If you are familiar with Gnu snowboards, you probably have some knowledge of how they label their rocker profiles, but it might not make a whole lot of sense to you. It can definitely be confusing and overwhelming, but they are working on simplifying it, and they now have things in three basic categories and placen on an aggression spectrum to make things easier for all of us.
left to right: Zoid, Mullair, Space Case, Head Case, Finsanity
BTX, PBTX, EC2 BTX, C2 BTX, XC2 BTX, C3 BTX, DC3 BTX…what is it all? It’s a progression of boards from “easy riding” to “aggressive” and a whole lot in between. Gnu’s profiles are all based on varying amounts of rocker between the feet and camber outside the feet.
Your key to the letters
BTX=BT is Banana Tech and it indicates rocker between the feet. X indicates Magne-Traction, which provides additional contact points along the edges of the boards to provide extra grip on hard pack and icy surfaces. All of the Gnu boards have BTX in addition to the various other letters.
P=Pickle Tech. This is an asymmetrical sidecut, The heel side has a deeper sidecut than the toe side allowing you to get more leverage over your heel side edge to compensate for the fact that because of the way our bodies are built, we can naturally get much more leverage over our toe edge. Next season this will be referred to as ASYM instead of “P” or Pickle Tech.
C2=Perfection. These boards still have rocker between the feet, but as you move up the aggression spectrum, camber plays a bigger part. The boards featuring C2 in the description are considered by Mervin to be the best blend of rocker and camber. It marks the middle of the spectrum. There are three different profiles that fit into this range EC2, C2 and XC2.
C3=rocker submissive, camber dominant. The rocker section on these boards is very mellow, and the camber is very pronounced. This is Gnu’s most aggressive profile.
D=Directional- these boards have a longer nose than tail. The sidecut and insert packs are set back, and there is a slight taper to the tail, making it a little bit narrower than the nose.
What that all means when you are shopping for a board is that you have a lot of choices based on the type of riding you do/want to do.
BTX boards (minus any other letters) are easy, jibby boards. They are the most mellow, easy riding boards in the lineup. They have rocker between the feet, and very mellow, almost flat, camber from the bindings out. They are designed for progression and are thereby great for beginners. The rocker makes them less catchy than many other boards, but they still provide a good amount of control and grip from the Magne-Traction. They float well in powder and they love to jib. The Carbon Credit series is this profile on the men’s side and the B-Nice is the women’s answer. There will also be ASYM versions of the Carbon Credit, the B-Nice, and a new board on the women’s side, the Hard Candy, is ASYM BTX.
EC2 BTX is considered Easy Perfection. It features a slightly smaller rocker section between the feet than found on the BTX boards, and larger, elliptical shaped camber sections outside the feet. It is considered “easy perfection” because of that mellow camber. It is an easy riding board that loves powder, but will perform on any surface. EC2 BTX a very versatile profile that give you a little bit more control than BTX boards without sacrificing fun and easy riding. The Zoid, Metal Gnuru, and women’s Velvet Gnuru all feature EC2.
C2 BTX is considered the Perfect profile by Mervin. The rocker section between the feet is similar to EC2, but the Camber outside of the bindings is more pronounced. This is another profile you can take anywhere. But it is a bit more aggressive than EC2 BTX. For next season, all of the C2 boards in Gnu’s lineup will also feature ASYM (except the Finsanity, which, as it’s name implies, i
s a little crazy and has metal fins on the tail). The Rider’s Choice, Ladies Choice, and Eco Choice on both the men’s and women’s side are all ASYM C2 BTX.
XC2 BTX is Aggresssive Perfection. The rocker section is shortened up a bit and the camber is even more pronounced than the C2 BTX. It provides a little more control and precision, and is a bit more aggressive than C2 BTX. But it is still loose enough to be fun because of the rocker between the feet. The Space Case by Forest Bailey is XC2 BTX and the Klassy on the women’s side is DXC2 BTX. It is a directional XC2 BTX board with a 2.5” setback and very slight taper.
C3 BTX represents Aggression on the spectrum. It is mostly camber. The rocker between the feet is very subtle, almost flat. So with the camber sections outside the bindings, it rides essentially like a camber board. C3 BTX rewards good form, and will punish you if you let your guard down. The men’s side offers the Head Space with ASYM C3 BTX, the Billy Goat with just straight C3 BTX, and the Mullair which is DC3 BTX. The women’s side has the B-Pro, which is one of the staples of the Gnu Girls’ line.
Since Mervin adopted their Aggression Spectrum concept, their “alphabet soup” has made a lot more sense. Determine your style (or desired style) of riding on the spectrum and match it up with a board that fits. You can ask your local shop about the other factors that could make a difference from tip and tail shapes, to flex and flex patterns, core materials, and other subtleties that can affect your experience. Mervin makes some of the most fun boards on the market and they have a board for everyone.