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Gilson Undead Review

Gilson Undead 2023 Review: The Best Freestyle Snowboard for Butters & Jibs

The Gilson Undead has a unique base technology where its edges are lifted a few millimeters off the snowboard’s base. The lifted edges make this snowboard an extremely playful and catch free ride. It can butter and jib rails without the edges getting in the way.

Here is my in-depth 2023 Gilson Undead snowboard review.

Gilson Undead 2023 Highlights & Specs




Coupon: Over on the Gilson Snowboards website, you can use the coupon code BOARDOFTHEWORLD for a 10% discount on your order.



Pros

  1. A playful flexing park board that can jump, jib, and carve well
  2. Tons of pop
  3. Can be sized down by 6cm (Volume Shifted)
  4. Five year warranty

Cons

  1. Chatter at higher speeds / Not the Dampest board
  2. Can feel slow when it isn’t waxed

What Sets the Gilson Undead Apart From Other Snowboards?

The Gilson Undead is a park board with a unique edge technology. The edges of this snowboard have been risen off of the board by a few millimeters off of the snowboard’s base. Here is what it looks like when you flip this board over.

There is a one-inch perimeter running around the edge of this snowboard where the base is higher than the edge by about 1/8th of an inch.   

The benefit of this feature is that it reduces the risk of catching your edges while hitting rails and jumps. The lifted edges make the board feel playful when it needs to be while still allowing it to hold an edge when it needs to.

Here is a quick video that describes Gilson’s edge technology in more detail.

First Impression of the Gilson Undead Snowboard?

When this snowboard arrived, I was blown away by how awesome the graphic looked in person.


It is also excellent to see the sheer lengths Gilson went to to make receiving this board feel special. The board arrived with a handwritten checklist to show the board’s serial number as well as its primary features.


Gilson also sent a handwritten note written on an actual piece of the board’s Poplar wood core that said, “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it! Keep Shredding! -JL”


It made receiving this board feel special, and it is a reminder that someone in Pennsylvania took the time to ensure every aspect of this snowboard was tuned for me to ride.

Why Did I Buy the Gilson Undead?

Gilson is a local snowboard manufacturer here in North Eastern Pennsylvania. I’ve seen their boards all over our local mountains. I’ve even had the chance to test this board several times over the years.

I got the Gilson Undead snowboard because I wanted a board on the slightly wider waist width side for its length. This board has a similar width of boards that are around 6cm longer than it. The main benefit is that you could size down if you wanted a lighter, shorter board. I didn’t, though. I wanted a wider board around the same length that I normally ride.

The wider platform and raised edges appeal to me. I picture what it will feel like doing a back lip on a rail as I feel the entire width of the board sliding across the rail. The additional benefit of getting to put some dedicated time on the risen edges was a nice bonus too.

All in all, I wanted to see if a wider board with risen edges would be good for east coast park riding.

How Does the Gilson Undead 2023 Ride?

The Gilson Undead feels extremely playful for butters and jibs while having a unique controlled blend of performance for carving all over the resort. The Undead is a versatile board that offers the perfect flexibility and profile for park riding while still performing exceptionally well as an all-mountain board.

The first detail I noticed when stepping on the Gilson Undead was its wider waist width. I felt the width right away because it felt a little slower than the more narrow Bataleon Evil Twin Plus I’d been riding earlier this season. Both have fast sintered bases. However, you can tell that there is more surface area resting against the snow in the Gilson Undead than with most other park boards. 

The wider width of the Gilson Undead made for a very stable feel. The Undead excels at making wider more-controlled carves than tighter, quicker carves. While it isn’t made for backcountry freeriding at top speeds, it is perfect for carving between features in the park and cruising around your favorite resort. 

As for Gilson’s soft edge technology, I was surprised at how well the Undead held an edge in icier conditions. I’ve seen a few review videos online where some riders say their level of edge hold was lacking. I didn’t find that to be true at all in the 2023 Undead. For a park board with a 3d base technology, this snowboard holds an edge exceptionally well. It felt like a snowboard that could engage its edges when it needed to while keeping them out of the way when they weren’t needed. The board felt playful yet in control at all times.

The Undead makes hitting rails and boxes feel easier, and I’ve improved my rail game dramatically thanks to how stable this board feels while you’re sliding on it. The wider base and lifted edges of the Undead make locking into rails feel controlled while dramatically reducing the risk of catching your edges. A few times, I went a little edge-heavy on a front board and still slid right through it. 

There is a surprising level of pop and response in the Gilson Undead. The additional pop and response come from the board’s hybrid profile. If you were to look at the Gilson Undead from the side, its profile would look like this. 

Gilson Undead’s Hybrid Camber Profile

The reverse camber between the feet gives the board a playful, skate-like feel, while the large camber sections immediately underfoot allow the board to get a ton of pop. It’s the type of profile that excels in the park while still being ready to charge the rest of the resort too. Overall, the Undead’s profile feels similar to the GNU Rider’s Choice or Lib Tech T.Rice Pro.

All in all, the Gilson Undead blends playful with power and is ready to charge through your favorite park.  

Which bindings go well with the Gilson Undead?

The Union Strata bindings are a great match to the flex pattern and profile of the Gilson Undead. 

Union Strata




The Union Strata is a lightweight freestyle binding with a six out of ten flex rating. These bindings are perfect to pair with the Gilson Undead. These are some of the most responsive freestyle snowboard bindings you can buy.

If you are looking for a lightweight, flexible, yet still responsive binding, check out the Union Strata.


Highlights for the Union Strata

  • Shock absorption
  • Lightweight
  • Flex in highback and baseplate
  • Minidisk compatible
  • Soft and surfy board feel
  • Upgraded no-slip hardware

Sizes

Small (US Men’s 6 – 7.5), Medium (US Men’s 8 – 10), Large (US Men’s 10.5+)




What Do I Like and Dislike About the Gilson Undead Snowboard?

Likes

It Is a Do-It-All Playful Park Board

This board surprised me with how versatile it is. While it excels in the park hitting rails and small to medium-sized jumps, it also has enough power and response to carve all over the mountain. It is a controlled yet playful park board. It’s easy to ride and feels locked in when you hit rails.

Tons of pop

The hybrid camber technology profile offers a ton of energy and pop. This snowboard has the easy-to-ride benefits of a reverse camber combined with the snappiness of a camber board. You’ll notice the additional pop when you load it up to ollie. It will send you a little higher than you thought.

Here is a picture to gauge just how much camber is in each section under your feet. The camber sections are on the more aggressive side. However, the board doesn’t feel aggressive to ride. It just shares the same level of pop as an aggressive camber-dominant board would.


Can Be Sized Down by 6cm / Volume Shifted

The Undead has a wider waist width than most park boards that share the same length. Additionally, this board has blunted nose and is intended to ride a round 6cm shorter than your normal board. The benefit of riding a shorter board with less material on its nose is that it has a lighter swing weight for spins and is easier to maneuver all around.


Alternatively, you can do what I did and ride your regular length while utilizing the Undead’s wider width for additional stability. I found it to be easier to balance on park features. The wider width offered more surface to slide on for rails while being more forgiving with landing jumps.

Five Year Warranty

All Gilson boards are made in Winfield, Pennsylvania, with a five-year warranty. If anything goes wrong with your board, reach out to Gilson here, and they will help you with your warranty claim. This warranty is one of the longest you can get with a snowboard deck.

Dislikes

You Will Feel Chatter

This isn’t the dampest snowboard. You will feel chatter in your board as you reach faster speeds. 

With that in mind, this snowboard is more intended for cruising through the park instead of freeriding. For what it lacks in dampness, it gains in its overall boardfeel. As you’re hitting rails, you will be able to feel your board and make any adjustments you need to.

You Will Need to Wax It Often

The Undead has a full Durasurf 4001 p-tex base. It will remain durable and fast for you when you wax it regularly. With the wider width of this board resting some extra surface against the snow, you will notice it feeling a little slower when it needs wax.

Who Is the Gilson Undead Snowboard a Good Fit For?

The Gilson Undead is perfect for the beginner to intermediate-level park rider who wants a softer flexing board that is easy to hit rails and jumps with.

The lifted edges on the Gilson Undead give this board a catch-free feeling when you’re hitting rails and boxes. That catch-free feeling also helps with landing spins. If you land slightly off-axis, the lifted edges allow you to adjust the last few degrees to ride away clean without catching your edge.

How Beginner Friendly is the Gilson Undead?

This is an extremely beginner-friendly board. The hybrid camber profile and lifted edges make this a very beginner-friendly, easy board to learn on.

Gilson Undead 2023 Specs

Length (cm)
Nose Width (cm)Tail Width (cm)Waist Width (cm)Sidecut Radius (m)Weight Recommendations (lbs)
10021.221.218.64.5880-150
13026.126.123.38.33110-180
13926.126.122.37.35115-190
14428.628.624.67.85120-200
14929.329.325.18.16125-210
154303025.37.93130-220
154 Wide31.631.627.18.3135-230
159 Wide31.831.827.58.95150-260
Gilson Undead Specs

Overall Rating for the Gilson Undead

ConsiderationsRating Out 5
Resort Riding4.65
Powder3.8
Carving / Turns4.3
Responsiveness4.25
Speed4.1
Ice / Poor Conditions4.4
Switch5
Jibs4.7
Jumps4.7
Durability / Quality4.5
Buttering5
Fun to ride5

Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars for the Gilson Undead Snowboard

So Do I Recommend the Gilson Undead Snowboard?

Yes, I recommend the Gilson Undead for any park rider looking for a balanced blend of skate-like, responsive, and precise board. This snowboard can carve exceptionally well while being catch-free enough to make park riding easier. If that sounds interesting, then you should try this board.  

Similar Snowboards to Consider

Where Can You Buy the Gilson Undead

You can buy the Gilson Undead from here.




Pro Tip: Over on the Gilson Snowboards website, you can use the coupon code BOARDOFTHEWORLD for a 10% discount on your order.



About the Reviewer

Rider Name: Steve Weber

Home Mountains: Big Boulder, Jack Frost, Montage – North Eastern Pennsylvania (Lots of east coast ice.)

Pre-Season Mountains: Big Snow

Size / Model: The board I reviewed was a 2023 Gilson Undead Size 149

Rider Weight: 142lbs

Rider Height: 5′ 6″

Bindings Used: 2023 Union Strata

Boots Used: DC Phase Snowboard Boots


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Steve Weber is an avid snowboarder and skateboarder. He has been snowboarding for 26 years, skateboarding for 20, and is always looking for a new board sport to try out. When he is not riding or skating, he runs a marketing agency. Board of the world is Steve’s blog for skateboard and snowboard gear reviews. The blog’s goal is to help people find the right board for them and encourage people to have fun outside.