Gnu Carbon High Beam Reviews
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Gnu Carbon High Beam

8 ratings (6 Epinions reviews)
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06 GNU CHB 156 - Will Only Satisfy a Beginner

Jan 1, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Fun to Ride, Shape, Flex Pattern, Entry Level Price

Cons:Heavy, Durability, Chatters at High Speed, Graphics are Bland

The Bottom Line: Not recommended, only right for very few people.


GNU Snowboard Company had always had a good karma with me, even through I had never ridden any of their snowboards. They are one of the last large snowboard companies that still manufacture their boards in the United States, and sponsored one of my favorite snowboarders, Danny Kass. I had always wanted to get a GNU board, and when I got the chance to ride one for a couple days, I of course jumped at the idea. The exact model was a 156 cm 2006 GNU Carbon High Beams(CHB). It had a black topsheet with red graphics on the top and base.

First, I give the board the standing test. It is the test that I find a little bit more about the flex and profile of the board. Doing manuals and presses were fairly effortless because it had added flex because it is an entry level board. Upon further inspection, I noticed that the steel edges ends near where the tip and tail begin on either side of the board. Apparently GNU did that to reduce the swing weight, but it results in horrible durability. I avoided rocks for the most part while I was riding the board, but for a beginner just starting you can be a huge dent into the tip or tail without the edges for protection.

The graphics are not really impressive by any stretch of the imagination. The topsheet is black loaded with GNU graphics on the bottom half but with hardly anything on the top. You almost have to put stickers on the board to give it a little character. On the base, only about 1/4 of it has color and the rest is just plain white. Most of GNU's other boards have fairly good graphics but I think they just didn't care about these.

On Hill Experience

One of the strangest things happened while I was trying to install a stomp pad onto the snowboard. I followed all directions and used several different brands of pads, but none seemed to stick to the topsheet material. I was talking to the owner of one of these boards and he said he had the same problem! Anyway, just cruising down mellow graded slopes is no problem with the CHB. The board with its added flex is forgiving if you make any mistakes, making for a perfect beginning board. I also found I could carve almost without trying, and I never felt like I was going to catch my edge. The board has the makings of the perfect beginner board.

When it came to steeper slopes the CHB became less fun to ride. When traveling at high speeds the board begins to "chatter", meaning flexing and feeling very unstable. Carving steep slopes was not a problem and almost seemed effortless. I was also able to ride it in powder and it performed flawlessly, but with that being said I have never ridden a board that didn't perform well in powder. Stiffer boards typically go faster so this board was not the fastest that I have ever ridden, but it does glide fairly fast.

Because the board has that extra flex and snap, jumping off of any little bump or mogul was quite fun. But the board is quite heavy reducing the amount of air I could catch off of any jump. On the landing the forgiving flex also prevented me from washing out on the landing and recovering quicker I would lost my balance upon landing. I also rode some rails with the board and it performed about as most other boards do. Large kickers and jumps were still fun to launch off of despite the heavy weight and it was easier to spin because of the lighter tip/tail. I did manage to leave a dent in the edgeless nose from hitting it on a rail.

Final Thoughts

I think this board is perfect for a beginner and some body just starting freestyle riding. If you do decide to purchase the CHB, make sure you avoid any and all rocks on the snow. Also I forgot to mention, I had put a fair amount of new scratches in the base after only a few days on the board. The combination of the edgelessness and scratch prone base make my really skeptical about the durability of the board. This board sells for $319 at most board shops and there are much better options at that price range and even below that price range.

Other Snowboards
Burton Dominant
Forum Devun Walsh
Forum Peter Line
Forum Street Dweller

And...
Advice on Forum Snowboards
Selecting a Freestyle Snowboard


Recommend this product? No


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