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Snowboards

Gnu Klassy 2016-2017

  • Price: £465
  • Sizes: 142, 145, 149, 152
  • Flex: 4-5 (depending on length)
  • Profile: Combo
  • Shape: Directional
  • GNU.COM

It was heartbreaking to hear that Kaitlyn Farrington, the stylish pipe rider that pipped Torah Bright to Olympic gold in 2014, was forced to retire from competitive snowboarding at just 25. Doctors identified a problem with her spine that, were she to continue, would put her at high risk of paralysis.

Since then, however, Kaitlyn has fully embraced the backcountry. Throughout the winter she’s pushing her freeriding further, under the guidance of the many shred-legend ladies that work at Gnu. Before long she was given free reign to redesign the Gnu Klassy, formerly a true twin but now a bona-fide pow chaser.

“When the powder arrives, that’s where you should be aiming the pointy nose of the Gnu Klassy”

It’s definitely not one for pootling along the groomers; the XC2 profile is the same one used in Forest Bailey’s Space Case, as well as the Lib Tech decks favoured by Eric Jackson and Travis Rice. The rocker section at the waist is much shorter than the two camber sections at either end, meaning increased edge bite (aided by the Magne-traction edges that feature multiple contact points along each sidecut.

So you can really scream down the trails if you want to, but when the powder arrives that’s where you should be aiming the pointy nose of the Gnu Klassy. It’s no unforgiving gun, so you surfy turns are encouraged, but it can certainly handle the high speeds too. Less rocker in the profile also means it’ll take a little more work than some other Gnus to keep the nose up, but it’s still far easier with a combo board like this than a standard camber.

The shape helps with float too, and it’s slightly setback to give you more nose to work with. Adventurous types can get away with butters and spins on it too, so while Kaitlyn keeps her Gnu Klassy at ground level these days it doesn’t mean you have to.

The Gnu Klassy is really for anyone who enjoys the ride, with the means to tackle serious descents as well as enjoy surfy fun in the slush. Unless you’re an out-and-out freestyle fiend, this is an excellent choice.

Tester’s Verdict

Tammy Esten – mintsnowboarding.com

The Gnu Klassy is an awesome all-rounder! I rode it both in the powder and in the park, and it stood out as a fun ride wherever I went. And it’s got Magne-traction, which really does give you next level grip… I love it!

“This stood out as a fun ride wherever I went”

I think most people would enjoy this board. You could buy the Gnu Klassy as a beginner-to-intermediate rider, and never tire of it or progress beyond it. It would also see more advanced riders through an entire season of shred.

 

Trade Secrets

Barrett Christy –  Head Of Women’s Product Design, Gnu

With an eye on the future and a hell of a golden past to build upon, Kaitlyn Farrington’s pro model board this year was designed to take her beyond the pipe and into the mountains.

Kaitlyn is a strong rider; despite her retirement from competitive pipe riding, she approaches the whole mountain as her playground, both in and out of bounds. The XC2 camber combo and directional shape give the Klassy the ability to get aggressive when challenged, but it’s easy-going enough to float through variable snow conditions as well as powder. The Magne-traction only adds to the fun, making even firm, icy days a dream for fluid turns and committed carving.

The art by Hannah Stouffer is fun, bright and prismatic. Kaitlyn won her first X Games medal – a milestone of her shred career – on a Gnu B-Pro featuring Hannah’s art, so I was really happy that Hannah also designed Kaitlyn’s new model as it takes her snowboarding to another unreal turning point.

This board truly honours Kaitlyn’s playful, fun personality by being up for anything and down for a good time!

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Selected for The 2016/17 Snowboard 100

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