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2023 GNU Barrett Snowboard Review

By: Mackensie Baer, Planner | June 23, 2022

2023 GNU Barrett

The Lowdown

All hail the GNU Barrett! It’s no surprise that this snowboard is the longest-reigning women’s pro model in the industry today – 25+ years of meticulous refinements are evident the moment you strap in and slide sideways on this board. From the icy hardpack days to the powder hound days, the Barrett ensures a good time with its unreal stability at high-speeds and versatile freeride capabilities. Additionally, it’s important to note that a portion of proceeds from the sale of this board are donated to Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC) which helps provide youth with awareness and education on early detection and prevention. So not only does this board provide major stoke on the mountain, it also helps make a positive impact off the mountain. If I haven’t already sold you, let’s dive a bit deeper into what makes this GNU board a one-of-a-kind ripper.

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Technical Details

Before we dig in, it’s important to mention the environmental impact of the GNU board production process, because without a conscious effort to protect our planet, how will we continue to shred for years to come? Fortunately, GNU snowboards are Mervin Made meaning that they are hand built at Mervin Manufacturing - one of the most environmentally friendly board factories in the world located in Sequim, Washington. From concept to market, Mervin uses zero hazardous waste and builds the boards utilizing wind- and water-generated power and eco materials.

Okay, now let’s get into the technical details of the GNU Barrett. To start, the GNU Barrett has a C3 Camber profile, which means that this board is camber dominant with mellow rocker between your feet and vigorous camber at the tip and tail. What makes this rocker type advantageous, you ask? Maximum edge hold on icy or variable conditions, pop for jumps, ultimate power and precision to charge at high-speeds, plus some float for the deeper days – the ideal profile for an aggressive shredder. Next, the GNU Barrett is a directional shape which offers a more setback stance. As a result, the nose is a bit longer than the tail, coupled with slight tapering at the tail. This allows for the tail to sink deeper while simultaneously lifting the nose above the snow, aiding your floating abilities in the fluffy, fun stuff as well as helping your maneuverability in trees or bumpy, mogul situations.

Moving onto the construction of the GNU Barrett. The GNU Barrett uses Mervin’s G3 Eco Core, which combines FSC Certified Balsa, Aspen, and Paulownia wood with Triax and Biax fiberglass and carbon Power Pop Bands. This core is Mervin’s lightest construction, yet remains incredibly tough, responsive, and poppy. The sintered knife cut base offers you the ultimate speed and power while retaining ample wax. Continuing with the toughness of the Barrett, the sidewalls use Ultra-High Molecular Weight (UHMW) materials ensuring durability on impact. Next, we have Magne-Traction – the holy grail of edge hold. Rather than a traditional straight edge, the Barrett’s edge is comprised of seven serrations that act like teeth biting into the snow. Being that Mervin pioneered Magne-Traction in the early 2000’s, you can rest assured that they’ve got it figured out, and you’ll experience unreal control in the most variable of conditions. To wrap up the construction of the Barrett, we have the environmentally friendly topsheet made out of eco-sublimated bio beans.

Sizes (cm)  [146], 149, 152, 155
Rocker Type Camber/Rocker/Camber
Shape Directional
Flex Rating Medium-Firm
Dimensions (Tip, Waist, Tail - mm)  278 - 241 - 275
Sidecut Radius (m)  8
Stance Setback (in)  1.5

Ride Impressions

The GNU Barrett has completely blown me away. I’ve had the opportunity to put the Barrett to test in various conditions – from some of the gnarliest, icy days to the dreamy powder days, the Barrett far exceeded my expectations.

On groomers, I found that the Barrett had unparalleled control and stability. The combination of the camber dominant profile and stiff flex gave me the ultimate confidence at high speeds while the Magne-Traction aided tremendously while carving, even in sketchy conditions. Despite this board being geared towards medium to larger jumps, the Barrett performed exceptionally well on smaller jumps and side-hits. It has great pop thanks to the C3 profile, killer maneuverability during the approach, and forgiveness on sloppier landings. In moguls and trees, the Barrett excelled with its grip and agile responsiveness edge to edge.

Not to my surprise, the Barrett absolutely crushed it in powder. Don’t let the C3 camber profile deter you from ripping the Barrett on a powder day. The setback stance, directional shape and taper give you the float you’re craving without sacrificing your back leg. Despite the heavy wet snow of the Pacific Northwest, I was particularly pleased with the ease of keeping the nose afloat. I can only imagine the pow slashes in the notoriously light powder of Utah.

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆


  • Lightweight – The G3 Eco Core is Mervin’s lightest construction while simultaneously being incredibly tough and ultra-responsive.
  • Insane edge hold – The Magne-Traction will help you conquer the most variable conditions.
  •  Versatile – The Barrett ensures stability for riders at lightning speed, big air jumps, float in powder and pretty much anything in between.


  • Profile – The camber dominant profile isn’t as powder friendly as a rockered nose may be if you are on the hunt for maximum float. BUT the directional shape and taper are a killer compromise. 

Who Is It For?

The GNU Barrett is built for an aggressive rider who seeks versatile freeride capabilities. It’s a board that has incredible stability at high-speeds, superior pop for jumps, and the opportune shape to plow on powder days. This rider is drawn to the ultimate all-mountain freeride board without largely sacrificing any feature over another. They have an immense appreciation for the scientific technology of their board and the power and precision they experience as a result.

The Bottom Line

What more can I say? This board is the epitome of all-mountain freeriding. In the last 25+ years, Barrett Christy and the Mervin team have meticulously cultivated the GNU Barrett into the powerful ride that it is today. This snowboard will undoubtedly give you the control and confidence to annihilate anything that comes your way – give the Barrett a whirl and tell me otherwise. 

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2023 GNU Barrett Reviewer

About the Reviewer

Name: Mackensie Baer
Age: 29
Height: 5’2”
Weight: 125 lbs
Size Reviewed: 146 cm
Location(s) & Conditions: Washington, Oregon, Utah
Bindings: Bent Metal Stylist (Size M)
Boots:  Ride Cadence (Size 7.5)
Riding Style: Fast and agile – I’m a major pow seeker but also love charging groomers, side hits, berm tracks and weaving through trees any chance I get.

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