Gnu Space Case 2018-2019 Snowboard Review

The Gnu Space Case is the brainchild of snowboarder, artist and “leader of the bearded youth” (their words, not ours) Forest Bailey. For the last few years he’s been one of the leading figures in urban snowboarding, and his signature deck is well equipped for the streets.

It still boasts the ‘C2X’ profile, which combines a pronounced rocker section of base through the middle of the board, transforming to camber sections under the feet. When unweighted, only the very centre of the board will touch the ground, but get your feet into it and there’s plenty of effective contact with the snow.

“There’s a strong asymmetrical element to the design of the Gnu Space Case”

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So what does that mean for the ride? Well, there’s plenty of grip available when you need it thanks to the extra contact points created by the change in profile – aided by the wavy edges that grip the snow at multiple places along the sidecut when you lock in a turn. In short, when you need to rely on the Gnu Space Case to hold an edge, it won’t let you down.

The rocker section in the middle therefore doesn’t disrupt the ride too much, but comes in handy in certain situations. Should you wish to hold a press on the nose or tail, less work is required. Also, in powder it gives the board more float than a twin shape would otherwise have.

It’s not a true twin, however, as there’s a strong asymmetrical element to the design of the Gnu Space Case. The core (made of a combination of Aspen and paulownia wood) flexes more on the heelside than the toeside, to make up for the difference in how your foot handles each in turn.

“Forest Bailey’s signature deck is well equipped for the streets”

Furthermore, the sidecut is deeper on the heel side, and the effective edge shorter, thanks to a difference in the layout of the contact points. Combined with those Magne-Traction edges, it’s a turning experience like no other.

So while the Gnu Space Case has everything you need for high-end, heart-in-mouth rail riding, it’s no one-trick pony.

Given his fondness for doodling, Forest’s handiwork also graces the topsheet and base of the Gnu Space Case. There’s also a matching pair of Bent Metal Transfer bindings out there, should you want to go for an all-Forest setup.

Tester’s Verdict


“If snowboards these days come in more shapes than pasta, then jib boards tend to be the proverbial noodles. All the more surprising, then, that Forest Bailey’s rail-slaying pro model turned out to be on the al dente side.

It’s torsionally stiff, rendering it very responsive edge to edge – in fact despite the banana profile (still a trademark of decks produced at the Mervin factory, and which usually produces a looser, catch-free ride at the expense of pure edge hold) it’s actually pretty handy at carving.

“The Space Case felt perfectly balanced when turning and – unusually for a street-oriented deck – reassuringly stable when you put the foot down”

No doubt this was assisted in part by the blend of Magne-Traction and an asymmetrical shape; all in all the Space Case felt perfectly balanced when turning and – unusually for a street-oriented deck – reassuringly stable when you put the foot down.

So what gives? Is Forest riding all those handrails on a plank? Not quite. From nose to tail the board feels much softer, which made it very easy to press, butter and pop. This thing definitely has the ‘fun’ box ticked, and between the squidgy tail and the rockered shape it seems to constantly encourage you to ollie off moguls and sidehits.

I had it paired with a set of Bent Metal Transfer binders, and while the matching graphics of the Forest Bailey edition might be too much for some, a great combination it was too.”

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Trade Secrets

Dave Marx – Marketing Specialist, Gnu

“Forest designed the perfect tool to harness creativity, mind bending trickery and control on all terrain. Anatomically-intuitive asymmetry built in to effortlessly improve progression, performance and style on board. Magne-traction serrated edges lock you into harmony with the mountain.

Let the art of Forest Bailey inspire, soothe and stimulate your brain.”

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