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Snowboards

Gnu Riders Choice 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 151.5, 154.5, 155W, 157.5, 158W, 161.5, 162W, 166W
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Combo
  • Shape: True Twin
  • Price: £499 / €559

The Gnu Riders Choice snowboard has become one of Team WL’s perennial favourites. Its all-mountain chops have long been proven, so it’s always a pleasure to see it return for another year. Despite a few little tweaks, this is the still the classic everyman-friendly asym.

The sidecut is deeper and shorter on the heels than on the toes – it’s a matter of preference, but there aren’t any riders we’ve met who don’t appreciate the extra help on the heel side. Both edges have the ‘Magne-traction’ wave, so you get increased grip when the serrated metal hits the ice.

“Freestyle-forward, but with design elements that make it excel away from the park too”

Like most Gnu boards, the Gnu Riders Choice has rocker between the feet and camber on either side. While you don’t get the same explosive pop as you do with a camber, you’re less likely to encounter a nasty edge catch. The central bend also helps you stay afloat in powder, which is especially handy on a twin-shaped board like this.

This year the core features balsa wood alongside the paulownia and Aspen, so it’s pretty light (if not remarkably so). The sore is also a little softer on the heelside, to help that deeper sidecut do its thing.

While perhaps a little too stiff for beginners, the Gnu Riders Choice deserves its broad appeal amongst the other levels of rider. Freestyle-forward but with design elements that make it excel away from the park too, it’s a true all-terrain vehicle.

Tester’s Verdict

Dan Wilsonsnowfit.co.uk

“All Mountain? Freestyle? This is very much both, and offers something for everyone.

My first run was in some hard-pack conditions with a wave of people descending around me, but the amount of fun the board generated put all that mayhem to bed. I was quickly dropping my shoulder and going to warp 10, looking for the nearest side hits to go boosting for days!

“Everywhere I went I would get a positive response”

Its asymmetric construction lets you lay down carves and get more power in your turns with minimal effort, and the Magne-traction edges grip and hold in all conditions. You could really feel the technology in the board feeding back with everything you wanted to do. It was super responsive and lively.

There wasn’t any powder, but I can’t imagine that being an issue. Everywhere I went I would get a positive response. Even at slower speeds you could really play with the flex and create some buttery goodness, offering what I felt was the most versatile board in the Gnu line.

The Riders Choice is a very wise choice indeed.”

Tester’s Verdict

Jon Birdldmountaincentre.com

“The Gnu Riders Choice is one those ‘go anywhere, do anything’ peak-to-park all-mountain freestyle snowboards.

You can feel the power and pop of the camber on the side hits and while carving on the groomers. It also floats well in the deeper snow, and with the asymmetrical shape makes those heel side turns easier.

“You can feel the power and pop of the camber on the side hits and while carving on the groomers”

Although I did feel Riders Choice was a steady solid board at times it did feel a little dull despite the Cali sun graphic.

The Gnu Riders Choice is a one board quiver of a snowboard for a the rider looking to progress with confidence offered by the magnetraction ensuring that extra grip when needed. A solid, steady, safe choice.”

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