Snowboard Review: 08-09 GNU Riders Choice BTX

07 May, 2008

2008-2009 GNU Riders Choice BTX

Location: Loveland, CO

Snow Conditions: A mixture of powder runs, groomers, some spring conditions of bumps and crust.

Setup: I rode the GNU Riders Choice with my Rome Madison bindings and my Vans Omni Focus boots.

First Impression: Damn…this is the mtx that I can feel it.

Size: 157cm

Weight: Tad heavier than average

Flex: The Riders Choice is definitely a stiffer board, both longitudinally and torsionally. The BTX mades it easier to play with than the past Riders Choices I’ve rode and the MTX makes it more aggressive in turning. The flex of the board is still a bomber aggressive stiffer freestyle board. In some conditions, I love that board for bombing with and freeriding but in really choppy terrain, I want a board with more give that absorbs it up.

Turning: Personally I like turning on boards without magne traction. The riders choice mtx was a bit too aggressive without letting me as a rider really use the sidecut as I see fit. I can see how some people like the grippy, connected feeling of mtx but for me…I like having some extra slack when I’m riding. The mtx was really solid on short quick turns, but when I started to do longer spread out turns I felt I was fighting a battle against the mtx contact points.

Stable: On the hard packed groomers, had some fun just hauling with it, didn’t feel any vibrations coming from the board. Not as stable when riding through some really choppy crud packed powder, definitely didn’t absorb the varying snow conditions that well.

Pop: Good pop on this board, easy to get air off little side kickers and rollers. I didn’t ride jumps with the riders choice but I can see how people choose this board for their stiffer freestyle board.
Switch: I didn’t really take the board out riding switch, just a couple small 180’s but nothing to really test the switch riding with it.

Powder: Having the banana tech in powder always helps, it makes it so easy to float with and you don’t feel like your having to work your back leg. I took the Riders Choice through some smaller stashes of powder at Loveland in the trees, it held up fine with the BTX. Cuts through the powder very easily.

MagneTraction (MTX):
I prefer a MTX that’s more mellow, gradual letting the rider do the work…not the board do the work for you. I told Jay that the mtx I prefer is the one I don’t notice, that I don’t feel like i’m riding an mtx board. The riders choice you feel the mtx as soon as your on edge. It’s very aggressive, super grippy and connects like a pro ho to a pro snowboarder…it doesn’t wanna let go or give you any slack. That’s just my personal preference with mtx, I enjoy the edge hold but I don’t want to feel it.

Overall Impression: I love the board but I don’t love the magne traction on it. It’s definitely a more aggressive freestyle board, especially now with the banana tech and magne traction you can pretty much do all with this board. It’s rideable in powder by the banana tech, stiffer flex overall unless you break it in so holds up for freeriding and jumps. Then the mtx is super grippy, holds an edge so if you ride icy conditions a lot or can’t hold an edge on your own…this will do it for you. For me, it comes down to it…I’d like the board without the magne traction.

Shay’s Honesty Box: Take off the mtx and I’d ride it…I used to love the old Riders Choice before btx and mtx…such a shame.

On-Snow Photos
Jay holding up the base
GNU Riders Choice Catalog Description
(click on photo to open bigger)

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008

    How does it compare to the Lib Tech TRS BTx?

  2. Shayboarder
    August 29, 2008

    I haven’t rode the TRS with BTX yet, so I really can’t compare it at this time. I’ll make sure to get on the TRS this year.

  3. Anonymous
    November 25, 2008

    I’m seriously looking into gtting either the MTX or BTX wide board. I live in Quebec, so it’s often icy riding here in the East, hence the reason I’d like the MagneTraction. My impression of the Banana Tech was that it made he BTX less stiff than the MTX?? Though from what you say, that’s not necessarily the case. My current board bounces on any bump in choppy conditions, so I’m looking for something stiff that’ll just plow straight through. Is the BTX gonna do that or doyou think the MTX is a better option? Will be takin the board out west twice this season,so the powder handling is important too. Thanks a lot!

  4. Anonymous
    November 25, 2008

    Oh, one more Q: How’s the speed on this board? As compared to, say, the Nitro Pantera (The 08 model is the other board I’m looking at). Thanks!

  5. Shayboarder
    November 26, 2008

    Dang it I wrote something up and it got deleted.

    BTX is the reverse camber, mtx is the edge/contact points. You can’t have btx without the mtx, the two go hand in hand. mtx can be on it’s own though and it gives a board better edging from the contact points.

    btx makes the board more playful, easier to butter and press and also in powder, easier float.

    I can’t compare it to the pantera since I haven’t rode the pantera yet. The RC is true twin, versus the pantera a tapered directional. I know the RC has a fast base.

  6. Anonymous
    December 02, 2008

    Cool! Thanks a lot!

  7. Anonymous
    December 20, 2008

    Magnetraction definately feels a little different on-edge than a normal sidecut, definately not for everyone. Sometimes I like to ride my old lib dark series (pre mag) and it does feel somewhat smoother than a board with mag.

    It sounds like you didn’t care for the board, but I think the bigger issue is the fact that you don’t like mag. Your comment, “if you can’t keep a board on edge, this will do it for you” validates my assumption. I’ve met a few people that don’t care for mag. and/or banana because they say it’s a beginner’s board because it makes things a little easier, but isn’t that the idea? Being able to get away with a little more will benefit any rider.

    The mag. bumps are definately more mild on the riders choice btx compared to my t-rice donkephant with mag. The rc btx is basically a tried and true mervin boad with banana tech – it rides somewhat similar to my 2 lib tech boards (dark series and t-rice) but the banana makes the board a little more lively and loose.

    The rc btx is great for switch riding. Also, the board is a true twin tip so it rides equally well in both directions.

  8. Shayboarder
    December 22, 2008

    Thanks anonymous for your input! I don’t care for mtx but there are some boards that I love and enjoy the mtx on it. The Riders Choice isn’t one of them, just too aggressive of mtx for my taste and overall the board there are others that I like more in the line up.

    Mtx does make it easier but I wouldn’t recommend it for all beginners either. Definitely a try before you buy kind of deal. Then again there are people who can’t tell the difference, had a guy at the demo who couldn’t tell the difference between banana tech and regular camber.

  9. Anonymous
    December 25, 2008

    Yeah, I guess my main point is you’ll probably like this board if you like and are familiar with banana/rocker, mag., mervin freestyle boards – you’re not going to get anything too surprising.
    You still get a stiff-solid board that is fun to ride and will remain true (i.e. won’t loose pop quickly) over time. I recently rode some powder/crud and this board charged over everything – giant craters, massive bumps, etc – no problem, saved my @$$ a few times.

    On another note, I am curious as to why they didn’t incorporate ‘dual/twin harmonic geometries’ on the btx from the old riders choice? I know it’s possible with the banana tech because temple cummins’ board has it. My dark series with twin harmonic geometries is the ****!

  10. Shayboarder
    January 01, 2009

    Yeah I agree with you there, it seems the people who like it the most are those very familiar with mervin’s decks and btx, prefer it over other brands but still want a stiffer long lasting deck that can push through anything.

    Interesting on the “dual/twin harmonic geometries” you make…seems weird that they would not bring it back. I love how the dark rides, cannot wait till the 09-10 model with the new rocker and freeride orientation to it.

  11. Anonymous
    January 04, 2009

    I just bought the 2007 gnu riders choice
    shown here
    and i wanted to know if it had mtx,
    the description on ebay said it did but none of the pictures show it.


  12. Anonymous
    January 04, 2009
  13. Shayboarder
    January 06, 2009

    That year (06-07) came with or without magne traction.

  14. GhostintheToast
    January 11, 2009

    Thanks for the helpful review. I ride an ’07 RC without MTX right now and like it but wish it had just a little more give and play.

    Would you recommend anything else from the GNU/Lib line thats similar but has a bit more flex?

  15. Shayboarder
    January 11, 2009

    Are you planning to keep your RC and just give a softer board?

    From GNU you could try the street series, from lib the phoenix or skate banana. Really depends on how soft you wanna go.

  16. Anonymous
    January 20, 2009

    Hey Andy B in Colorado. 16th day, rode A basin, rode to the icy top and flew down… FAST… to fast. What can I say I was excited. I bifed hard man hardest all season. Any who had it in the park later. Nailed the booters and played on the rails. Sick deck. CARVES ON ICE NO JOKE. buy a btx if you can. I’m rockin the wide. Hit loveland pass today after Abay. Did killer buy this deck

  17. Anonymous
    January 20, 2009

    PS this board is super fast. Smaller more controlled turns means less speed burnt. So a very fast deck

  18. Anonymous
    February 02, 2009

    I am riding my first BTX this year, a Riders Choice BTX, My two previous boards were a McKink MTX and a TRS MTX. The BTX is where it is at, this board KICKS ASS I haven’t had any powder to speak of but the icy crap I did hit was tremendously mellowed by magne-traction.

    The BTX is definitely a new beast it lets you control the board from under your feet and what I was most impressed by was how nimble it was on the tracked out ice paths.

    I also had so much fun doing the stupidest little things like manualing half way down a run or buttering a nose press down a cat track

    Magne traction boards are all I have ridden for a couple of years now and I agree with the quote “FAST… to fast.”.
    I have found myself on more than one occasion discussing how fast is to fast? While waiting for all the non magne-traction riders with us to catch up.

    Magne-traction will turn those icy days that most people go home to rideable time, thus giving you overall more riding time.

    In my opinion the BTX is super fun but not a necessity, but never buy a non-magne-traction board again.

  19. Anonymous
    March 27, 2009

    I have this board in the wide BTX version. It is so sweet to ride in powder and park. It has a good flex to ride anything and everything, it is a little stiff to press and does not take bumps as well as I would like. The only complaint I have is that it is not that high of quality the top sheet chips very easy. The edge seems to be separating from the base. Lib-tech has great ideas they just need to step up durability. The technology makes this board.

  20. maggot
    August 05, 2009

    does anyone know what bindings are compatible to the gnu b-street?? I have burton and ride bindings…also do u know if the sp wonders are too? thanx