The year was 1977 when a young Mike Olson shocked the world/his High School when instead of making a clock or a ornamental vase in his DT class, he decided to make a snowboard much to the dismay of his parents and the outside world. Fortunately for us, this didn't deter the young Washingtonian because he and a friend Pete Saari decided to drop out of college in '84 to start their own snowboard company and GNU snowboards was born.
GNU got into some grief when their distributor at the time, took the dividends that should have gone to Mike and Pete and began their own company Nitro Snowboards. After a lengthy legal dispute, the distributor gave them the name GNU back, but only after the two had created a parallel brand inspired by Liberace's jumper?
In 1991, GNU was back up and running and was bought by Quiksilver in 1996, who own GNU's parent company Mervin Manufacturing. A strong move, as in 1997 GNU exploded with the recent addition of the now infamous Danny Kass to the team. GNU now make boards with some of the finest quality materials and technology in the game. They also happen to make snowboards for the giants and the big footed: The GNU Skunk Ape has the widest waist width of almost any board on the market. You know what they say about people with big feet right?