Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Head Space: Which Is Better?

lib tech box knife vs gnu head space

The Lib Tech Box Knife and the GNU Head Space are both produced by Mervin Manufacturing, the parent company of Lib Tech and Gnu. Both boards have equally impressive edge-hold and can hold out in the pipe, park, and on groomers.  

The Box Knife has a strong core and medium flex, making it ideal for all-mountain freestyle carves as well as for the pipe and park. The GNU Head Space has an unrivaled edge-hold and is the ideal street and park board made for riders who are always hunting for an opportunity to jib.

These are two resort boards that belong in most riders’ quiver. They have similar profiles and are built by the same manufacturer. Let’s take a look at how they fare against each other.

See the Box Knife here on Evo or on Amazon
See the Head Space on Evo or here on Amazon

Key featuresBox KnifeHead Space
StyleAll-mountain freestyle. True twin setupFreestyle, resort, and park. Asymmetrical twin
Price$500$500
StiffnessMedium flexMedium flex
ProfileHybrid camberHybrid camber
Rider levelIntermediate-advancedAdvanced-expert
Size148, 151, 154, 157, 157W, 160W149, 152, 152W, 155, 155W, 158
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Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Head Space: who are these snowboards for?

Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Head Space: park and freestyle

The Box Knife combines high tech park riding with cruisey groomer carving. With a strong edge-hold and a medium flex, it’s a good board for those looking to start their day cutting through corduroy and end up popping off kickers and rails in the park.

The Box Knife has a hybrid camber profile which has a forgiving feel, however is not appropriate for beginners. It has a longer nose and tail which gives it dynamic pop compared to the average camber board.

It’s a great freestyle option and combines the playfulness of a park board with the powerful edge-hold of a carver.

The board’s medium flex makes it a great board for jibbing, buttering, and with its strong edge-hold, it can hit kickers and side-kicks with knife-like precision. If you’re hoping to take your all-mountain freestyle board into the pipe, this board won’t disappoint.

The GNU Head Space is for street and park riders who prefer man-made kickers to popping off natural features. With fast turn initiation and solid edge hold in icy snow, the board has a technical feel and is best for advanced to expert park and street riders.

The board has a similar camber profile to the Box Knife. It has a mild rocker in between the feet, camber underfoot, and flick towards the nose and tail. It has the same Magne-Traction knife edge-hold technology yet mixes things up with an asymmetrical shape designed to assist with balance and turning.

It’s the ultimate jib board and will serve you well with presses and butters, rails and boxes, and even kickers.

See the Box Knife here on Evo or on Amazon
See the Head Space on Evo or here on Amazon

Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Head Space: powder

Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Head Space: riding in powder

Considering these boards were not crafted for powder, the elongated nose of the Box Knife makes for decent float for a twin board. You’ll need to put some power into your back leg to keep the nose afloat, and venturing into deep snow will likely end up in a hike.

The GNU Head Space doesn’t rank well in powder either. Its asymmetrical sidecut, sharp edges, and narrow body make for a no-float combination. It’s almost impossible to keep the board’s nose above deep powder.

While neither board is ideal for a deep powder day, the Box Knife would hold up best if necessary because of its lengthened nose.

Box Knife vs Headspace: carving

Named after its knife-like rails, the Lib Tech Box Knife has an ultra-strong edge-hold that will keep stable at speed and in icy conditions.

Made with Lib Tech’s Banana Technology camber, the mild rocker between the feet and camber underfoot gives the board an effortlessly aggressive and controlled feel, complemented with precision and power through hard turns. 

The camber and edge-hold cut through hard pack carves like a knife. The board is quick from rail to rail and does best on tighter radius carves than long S-turns.

With second to none serrated edge-hold, the GNU Headspace carves like a dream. It holds well in long radius carves as well as tighter turns, and is quick from rail to rail. 

The asymmetrical sidecut as well as the flex between the bindings help the board drive through hard carves on its heel-side rail and snap back between rails.

It feels super grippy and difficult to slide out because of the edge-hold and has great pop, making it a good option for top-end freestyle riders. However, it feels a bit too flexible and twisty to be a technical carver.

All in all, the Headspace is a better carver and has a precise and controlled feel to its carves. While the Lib Tech Box Knife also has great edge-hold, its design is more suited to quick turns for corrections on kicker approaches.

Box Knife vs Headspace: turns

There’s no feeling like laying into a turn on the Box Knife. The board has super quick turn initiation and feels like it has a lot of pop and spring from one turn into the next.

As mentioned, the board does best on tight radius turns when bouncing from rail to rail.

The edge-hold feature is so strong that skidded turns are difficult and it’s super easy to catch an edge, making it impractical for beginners who rely on skidding to come to a stop. 

As mentioned, the GNU Headspace is a bit soft to be a carver contender, however, for its width and asymmetrical shape, turn initiation is relatively fast and the board is a better turner than your average jibber.

Tracking on the Headspace is easier than the Box Knife because of the asymmetrical side-cut. This makes it a great board for flat basing and tracking with one foot. 

Once again, the Box Knife takes the win for turning. It’s faster from rail to rail and is ideal for springing between turns.

See the Box Knife here on Evo or on Amazon
See the Head Space on Evo or here on Amazon

Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Head Space: trees & slow sections

Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Head Space: trees & slow sections

Both boards are a great option for those wanting to explore untracked tree lines. They do well at slow speeds and feel super stable and maneuverable from edge to edge. 

This, complemented by their strong edge-hold and quick turns make the Lib Tech and GNU safe and reliable boards that perform well in tight spaces and unpredictable terrain. 

The Box Knife is especially stable and agile at slow speeds and is great for technical tree riding.

Box Knife vs GNU Headspace: speed

Lib tech crafted the Box Knife with a sintered base and aspen and paulownia light wood core, making it able to handle speed with stability. This being said, if you open the board up to supersonic speeds, you’ll likely lose traction. 

It’s not ideal for gathering speed and accelerating and needs downhill momentum to reach significant speeds. The long nose of the board feels a bit chattery when riding fast.

Similarly, the Headspace wasn’t made for sheer speed, but this being said, it has more speed than you need when jibbing, buttering, and jumping in the park. The base is damp and will easily get you where you want to be when riding in the park and street.

Both boards are equally as fast on hard-pack and have sufficient speed for what you’ll likely want the board to do.

See the Box Knife here on Evo or on Amazon
See the Headspace on Evo or here on Amazon

Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Headspace: rugged terrain

With quick rail to rail turning and efficient tight turns, the Lib Tech Box Knife is ideal for weaving around bumps and chatter. It also has a narrow waist and a forgiving medium flex, making it fun to avoid uneven snow.

However, driving through chatter is not the board’s best quality. It feels a bit too technical on choppy snow, and each bump you ride over reverberates through your core.

While the GNU Headspace will bounce you around in rugged terrain, it won’t send vibrations through your body like the Box Knife. 

The Headspace will feel more stable when riding over churned up snow. However, with lightning fast turn initiation, the Box Knife is best for avoiding bumps altogether. 

Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Headspace: jumps and tricks

The Box Knife was made for the park, and the board has a good amount of pop and flex in the tip and tails. With a narrow body and medium flex, the board does well on approaching and landing medium kickers but is a bit too technical for big kickers. 

The shape, flex, and edge-hold suit the pipe too. It’s possible to make quick turns along hard-pack pipe walls, and the board is nimble enough to throw the tail around without much effort.

The camber profile also helps drive the Box Knife from one wall to the next, offering energetic spring and pop.

The Headspace is also a go-to park board. It has the stability of a traditional cambered board, but with the hybrid profile, it has a new-age feel to it.

The slight rocker and the medium flex give it the stability to handle hard-pack terrain and air time, while maintaining the flexibility to jib and butter with ease.

The Headspace is stiffer between the feet and softer towards the tips, giving it a poppy and flexible feel in the park and on the street. 

The board is a jib machine and with its blunt shape and softer tips, it’s easy to press and butter. If you put enough weight and power into it, you’ll receive a bunch of rebound energy out of the camber profile.

This board prefers small and medium-sized jumps. It’s stable on approach and landing if you have control, but if you’re off your game, it can easily slide out on landing.

You’ll be able to charge around the park, hitting side hits, launching kickers, sliding over boxes and rails, and buttering and jibbing whenever possible on the GNU Headspace.

In conclusion, the Headspace is a better butterer, jibber, and small kicker board for those who know what they are doing in the park, while the Box Knife fares better in the half-pipe.

See the Box Knife here on Evo or on Amazon
See the Headspace on Evo or here on Amazon

Lib Tech Box Knife vs GNU Headspace: switch riding

The true-twin setup of the Box Knife makes it the perfect switch board. It feels stable and maneuverable when riding switch and is ideal for practicing landing jibs and kickers fakie.

The asymmetrical sidecut radius of the Headspace is great for stability when riding switch, making it a good board to practice switch.

Although both are super fun switch boards, the asymmetry of the Headspace has a uniquely stable feel which is ideal for riding switch.

Final words

The Box Knife is more of an all-rounder board for a single quiver. It meshes playful park and technical carver well and is ideal for riders who need one solid board for all possible conditions.

Whether jibbing and hopping off natural features, carving through groomers, hitting kickers in the park, or driving wall to wall in the pipe, this is a great resort board.

The Headspace’s medium flex is enough to hold a carve while remaining playful and soft in the park. It’s optimal for butters, jibs, rails, side hits, and landing switch, and most freestyle riders are unlikely to feel bored with it.

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Big Kahuna

Hi I'm Jesse. All my life I've been passionate about the board riding lifestyle. Some years ago I got into longboarding, and in doing so, I discovered a whole new universe and a fantastic community. There's something for everyone in longboarding regardless of age, gender, size, and fitness level. Ride on!

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