Hello and welcome to my GNU Gremlin review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Gremlin as a mellow freeride snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Gremlin a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other mellow-freeride snowboards.
Board: GNU Gremlin
Style: Mellow Freeride
Flex Rating: Medium-Firm
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Stiff (6.5/10)
Rating Score: 86.4/100
Compared to other Men’s Mellow Freeride Boards.
Out of the 32 men’s mellow freeride snowboards that I rated:
Overview of the Gremlin’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Gremlin's specs and available sizes.
Hybrid Rocker But predominantly camber - GNU's C3 Camber
Setback 2" (50mm)
A little heavier than normal
Waist Width (mm)
Rec Rider Weight (lb)
Rec Rider Weight (kg)
Who is the Gremlin Most Suited To?
The Gremlin is a great option for anyone looking for a volume shifted board for powder, but still want something with some life in it for groomers and non-powder days.
With a predominantly camber profile you still get a good spring and life out of carving up the groomers, but the tapered directional tape and wide nature of the board also allows it to float well in the deep stuff.
Still not something I would personally have as a daily driver, but a good one for powder days that you still want to be able to carve up the groomers on, when the powder's tracked.
Not for beginner - too stiff and cambered for that. But solid intermediate riders and up.
The Gremlin in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Gremlin is capable of.
Board: GNU Gremlin 2022, 152cm (261mm waist width)
Date: April 8, 2021
Conditions: Sunny to start with and perfect vis, but then clouded over and starting snowing a bit. Visibility got really poor in patches.
Temperature was around -4°C (25°F) - and -7°C (19°F) with wind chill, so quite cold for April. When the sun was out, it felt much warmer than that though. Also wind was like 5kph (3mph), so don't think there was a lot of wind for that wind chill factor!
24 snow: 10cm
7 day snow: 12cm
On groomer: Really nice. Medium soft and nice and smooth. Very few bumps/crud. Almost felt like a mid winter day (apart from the heat that's in the sun - best of both worlds?)
Off groomer: Mr incredible, incredible. Catching the bad guys - pow! Pow! Pow! Some ice under the layer on particularly steep faces but the rest was great. And actually decent pow too. Feels like mid winter snow.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 530mm (20.9″)
Stance Setback: Setback 50mm (2")
Width at Inserts: 270mm (10.63") at front insert and 268mm (10.55")
Rider Height: 6'0"
Rider Weight: 175lbs
Rider Boot Size: US9.5 Adidas Tactical ADV
Bindings Used: Burton Malavita M
Control Board for Control Laps: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
Weight: 3080grams (6lbs 13oz)
Weight per cm: 20.26 grams/cm
Average Weight per cm: 18.43 grams/cm*
*based on a sample size of around 100 models that I’ve weighed in 2019, 2020, 2021 *& 2022 models. The Gremlin is one of the heavier boards I've measured, even compared to boards 10cm longer than it. So taking into account it's length it's quite heavy. That said, if you take into account the overall surface area, it's probably closer to a regular width 158 in size. But even then it's still heavy. And you do feel that on snow. That does have it's advantages though - especially when smashing through crud and not getting bucked about. And given a damper feeling.
Damp or Chattery?
Quite damp. A lot damper than my control board (Terrain Wrecker). Part of that is probably weight (as mentioned above). But all round really quite damp.
Smooth or Snappy?
It's not without snap, but it's certainly more smooth than snappy.
The only thing really stopping this board from being an elite powder board is that there isn't any rocker in the profile. It's predominantly camber - but everything else about this board screams powder. And it feels that way when in powder.
Carving & Turning
Carving: Lays a really good carve for a board that looks like it should only belong in powder. Yeah that taper isn't ideal for carving and given that you size down, it has less effective edge, but those are the only things that are holding it back from being an elite carver. Not something that will match the best carvers on a high-speed carve, but otherwise really good.
Turning: Easy enough to turn and quite fun to turn on on groomers. Has a good spring out of turns and whilst it has a preference for shorter turns, a variety of turn lengths work well on this board.
Maneuverability at slow speeds: Nice and easy to throw this board around at slow speeds - partly due to it's shorter stature I would say. Not as quick edge-to-edge as my control board (Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker). There's a minor delay after initiating a turn before the board responds. It's not physically an effort to do sharp turns on - but there is a slight delay, which I often feel with short/wide boards - so I imagine that's predominantly to do with the width.
Skidded Turns: You can get away with them but they're not super easy. Want to have relatively good technique. But not super catchy or anything either
I felt like this board rode really quite fast for it's length and felt quite stable at speed for it's length too. But certainly limited by it's length in terms of how good at speed it was. But surprisingly good. It's a sturdy little board this one.
Crud: Pretty good at just smashing through crud. I think part of that is weight. It's quite a heavy board and it just doesn't get bucked around very much at all. It's good at gliding over top or smashing through any kind of crud.
Bumps: It was fun weaving between bumps. It's not lightning fast edge-to-edge - there's that delay I referred to in the turning section above - but certainly not slow edge-to-edge either. And when it came to trees, it worked really well - with that small tail easy to whip through without catching anything on the tail.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
Not designed for jumps really, IMO, and is a board that feels more at home on the snow than in the air, but it's certainly something you can hit the occasional jump or side hit with.
Pop: Some there but not huge amounts. Not super easy to access but not hard to access either. I think the weight affects how easy it is to extract that pop as well - how much air you get back for your efforts.
Approach: Good balance between being fairly nimble but also quite stable
Landing: Pretty solid landing platform without being a stomper - prefers to land in it 's forward (as opposed to switch) direction.
Side-hits: Not amazing, but decent enough. Good enough that you'll still want to seek them out.
Small jumps/Big Jumps: Medium. It's certainly solid enough to hit big jumps though and it's fine for small jumps too.
Felt pretty weird to ride switch - which is no surprise, given how tapered and setback it is - directional everything pretty much. Still doable like every board is - but certainly not ideal.
Not bad getting the spin around, but given its length it should be easier and that's prob largely to do with weight. Landing and taking off switch not easy either. And pop isn't massive and whilst it's not hard to access it's not super easy either. So not really a great spinner, IMO.
Buttered easier than I was expecting. Certainly not as buttery as my control board (Terrain Wrecker) but not too bad. Above average.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, the Gremlin is a board that loves to be on the snow - and any kind of variable terrain it can counter. Basically if you can on this board, you want to be exploring anything off groomer - trees, powder, bowls etc. and if you encounter any crud it will deal with it with ease.
But if you do end up having to spend any part of your day on the groomer, then it packs a better carve than you'd expect for the size and taper.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Gremlin, or if you are ready to buy, or if you just want to research prices and availability, check out the links below.
If you want to check out some other mellow freeride snowboard options, or if you want to compare how the Gremlin compares to other mellow freeride snowboards, then check out the next link.
Hey, currently a snowboard instructor at whitewater on Nelson BC (so it pows often) I ride a Brian iguchi 159, I am a size 11 boot but only 150 pounds, I find I tend to over size based off my foot size, what would you go with in preference, the 155 or the 158. Meanwhile I do use a 157w to teach on with little ones. So I would kinda like to drop as low as I can to get more maneuverability in the trees but without sacrificing my toes hanging over on a nice carving day
Love it when it pows often!
At 150lbs, I’d seriously consider the 152 in this board. 158 too big, IMO. 155 might be good though. Whilst this isn’t that wide for a short wide, it’s still pretty wide. The Brian Iguchi in a 159 is around 267mm at the inserts. This in the 152 is 268mm at the back insert and 270mm at the front insert. Step it up to the 155 and you’re looking at 271mm at the back insert and 273mm at the front insert – assuming roughly a 530mm (21″) stance width.
Given that you’re used to longer boards, I would probably be looking at 155, but wouldn’t go as big as 158 in this case.
But if you could also let me know your height. Whilst weight and boot size are definitely more important for sizing, I do like to take height into account, as it does have a leverage factor.
Hope this gives you more to go off
Hey I’m looking into the Gremlin 155. I’m 6’2, 200 pounds, and 12 boots. Think it’s a good decision?
Thanks for your message.
It could work, but would depend on how you wanted to ride it. Because of your size 12 boots, you don’t need to size down as much as you otherwise would with smaller boots, IMO. I would put your “standard all-mountain” size at around 162. This is a board you can size down for, but with size 12 boots going to 155 is sizing down quite a bit.
If you’re looking for something quite maneuverable, good in trees, that kind of thing, then I think the 155 would work well.
If you value speed, big carves etc more than that, then I’d look to go up to the 158.
Hope this helps with your decision
Thanks for your response. I’m riding a Yes Standard 159 right now. The Waist Width is about the same as the Gnu Gremlin at 155. So that’s why I thought I could down size that much. Just checked my boot overhang. Its about 1 inch on both toe and heal edge. What you think??
The Standard is wider than the waist suggests and the Gremlin narrower than what the waist suggests. i.e. the 155 Gremlin (264mm waist) will be around 273mm at the front insert and 271mm at the back insert. Versus the YES Standard 159 (263mm waist) which is more like 278mm at the inserts, assuming you’re riding it roughly at reference stance. The 158 Gremlin (270mm waist) is closer to width at inserts of the Standard 159. So yeah, the same applies, I think if you’re looking for that maneuverable, good in trees (but still will be able to carve on groomers, but just not as well as the 158), then the 155 works, if you think it’s wide enough. If it’s going to be like your smaller tree board, kind of thing to compliment your Standard.
Oh and just to clarify, did you mean the overhang on the Gremlin is 1 inch toe and heel – or is that on the Standard?
Yeah roughly 1 inch overhang on my Standard. Looking at smaller boots also. Thanks Nate
Thanks for the clarification. Yeah, I think the Gremlin 155 is a little small for you, unfortunately in that case. You may find it too narrow even. More doable if you were in low profile boots (assuming yours aren’t right now).
I bought a 152 Gremlin. Im 5’6″ 170 socal surfer skater, 41. For snowboarding like to ride all mountain least park. Mainly like carving fast, hitting some side hits, and some boxes on occasion.
Im currently riding a 5 year old Burton Cartel binding. Im very interested in getting Flow bindings either Flow Fuse Carbon Hybrid or Flow NX2-TM Hybrid. I like the idea of the lightness of the carbon, but worried they might be overly stiff. For the NX2-TM, less stiff characteristic, will it match up well with the Gremlin and my prefer riding.
Thanks for the advice.
Thanks for your message.
I haven’t ridden flow bindings in a while and haven’t tested either of those (hoping to get some Flow bindings towards the end of winter), so I’m not sure what their flex feels like in reality compared to other bindings, so it’s hard to say with any certainty. But based on their specs, I would say the NX2-TM should be a really good match to the Gremlin. The Fuse Carbon too stiff, IMO, for the Gremlin and the style of riding you’re describing. Might be fine for the carving fast part, but for side hits and boxes too stiff, IMO – and a bit stiff for the board. Between those I’d be leaning NX2-TM for sure (based on specs).
Hope this helps
Ive been looking at getting the Gremlin but want to make sure its right for me. Im a west coast boarder and looking for somethin shorter and more nimble. I currently ride a 154 jones mountain twin but I wish I bought it a little shorter. Im 5’5″ 130lbs 7.5 boot size. Im assuming the 148 would be the right size? Im more of a all mountain rider, some jumps and side hits but no park. Your thoughts?
Thanks for your message.
Yeah, I agree, for the Mountain Twin, that it’s too long. Typically I’d say something around 149 for an all-mountain board for your specs, depending on the width. The Mountain Twin in 154 is also pretty wide for your boots.
For the Gremlin, the 148 would be your only option, IMO. But even that’s on the big side for your specs, IMO, given it’s width. Shorter is definitely more nimble, all else being equal, but other factors come into play for how nimble a board is. E.g. sidecut, effective edge to contact length ratio and flex (softer is typically more nimble at slower speeds). One big thing is also width. If a board is wide for your feet, then it’s going to be less nimble. So when you go shorter and wider, depending on how much shorter and how much wider – the width can cancel out the extra nimbleness you get from going shorter.
Purely off your specs, I would say that even the 148 is too big in this case. Because you’re not really sizing down from what I would consider a good all-mountain length for you. And at that width you’d want to size down. Given that you’re used to the 154 Mountain Twin though, it could be doable. Note that the 154 Mountain Twin (assuming roughly a 560mm (22″) stance width) is roughly 264mm at the inserts. The Gremlin 148 (assuming the same stance width) is likely roughly around 267mm at the back insert and 269mm at the front insert. You likely wouldn’t be riding at that stance width, but just as an illustration that the Gremlin is a little wider, but not massively wider than the 154 MT. So you would be overall sizing down from what you’re currently riding. The Gremlin (by my feel) is a little stiffer than the MT, but only very subtly, so overall based on riding the 157 MT and 152 Gremlin (6’0, 175lbs, size 10 boots), I would say you’d be getting a little more nimbleness. But not going to be a huge difference. If that makes sense.
Hope this helps with your decision
That was a very good breakdown. What type of board would you recommend? I definitely want a board that handles powder.
Some options that could work size-wise and very good in powder.
– Jones Flagship 151 (243mm waist)
– Jones Hovercraft 148 (249mm waist) – wider but not as wide as the Gremlin 148
– Capita Navigator 151 (245mm waist) – or you could even go 147 (241mm waist) if you wanted to go really nimble (but would sacrifice a little in terms of powder float)
– Lib Tech Dynamo 150 (243mm waist)
These are what I’d call freeride boards – with the Flagship being stiffer and the Navigator and Dynamo not as stiff – and the Dynamo bordering on being all-mountain.
In terms of all mountain options, whilst not being quite as good for powder, but a little better for sidehits, jumps – and still decent for powder.
– YES Standard 149 (245mm waist) – a little wider than it looks, but still nothing near as wide Gremlin. Assuming a 22″ stance, more like 258mm at inserts.
– Slash Brainstorm 151 (247mm waist) – also looking at roughly 258mm at inserts
– YES Typo 149 (248mm waist – around 256mm at inserts) – another small step down for powder though
Hope this gives you some options. If you were happy to look at women’s boards as well, there’d be some options in there to, we could look at. But something there should work, IMO.
The Capita navigator looks like a solid board, and its light. So I just upgraded to the Burton Step on bindings and photon boots, see any issues with that and the navigator?
Nope, can’t see any issues with putting the Photon Step On setup on that board. I think it should be a good match.
Really enjoy your reviews/ site. I’m looking at the Gremlin and the Burton Skeleton Key as a new daily driver this season. Been riding a 158 Burton Custom (from 2005) w/ new cartels and ride anthem boots, which I enjoy, but want something more directional, tapered, that can handle pow better. Love riding trees, sides of groomers, and going really fast from time to time, and I ride CO/ rocky mtn conditions. No switch or park for me.
I currently have a 155 21/22 Gremlin and a 158 20/21 Skeleton Key in my possession (jumped on deals for both) and plan to return one, but man, they’re both so beautiful and it’s hard to choose one without test riding (which I can’t).
I’m US size 11, 160-ish lbs, 6’1″, and am curious about a few things:
-Would you downsize to a 152 Gremlin at my weight/ shoe size, instead of a 155? I noticed you tested a 152 and weigh about the same as me.
-As a daily driver/ one board quiver, would you personally prefer a SK or Gremlin? I am concerned about the edge hold on the SK, and the nimbleness of the Gremlin.
-How can I stop agonizing about this decision (haha)? I am really overthinking this!
Thanks for your message.
Firstly, in terms of the Gremlin, I think 155 is probably right for you. If you had boot size 10 or less, then I’d say size down to the 152, but given that this board isn’t super wide (it’s a short/wide, but it’s kind of like a semi-short wide), the 155 is actually in a good width range for 11s, so you don’t want to size down too much on this, if it’s not overly wide for your boots. Note thought that at your weight on the 155, it’s likely to feel stiffer than how I felt it. So you’re probably going to feel it more like at least 7/10 flex, I would say, because of that. You could go to 152, but I think it’s getting quite short, given that it’s not wide for your boots.
Edge hold in hard/icy conditions isn’t as good on the Skeleton Key as on the Gremlin, but it’s not terrible either. If you were on the East Coast, you might want to maximize on getting something with really good icy conditions edge hold, but I think you’d be fine with the Skeleton Key.
Personally I would go Skeleton Key as my daily driver – just overall I liked it a little more and I think size-wise, the 158 SK works better for you than the 155 Gremlin. I think you’d like both for the type of riding you’re describing, and I don’t think there’s a wrong decision, but I’d be leaning 158 SK.
Hope this helps with your decision
Amazing, thank you!
Definitely leaning towards SK but maybe I’ll just keep both!
You’re very welcome Sean. If you think of it at the time let me know what you decide and how you get on, once you’ve had a chance to get it/them out on snow. Happy riding!
Hey! I rode the 155 gremlin a couple of times and really love it! Compared to the 2005 Burton custom I had previously, the gremlin feels so locked in and damp when straight-lining and pushing into carves on harder snow. Perfect for early season resort riding with less than optimal conditions. Spent the afternoons making perfect carves around people butt-sliding down ice/ hardpack. Found the pop and butterability very surprising- it’s a great middle ground between playful and aggressive for me. Gonna bust out the SK later this season to compare, I think the SK might perform better in trees although I found the gremlin pretty nimble. Decided I’ll keep both since they’re so dang pretty, and I got great deals on both! Excited to compare!
Thanks for the feedback and the insights. Also appreciate it. Look forward to hearing how you compare the SK!
Hey! Rode SK and gremlin, would 100% choose SK if I could only pick one. SK is an absolute pleasure to ride, especially in powder, trees, steeps. It feels incredibly dynamic and maneuverable, and very forgiving if you wanna get a little sloppy. Base on SK felt much silkier and faster, gremlin was kinda sluggish in comparison. Gremlin is much better on hard and icy snow, and carves/locks in more easily, total dream for doing non-stop nice carves on groomers, but SK has an overall feel and dynamism that made riding everywhere more exciting
Thanks for the update and insights. Much appreciated!