Best For: Powder hounds and veteran shredders.
The Test: With rocker underfoot and ample camber at the tip and tail, Gnu's new Beast does best floating in powder and popping off pillows. It's not as stiff as Rossignol's Magtek, but with the same wavy edges and directional freeride shape, the Beast is plenty aggressive on the steeps and in hardpack. It also has just enough tail to ride switch, although if that's a selling point for you, Venture's true-twin Skylar might be a better option.
The Verdict: Precision and power in a surfy package.