Forums Splitboards Furberg 2.0 Freeride 172 Impressions
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  • #780833
    Taylor
    751 Posts

    Thanks to @permnation and the other fine folks at Rocky Mountain Ski and Raft in South Fork, CO, I got to spend some time on the 14/15 Furberg 172 Freeride during Wolf Creek’s late February snowpocalpyse.

    Given the extensive discussion of the Furberg shape on this forum, I wanted to jot down a few initial impressions after riding one–not a comprehensive review. I rode it in lower angle trees and glades, mild steeps and a few groomers—Wolf Creek Alberta, and getting to and from it. Snow conditions were very deep untracked and tracked powder–seven feet in seven days with ongoing heavy snow. For context, I am 6’4″ 225 lb, been riding for 32 yrs; I have a fast and surfy style with a penchant for larger radius turns and forward weighting. I rode its max width stance at 20/-6 in old mushy size 12 soft boots and Ride bindings. The Freeride solid and split have the same shape and flex.

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    Length (cm) 160 164 168 172
    Nose Width (mm) 286 291 297 304
    Waist Width (mm) 265 270 275 280
    Tail Width (mm) 275 280 286 293
    Turning Radius (m) 18 18 18 18
    Stance Width (mm) 570 585 600 615
    Setback (mm) 35 35 35 35

    Overall
    My overall impression of riding the Furberg reinforces my initial impression of the design: it’s revolutionary–highly versatile, very well behaved and extremely fun. I have not had so much fun riding a snowboard in a long time. It initiates and exits turns effortlessly, it pivots very quickly, it slarves and smears fast and beautifully, and it rails nicely too. It performs well at a wide range of speed envelopes in a wide range of turn types. For me, it most shined charging trees and soft bumps at speed–smooth, easy, fast, surfy. It’s not big enough for me as a backcountry board, but for smaller riders it would be, and it would be a fantastic resort board for me (I will likely buy one for that). Its construction and finish quality seem above average–not Venture or Never Summer stout (nor as heavy), but very good. I can’t speak first hand to its durability but, based on the build quality, I predict it too would be above average.

    Turn Initiation, Exit and Pivot
    The Furberg’s early-tapered rockered ends make turn initiation and exit almost effortless at any speed. Entering and exiting turns was smooth and easy. This was most noticeable riding trees and soft bumps, where one must make turns in particular places, and where easy turn in and out translated into a quick, smooth, surfy feel. The early-tapered rockered ends and short effective sidecut also allows very quick pivoting for speed checks or slashing. Its relatively wide waist lends to easy pivots in pow too.

    When I was first getting used to the board, I ended up on my face a few times while initiating aggressive toe turns with high edge angles in steeper off piste terrain: Where a shorter SCR board would translate that sort of initiation into a turn, the Furberg’s early taper shovel knifes in. I quickly learned to initiate aggressively angled toe turns with my weight shifted slightly farther back (aft) into the sidecut. This is a subtlety of adjusting riding to the design, not a design problem.

    Slarves and Smears
    Once in an off-rail turn, the board exhibits very even edge pressure (because of its long radius, shallow sidecut and rockered long-tapered ends). Even edge pressure translates into very stable and easily-controlled slarves and smears. It also allows one to easily change edge or turn angle in the midst of a turn. After a run or two feeling it out, I was charging soft bumps and trees faster than I have in I don’t know how long.

    On Rail
    I didn’t rail much, except for getting to and from off piste terrain, but where I did rail, the Furberg railed big, beautiful, large radius arcs. I didn’t get a chance to really load up a heel turn, nor was the soft-groom conducive to doing so, but, on rail, it naturally makes big, smooth large radius turns. I thought the relatively short effective side cut length might compromise edge hold, but I didn’t find that to be the case.

    Speed Stability
    If one area of stand-out performance is quick maneuverability and control in soft bumps and trees, the other is control and stability at speed. (This is a rare combo in one board, and it speaks loudly to the novelty of Furberg’s design.) I ride big boards because they’re stable at speed. This isn’t a big board, nor is it particularly stiff. But it’s highly stable at speed, and it loves to go fast. The same evenness of edge pressure that lends to high-control slarves and smears makes it stable and controllable at speed too. With the long radius sidecut, one can initiate and maintain barely-off-rail turns at high speeds–and adjust the departure angle from railing mid turn–without board ends catching or the board chattering or skid-skipping.

    Size and Float
    Since I rarely ride anything smaller than 180 cm, I had reservations about the 172’s float in such deep snow–especially its lack of real estate at and in front of my front foot compared to my go-to 181 Storm or 190 Donek. A consequence of the early tapered ends and long radius sidecut is that, compared to most other shapes of equal length, the Furberg has more surface area toward the board’s middle and less at the ends (see picture below of the 172 Furberg next to a 181 Storm). So, as I expected, I had to be cautious with weight distribution: Front loading would and did submarine the shovel. Keeping my weight carefully centered kept the number of violently fun forward somersaults to a few. As I’ve complained many times before, Furberg should make a board in the 180s for us bigger fellows.

    Visual comparison of surface area distribution, 181 Storm & 172 Freeride
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    Shred on!

    @sun_rocket

    #780861
    Scooby2
    531 Posts

    Nice review Taylor, I like the categories that you broke the board down into and that you started with your weight, boot/binding type and riding style. That is a good template for folks to follow in reviewing a board. thumbs up!

    Glad you found a rockered 28cm waist to be quick!

    #780865
    Taylor
    751 Posts

    Glad you found a rockered 28cm waist to be quick!

    Ha! Yes, me too Scooby2! (And in fact, more to your point–camber between feet. I should have included that information — I just added it to the review.)

    @sun_rocket

    #780882
    JimmyC
    347 Posts

    Thanks for the very well organized and thoughtful review. Nicely done!!!!

    #780939
    Cbalke
    233 Posts

    @taylor excellent review! I really can’t wait to try the 2.0 now..

    #781000
    permnation
    243 Posts

    @taylor Great meeting you! Thanks for the write-up on the furberg. Last week was awesome!

    #781004
    Taylor
    751 Posts

    @taylor Great meeting you! Thanks for the write-up on the furberg. Last week was awesome!

    I really enjoyed meeting you too, @permnation. Thanks again for the demo–what a great little shop you guys have. Looking forward to shredding together before too long.

    @sun_rocket

    #781641
    barrows
    1488 Posts

    Thanks for your impressions Taylor. Personally, I like the shape changes Furberg made for this season, lengthening the effective edge while keeping very gentle entry and exit points, but the new wider boards really bother me. For my size 28 boots, the previous widths were much better.
    With the long SCR I really think the width needs to be spot on to get good response. I know ay least one person so far that was on the 172 last season, and the new 172 this season, and prefers the additional response of last years more narrow platform.
    I guess the solution for me would be to go to the 167 (my all around preferred length), purchase a solid, and then do a DIY job on it, losing 3-4 mm of width in the cut, otherwise the new boards are just too wide for me.
    I do have another solution I will be testing this spring (more to come on that)….

    #781648
    permnation
    243 Posts

    @barrows Interested to hear what you have up your sleeve this spring and interesting point about the waist widths. I rode the 172 solid early this season on some good days, and it kinda felt too wide. Not too wide to make me downsize immediately as it took a handful of days for me to realize. I had a few close-calls on this years 172 getting it to react at the last moment in trees, mainly. I found my happy place by downsizing from my furberg 167 rocker to the new 164 cambered, both waisted at 270mm roughly…old one measures 268.5mm on my tape. I also purchased a 160 split (265 waist) and rode it a half dozen days…it’s small but oh so light (3357g with a boot and skin) and still rips. A 164 DIY is my summer project in the sub 3000g range.

    #781649
    Taylor
    751 Posts

    I will edit my write-up to include the fact that I ride size 12/30 boots, which is an important data point. For what it’s worth, I just began riding a 187 Preflex also specd with a 28cm waist; I like its feel too.

    A small binding riser might increase leverage, but at the penalty of weight and ride feel. A thicker plastic spacer in the Phantom cleat and binding could accomplish that pretty efficiently.

    In the meantime, all slow-responding 172s can be sent to me. 😉

    @sun_rocket

    #781650
    buell
    507 Posts

    The ability to ride a shorter length and get the same float might be the intention of going wider. It does seem like it could make firm snow more difficult to ride though, unless your feet are big.

    #781651
    barrows
    1488 Posts

    Perm. I found my length limit a few years back (I am 6’1″) and am not able to ride anything shorter than the 167, otherwise I will not have enough board up front for my riding style. If i was going Furberg now I whopped just have to get a 167 solid and cut it to make it a bit more narrow. At least this means with the new widths those with 30 mondo boots can be well accommodated on the 172!

    #781652
    firstlight
    721 Posts

    Barrows
    I’ll be cutting a Rocker 167 very soon, cant wait to ride it this upcoming season!
    Will be similar to the below link with Prowder or my canted pucks but I’ll be putting inserts in for touring.
    http://splitboard.com/talk/topic/new-furburg-diy-with-prowder-and-insert-nuts/
    Hope we get a good season DownUnder to really test it out !

    Adam West

    www.firstlightsurfboards.com.au
    www.firstlightsnowboards.com.au
    www.splitfest.com.au
    www.snowsafety.com.au
    www.mrbc.com.au
    www.backcountryglobal.com
    www.alpinefirstaid.com.au

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