Hello and welcome to the Gnu Beast Review. This will be a comparison style review and features the Beast pitted against the Rossi XV Magtek.
To be eligible for this review battle the board’s had to be:
- A Freeride board
- Costing between $500 and $600
- With a setback stance of at least 20mm and
- Be a tapered directional board
The board that I chose as the incumbent to be challenged is the GNU Beast as it has a reputation of being a good freeride board. Let’s see if the Rossi board can beat it.
First let’s check to make sure we are comparing like for like. Most things in the table below should be the same or similar.
|GNU Beast||Rossignol XV Magtec|
|Price||$539 (USD)||$549 (USD)|
|Weight||Feels Heavy||Feels Normal|
|Ability Level||Advanced to Expert||Advanced to Expert|
|Shape||Tapered Directional||Tapered Directional|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker (mostly camber with a short rocker section between the bindings)||Hybrid Camber|
|Stance Setback||Setback 63.5mm||Setback 30mm|
O.k. so now we get to the performance factors to determine who comes out on top. The boards are rated on different performance categories.
Smart Rating Scores
As we are reviewing a Freeride board here it is important that the weightings are in favour of the factors that make the boards good Freeride boards. Therefore factors such as Carving (important for freeride boards) will receive a higher weighting than factors such as Jibbing (not important for freeride boards).
After going through the smart rating system the results are as follows:
|Beast Ratings||Beast Points||XV Magtek Ratings||XV Magtek Points|
|TOTAL after normalizing||84.4/100||90/100|
A Closer Look at the Results
To give these scores perspective – of the 19 boards I looked at in this category (Freeride costing between $500 and $600)
- the average score was 81.4/100
- the highest score was 91.7/100
- the Beast ranked 7th out of the 19 boards
- the XV Magtek ranked 4th out of the 19 boards
The Beast doesn’t seem to be a bad board but let’s itself down a bit in the uneven terrain. A total of 84.4 points puts it a good bit above the average for Freeride boards in this price category.
The XV Magtek outscores or equals the Beast in every performance category we looked at. With most of its superiority coming in the uneven terrain. With a total of 90/100 it ended up a good bit above the average score in this category – and secured the #4 spot in my list of the top 5 men’s freeride snowboards
The User Reviews
The XV Magtek seems to get nothing but positive reviews and is particularly lauded for its quickness from edge to edge, its ability in both powder, its edge hold in icy and hard conditions (due it’s magnetraction technology), and its speed. All things you want in a freeride board.
The only qualm with the Rossi board in the reviews I read was the quality and durability of the base.
The XV Magtec holds great in ice but is also great on powder so if you’re chasing those powder pockets but need to enter through icy patches this board will serve you well.
The GNU board also receives mostly positive reviews. Also praised for great edge hold due to the magnetraction in the sidecut, great in powder (no surprise given its huge 63mm (2.5 inch) setback) and a charger in terms of speed. Construction seems to get the tick so maybe a more durable board than the XV Mag.
In The Final Analysis
Whilst the GNU board was outscored in the smart rating system – it did make up some ground, from what I could tell, on durability (which isn’t taken into consideration in that system). So it turned out pretty close.
But of course I have to pick a winner (it would be a cop out not too!). And that winner is the Rossi XV Magtec. It did just enough in the performance factors to outweigh its base quality issues. Keep it well waxed regularly and hopefully that wouldn’t be an issue.
Where to Buy
Both boards are readily available – a couple of places to order from are listed below. If you can’t find your desired size in one of the links try the next one as it may be available in a different store.
- GNU Beast from evo.com (2016)
- GNU Beast from Backcountry.com (2015 model)
- GNU Beast from the-house.com (2015 model)
- Rossignol XV Magtek from the-house.com (2016)
- Rossignol XV Magtek from evo.com (2016)
- Rossignol XV Magtek from Backcountry.com (2015 model)
Some Additional Specs
The factors in the following table are down to personal preference and what your typical conditions are. These will hopefully help you make a more informed decision if you are considering one of these boards.
|Beast by GNU||XV Magtek by Rossignol|
|Available lengths/(widths)||158 (256), 161 (258)||159 (255), 163 (255), 167 (255), 164W (264), 168W (264), 174W (264)|
|Recommended Weight Range for each length|
158cm (120 - 210 lb, 54-95kg)
161cm (130 - 250 lb, 59-113kg)
159 (130 - 175lb, 60-80kg)
163 (130 - 200lb, 60-90kg)
167 (140 - 200lb, 65-90kg)
164W (130 - 190lb, 60-85kg)
168W (155 - 220lb, 70-100kg)
174W (155 - 220+lb, 70-100+kg)
|Flex||Medium-Stiff (7 of 10 on GNU scale)||Stiff (10 of 10 on Rossi Scale)|
|Edge-hold||Hard Snow||Icy Snow|
What’s Your Experience with These Boards
Ever ridden any of the boards analysed here? Give your opinion in the comments below. Any other comments, feedback or questions also very welcome.