Hello and welcome to my GNU Space case review – the latest in my series of Freestyle snowboard reviews.
As per tradition at Snowboarding Profiles, The Space Case will be given a rating out of 100, based on a number of different performance factors to see how well it performs as a freestyle snowboard.
Board: GNU Space Case ASYM XC2 BTX
Price: $579 (USD recommended retail)
Flex: Medium (4.5-6/10 depending on length)
Rating Score: 93.4/100
Compared to other Men’s Freestyle Boards
Out of all the Men’s Freestyle snowboards that I rated:
- I looked at 31 different men’s freestyle boards
- The average score was 80.3/100
- The highest score was 93.4/100 (the Space Case!)
- The lowest score was 69.8/100
- The Space Case ranked 1st out of 31!
Overview of the Space Case’s Specs
Check out the Space Case’s specs and available sizes in the tables below.
|Style||Freestyle||Flex||Medium (4.5-6 out of 10 depending on length)|
|Ability Level||Intermediate to Expert||Feel||Semi-Stable|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker (XC2 BTX)||Shape||True Twin (asymmetrical)|
|Stance Setback||Centered||Edge-hold||Hard Snow|
Remember that the flex rating changes as the size increases.
|Waist Width (mm)||247||250||251||255||255|
|Weight Range (kgs)||36 - 68||45 - 82||54 - 91||60 - 95||64 - 113|
|Weight Range (lbs)||80 - 150||100 - 180||120 - 200||130 - 210||140 - 250|
Who is the Space Case Most Suited to?
The Space Case is for anyone who loves to ride freestyle – whether that be laps of the park or performing tricks, jumps etc off natural hits.
It’s also great for anyone who likes to ride the pipe and doesn’t want to have to change boards to do so – often park boards aren’t that suited to the pipe. The Space Case nails it for both the park and the pipe.
Generally speaking the case is for:
- Men (or taller women with longer feet)
- Anyone who loves to do laps in the park but would also like to perform freestyle in other areas of terrain
- Anyone looking for a freestyle deck that also has great edge-hold
- Anyone with a budget around $550
The Space Case in More Detail
Board: GNU Space Case 2017, 156cm (255mm waist width)
Date: February 27th, 2016
Conditions: Slushy and choppy on the groomers. Some rare pockets of powder off. Some rain later in the afternoon briefly but mostly dry with high cloud outside of that. Visibility good all day.
Bindings angles: +18/-6
The biggest surprise with the Space Case was how well it handled itself as an all-mountain ride too. That said, it’s in the jumps and switch that it really excels.
The Space Case has a true twin shape which is of course the shape you want for riding switch. But the Space Case is a little bit different from your average true twin. It has an asymmetrical aspect about it that helps to make it feel more symmetrical! What the!?
The asymmetry in this board has been described as “weird tech” but that weirdness actually makes it feel more natural.
The heelside has a shorter contact edge than the toe side, a softer flex than the toe side and a deeper side cut radius. What all this does is makes the heel-side turn more intuitive. In addition to this there is also a difference in the shape of the tail and the nose – which serves to make it feel more natural riding switch.
Asymmetry is becoming more and more popular but the Space Case was one of the pioneers.
Check out more details and see the Space Case in action below
The great performance in jumps is, at least partly, down to the camber profile used. A continuous rocker camber profile is typically not that great at landing jumps because it’s not stable underfoot. However, the Hybrid Rocker profile (which the Space Case has) has camber sections towards the tip and tail which helps for stomping landings.
Having the rocker profile underfoot gives the Space Case that forgiveness for the initial part of the landing (in addition to some other advantages as you’ll see below). So the initial landing impact is forgiving as you hit the rocker section and then as the board flexes the camber sections engage to bring in stability – the perfect landing!
The Space Case has a medium flex (differs per length but ranges from 4.5 to 6 out of 10). That medium flex has other benefits but does mean that it sacrifices a little bit in the jibbing stakes.
That said it’s still pretty darn good for hitting the jibs.
This board seems to do it all! If you are a pipe rider and have access to one then the Space Case won’t disappoint.
Another Video? Why not!
Outside the Park
The Space Case performs surprisingly well outside the park as mentioned. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First of all that rocker underfoot again. This allows for float in powder. The medium flex (most freestyle boards are a bit softer than the Space Case) helps it to ride the soft stuff as well.
That medium flex also helps with edge-hold so it will do better in harder snow conditions and be more stable at faster speeds. The camber sections towards the tip and tail also help with edge-hold.
Changes for 2017 Model
The 2016 model was called the GNU Forest Bailey Space Case ASS EC2 BTX. This year it’s the GNU Space Case XC2 BTX.
What does that mean?
Basically it means that the Camber profile has changed it was GNUs EC2 profile – not it’s the XC2 profile. This new profile makes the new model slightly more aggressive. It’s still a Hyrbrid Rocker profile (rocker between the feet and camber to tip and tail) but the camber is more pronounced on the XC2 than on the EC2 (it’s radial camber as opposed to elliptical camber). The camber section is also a bit longer and the rocker between the feet a bit shorter.
The Final Verdict and Score Breakdown
The Space Case is assessed in 8 different performance categories in the table below. Ratings are out of 5.
This is one hell of a board! Not only in the freestyle factors which are more important for this review but also can handle the rest of the mountain with aplomb.
I’ve always debated whether this should be in the “all-mountain-freestyle” category instead but I’ve chosen to keep it in the “freestyle” category because it’s still killer as a stand alone freestyle/park deck – but you could definitely run it as an all-mountain-freestyle deck.
The Score Breakdown
But we are here to assess the Space Case as it was meant to be assessed – as a Freestyle board. After putting it through my smart rating system we can see the Space Case’s total score breakdown in the table below.
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
|TOTAL after normalizing||93.4/100|
The Space Scores an impressive 93.4 points! That is the highest I have seen for any freestyle snowboard. It’s not the cheapest board around but you get what you pay for that’s for sure.
No wonder that it topped my list of the Top 10 Freestyle Snowboards
In the Final Analysis
GNU’s Space Case is the #1 Freestyle snowboard in terms of my smart rating system.
If you are looking for a board that feels intuitive, rides switch as naturally and comfortably as your normal direction, has plenty of pop for ollies and jumps and will stomp landings with authority, whilst at the same time can perform on the rest of the mountain with distinction, for those times you want to ride the trails with mates or use the mountain as a park, plus perform with jibs and in the pipe, then this is definitely the board for you……….
That was a mouthful – but that’s what happens when there’s so much good to say about a board!
More Info, Current Prices & User Reviews
Check out the links below for more info, current prices & where to buy (check out more than one place to see if you can find a cheaper price).
- GNU Space Case at blue-tomato (Europe)
Thanks for reading and I hope this has helped in your snowboard search. For more info on the Space Case check out the links above. If you’re looking for more freestyle snowboard options check out my top 10 freestyle snowboards list at the link below.