List Price US $599
Gnu Mullair 2017-2020 Snowboard Review

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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 Directional Camber
Stance Setback over 20mm
Approx. Weight Feels Normal
Split No
Powder Good
Turning Experience Excellent
Carving Great
Speed Great
Uneven Terrain Good
Switch Average
Jumps Good
Jibbing Poor
Pipe Good
On Snow Feel

Semi-Locked In

Turn Initiation


Skidded Turns






Edge Hold

Icy Snow

Gnu Mullair 2020 - 2017 Review by The Good Ride

The Gnu Mullair is a board that might not float as easy as some of its peers but makes up for that with really dynamic hard turning good times, has great grip and of course likes a lot of air.

2021 Update: After Nico was dropped from Gnu this model is no longer available It is now called the Essential Service and is very close to the Mullair. 

Other than a few extra sizes added the design has stayed the same with the 2017-2020 Gnu Mullair. The written review has been updated to reflect what’s happening in 2020.

Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews.  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.

How This Review Happened: Demo’d this for one day thanks to to P3 at Mammoth, One day at the demos and then we liked it so much we spent our precious Good Ride dollars to bring it into the quiver.
Size: 159
Days:  8-10 days
Conditions:  Lot’s of conditions ragnging from pretty hard snow to soft weird spring snow, some wet thick powder and some decent PNW Powder all around 2′ or less with an early morning slackountry time with Drift Boards.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs),Grant (Size 11 6’ 160lbs), Zobel (Size 11.5, 6’ 180lbs), Jimbo (Size 11, 5’11” 160lbs),
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADVBurton Almighty, Adidas Tactical ADV, Burton SLX, Ride Trident, Burton Rover
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Strata, Union Falcor

Similar Boards (but not the same) That We Compared This To:
Yes Pick Your LineBurton Flight Attendant, Gnu Mullair, Jones Flagship, Never Summer West Bound, Rossignol XV, Lib Tech BRD, Lib Tech Lost Round Nose Fish

Set-Up: 21.75″ to 22.5” Wide. 18-21 front -6 to 0back. Close to Reference and Set all the way back. Set back, approx 23″ 15 front -6 back.  Day 2 approx 23″ 18 front -9 back

Approximate Weight: Feels normal. Not heavy and not light.

Sizing: The 159 feels pretty much size 10 and under and just right for my size 9 boots as well as my 185lbs.  Jimbo and Zobel booted out often with their size 11 and 11.5 boots and they would really prefer the 161w.

Flex/Buttering: Nice medium/stiff flex and it has a very snappy poppy feel to it that loads well for an ollie or carve but isn’t super easy to butter. You really feel the wood interacting with the materials wrapped around the board and it has a somewhat unique feel underfoot compared to the rest of the boards we have tried.

On Snow Feel/Ability Level/Skidded Turns: The Gnu Mullair feels like a more traditional tapered surfy version of the Flight Attendant even though it has less taper.  It’s got a similar feel camber wise but overall it just feels a little better and dynamic underfoot along with better edge hold. It’s a pretty locked in mostly camber ride that isn’t for beginners or intermediates. It feels a touch less catchy than full-on camber but not by much and it’s not for those that want a board that is easy to skid turns.

Edge Hold: Nice bump compared to the Flight Attendant and although it doesn’t feel like Full MTX like you get from the TRS or old Darker Series but it grips really well and it’s on the top end of the spectrum.

Turn Initiation: If you know how to turn its quick edge to edge if you like to roll from edge to edge quickly on short turns and it’s very easy to turn in tight spots. If you like wider turns once you are committed more to the side cut it turns a pretty average circle size and it’s fun. Getting a board like this is all about directional stylish turning and that will be the number one thing you do. The Gnu Mullair does not disappoint and we could turn this all season.

Turning/Carving: So much fun to carve and I didn’t feel like I had to commit too much weight to the back foot to keep it from washing out.  The Flight Attendant feels more between the feet than the Mullair but the Mullair has a more directional surfy feel with the turn.  If you are really into a more traditional surfy turn the Mullair will be the call and if you are more into a more double ender/all-mountain style/more skate like/less surfy turn then the Flight Attendant will be more appealing to carve.

Speed: This isn’t a racing board but it can bomb without excessive chatter.

Uneven Terrain: Yeah this is a stiffer freeride board but man it weaves in and out of bumps well.  The Gnu Mullair is also pretty good at absorbing chatter going over tracked snow and dealing with micro bumps on hard groomers. It’s not the dampest but it’s on the upper end of the spectrum.

Powder: So it seems like there is a slight touch of early rise and a long nose which definitely helps compensate for all that camber but it didn’t float quite as well as I expected. The difference between nose and tail when setting all the way back is is 4.75″ and the true setback on board is 2.375″ vs. 1″ setback on sidecut with at a stance width of approximately 22.75″.  After over 1′ of thick wet snow as well as a little lighter/deeper day at Mt. Bachelor, I felt the float wasn’t quite there with the Flight Attendant that has more setback on board and I needed to work that back leg harder for it to stay afloat. It feels like it would be best in a steep powder run rather than staying afloat in normal terrain you might see at many resorts. The Lib Lost Round Nose Fish Floated a little easier than the Mullair but the BRD and YES Pick Your Line out floated both by a good bit.

Switch: Doable and we liked the Flight Attendant better here.  However, you aren’t really buying this board to ride switch a lot.  It’s mainly for riding one direction.

Jibbing: Nah…..

Pipe:  The Gnu Mullair could be a great directional pipe rider thanks to the springy drive it could have from wall to wall as well as the pretty strong edge hold.  We wouldn’t know though as we didn’t ride the pipe.

Jumps: Great pop and it’s got an easy directional spring off the tail for an ollie or off a drop or even a kicker. It isn’t terrible landing switch either.

So we knew this was a fun board when we tried it last year but now that we got to compare it to a favorite and Nico’s past model we found out how much more we like it. If you are ok with a little than lower than average powder performance than some of it’s peers in exchange for strong edge hold and powerful fun turning you have a great board. I would suggest the Lib Tech BRD if you want more a more powder friendly ride and are willing to compromise a little turning power.

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Gnu Mullair 2017-2020 Snowboard Review SKU UPC Model

Great quiver board for all conditions

Mar 04, 2020 by Juraj
Ability Level: Advanced/expert • 
Riding Style: Freeride/backcountry • 
Days You Ride A Year: 25+ • 
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 180cm, 43eu 

GNU Mullair is great quiver board, in case you want one stick to do the trick, it's this one. I rode it on icy slopes and in 30-40cm of pow and mullair delivered - quick edge-to-edge, floaty, no leg burn in pow, you name it. Of course, these are the things I expected given that the board was designed by Nico, however one thing, which surprised me a lot was how nimble the boards is. You will appreciate it especially when riding fast through trees, or hitting bumps and jumps along the way. I definitely had a great time riding it. Also I want to mention that previously I had the 18/19 model, however after it delaminated, I received within a few weeks a new 19/20 replacement from Blue Tomato, where I have purchased board originally. So despite the quality issue, the replacement was hassle free. Have a great season all!

Great ride, questionable durability

Jan 06, 2020 by Gary
Ability Level: Advanced/expert • 
Riding Style: Freeride, back country (though the older I get, the more I appreciate chairlifts) • 
Days You Ride A Year: 30+ • 
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 6'3", 190lbs, US12 boot 

2019 model, 159W.

I loved every turn for the 12 days the board held up, and I would have given it 5 stars, but after less than two weeks on snow the "U" in the die cut GNU logo on the base popped. I'm told I'll get a full refund under warranty but it'll take two weeks to process, which means I'll be on an old stick for a week-long stay in the Austrian Alps this month - very frustrating.

That said, pretty sure I'll be replacing it with the 2020 Mullair. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun on groomers or in chop. It really encourages you to get edge to edge and to put some force through your back heel/toe as you burn through a turn. In fresh, dryish pow it was a lot of fun - a bit of a back leg workout on mellow slopes but awesome fun surfing the steeps. In heavy damp pow it wasn't quite in its element.

No chatter at 80km/h+, and took the chop of a busy mid-afternoon groomer with relative ease.

Highly recommended for experienced freeriders looking to amp up on piste or in light/dry/steep pow. Not recommended for beginners or for anyone looking to effortlessly breeze through mellow/heavy pow lines. Some reservations about build quality - hopefully the 2020 model doesn't have the same issues.

Unreal turning experience

Mar 19, 2019 by Gabriel
Ability Level: Int-Advanced • 
Riding Style: Freeride, groomers, touch of freestyle • 
Days You Ride A Year: 4-5+ • 
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 5'10", 175lbs, 11 US Boot, 

Another review nailed by The Goodride. Carvy, surfy, poppy, playful feeling freeride board. Lively and dynamic on snow feel.

Great spring out of turns, quick turn initiation, very very good edge hold, and no chatter or stability issues riding 50-60mph+ (Burton Flight Attendant does feel more stable when bombing). Felt great on jumps with loads of pop of the tail.

I was very impressed with the C3 camber profile. Feels like camber when carving and riding fast but that mild rocker between the feet loosens up the board quite a bit at slow speeds and doesn't make it feel catchy at all. Much easier to ride switch, skid turns, and ride the park than I was expecting. Overall very user friendly I would say.

It is worth mentioning that the board feels quite surfy when carving. It likes weight on the rear foot to really complete a turn and launch you out of it. I liked that surfy feel but I can see how others might not like it as much.

Didn't get a chance to ride the board in powder but I get the feeling it will be good enough especially if set all the way back.

All in all feeling very happy with this purchase. Got a 159W which just barely fits my size 11 boots. Paired it up with Union Atlas bindings and the setup is feeling tasty.

Smooth ride, super fun turns

Feb 12, 2019 by Jared Bresee
Ability Level: Advanced - Expert • 
Riding Style: Freeride • 
Days You Ride A Year: 20+ • 
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 6'3 230pounds 12US 

This board is so smooth and fun to ride. I've never had so much fun ripping groomers in the beginning of the day and just getting great turns on the board is a blast. Turning quick side to side and getting in super hooked carves will launch you out of your boots. Lots of pop in the tail of this board, which makes natural hits really fun. Edge hold is also pretty damn good.

The one thing that I was expecting it to be better in is powder. When you get to the really deep stuff, it's not bad, but it's not great. I had to put in a lot of back foot in the deep wet sierra stuff. When it got colder it held up a lot better and you can surf and slash it around easier. 1-3 inches of pow are no problem, and this really could be a quiver of one as long as you're not chasing the endless pow days. I'm super happy with this decision, no de-lam issues for me. Knock on wood.

Jan 23, 2019 by LY
Ability Level: Advanced • 
Riding Style: All mountain • 
Days You Ride A Year: 30+ 

This board is fantastic, but the top sheet delaminated on me after ~20 days. Numerous cases of this happening if you search online.

GNU did come through with a warranty replacement that I will have in a couple of days. I'll be one of the first to own a '19-20 Mullair. Hopefully it stays in one piece this time.

Bad quality

Nov 17, 2018 by MB
Ability Level: Expert • 
Riding Style: Free ride • 
Days You Ride A Year: 50 

I too have had the hard ship of this board delaming. I absolutely loved the board for the first month and a half. I sent it back to mervin who did a "repair" but now the board feels dead and isn't as fun to ride. Pretty disappointing for a $600 board. I won't buy a mervin again because of this experience.

one of todays better freeride boards

Feb 24, 2018 by mca
Ability Level: Advanced • 
Riding Style: Slasher/carver/bomber • 
Days You Ride A Year: Not enough • 
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 5'8"-158lbs-9 boot 

First thing I will say is that you have to take this board and judge it in the era it's being offered. Any comparison to a late 90's or early 2000's cambered board (custom X, Timeless, Supermodel X etc.) is tough to do. Those older boards were typically stiffer, much narrower stance options, longer effective edge, just basically very different feeling boards than almost anything being made today.

The Mullair along with other boards in the same category (Flight attendant) have a more mid to stiff flex and a touch of early rise in the nose and sometimes the tail as well. This definitely gives the board a surfy more maneuverable feel than other straight bomber boards.

I personally have two of these. A 152 for riding with my little kids and a 155 for ripping around with the boys. Certainly could use a 159 if travelling out west for bigger terrain but since i'm currently here in the northeast the smaller ones are good for me.

I found this board to be plenty stable at speed and it rips turns on hardpack. Floats well in pow, snakes thru bumps and is easy to navigate tight tree sections. The nose beats down chunky uneven snow, the tapered tail is super fun to hammer the sides of your local resort trails and the mellow mag saves my ass on speed runs over solid new england ice.

Bottom line on this one is it does a ton of stuff really really well. Maybe not the most heavy duty straight line bomber but certainly a solid daily freeride board that should not be overlooked. Enjoy.

low quality board

Feb 19, 2018 by roland
Ability Level: Advanced • 
Riding Style: Freeride/groomers • 
Days You Ride A Year: 40 

I was a big fan at the beginning of the season of this snowboard but now I´m totally disappointed from GNU and the quality of the Müllair. after 4 weeks and without excessive riding my edges under the front foot popped up. I´ll sent it back to GNU but they refused to accept it as a construction fault. I paid 599€ in Europe for this board.

Thats definitely not acceptable!!!!!!

Fun and Playful Freeride

Dec 24, 2017 by Sebastian
Ability Level: Advanced/Expert • 
Riding Style: Bombing steeps, bonking lower angle • 
Days You Ride A Year: 50 • 
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 6ft 175lbs size 10 

Size 161
Ref stance about 22" my stance 22 1/4"

I know it's early season but were getting dumped with snow and I already got 12 days. This boards base is also super durable for those worried about rocks and such.

Flex: Mid/stiff. Under foot is stiffer than tip and tail which makes flexing the board with your hands harder to gauge the flex while riding.

Edge Hold: Edge hold is great, the magtek isn't as strong or large as some other Mervin or Rossi boards but it is still in a tier above most.

Turn Initiation: Like a sports car. I put some T.Rices on her so that could be part of the reason it feels super quick.

Carving: Carving is a blast with the camber, quick turn initiation, and magtek. Also, GNU lists the contact edge at 114cm. I found that measuring the distance from widest part of the tip to widest part of the tail give you an effective edge of 121.5cm. I don't fully understand the difference between contact area and effective edge but if you're afraid this boards edge is too short, don’t sweat it.

Speed: Ok, so this board doesn't handle speed quite as well as the Flagship or the XV but it still rip it. The base is also slower on cat tracks then my XV split but the base is way way WAY more durable then my XV.

Powder: So I have had two good power days so far. First day was about 7-8 inches in which I had my stance on reference and I was satisfied with the performance. Second day was about 16-20" and I put ref 1cm back and I was still impressed. However, next time I get in that much snow I'll drop it another cm but If you're looking for a power board better than this get a hovercraft.

Uneven Terrain: My main resort doesn't groom anything over a blue so having a board that handles uneven terrain is important. I do a lot of hike terrain that ends in a shoot into a bowl. The bowls are always bumpy and negotiating that terrain is pretty easy and fun on this board.

Switch: Most of my switch riding is on a traverse where I don't want to be on my heels or before/after 180s. The tail is a short sharp upward sweep after the camber zone. This means switch in powder requires you to really lean back but other then that it rides switch well.

Jumps: This is probably the most poppy "freeride" board on the market. All rollers, side hits, and jumps, are easy to blast off and easy to land.

Buttering. I don't find this board any harder to butter then the jones mtn twin or the burton custom flying V.

My opinion on this board is that is more aggressive all mountain then freeride. My biggest complaint with freeride boards is that after the terrain is chopped out you would rather have an all mountain or freestyle board. Yes there are better boards for handling speed. Yes there are better boards for powder. However, I think this board is good enough at speed, powder to still be considered freeride. This is a softer freeride board, where it lacks in pure bombing it makes up with in uneven terrain and pop on ollies.

Not what i was hoping for

Mar 07, 2017 by Deaner
Ability Level: Who knows. • 
Riding Style: All mountain • 
Days You Ride A Year: 40 • 
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 6ft, 200, 11 boot 

Just wanted to chime in on the board - after having it out on both powder and hard pack / groomers. In short, I was expecting more. Given the boards shape, I thought it would float much better in powder (had 1.5 feet of fresh to play in). It really didn't stand out as a great powder-friendly board. I spend a good amount of time on T.Rice and Banana Magic, and both felt like they did much better in powder. (my 2c)

As for carving, seeing it rated as excellent, I was REALLY expecting a lot more from this board on morning groomers. Having come from many camber boards (Custom, Custom X, Timeless, Prophet, Yukon, and more), this definitely did not stand out. I would attribute the lack of carving ability to boards effective edge (or lack thereof).

For comparison sake - I'm also on a burton custom X 162, which has an effective edge of 1260 mm, whereas the 161 Mullair has an effective edge of 1140 mm. IMHO, that's quite significant, and noticable when trying to dig deep into turns. The Mullair just didn't feel locked in to the carve, and didn't carve as well as other cambered boards I've been on.

I'm sure Nico can get much more of of this board than I. LOL. But for me, it just didn't stand out.

Total time spent with the board: 5 full days

3.6 5.0 11 11 GNU Mullair is great quiver board, in case you want one stick to do the trick, it's this one. I rode it on icy slopes and in 30-40cm of pow and mullair delivered - quick edge-to-ed Gnu Mullair 2017-2020 Snowboard Review

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