Hello and welcome to my Gnu Zoid review.
In this review I will take a look at the Zoid as a powder snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Zoid a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other powder snowboards.
Board: Gnu Club Collection Zoid EC2 PBTX
Price: $649 (USD recommended retail)
Flex: Medium (6/10)
Rating Score: 87.5/100
Compared to other Men’s Powder Boards
Out of all the men’s powder snowboards that I rated:
- I looked at 29 different men’s powder boards
- The average price was $562 (USD)
- The average score was 85.6/100
- The highest score was 92.6/100
- The lowest score was 71.6/100
- The Zoid ranked 12th out of 29
This is a loose look of course, because even within the powder board category there are some boards designed for different things. Some powder boards are designed so you can ride switch in powder and are good for jumps and tricks whilst others are just a chilled surfy ride.
Overview of the Zoid’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Zoid’s specs and available sizes in the charts below.
|Style||Powder/Freeride||Flex||Medium (6 out of 10)|
|Ability Level||Advanced to Expert||Feel||Semi-Stable and Surfy|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Rocker||Shape||Asymmetrical Tapered Directional|
|Stance Setback||Setback 50mm (2″)||Edge-hold||Hard snow|
|Size (Length)||158 Regular||158 Goofy|
|Waist Width (mm)||255||255|
|Weight Range (kgs)||54 – 109+||54 – 109+|
|Weight Range (lbs)||120 – 240+||120 – 240+|
The Zoid only comes in one size. But there is a goofy and a regular version. This is because the Zoid is asymmetrical and with a directional shape.
Who is the Zoid Most Suited to?
For anyone looking for a really surfy feel, you’ll love the Zoid. This is the closest thing to feeling like you are surfing on snow that I’ve ridden.
Definitely a board for powder. You can ride the groomers on it and you’ll be fine but there are better boards for the groomers – this thing was born to ride the powder so that’s really where you should take it to experience it at its best.
It’s a pretty loose feeling ride and it feels effortless riding this board – so if you like a loose, surfy, effortless ride and get lots of/like to hit the powder then this is definitely a fun board.
Note that because it’s an asymmetrical directional board (asymmetrical boards are usually twins) that there are separate boards for regular and goofy riders. So if you get this board make sure you get the right one.
The Zoid in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Zoid is capable of.
Board: GNU Zoid Goofy 2017, 158cm (255mm waist width)
Date: February 27th, 2016
Conditions: Choppy and slushy mostly on groomers, but soft fresh snow in some spots. Fine with a bit of rain later in the day. Visibility good all day.
Bindings angles: +15/-9
Powder is where this board excels the most. The pockets of powder that I found were like bliss on this board. I only wish there was more of it around on the day.
The camber profile of the Zoid helps with this float. It’s got a pronounced rocker between the feet and only very subtle camber towards the tip and tail.
It also has a good setback – 2” (51mm) which also helps to make it effortless to keep the nose above the snow and the tapered directional shape also helps with float.
Not the king of carving by any means. The feel is too loose to be a mega-carver. But once you got used to the feel of it (which took a little bit of getting used to) you can definitely carve on it.
Edge-hold is pretty good for a board with so much rocker. I wouldn’t say it turns ice into powder – as the slogan for magne-traction goes – but I’ve never ridden a board that can. It’s good up to hard conditions but not so much for really icy conditions.
It’s pretty quick – not lightning fast and doesn’t feel that stable when you really pick up the pace on harder snow. But in the powder you can let this thing fly and it feels great.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
Learn more about the Zoid in the video below.
I rode this board on a Saturday – and the snow was soft and the weather warm – which meant pretty choppy conditions with all that Saturday traffic chopping up the soft snow. I’m a bit spoilt these days and usually ride weekdays whenever I can but I had to do this on a Saturday.
The Zoid handled those choppy conditions better than I expected. It’s not the ultimate uneven terrain board but it can handle it pretty well. It managed to still feel really surfy even over the chop!
Decent for ollies and popping off little lips – but not amazing, but that’s not what this deck is designed for.
You can but you don’t. Again not the purpose of this board, in my opinion.
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||87.5/100|
If you’re looking for a super fun, loose feeling, effortless, surfy powder board, then give the GNU a try. It was a different feeling board for sure but once you got used to it, it was fun.
It’s not a one board does it all, but it would be a great addition to the quiver, especially on powder days.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you’re interested in learning more about the Zoid or want to research price or size availability, check out the links below.
Thanks for reading, I hope this review has helped you to learn more about the Zoid and helped in your buying decision.
Hey there – saw this board on sale and it looks like fun. do you feel burton ions in 11.5 would be too big for the 159?
Thanks for your message.
I think it would be risky putting Ion 11.5s on it. I didn’t measure the Zoid at the inserts when I rode it, but based on other GNU boards it’s likely not that wide at the inserts vs the waist width. I would predict (based on other GNU/Lib Tech boards I’ve measured) that it would be between 260mm and 263mm at the insets which would likely be too narrow for 11.5s, IMO. Even with Burton boots, which are quite low-profile.
Hope this helps with your decision
Hip Hop says
Hey, I’m curious why your advertizing this board as a mainly powder board that isnt the best for hardpack carving? I’ve researched it through Gnu’s description and they market it is a super carver. Amongst other things. Even in the video for it, they show it railing really leaned out carves on hardpack on both heel and toeside edges. Thats the other reason for the goofy and regular shapes is so carving is effortless. They say it lets you carve your heelside turns almost as sharp as a toeside and thats kinda the biggest selling point… They say its good in powder and all mountain too. Not sure if last years model was set back 2″s? That could be new and help it perform better in powder now? But Gnu definitley doesnt call this a powder board. The hyper kyarve, air blaster, billy goat, muillair, and swallow tail are their freeride powder decks. Just wondering, who had you review this as a powder specific board? Or why you reviewed it as one? Im curious because Im looking for the best Gnu powder board that can handle the groomers and switch riding, jumping, and landing, etc. So far I think the Muillair or Billy Goat are the best fit. But if the Zoid rallies powder as good as your claiming, then this could be a new contender. Cheers!!
Hi Hip Hop
I review boards as the feel I get from them – not on the manufacturers description. I found the Zoid to be a very surfy feeling board. Yes it’s got the asym sidecut which does make heel-side turns easier – but a lot of freestyle boards that aren’t really designed for carving also have this, this doesn’t necessary make them better carvers, but makes the heel side easier to turn on and makes the heel side feel closer to how it turns on the toe side. The reason they have a goofy and a regular model is that it’s a directional asym board – on a true twin centered asym you don’t need two versions – you just have to always have the heels on the particular heel edge.
I bet the guys they got for that video could really rail their carves on any board they get! This review is coming from an adequate but far from professional snowboarder and is representative of my experience on the board.
The powder category is probably the most difficult one to review, IMO, just because there are a lot of different types of powder-esque boards that are good for different things in powder. This board to me has an awesome surfy feel in powder and if you like to feel like you’re surfing snow, this board is super-fun.
However if you’re looking for something for switch riding and jumps etc I wouldn’t consider this as one of the better GNU boards for that, so it may not be suitable for you.
From the boards you mention the Mullair would be the best for powder and carving – it is more a freeride board, IMO of course, based on the specs, though I haven’t actually ridden the Mullair. The Billy Goat I consider more of an aggressive all mountain board – you can certainly ride it in powder but it’s not up there with the likes of a freeride board. The Billy Goat is mostly camber – it does have a setback but I didn’t feel it was amazing in powder – but certainly not bad.
For something that’s better for jumps/switch but sacrifices a little in powder (as per my other post where you mention these boards) the Space Case/Riders Choice could be options. As I say in my other comment, it’s not that these boards don’t necessarily perform badly in powder it’s more that you have to put a bit more effort in to keep the nose up.
Hope this helps
Hip Hop says
I hear ya about the asym boards being rasier to turn herlside and the zoid being stance specific but I swore I read that Gnu really boasts that the zoid can almost do a heelside carve in a full circle like you can on your toeside. Though its not a carve specific board. I even read a review from a northwest rider that said he ended up eventually just using the zoid for every condition of riding. Forget if he mentioned switch riding on it? Doesnt look like it would like it much. As for any board Gnu makes with the stance set back at all, I assume they expect it to perform good in powder. Now also, when I say powder, I mean the whole spectrum of all mountain freestyle riding while in powder. Not just going downhill making carves. I mean jumping, spinning, flipping, and jibbing off of anything the hill has covered in snow while riding regular or switch and still floating. I think the Travis Rice pointy models with slightly setback stance but still slays either direction is the board that fits my riding style when I say a powder day or board. All these boards you say arent great for powder are usually ridden in powder or off fresh backcountry booters into deep pow, ya know. Surfy is a very one dimensional way of thinking of powder riding… If it floats its gonna feel kinda surfy. But shralping pow is surfy on acid, caffeine, and adrenaline mainlined into your neck vein!! Thats powder riding… ?
Curious if you demoed the Gnu Mullair?
Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to demo the Mullair. Hoping to get a chance to this season – but haven’t ridden it yet.