Gnu RC C3 2020-2021 Snowboard Review

  • Price: £520 / $600
  • Category: Park/Jib, All-Mountain
  • Ability Level: Intermediate, Advanced
  • Sizes: 154.5, 157.5
  • Flex: 5.5-6/10
  • Profile: Hybrid
  • Shape: Asym Twin
  • Base: Sintered
  • New for 2020/21 season

Why we chose the Gnu RC C3 Snowboard: A new, C3 cambered model based off Gnu’s flagship all-mountain freestyle deck. ‘Nuff said.

Gnu have taken their all-mountain freestyle snowboard, the Riders Choice, and turned it up to 11 by giving it their aggressive C3 camber profile. The result is the RCC3, a high-performance freestyle board that isn’t for the faint hearted.

The RCC3 has the same DNA as the Riders Choice. It shares a twin shape, a tough sintered base, the ice defeating technology of Magne-Traction wavy edges, as well as an aspen wood core that has a balsa stringer down the centre and paulownia stringers running parallel to each edge. The result is the same poppy feel, both in the ollie and the turn, easy switch riding and top speeds without repeated trips to the board tech.

“Cutting through the waffle what does this mean? Simply put, it makes it easier to get your heel edge turns as tight as your toes”

Similarities also lie in the black magic of their asymmetric shapes. By making the snowboard asymmetric down its length, the RC C3 compensates the physiological differences humans have between balancing on their heels and toes. Not only is the flex softer on the heelside of the snowboard – making it easier to manipulate the flex and bend of the board on your weaker side – it also features a shorter sidecut radius and contact length. Cutting through the waffle what does this mean? Simply put, it makes it easier to get your heel edge turns as tight as your toes, you don’t have to crank over as far to start turning on the heel edge (making it easier to balance).

The main difference between the RCC3 and the Riders Choice is the C3 camber found in this one. Gnu have created a hybrid camber to please those who prioritise grip, power and stability – even if that comes at the risk of a less forgiving ride. This profile, with traditional camber running the length of the board but with a only slight rocker between the feet, is aimed at matching performance park and piste boards with old school camber that want to be ridden hard and fast.

“It’s clearly not for beginners or those who spend most of their time off-piste”

Who’s going to enjoy this board? Anyone who likes charging around the resort will certainly appreciate the profile and asymmetric wizardry, as will those who are looking to go big in the park. It’s clearly not for beginners or those who spend most of their time off-piste, although with its mid-stiff flex it can hold its own in chopped up snow and bumps.

It’s a shame it only comes in two sizes, 154.5cm and 157.5cm, as it limits those who can ride it, especially as neither size accommodates those with big feet. But it does accommodate the environmentally conscious as the wood in the core is sustainably harvested, the processes to construct it has zero harmful waste products and the factory it’s made in uses power from renewable sources. So there’s a big fat win for mother nature, if not for you big old clown feet.

“I’m no park rider. My two go-to snowboards are the Korua Tranny Finder and Bataleon Omni, so the idea of getting on to a freestyle asym-twinned snowboard didn’t exactly have me frothing.

The camber on the RCC3 felt really powerful. It felt very similar to the kind of grip and response I like in a freeride deck, but the twin shape made riding switch and playing around on side hits really appealing. I found myself riding more switch on those three runs with the RCC3 than I did for the rest of my season.

I’m sure that confident freestyle riders would love what’s on offer here. It’s a specced up Rider’s Choice, so that should give you some idea of the kind of versatility and performance to expect from it.

“I’m sure that confident freestyle riders would love what’s on offer here”

This was also the first snowboard I’d ridden with an asymmetric sidecut. I’m not going to suggest that it immediately fixed my sketchy heelside carves after the first turn, but I could certainly feel the difference, especially when I got back on to my own board. At first, I thought the combination of the asym sidecut with the Magen Traction would just be a little intense on edge – a bit like riding down the hill on a chainsaw – but it was impressively smooth, predictable and grippy.

Yes, it’s a high-level twin snowboard, but I really don’t think it’s limited to freestyle riders or park laps only. As someone who favours freeriding and directional snowboards, this really had me thinking about making the switch to something different. And if I was going to, I’ve got a feeling it would be to this. Although I might just wait another season until there’s a slightly bigger size available!”

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