Snowboard Iskola

Board: Gnu Banked Country

Size: 159

Camber Option: C3. Mervin’s take on Camber 2.0 with a mellow hinge point in the center and flat sections in the tips before the up kick.

Bindings: Rome Black Label

Stance: 21.5 Wide 15 Negative 12 Goofy

Boots: K2 Thraxis Size 10

My Weight: 200lbs

Resort: Arapahoe Basin

Conditions: A mix of blue and gray skies with snow falling at times, warming temps, chop, chunder, fresh pow, tracked pow, and soft groomers.

Flex: This board has that fully directional slightly stiffer than middle of the road freeride flex to it. Softer nose that progressively stiffens up back to the tail with a noticeable amount of torsional flex that isn’t overly abundant.

Stability: This board is a chop killer. It’s designed to dissipate any kinetic energy you feel and when you push through chop and chunder it just wants to keep going. Sure you will feel some body jarring hits from time to time, but if you’re charging that means your knees are bent and that means you’re prepared for it.

Ollies/Pop: The snap is there out of the tail of this board because that’s how this board was designed to be ridden, but I’ll talk more about that in a minute. You do load the camber section up and it does rebound which is nice as this board has some reactivity to it for being damper ride. This means you can pop pillows, side hits, and launch off whatever you need.

Butterability: With the tail you’re doing high speed wheelies. With the nose when you pop into a butter and press it wants to spin you right around so be aware of that. It has an aggressive flex for locking in and it’s coupled with some serious rebound so expect a fight.

Carving: This board features Mervin’s Progressive Pro-Magnetraction, which is a directional Magnetraction. That means less contact points in the front of the board and more towards the tail. As this is a banked slalom killer it makes some sense. It creates an easier engagement with less grip in the front of the board but more grip in the tail as you weight it up and drive off the back foot. If you’re a back foot heavy rider this is a great concept, but if you’re more used to riding weight forward on the front foot it will take some time to get used to it. You’ll really feel that added grip when you transition your weight from steering and driving from the front foot to just straight driving it hard off the rear. This is when it grips and engages. You want your weight on that back foot pushing off the tail to really let the board dig in on edge and grip. The edge to edge transmission is a little slower but when it finally grips you feel secure. This is a board that is designed for back foot heavy carving as I already mentioned and as such you will find yourself changing how you steer and drive it. Super aggressive hard carves become weird feeling as you have to fully disengage the front foot to get it to grip but once you figure this out you can lay them over. Overall it can carve but this is your banked slalom type of deck.

Rider in Mind: Pow smashing banked slalom rear foot heavy rider.

Personal Thoughts: This board was something else. It crushed chop and chunder with ease, but the way it drives is so unique. It’s very back foot heavy as I have already stated and you will have a little bit of a learning curve with that. The Progressive Magnetraction is unique in how it provides grip as well and creates such a different feel on edge. Overall I dug this board but everyone should be aware of how different it feels to drive it.

Comparable Boards: Nitro Banker, Salomon Super 8 Pro, Telos DST

Recommended Bindings: Bent Metal Transfer, Bataleon Atom, Union Atlas