Gnu Snowboards started up in the early 1980’s under the direction of Mervin Manufacturing’s Mike Olson and Pete Saari who themselves began building snowboards in 1977. Mervin also includes Lib Tech and Roxy snowboards. Gnu, Lib and Roxy have always been made in the United States and they are one of the pioneers of using eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes. Gnu, Lib and Roxy are also among the most technologically advanced and performance-oriented board companies in the industry.
The first thing Gnu Snowboards has done for 2015 is to spread Mervin’s high-end Horse Power Core technology down throughout their entire line. They are the only company that builds their own cores from top to bottom and that means every Gnu snowboard comes standard with:
- volcanic basalt fiberglass: very damp and snappy, as well as extremely lightweight.
- Columbia Gold wood core: lightweight and poppy. Also, it grows fast so it is an ecologically sustainable resource.
- Bio–Resin top sheet: tough, snappy, and ecologically renewable.
This is awesome as the entire line gets upgraded and the higher end boards take on the next-level tech. Some of the changes to existing and new snowboards in the Gnu 2015 line include:
- Gnu Smart Pickle replaces the Pickle and it incorporates some brand new tech. The wood core is made out Aspen, Columbian Gold and Polonia woods. The softer wood is placed on the heelside, which also has a deeper sidecut- Gnu calls this Asym or Pickle tech. This makes turning heel side a lot easier than it normally does. The Smart Pickle also uses PBTX (Pickle BTX), which is rocker between the feet and flat to mild camber to the tips. This profile gives the Smart Pickle a loose, park style feel while still being able to handle all mountain riding (flex rating 5.5-6 depending on size) and excellent float in powder. Gnu also placed less aggressive magnetraction on the toe side rail and their regular magnetraction on the heelside. Gnu’s Smart tech, aims to make heelside turns as easy to make as toe side.
- Gnu Eco-Impossible is an updated Impossible A.S.S. Pickle from last year. The price dropped $100 and they added Texalium to the liquid magnesium fiber lay-up making the board very damp, lightweight and snappy. The bio-resin top sheet and sustainable wood cores make it eco-friendly. The Impossible has the same EC2 BTX (rocker between feet-elliptical camber to the tips) profile as last year that fills the space between the BTX and C2 profile. It also has the same “Smart” core as the Smart Pickle with a softer heel side core, deeper side-cut, magnetraction, and shorter heel side edge contact angles. This all makes it great for ducked out, freestyle riding.
- Gnu Beast and Beast Split: The Beast is Gnu’s aggressive fully directional all-mountain freeride/freestyle board. It employs Directional C3 (DC3), which is mellow rocker between the feet and aggressive camber to the tips. The DC3works with the directional shape of the Beast to give the rider maximum control and edge hold at high speeds. The rocker still allows the rider to float easily through powder and keeps the loose freestyle feeling intact. The Beast also comes in a splitboard version and features Karakoram clips that provide a tight fit for the two sides of the board. Both Beasts also use .5 Magnetraction, which is a more aggressive mag in the middle section of the side cut and mellow mag towards the tips. This gives the rocker more edge hold where it needs it most while keeping the outside contact points less catchy.
- Gnu Gateway: The Gateway replaces the Gnu Street for 2015 as the soft/medium flex, freestyle, park, and street mission board. It has the PBTX (rocker between feet and flat to mild camber to the tips) for easy turning, great float in powder, and is excellent for locking onto to rails and boxes due to the softer, rocker flex. The Gnu Gateway also has beveled edges to keep the rails catch-free when jibbing and a sintered base for high performance riding.
In addition, if you buy a Gnu Gateway you will get a free Weekday Warrior Pass at any Gateway resort. Gnu has a partnership with Gateway Parks– a group of riders opening snowboard parks around the country.
Gnu has a lot more to offer for 2015 and I will be testing out a Smart Pickle this weekend. There will be a post on that next week. Also we will be posting on Gnu women’s snowboards, and more Gnu rocker profiles, so stay tuned!