- Price: £490 / $550
- Category: All-Mountain, Freeride/Powder
- Ability Level: Intermediate, Advanced
- Size: 154, 157, 159W, 160
- Flex: 5/10
- Shape: Directional
- Profile: Hybrid
- Base: Sintered
Elbow pads at the ready, it’s time to get down and turny. The Gnu Hyper Kyarve is purpose built for for turning and burning, slicing and dicing, gripping and ripping, and carvin’ with Marvin (or should that be turnin’ with Mervin). Clichés aside, this snowboard is a freeride dream designed for eating up groomers and floating through the backcountry, but with a hybrid profile that doesn’t leave a bit of freestyle out the realms of possibility.
Gnu got the input of Blake Paul when they designed the Hyper Kyarve – no real surprise when you find out he hails from the freeride Mecca of Jackson Hole. The result is a directional snowboard with a camber profile that you might associate more with an all mountain or freestyle board. A large rocker in-between the feet and parabolic cambers under each binding, which Gnu call C2X, give the board float in deep snow as well as a bit of forgiveness if you feel like launching yourself off features. Having a rocker in the middle of a board designed for carving might not make sense to everyone but the camber humps under each foot are designed to give you extra grip towards the nose and tail – where it’s needed most.
“The Gnu Hyper Kyarve is purpose built for for turning and burning, slicing and dicing, gripping and ripping, and carvin’ with Marvin (or should that be turnin’ with Mervin)”
The woodcore is Gnu’s G2 Eco Construction which is made up of sustainably harvested aspen, with two paulownia stringers parallel to each edge giving it a medium to stiff flex. The Hyper Kyarve is also equipped with a slight tail taper as well as a 1.5” setback to help sink the tail and raise the nose when riding pow. This combo also makes it easier to power out of turns on the piste by loading the tail, but means any it may feel a little odd to ride switch.
As you’d expect with a freeride board, the base is a fast sintered one that holds wax well so you can go fast enough to stay on top of the fresh snow. Last but by no means least (in fact, probably one of the most distinguishable features of a Gnu snowboard) are the wavy, serrated, knife-like edges know Magne-Traction that run down each side to give you extra grip when you’re trying to hold those turns in icy conditions. Make a wide turn and swerve them altogether if you encounter those conditions, though. This one’s all about ice cream groomers and cold, fizzy powder.