New Era of Snowboards
I'm 5'11" and weigh about 180 and ride the 157.5 and am an advanced rider, this is my first GNU or Mervin Manufacturing board. I have owned Rossignol, Burton and Arbor boards.
I held off on writing a review for this board until I had used it in every possible condition. For years the 'do everything' or 'hybrid' boards were really just okay (at best) at most things and didn't excel at anything. They exemplified the adage "a Jack of all trades is a master of none."
This is no longer the case as the 2013 Riders Choice absolutely dominates every possible application. It rips up groomers and performs exceptionally well in park conditions but a board that can do both of those is nothing new. The real freak out moment (in a good way) came when I rode this board in deep powder (Jupiter access trees at PCMR and Snowbird backcountry). With no adjustments this beast dominates the most tame to the most extreme conditions; from carving east coast ice to surfing Utah powder. Worth noting is the durability. Many times I thought for sure I mauled the core and edges only to get done riding and find no damage to speek of. At the beginning of the season I had three boards for powder, all mountain and park. I have since sold all three because this board truly does it all. If I could give only one 'six star' review for any product I own, it'd be my Riders Choice without question.
The only reason I wouldn't recommend this board to a beginner is they wouldn't be able to appreciate it. For anyone else the value at $530 ish is unbelievable, I'd take this over the $1200 boards I've ridden all day, every day.