If you are on the hunt for a fantastic quiver killing all-mountain board that isn't going to break the bank, then the Gnu Klassy should be one of the first models that you consider. This board loves to go fast and is exceptionally stable while carving at high speeds. It's great on groomers and offers excellent control edge to edge. On top of that, it fares quite well off-piste in the powder and has plenty of pop. However, it's not the best in the park and is only average at jibbing, but if your budget is on your mind when shopping for a new board, the Klassy is definitely for you.
GNU Klassy Review
Cons: Not as much pop as other boards
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
This board finished in the upper portion of the group, just behind the Burton Family Tree Story Board and ahead of the Jones Twin Sister. Both the Burton and the Klassy are exceptionally stable at speed, but the Burton has a little stronger edge hold and a bit more float in powder. However, it is a stiffer board that can't come close to matching the Klassy when it comes to pop and playfulness — and costs about $175 more. The Twin Sister is similar when it comes to playfulness, but it can't match the Klassy when it comes to edge hold and stability, though it does have quite a bit more float. It is also more expensive, usually retailing for about $50 more than the Gnu.
In our quest to find the best all-mountain snowboard of them all, we compared the specs and user reviews of close to 50 different boards, then bought all the most promising snowboards to test out head-to-head. We broke our testing method into five different components, each weighted based on their importance, with the Klassy's performance described below.
Accounting for one-fourth of the final score, edge hold is our most important metric. We took the Klassy down steep runs in varied snow conditions, trying to find the point where it washed out from under us. This turned out to actually be quite difficult, which is why the Gnu earned an 8 out of 10 in this test.
The Klassy has the newer magne traction serrated edges — similar to a bread knife — which really boost its edge hold in difficult conditions. These serrations increase the overall edge length and really bite into even the hardest sections of snow and ice, ensuring you — almost! — never lose an edge while carving. The camber sections directly under the bindings also help it really grab, but the softer surfy feel of this board does mean it will start to slip in places that stiffer boards wouldn't.
For this metric, responsible for 20% of the total score, we were looking both at how well the board floated in deep snow and how it handled. The Klassy continued its strong showing, earning another 8 out of 10.
We found this board to be tons of fun in deep snow, particular if you liked a really surfy feel while riding freshies. It's got a directional profile with an extended nose, as well as rocker section underfoot that really boost the amount of flotation it has.
However, even with all those power-specific features, there still were other boards that we would grab first after the biggest storms.
For this metric — also accountable for 20% of the final score — we bombed the steepest groomers we could find, looking for any unwanted vibrations or instabilities to develop at higher speeds. The Klassy did exceptionally well when it came to stability at speed, earning a 9 out of 10.
The Klassy delivered one of the best performances we have seen and holding its own with other snowboards that cost hundreds of dollars more. This board simply wants to scream down steep groomers.
It's C2x Rocker profile gives it a ton of stability and we never got to the point where it would wobble or chatter. Carving is supremely stable and strong, making this board one of the best if you want to ski fast on hard-packed snow.
The Klassy continued to be a class act when it comes to playfulness, earning an 8 out of 10 in this group of tests, which are also worth 20% of its total score. We based this on how much fun the overall ride of the board is — how well it flexes, turned and maneuvered, as well as how it felt in the park and on natural features.
This directional freeride board has plenty of freestyle spirit, making it an all-around super fun and playful board — no matter where you are on the mountain. This board has a medium flex and a really playful and surfy ride that makes it exceptionally awesome in banked turns and other boardercross-style features.
We also really liked that you still feel like you have a great deal of control and stability, even with the cruisey ride. On top of that, it is a really solid park board and would definitely be one of our first choices out of the group to take into any terrain park.
Pop and Jumping
Finally, we ranked and compared how willing each board is to leave the ground for our last set of tests, which are worth 15% of the Klassy's total score. It finished out with a good strong showing, earning an 8 out 10.
While this board does have somewhat of a long nose, it still has enough tail to launch off natural features or lips with plenty of pop. However, this shorter tail means you lack some of the spring when you ollie, so you are going to have to work a bit harder to get the same height some of the other boards will.
It also is great in the park off of man-made features, affording you plenty of pop to send it and stomps the landing decently well. However, you probably would be better off with a stiffer board if planning on big air or if you are heading to the pipe.
This Klassy is a solid bet for most types of riding, doing a great job in both on and off-piste terrain. However, its jack-of-all-trades nature means it can't match a powder or freestyle board in deep snow or in the park.
The Klassy is an absolutely phenomenal value, offering some of the best bang for the buck when it comes to all-mountain snowboards.
Discounting its great value, the Gnu Klassy holds its own as an awesome all-mountain board on performance alone. It's great at for bombing steep runs, has plenty of edge hold and float for all types of snow, and is plenty playful for the park. Thrown in the fact that it costs significantly less than the top boards and it is easy to see why we would recommend this snowboard to anyone shopping on a budget.
— Marissa Fox