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Gnu Zoid

- published February 2016

92

2016

RATINGS

Handling
10
Pop + Energy
8
Float
7
Versatility
7
Edge Hold
10
Sustainability/Craftsmanship
10
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
92

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$649.95
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Loves groomers & tight trees
  • Excellent carver
  • Superlative GS turns

THE BAD

  • Awkward in a vertical board holder
  • Just one size (156cm)

THE VERDICT

The GNU Zoid is an all mountain deck that excels at high speed GS turns and also does well in powder pockets among tight trees. Although it might be the perfect board for the intermediate to advanced freeriders on the East Coast, West Coast and Rocky Mountain riders will also find plenty to love. This is not the board to take into the terrain park.

FULL REVIEW

While this design is popular for all but extinct carving boards that require hard boots to ride, there’s been a renewed interest in asymmetrical designs, with Gnu leading the charge. Their 2016 line includes asymmetrical boards like the Space Case, Eco Impossible, and Riders Choice Aspen. The Zoid model in the Gnu lineup has different versions for goofy and regular stances. The Gnu Zoid has a hybrid camber profile—which the company calls EC2 BTW—that has rocker between the feet and camber at the tip in tail. This mix makes it more playful and less responsive than a cambered board and more aggressive than a board that’s full rocker.

On mountain it’s quick to get into turns and lock into them. And the board's serrated edges, known as Magne-Traction, helps with edge-hold on ice.  

HANDLING
One of the coolest trends to emerge over the last twelve months, is an emphasis on the carve. Even pros are producing amazing edits where they lay down simple turns that are beautiful to watch. The Zoid makes you want to hop on the carving bandwagon. As far as laying down deep carves on the corduroy, nothing comes close to the Zoid.

POP + ENERGY
On the stiffness scale of 1 to 10, the Gnu Zoid is about a 7.5. Stiff enough to be very stable at speed; it can also handle choppy snow. The hybrid camber is fun for boosting off small lips. Once testers got used to the unique design of this board, they liked loading up the edges to get lower and lower into their turns.

FLOAT
Although it’s narrower than most boards in the all-mountain line up, the unique asymmetrical tail design lets the rider lean way back to point the nose upward for plowing through the fresh.

VERSATILITY
This board is built for turning, not spinning or jibbing or playing in the terrain park. But, just looking at it, you know that. 

EDGE HOLD
Magne-traction, the wavy edges designed to bite into snow and ice, do their job. Thanks to the stance specific design, this board probably has the best edge hold of any board on the market today. 

SUSTAINABILITY/CRAFTSMANSHIP
Gnu’s parent company, Mervin Manufacturing, is based Washington and all of their boards are made in the U.S. by, they joke, “snowboarders with jobs.” Handbuilt, Mervin decks have a strong track record of durability. And since they don’t have to be shipped from Europe or the Far East, their carbon footprint is lighter than the majority of snowboards on the market. 

How We Tested It

The board in this test was used inbounds and in the backcountry of Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, and Jackson, Wyoming.

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Stephen Krcmar

Stephen Krcmar

Stephen Krcmar splits his time between Mammoth Lakes and Los Angeles. A snowboarder, cyclist, and motorcycle guy, he skied 76 days last winter. He’s written about the outdoors for more than 16 years.

Shop for the Gnu Zoid

MSRP
LOW PRICE

$649.95
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$649.95
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Handling
10
Pop + Energy
8
Float
7
Versatility
7
Edge Hold
10
Sustainability/Craftsmanship
10
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
92

Specs

  • Length(s): 156 cm
  • Gender: Unisex

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