Hello and welcome to my GNU Riders Choice review.
In this review I will take a look at the 2016/17 Riders Choice as a freestyle snowboard. Although the Rider’s Choice would also be suitable as an All-Mountain-Freestyle snowboard too.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Rider’s Choice a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other freestyle snowboards.
Board: GNU Rider’s Choice
Price: $569 (USD recommended retail)
Other Uses: All-Mountain-Freestyle
Flex: Medium (5-7/10 depending on the length)
Rating Score: 90.1/100
Compared to other Men’s Freestyle Boards
Out of the 31 men’s freestyle snowboards that I rated:
- The average price was $442 (USD)
- The average score was 80.3/100
- The highest score was 93.4/100
- The lowest score was 69.8/100
- The Rider’s Choice ranked 2nd= out of 31
Overview of the Riders Choice’ Specs
Check out the tables for the Riders Choice’ specs and available sizes in the charts below.
|Style||Freestyle||Flex||Medium (5-7 out of 10)|
|Ability Level||Intermediate to Expert||Feel||Semi-stable|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker (C2 BTX)||Shape||Twin (Asymmetrical)|
|Stance Setback||Centered||Edge-hold||Icy snow|
|Waist Width (mm)||251||252||255||268||258||268||268|
|Weight Range (lbs)||120 - 200||120 - 200||130 - 210||130 - 220||140 - 240||140 - 250||150 - 280+|
|Weight Range (kgs)||54 - 90||54 - 90||59-95||59-100||64 - 108||64 - 112||68-125|
Who is the Riders Choice Most Suited to?
The ideal rider of the Rider’s Choice likes to spend plenty of time in the park and favors the jumps line. They like to hit anything from extra small to extra-large jumps. They might like to hit the jib line on occasion but it’s not their preferred part of the park.
They also want to be able to leave the park and ride the groomers and be able to use natural hits and basically ride freestyle over the groomers.
The Rider’s Choice also has great edge-hold in hard and icy snow conditions, so if you encounter those a lot, then this board is also a great choice.
Not the ideal board for a beginner but definitely suitable for anyone from Intermediate to Expert.
The Riders Choice in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Riders Choice is capable of.
Board: GNU Rider’s Choice 2017, 157.5cm (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 for a brief spell but mostly dry but cloudy outside of that. Visibility good all day.
Bindings angles: +18/-6
Didn’t encounter hordes of powder on the day I rode this board unfortunately – but did find some slushy stuff to float over – and the Rider’s Choice was o.k. Not amazing but not bad either. It wouldn’t be my powder choice – but it’s fine to get over powder if you need to.
The centered stance isn’t really what you want for powder but it does have rocker in the profile which helps it to float.
Carving and Turning
Again, not this boards forte but also it wasn’t terrible at it either – better at carving than most freestyle boards I’ve ridden (that’s why you really could use this as an all-mountain-freestyle deck). It’s also a bit stiffer than most freestyle decks which definitely helps.
Turning was super easy and fast on this board. Which was nice on the day because I had some choppy snow (the folly of riding on a busy Saturday afternoon) to try to turn through.
Overall it’s really maneuverable, which is great for casual riding and approaches to jumps and jibs – not so much for wide carves though.
I really liked the feel of the asymmetry too.
It’s not fast but it’s not slow. A lot of freestyle boards have extruded bases because they’re easier to maintain and there’s usually not that much need for the extra speed of a sintered base.
The Rider’s Choice however, has a sintered base. This helps it to be relatively quick – that and the slightly stiffer than average flex (for a freestyle board). So, as long as you keep it waxed, you should glide through any flat spots or uphills you might encounter when leaving the park.
In terms of stability at speed, it gets a bit wobbly when you really get up there. You can still ride pretty quickly and feel stable though – but not the most stable at super-high speeds.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
Like I said I had a lot of it. Typically I find softer boards better in the bumpy stuff because they can just hug it a bit better. The Rider’s Choice isn’t soft but it’s certainly isn’t really stiff either – and also that maneuverability I was talking about also helps.
So overall it ended up being pretty good on the bumpy/choppy stuff.
Now we’re talking.
Then you would love the Rider’s Choice for this reason alone. Whether it’s small jumps in the park, large jumps in the park, popping off lips, ollying off rollers – anything that involves leaving the ground (and returning safely!) on this thing is pure joy.
Pretty easy board to spin too.
In one word – perfection.
It’s a true twin shape and a centered stance – so automatically it’s easy to ride switch.
Then add to that the asymmetry (which makes the heel and toe sides feel more natural) and you’ve got yourself a board that can ride both directions and (assuming you’re good at riding both directions) it’ll feel identical, especially if you’re in a mirror duck stance.
I didn’t ride with a mirror duck on this board – and it still felt awesome riding switch.
O.k. like I mentioned earlier in this post, this isn’t a jib specialist. If jibbing is your main stay, then there are better options out there.
But you can definitely jib on this board. If you like the occasional jib but don’t spend half your day jibbing then it will do a good job for you.
I didn’t ride this in the pipe but based on the specs and what others have said about this board in the pipe, I imagine that it would be just about ideal.
It’s got great edge hold (important for climbing those icy walls), it’s not too soft but not too stiff, it’s got a centered stance and a true twin shape. So yeah, feels like it would be pretty darn good in there.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
|TOTAL after normalizing||90.1/100|
Overall the Rider’s Choice is one hell of a freestyle board – which is why it was second in my top 10 freestyle snowboards list.
It would also rate really well as an all-mountain-freestyle board and you can definitely have a lot of fun on this thing outside of the park.
A king when it comes to jumps and riding switch, and no real weaknesses in any other area either. Also has great edge-hold in hard and icy conditions for anyone who encounters those a fair bit.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Rider’s Choice, or if you are ready to buy, or if you just want to research prices and availability, check out the links below.
- GNU Riders Choice at evo.com (2017)
If you want to check out some other freestyle snowboard options, or if you want to compare how the Rider’s Choice compares to other freestyle snowboards, then check out the next link.