When Furberg Snowboards was created in 2009, Daniel Furberg set out with the goal of creating the world’s best freeride snowboards and splitboards. Daniel took the long radius sidecut, reverse sidecut, and rocker design concepts which were being adopted in the freeride ski world and did something that no one else was doing at the time, he incorporated them into his freeride snowboard design. The first generation Furberg snowboard featured a 20m sidecut radius while the industry standard remained in the typical 8m range. Since that first design, Daniel put his engineering and riding skills to work and continued to refine the board’s geometry. These refinements led to a second generation design and further revisions brought about this seasons highly anticipated third generation design. While riders are excited to see what Daniel has in store for them, there have been some questions about the latest refinements. To have some of these questions answered, we contacted Daniel Furberg and Hampus Cederholm of Furberg Snowboards.
-Daniel, what does your R&D cycle/process look like when it comes to board design?
I still ride a lot. Probably way too much. I should spend more time at the office. And I really like to ride in all kinds of snow conditions, terrain and weather. It’s the variation that makes freeriding so much fun. Anyway, I like to learn how the boards behave in different conditions. That gives me ideas on how I should change the boards to make them even better. But a change that makes a board better in one way, can unexpectedly make it worse in another way. So its a constant iteration process of thinking-designing-testing.
-With the release of Furberg’s third generation Freeride splitboard, how has the board’s ride changed between the first, second, and third generation models?
The first generation with full rocker was great for soft snow. It was catch free and forgiving when things got rough like no other board before. But it was bad at locking in the turns on hard packed snow.
The 2nd generation with camber was a much more versatile and responsive board. When it got really deep, it was far from as nimble as the first generation. But in total it was a much better and more all around freeride board. The transition between a locked in carved turn and a sliding turn was way more balanced.
With the 3rd gen we’ve been trying to take the best attributes from the 1st and 2nd generation boards and blend them together with some additional improvements. It is almost as nimble as the first gen, and as stable and responsive as the 2nd gen. The shorter sidecut makes it more playful.
-What has changed in the latest version of the board?
Sidecut – The sidecut is now between 12 m and 14 m depending on board length. The slightly shorter sidecut radius of the new version has been adapted to fit a wider range of riders. It also makes the boards much more responsive and playful on hard snow.
Reversed sidecut – We have moderated the reverse sidecut giving the boards a longer effective edge. This is something we’ve worked a lot with. Too little reverse sidecut gives a catchy behavior, especially in choppy conditions. While too much reverse sidecut decreases the edge contact length and the support/stability.
Camber line – The camber is considerably lower on the new model. Instead the nose and tail rocker have longer radius. This gives a much better compromise between floatation/catch-freeness and stability.
-What led to the reduction of sidecut from 20m to 18m and finally to 13.4 board this year?
When I started Furberg Snowboards, I was spending the winters in Engelberg, Switzerland. So I developed the boards I wanted to ride in Engelberg. For the type of riding Engelberg offers, an 18/20 meter radius was perfect. Since then I have moved to Sogndal, Norway. The type of riding here is totally different from Engelberg. The tree riding in the area is fantastic, both lift and split accessed. But it´s not so often I find myself riding big open fields in supersonic speed anymore. So my definition of freeriding has changed a bit. And we’ve gathered feedback from our great customers and team riders. The new freeride is the first model we have developed at our new factory in Poland. And it is not a long shot that a pure big mountain board will be added to the quiver in the near future.
A typical run in Engelberg.
-We can think of a few riders who would love to see a pure big mountain board offered. What’s the story on the new factory in Poland?
Since we started Furberg Snowboards we have always used European raw materials to guarantee the highest possible quality. For this reason it was also clear right from the start that we wanted our boards to be produced in Europe. But finding the right production partner turned out to take longer than expected. The last few years we have made prototypes at a couple of factories to make sure that we choose the one with the highest quality and at the same time cares for the environment. In the end it was NBL in Poland who best managed to meet all of our standards.
-What does the boards construction look like this season?
Base – ISOSPORT 7500 Sintered. One of the fastest and most durable bases on the market. We are also using a new stone grind for the base to work better in a wider range of snow temperatures.
Core – 100 % poplar. Gives our boards a more responsive and “lively” feel compared to previous years.
Top sheet – ISOSPORT brushed polyamide. One of the most durable top sheets available.
-We noticed that in past models, the sidecut was the same for the different board lengths and this year the sidecut adjusts for each board length.
The sidecut depth is constant throughout all lengths. A 170 cm board with 14 m radius will turn more than a 150 cm 14 m radius board. But that is only part of the explanation. The 170 is definitely a bit more adapted to speed and bigger turns than the 150. In general we believe that this will reflect the riding style of riders getting the different board lengths.
-In our last interview back in 2014/2015, you mentioned some carbon fiber testing had been conducted. Any updates on the possibility of a carbon fiber or hybrid construction Freeride Split in the future?
We are still looking at different options for a light weight version splitboard. It is always a compromise. You will not get the same stability and durability on a light weight version. But it will be more effortless for touring.
-Are there any plans to have some demo boards available here in the US?
We are currently looking for distribution to make our boards more available in the US. A demo program is one of the first things we would like to establish as soon as we have a distributor.
-How can riders from the United States and Europe purchase a Furberg Freeride Split?
The Freeride splitboard is available for purchase on our website here.