more evenly between toe and heel.

The sidecut is where it’s at with the Head Space. It’s off kilter, but also features Mervin’s Magne Traction. Seven bumps strategically placed down the edge to improve grip and control in sketchier conditions, it’s milder than some other iterations to make it a little less catchy when you’re slapping metal.

Gnu’s C3 profile is as close to traditional camber as they get: a mellow rocker sits between two pockets of camber stretching out past the contact points in the nose and tail. You get the benefits of pop, power and precision through the board’s length, with a little extra forgiveness and float at the very ends.

“Less edge angle is required to initiate heelside turns, balancing out the power more evenly between toe and heel”

Construction and Materials

Gnu proudly uses the slogan ‘We Build Our Own Damn Boards’. And fair play to them, there aren’t many brands who can still make that claim. Not only do they make their own wares in the good old US of A, they make them in a pretty environmentally conscious way. Eco based inks, recycled materials, renewable energy sources, and zero hazardous waste are just a few ways Mervin’s factory works to reduce their footprint.

If you’ve seen Forest Bailey ride, you’ll know his boards take a bit of a beating at times, and Gnu’s efforts to be sustainable go further than just the manufacturing, they want these things to last! As such, they use a tough as old boots Eco-Sublimated Sintered Base, it’s not the fastest base out there, but it’s built for durability whether you hit a shark fin early season or you’re having a sesh in the streets.

The Head Space uses a mostly aspen core, with paulownia stringers running lengthways to add some extra dynamic energy underfoot and through the nose and tail. Fibreglass-wise, Gnu uses a mix of triax and biax weaves. This best of both worlds approach targets key areas to increase response, whilst still allowing the overall flex to remain pretty mellow.

“Gnu’s C3 profile is as close to traditional camber as they get”


Get your head in the game! The Gnu Head Space takes inspiration from all different genres of snowboarding, as well as skateboarding and surfing. The result is a snowboard that can tackle a little bit of everything- from all out urban assaults to digging trenches on piste. The asymmetric shaping might take a bit of getting used to but getting out of your comfort zone is never a bad thing, and while it might seem like a bit of an unusual way to build a freestyle snowboard, the results speak for themselves.


  • Asym sidecut makes turning through your heels much more precise and powerful
  • Gnu’s C3 profile is the liveliest and most dynamic in their line


  • MagneTraction can make it a little more prone to catching on rails or concrete


Tester’s Verdict

Mike Brindley – Videographer, Whitelines

“At 152 this was definitely a little shorter than I’d usually pick up off the rack, so it was a nice surprise that the Headspace still held its lines well on solid snow and packed a good amount of pop. The slightly blunted ends and twin shape (and short running length in my case) had this feeling very nimble, spinning well and flitting between regular and switch riding with ease.

The softness started to show a little in rougher terrain, where I would’ve liked a bit more of a stable platform – but if you want to max out on maneuverability, that might be a sacrifice you’re not willing to make. If freestyle is your focus, but you’re not looking to launch things into outerspace on the biggest features, this is definitely worth a look in.”

Trade Secrets

Lauren Lidford – UK Sales Agent, Mervin

“Forest Bailey is an amazing all around snowboarder he is known for his jib and street skills with dozens of progressive video parts and an X games street medal under his belt. Forest built the Headspace specifically for street and park freestyle but a big part of freestyle is carrying speed through flats, transitioned terrain and efficiently connecting lines so the Headspace is fine tuned to be an amazing carving and turning stick. The combination makes the Headspace an amazing resort rip stick for the freestyle minded. If you are a bit more focused on powder forest has his 4 X 4 model that features a directional shape and longer floaty nose for the deep days and soft snow landings”

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