GNU - Handmade Snowboards since 1977
Mike Olson is the founder of the world famous Gnu Snowboards. He has been constantly tinkering with, building and developing new snowboard technologies ever since the 70s and is still going strong to this day as co-founder of Mervin Manufacturing, the parent company of Gnu and Lib Tech and one of the most environmentally friendly snowboard manufacturers on the planet. Handmade in the state of Washington, USA using eco-friendly processes and durable materials as standard, Gnu snowboards and bindings are truly made by snowboarders for snowboarders, as well as being technologically ahead of the curve. It doesn’t get more authentic than this.
Banana Tech and More for Your Board
Gnu’s snowboard range goes all the way from bombproof freestyle boards to all mountain models via the streets and the backcountry. It was Gnu’s Banana Technology that revolutionised the way snowboards are shaped and essentially means that a board has rocker where you need it - right between the bindings. Freestyle boards with Banana Tech are easier to control and more forgiving, making tricks easier to stick for both beginners and experts alike. When it comes to more aggressive boards, Mervin combine Gnu Banana Technology with camber profiles in the tip and tail, giving better edge hold and a more responsive ride, particularly in harder snow. As well as being packed full of technology, Gnu snowboards are known for their sick designs and names, with gems such as the Space Case, Smart Pickle and the Eco-Impossible. Their boards are usually available in wide sizes as well for the larger footed folk amongst us, just like Gnu Pro Team riders Danny Kass and Jamie Anderson. Add to all of this their extremely effective Magnetraction Edges and robust wood cores made from super-fast growing trees and you’ve got yourself one serious pile of technology! Gnu also have a rad range of directional freeride boards such as the backcountry destroyer, the Billy Goat. Of course, men don’t have a monopoly on fun; Gnu also make a range of absolutely women’s boards as well. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most important Gnu snowboard technology:
- Banana Technology: a rocker shape that gives your snowboard a more playful, forgiving feel.
- Banana/Camber combo: rocker between the bindings and camber in the nose and tail for more control, power and pop.
- Magnetraction edges: Serrated edges like a bread knife to improve pressure beneath the feet and minimise the stress on the tip and tail, meaning more board control for you.
- Pickle technology: Asymmetrical construction to match your body’s anatomy, giving you more balance and equalising the pressure you can create on your toe and heel edges.
- UHMW™ sidewalls: an ultra-high molecular weight material makes your sidewalls more durable than ever and protects your board from losing shape.
Gnu also have a number of splitboards for backcountry fiends like freeride enigma and adventurer Temple Cummins, who was actively involved with their development. Magnetraction edges and C2 BTX Banana/Camber construction guarantee all-terrain top performance.
Gnu Snowboard Bindings for the Whole Mountain
With so much technology crammed into their boards, it would be madness not to have the right bindings to go with them. That’s why Gnu also offer a sweet speed entry binding with a tonne of sick features:
- A hinged asymmetric highback for speedy strap in and out as well as better balance.
- Binding straps that loosen themselves when you release the highback to make it things even easier and comfier.
- Pressure relief button: at the press of a button the ankle strap loosens, letting blood circulate better and helping you get the feeling back in your toes.
- Ultra-light, reactive aluminium baseplates.
Grab your own masterpiece at Blue Tomato.