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Gnu Ladies Choice Review

Gnu Ladies Choice
Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $570 List
Pros:  Flexible, versatile, magnetraction, graphic
Cons:  Expensive
Bottom line:  The Ladies Choice is a high performance all-mountain board that blows its competition out of the water.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Gnu

Our Verdict

"Do what you love — love what you do." The immaculate watercolor graphic of the 2017 Gnu Ladies Choice displays the mantra of its muse/designer, pro-snowboarder Jamie Anderson. The most versatile board we tested, it wins our 2017 Editors' Choice Award. The asymmetric shape challenges you to try new tricks, Magne-traction edge tech keeps you locked, and the rocker profile keeps you floating even in the deepest snow. This board will make you a better rider — it's that simple. While the Ladies Choice consistently feels like its doing the work for you, it offers a challenging and progressive ride to even the most advanced snowboarders. Why do you think Jamie takes this board with her all over the world?

Looking for an eco-friendly board?
Gnu ECO CHOICE BY JAMIE ANDERSON
This award-winning board is now offered with an eco-friendly update. For $579, just a slight increase on the Ladies Choice we reviewed, the Eco Choice features a clean Bio Beans topsheet, FSC certified wood core, water based inks, non-toxic resins, and recycled plastic sidewalls. For riders looking to be more conscious consumers, the Eco Choice board from Gnu uses sustainable, responsible resources without compromising performance.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's All Mountain Snowboards of 2017

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Our Take
88
$570
Editors' Choice Award
The Ladies Choice is a high performance all-mountain board that blows its competition out of the water.
84
$450
Best Buy Award
The Swoon is an affordable, all-mountain board for powder friendly ladies who aren't afraid to charge.
82
$499
Top Pick Award
The Twin Sister is a responsive, hard charging board for consistent all-mountain riding and surpreme powder surfing.
78
$500
The Aura is a stiff, stable board for hard charging ladies who like to go fast.
73
$550
This board is a reliable all-in-one option for intermediate ladies who want a little bit of everything.
71
$470
An ultralight park board that can hang on groomers and in powder.
70
$420
All-in-all, the Birds of a Feather is an inexpensive option for a killer all-mountain ride.

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Amelia Traynor
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
March 19, 2017

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How do you design the best women's snowboard on the market? You get the best women's snowboarder to help make it. It's no secret that Jamie is a world-class athlete. Although she's won multiple gold medals for her performance in the Olympics, X Games, and countless other competitions, she's also spent some serious time in the backcountry. Recently, Jamie has been working with the best in the business to produce Full Moon film — bringing the Ladies Choice with her to film backcountry lines in Alaska.

Jamie Anderson first teamed up with Gnu in 2011, and the Ladies Choice was born. The Queen of Slopestyle wanted to design a board that could hold up to her insane riding styles. From the park to the backcountry, Jamie is a fiend for fresh snow and big air. She worked with the designers at Gnu to find the perfect combination of features for the Ladies Choice — and boy, did they nail it.

Detailing on the Gnu Ladies Choice
Detailing on the Gnu Ladies Choice

It's made right here in the USA in the world's most environmentally friendly board factory. Mervin's got what they call "EcoUNREAL Manufacturing," which utilizes wind and water generated power. Ultra athlete Jamie Anderson's infamous pro-model is what snowboarding dreams are made of. No wonder she takes this board everywhere she goes, from gold-medal slopestyle runs to filming backcountry in Alaska. An asymmetrical board harmonizes your body's natural movement, making turns easy and intuitive. Gnu's patented Magne-Traction Edge Tech secured the Ladies' Choice a near-flawless 9/10 score in edge hold, beat out only by the Jones Twin Sister.


Magne-Traction increases contact with snow, improving edge hold and counteracting the contact lost from the board's rocker profile. And, of course, Jamie Anderson's pro model is about as eco-friendly as it gets. Gnu boards are made in Mervin's environmental manufacturing facility, right here in the US of A. The Ladies' Choice had a bio-based topsheet, and was made using wind and water generated power. Can you get more green than that?

Stunning topsheet graphic on the Gnu Ladies Choice  designed by artist Sarah A King.
Stunning topsheet graphic on the Gnu Ladies Choice, designed by artist Sarah A King.

Performance Comparison


The Ladies Choice outperformed all contenders in nearly every category. This board was our favorite to ride, regardless of weather conditions. Superior edge hold with Gnu's Magne-traction, surprising float in powder, a stable and consistent ride at any speed, unbelievable flex, and enough pop to satisfy Jamie Anderson herself. There's no question why she reps this board with pride.

Much like her career, Jamie Anderson's pro model has been perfected over the last five years. Jamie loves to ride switch, and the asym twin shape of the Ladies Choice makes switch riding even more intuitive than a true-twin shape. Gnu's C2 BTX profile is rocker between bindings, and camber underfoot. This hybrid profile delivers float in powder, grip on ice, and pop in the park. This board was the only asymmetric board we reviewed. Your body isn't symmetric, so why should your board be?

The Ladies Choice asym plays to the asymmetry of a woman's body. The heel edge is slightly longer and has a lower activation angle, making carving effortless. The toe side is shorter and has a higher angle of activation, resulting in a precise and controlled ride. This shape has such a dramatic effect on performance that you won't believe it until you try it.

Base graphic on the Gnu Ladies Choice
Base graphic on the Gnu Ladies Choice

Edge Hold


We believe Gnu's Magne-traction is the best edge tech in the industry. There. We said it. While the Ladies Choice received a near-perfect 9/10 in this category, it had our favorite edge hold out of the group, since it lets go entirely when in deeper snow. Seriously, this board holds on ice, yet completely disappears in soft powder. It's the best of both worlds.


Like the serrations on a knife, Magne-traction adds extra points of contact along each edge that make cutting through any conditions a breeze. The camber underfoot gives the edge hold of a classic camber board, while the rockered tips reduce the chance of catching. Although the Jones Twin Sister received a perfect 10/10 in this category, we preferred the catch-free ride of the Ladies Choice.

Magnetraction edge tech on the Gnu Ladies Choice slices through any conditions  and holds off in powder.
Magnetraction edge tech on the Gnu Ladies Choice slices through any conditions, and holds off in powder.

Float in Powder


While a twin with a centered stance doesn't scream "powder board," the Ladies Choice floats like a feather through the deep stuff. Scoring a strong 8/10, the board's rocker profile between the bindings gives extra float in powder, ensuring a natural and effortless buoyancy to your ride.


If you like to ride powder both regular and switch, you won't find a better option than the Ladies Choice. If you're looking for something a little more directional in powder, check out the 10/10 Arbor Swoon Rocker or the 9/10 Jones Twin Sister, both of which are directionally set an feature powder-friendly blunted tips.

The Gnu Ladies Choice has no problem with deep snow.
The Gnu Ladies Choice has no problem with deep snow.

Stability at Speed


For a flexy board, this competitor provides a consistent, predictable ride in any conditions. Scoring a moderate 7/10, this was the weakest performance category for the otherwise high-rated Ladies Choice. Although this board feels light underfoot, it's got some weight to it — enough to absorb chatter and bumps. The Aspen / Columbian Gold / Paulownia core is reliable and consistent, and the camber underfoot makes for a classic, stable ride that is hard to find in a rocker board.


While we didn't feel like the Ladies Choice (relatively) poor performance in this category was significantly detrimental to its capability as an all-mountain board, ladies looking for something stronger at speed should consider the Never Summer Aura. The Aura scored a perfect 10/10 in this category, but received poor ratings in playfulness and pop as a result of the board's inherent stiffness.

Playfulness


Scoring a flawless 10/10 in this category, the Ladies Choice is super playful — yet not too soft. Flexy when you need it and snappy when you don't, this board is the perfect middle ground. Presses are easy, rotations are effortless, and landings are forgiving. While this board wasn't among the lightest of those we tested, it feels lightweight underfoot, yet sturdy and stable at speed. The Arbor Swoon was a close runner up, receiving a 9/10 in playfulness, but all other boards were left in the dust - especially the ultra-stiff Never Summer Aura, which received a dismal 4/10.


The asymmetrical sidecut makes for even easier switch riding than a true twin, and will encourage you to take the most creative line possible every single run.

Presses made easy on the super flexy Gnu Ladies Choice
Presses made easy on the super flexy Gnu Ladies Choice

Pop and Jumping


With another flawless 10/10, this board is lively and responsive, promising a bouncy yet controlled feel. Cambered tips on the Ladies Choice add a little extra pop, turning any run into your own personal playground.


Whether you're launching off mega-kickers or ollie-ing on flat ground, this board makes popping intuitive and easy. The Rome Lo-Fi Rocker came in a close second in this category with a 9/10, but felt squirrely at higher speeds and therefor could be slightly unstable if bombing into booters.

The Gnu Ladies Choice pops off of any lip  sidehit  or kicker you can imagine.
The Gnu Ladies Choice pops off of any lip, sidehit, or kicker you can imagine.

Best Applications


Literally anything. The Ladies Choice can hang with the best — crushing park or pushing powder. Riders that need a playful board to take out in all conditions, on any terrain, this is your board. We want to take the Ladies Choice out for a nice seafood dinner. For now, we'll have to just give it our Editors' Choice Award and take it to the mountain…every damn day.

Value


Although this board is the most expensive board we tested, it seems to be worth its weight in gold. A true quiver-killer, the Ladies Choice replaces any need for an expensive collection of style specific boards. Consider it a safe investment.

Powder days made easy on the Gnu Ladies Choice.
Powder days made easy on the Gnu Ladies Choice.

Conclusion


The Ladies Choice is an eco-friendly, versatile board with progressive technology and high-performance stats. This board could handle any conditions, any terrain, any time. All in all, the Ladies Choice is a one-board wonder for intermediate to advanced riders who want to charge park, powder, and everything in between.
Amelia Traynor

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Most recent review: March 19, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 100%  (1)
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