To really find out which snowboards are the best of the best, we purchased all the most promising models available and tested them out head-to-head. We took these boards all over the mountain in different types of snow conditions and rated their performance in five different categories — edge hold, playfulness, pop and jumping, stability at higher speeds, and performance in powder — with the Gnu Ladies Choice's results outlined below.
The Ladies Choice is one of the most solid all-around boards we tested.
The Ladies Choice has superior edge hold in all conditions.
When it comes to edge hold, the Ladies Choice is one of the best you can get, earning a 9 out of 10. We rode this board in all types of snow, both off and on-piste, to see if this board ever lost an edge or washed out from under us. In total, our edge hold tests account for 25% of the final score.
The Ladies Choice has magne-traction edges, meaning they are serrated — similar to a steak knife. These knife-like edges really bite into all sorts of snow — even the icy patches.
The Ladies Choice delivered on edge hold on everything from slush to steep ice.
This increases the effective edge length and gives you absolutely phenomenal edge hold in all conditions, even when you are riding steep icy sections. This board never slipped or washed out on us and gives you complete confidence when it comes to carving on steep icy terrain or at higher speeds.
The Ladies Choice has no problem with deep snow.
Next, we evaluated how the Ladies Choice did in deep snow, which also constitutes 20% of its final score. To rate this, we rode this board all over the mountain after big storms, taking notes on how it handled and how it floated. It did very well, but it wasn't the absolute best, earning it an 8 out of 10.
This board is a blast to ride in the pow, but as mentioned above, it wasn't our absolute favorite and we would pick a few other boards over it for the deepest days. However, all of the boards that outperformed the Ladies Choice in the deep snow have a ton of very powder-specific features, such as a directional shape, a fishtail, or a really long nose with a very setback stance. These boards might outperform the Ladies Choice on the deepest days, but their powder-specific design features end up being detrimental when it comes to riding other terrain or playing in the park. For being such a versatile and well-rounded board, we were absolutely amazed at just how well the Ladies Choice floated and handled in the freshies. It has an astounding amount of float for being essentially a twin board with a centered stance.
The Ladies Choice provides superior stability at high speeds.
This next metric is for anyone who is looking for a board to really rip the groomers with. It accounts for 20% of the total score as well, and is based on the board's performance when we really opened up the throttle. The Ladies Choice did very well, meriting a 9 out of 10 — one of the top scores of the entire group.
We were actually quite surprised how stable this board felt at speed, given its medium flex and a relatively softer ride. First impressions of this board don't necessarily scream at you that it is going to be a great carving board, but in this case, our initial impressions turned out to be completely wrong once we got this snowboard up to higher speeds and started doing turns.
The Ladies Choice is a fun board that is playful in all conditions.
This board's C2 Rocker profile makes it great for carving and gives it a really strong and stable feel, even on uneven terrain. We did occasionally notice a little bit of chatter, but the Ladies Choice's flex and profile seem to absorb it.
The Ladies Choice is a super fun, playful board.
While the Ladies Choice might not have been the best at powder, it truly excels when it comes to playfulness. It's an absolute blast to ride, earning it a 9 out of 10 in this set of tests, which similarly accounts for 20% of its final score.
The lightweight balsa/aspen/paulownia core give the Ladies Choice a super fun and poppy ride. It's got medium flex and is definitely one of the most fun boards that we have seen so far off of natural features and in the park. Its camber-rocker-camber profiles make it particularly fun in the park and it's great for rails and jibbing.
The Ladies Choice earned the highest possible score for pop.
Pop and Jumping
For our last set of tests, we compared and scored how well each snowboard is at jumps and how much pop it has when you are trying to take off. These tests are responsible for the remaining 15% of the overall score for each all-mountain snowboard, with the Ladies Choice delivering an absolutely phenomenal performance, meriting a perfect 10 out of 10.
This is definitely one of the best freestyle/park boards that we have tested, which is slightly surprising given its fantastic edge hold and excellent performance in powder. While other boards can outperform the Ladies Choice in specific riding areas, none can match the overall versatility of this board. The giant swallowtail board may give you slightly more float in powder, but good luck taking that on rails. We thoroughly appreciated that this board's design is a fantastic option for ladies who want to spend equal time shredding the trees and hitting the park and spend their days roaming the entire mountain. It has tons of pop — enough to totally launch you when doing an ollie. We thought it was the best board of the bunch for riding switch and it really stomps the landings exceptionally well.
We had a blast riding the Ladies Choice in all sorts of terrain. However, this board is a true twin freestyle board, making it an awesome park board. It's also great for groomed terrain and in the trees, but it just can't quite match the float of powder-specific boards in the deepest snow falls.
While this is one of the best boards you can get, it is also a decent value. It's definitely an expensive purchase, but it's priced relatively reasonably for a top-tier all-mountain snowboard.
All in all, it is hard to go wrong with the Ladies Choice by Gnu. It's Jamie Anderson's signature model and excelled across the board in our rating metrics. It's super stable, crushes it in the park, and has plenty of pop, all while being a blast to ride in powder. If you truly want a quiver killing all-mountain snowboard that covers the park and is designed with a ladies' riding style in mind, you would be incredibly hard pressed to find a better one than the Ladies Choice.