List Price US $599
Gnu Essential Service 2021 Snowboard Review

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Overall Rating
Riding Style Freeride
Riding Level Advanced - Expert
Fits Boot size (US) 8-10, 10-12
Manufactured in USA by Mervin
Shape Tapered Directional
Camber Profile Mostly Camber
Stance Setback over 20mm
Approx. Weight Feels Normal
Powder Good
Turning Experience Great
Carving Great
Speed Great
Uneven Terrain Great
Switch Average
Jumps Great
Jibbing Average
Pipe Great
On Snow Feel

Semi-Locked In

Turn Initiation

Medium/Fast

Skidded Turns

Semi-Hard

Flex

Medium/Stiff

Buttering

Moderate

Edge Hold

Icy Snow

Gnu Essential Service 2021 Review by The Good Ride

Gnu Essential Service Snowboard Video Review Fast Forward Markers

0:00 – Intro 0:38 – Summary 1:27 – Sizing 1:50 – Camber/On Snow Feel 2:40 – Flex/Butterability/Pop/Air 4:07 – Speed/Dampness 5:02 – Uneven Terrain 5:17 – Edge Hold 6:00 – Turning/Carving 7:05 – Powder 7:49 – Switch/Pipe/Jumps 8:10 – Conclusion 8:29 – About Our Reviews

Turn Ons/Swipe Right: Big springy bow of camber. Dynamic turner/carver. Borderline excellent Grip.
Turn Offs/Swipe Left: Pretty technical/catchy. Not the best floater compared to its peers.

Summary

The Gnu Essential Service is not the best in low angle pow and is pretty technical but it’s a hard carving very energetic fun ride. It still has all the magic that the Mullair it replaced has.

Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews and this is our unfiltered opinion. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.

Gnu Essential Services 2021 Snowboard Review- How it rides and who it is for

Gnu Essential Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How This Review Happened: We spent our precious Good Ride dollars to buy this and review it.
Size: 159
Days: 2 and more coming
Conditions: Excellent early winter groomers with only a little micro bumpy snow.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs)
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton Ion
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, F.I.T. Gameghangers LP
Bindings: Union Atlas

Similar Boards (but not the same): Yes Pick Your LineBurton Flight Attendant, Jones Flagship, Never Summer West Bound, Rossignol XV, Lib Tech BRD, Weston Backwoods, Burton Hometown Hero,

Set-Up: 21.5” Wide. 18 front -6 back & 21 front +3 Back.  Close to Reference and Set all the way back with the Mullair (almost exactly the same board) in powder.

Approximate Weight:
It feels medium bordering on heavy for its size but solid and damp.

(We don’t put in the exact weight because with wood cores there is no consistency in a boards weight)

Sizing

Here are some ideal US boot sizes for the Gnu Essential Service boards. You can of course go bigger or smaller but these are what we feel works best for not having Toe & Heel Drag and also have the right size for proper turn initiation.
155: 8-9
159: 8.5-9.5
161: 9-10
159w:10-11
161w: 10.5- 11.5
164w: 11-12

Shape/Camber/On Snow Feel/Ability Level

Gnu Essential Services Shape

 

 

 

The Gnu Essential Service’s taper isn’t too much at 8mm but you feel that tapered shape more than other boards with a similar lightly tapered shape. Despite the 1” setback on sidecut it rides pretty centered on board for a tapered directional board and there is lots of tail.

Gnu Essential Services Camber

 

 

 

 

Now the camber of the Gnu Essential Service is pretty much full camber with only a touch of early rise in the nose/tail. There is a passive bend in the middle but it doesn’t touch and seems to come down pretty abruptly at the tip/tail. It really enhances that mostly camber feel. That is great for those that love full camber but pretty bad if you want something easy to skid a turn if you get off your game. Its got a technical slashy thing to it as well that is pretty fun.

Flex/Pop/Buttering

The Gnu Essential Service has a medium flex in the nose, medium stiff flex in the middle and medium to medium/stiff flex in the tail. I was surprised my early season legs could get this to butter on the tail as easy as it did and the nose was even easier.

Speed

I’m not a bomber but the slightly softer flex than its predecessor, the Gnu Mullair, was still fine for bombing and it had all the speed I ever will need. If you really like to point it there are faster boards but this is fine for most. The base had good glide to it as well. Not amazing but nothing to complain about when well waxed.

Edge Hold

Uneven terrain riding is pretty good with this. The slightly softer flex with my board vs. the Mullair it replaced seemed to do really well with micro bumpy snow. I think this is a better version of the Mullair for all day resort riding. This is one of the better options for those that like to turn around bumps too.

Edge Hold

There is some pretty impressive sidecut disruption that isn’t quite full on magnatraction but pretty close. It is in between the Lib Tech E Jack Knife and the Lib Tech BRD in terms of disruption and grip. If you see a lot of hard to icy snow but still want it not to grab too hard in soft snow the Gnu Essential Service is a good call

Turn Initiation

Medium fast to fast and springy! All that camber pops hard and it is really good at quick changes of direction. Once you get the sidecut committed the Gnu Essential Service mellows out the speed of the turn a bit but it’s a good overall feel.

Turning Experience/Carving

All this camber with this middle ground side cut radius makes for a lot of fun from high speed narrow radius carves to across the groomer carves and even a circle carve or two. The definitely needs more weight on the back foot to keep the tail from washing but that is what taper does. Going a little posi like +3 on the back foot helps reduce back foot pressure but it’s not necessary.

Powder

So the Gnu Essential Service is one of those boards that is best in steep snow and it isn’t quite a low angle master like some. There isn’t much early rise in the nose but it is much bigger than the tapered tail. 2.35” set all the way back from center of the board with a 22.75” stance width it isn’t that much compared to many freeride boards so it rides a lot more centered in powder. That is what makes it so competent in steep terrain but not easy to float in lower angle powder. I haven’t ridden this but rode the Mullair (same board except for a slightly softer flex) in a good bit of thick wet powder. It taxed my back leg.

Conclusion

So if you ride steep terrain and want a hard driving springy camber feel that can do some technical slashes in all conditions the Essential Services might be a good call.

 
Gnu Essential Service Specs

 
Gnu Essential Service Images

We try to get as many images of the Gnu Essential Service, but forgive us if they're not all there.

2021

 
Gnu Company Information

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