Gnu Velvet Guru EC2 (2012-13) ReviewOctober 28, 2012
- Lots of pop and energy
- Soft enough for tight, low-angle transitions in the trees
- Stellar response to aggressive riders at speed
- Playful—makes you want to spin
- Nimble in powder, even though in small sizes
- Chattery and bouncy on uneven snow
- Couldn’t hold an edge on the most harrowing steeps
- Jump turns were not an option in steep trees
The Gnu Velvet Guru is true all mountain board. Both beginners and experts loved its versatility: it floats in powder, responds to aggressive maneuvers at high speeds, pops like a cork, and is so light and playful, you’ll want to hit every berm you see. However, in steep terrain, riders had a hard time getting it to hold an edge.
Soft enough for beginners but with enough edge hold for experts, the Velvet Guru handled almost the entire mountain. Lay into a turn and it responded immediately—even on hard pack. Once on edge, it locked in, thanks to Mervin Manufacturing’s MagneTraction (a series of serrated points that increase contact area with the snow).
Whether it was being ridden switch, taken off jumps, or sending a rail or box, testers couldn’t get enough of this chipper board. Its Gumby-like torsional flex made it easy to spin and essentially turned the entire resort into one big playground.
Contrary to its narrow waist and soft flex, the Velvet Guru floats like a dream. It’s nimble in deep snow, floating on time and making quick, responsive turns. Credit Gnu’s EC2 elliptical camber—the tip rises early, lifting the nose out of the snow and allowing efficient energy transfer directly under the bindings.
Versatility In All Types of Snow
One ice-veteran tester from Vermont noted: “It’s rare to ride a women’s specific shred stick that is as nimble, versatile, has float, deals with hard pack, and is stiff enough to respond.” That said, featherweight testers bounced all over on chattery hard pack.
Some testers called it noodly and that’s what makes it so fun—as long as you aren’t into steeps. Without a softer flex, it wouldn’t maneuver around moguls and trees or spin and butter as fluidly as it does. Luckily, it’s combination of soft flex and stronghold MagneTraction doesn’t compromise stability at high speeds. Heading towards high-angle terrain? You’ll want something stiffer.
Given the versatility and performance this board delivers, the $450 price tag is about what we’d expect.