Forums Splitboards furberg 173 DIY Review
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  • #578462
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    OK, I finally got a really good powder day in on the furberg (12″-24″ on top of a soft base, untracked storm pow, with some wind affected areas) and it is time to post my thoughts.
    Notes: this board is a ’11-12′ furberg 173, DIY split. I made a uni carbon fiber sidewall on the cut edge, to bring back the stiffness lost in cutting.
    Stance: 22″, ~25 degrees F, ~6 degrees R

    As my previous days on this board has suggested, the design is a total game changer for me. I think the design concepts used by furberg are pointing the direction for the future of backcountry, directional, freeride boards. If you are not familiar with furberg’s design concepts, read their info here:

    furbergsnowboards.com

    Simply: this is the most fun I have had on a snowboard. The board rides differenty from any other. Float is unreal, but what is really different is the way the rider can use the board. It is simple to do any kind of turn, 60′ long smears at high speed spraying a wall behind you, check, whipping through tight trees and taking any line you want with no fear of the tip or tail hooking up on you unpredictably, check. High speed precision arcs, check. At any time the rider can make an input to the board, and get a response-the design is so forgiving, that it changes one’s riding style, allowing one to pivot the board sideways, at any speed, smear off a little, and then pivot it back with no fear of the board catching in the snow and tossing you. You can stay centered on the board, and basically do anything you want: you find yourself taking lines in the trees you might not normally consider, because it is so easy to make super quick direction changes (even on the 173), even in tight spots where an actual turn would not fit, either by a smear, or by pushing the tail, or pivoting. Yes, the board rides really loosely, but, precision arced turns are possible when you want to, it just takes a little more aggressive edging and pressuring, and then the board will make a nice round arc: the beauty is, once one gets the hang of it, the shape and type of turn is totally up to the rider to decide. Traditional boards much more prefer to make the type of turn they make, where the furberg makes the kind of turn the rider dictates. It is super easy to break the turn into a smear, and then back into an arc, at any time during the turn, without the fear of catching anything-this ability gives the board supreme line control, even in situations where the rider might have made an error in the initial planning of the line. Fantastic!
    Honestly, I think this design concept: long radius sidecut, tapered tips and tails, moderate nose to tail taper, and significant rocker, is the future of directional freeride boards, combining the pure powder performance of the reverse/reverse boards like Venture’s Euphoria and the Fawcett boards, with a shape which offers real versatility for all off piste snow conditions. The only other board I know of with a similar design is Chimera’s pending “Dum Dum” model, and I am excited to get a chance to ride one of those as well.

    #667048
    ShredLife
    85 Posts

    the way you are describing the sidecut it reads like i feel like the NS vario (progressive) sidecut rides… sort of.

    i’m curious if you’ve ridden it (vario) and how you would compare it to the ‘berg – while trying to ignore the rocker profile differences.

    #667049
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    @shredlife wrote:

    the way you are describing the sidecut it reads like i feel like the NS vario (progressive) sidecut rides… sort of.

    i’m curious if you’ve ridden it (vario) and how you would compare it to the ‘berg – while trying to ignore the rocker profile differences.

    I have not, and would not, ride a NS board. I have seen various partners ride on the NS SL split, and, at least the way they ride it, it is nothing like a furberg.
    Regardless of clever marketing terminology, there is no way a sub 9 m radius sidecut is going to ride akin to a 20 m radius. Additionally, I believe the ride of the furberg has a lot more to do with the tapered tip and tail, and the rocker profile, and how those interact with the mellow sidecut, than the sidecut alone.
    NS is almost the opposite design of the furberg (except that they both share rocker between the feet): the furberg has very gentle entry points, with a fair amount of tip and tail rocker, the NS has very abrupt entry points, with camber towards the tip and tail. The furberg has a very long sidecut radius, 20 m, and the NS has an extremely deep sidecut, less than 9 m on the SL as I recall. The furberg has around 12 mm of taper tip to tail, the NS SL has none.

    The key to the unique ride of the furberg is that the tip and tail of the board are super forgiving, they never want to grab the snow unless the rider aggressively demands them to, and the pressure is distributed much more under the feet, rather than to the tip and tail of the board. NS’ deep sidecut, and camber towards the tip and tail distributes a lot of pressure to those areas.

    #667050
    ShredLife
    85 Posts

    never mind dude…

    …glad you found something you like.

    #667051
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    Shred: perhaps my response was not entirely clear, sorry. I think Never Summer makes a great board, with super high quality, and I especially like that they produce their boards here in Colorado. I would love it if NS (or Venture) would try their hand at making a board of the furberg type, as I would much prefer to ride a made in Colorado board with the high degree of quality which these two manufacturers offer.
    But, NS does not make any boards suited to the way I want to ride, that’s OK of course, and I know there are many riders who love the way their NS boards ride. Different strokes, and it is all good.
    I do feel the furberg is rather revolutionary from a design perspective though (at least in terms of contemporary boards), as it is so different from everything else available (with the Chimera Dum Dum, and FirstLight’s new boards perhaps, coming soon as comparable designs). I would suggest that anyone who does not quite get how different the furberg really is go to their web page and look at the design features, and when you get a chance, check out a furberg up close…

    #667052
    chrishami
    194 Posts

    Thanks Barrows!
    I’ve been able to get a couple of days demoing Furberg solids, mostly the 167 but also the 173. I must admit that ever since riding them, my resort solid (160 twin with a sub 9m side cut), just doesn’t quite do it… my last few times out, especially on chopped up powder or breakable crust, I felt, well, limited, for lack of a better description.
    Anyway, thanks again for the review.

    167 furberg
    163/26 Venture Helix

    #667053
    BobGnarly
    220 Posts

    Did you ride it on any hardpack or just fresh soft snow? Im interested in how it feels on hardpack given that the (what I would call) usable effective edge is so short. It kind of reminds me of the banana hammock with a short effective edge wedged in there so you can get a basic edge when its firm.
    For this reason its not something I would think is going to be a hard charging board in anything but deep pow and in deep pow you dont even need a sidecut so I fail to see why the long radius would even make a difference.

    Im not bagging it out Im genuinely interested as I am drawing up some new shapes atm.

    #667054
    PowderHooker
    36 Posts

    I just spent two weeks on my DIY 173 Furberg.it snowed 10 cm just before i arrived and the wind eventually turned it into semi hardpack.patches of 5-10 cm “loose” to “cardboard” the Furberg performed well on the windaffected snow.i would say it had about the same riding caractheristics that Barrows explains over.it really gives you the freedom to choose turns,does not hook etc.only slight downside i have noticed is it can feel a bit “dull” and it is maybe a tad bit soft(2011/12) the 12/13 is stiffer..

    The last few days it turned into pure ice,which the Furberg didnt really like..kitesurfed quite well on ice though..

    Just watched Furbergs teamrider Tommy Nordbø win a freeride contest here in Norway on concrete snow,it didnt look like the shape held him back..

    #667055
    powslash
    382 Posts

    @bobgnarly wrote:

    Did you ride it on any hardpack or just fresh soft snow? Im interested in how it feels on hardpack given that the (what I would call) usable effective edge is so short. It kind of reminds me of the banana hammock with a short effective edge wedged in there so you can get a basic edge when its firm.
    For this reason its not something I would think is going to be a hard charging board in anything but deep pow and in deep pow you dont even need a sidecut so I fail to see why the long radius would even make a difference.

    Im not bagging it out Im genuinely interested as I am drawing up some new shapes atm.

    You’re right. It’s a quiver board. Hardpack performance is lacking. All turns are sliding turns and the sidecut puts a lot of leverage on ankles and knees. It will draw a long line on edge but to break out of the line you have to slide it. I prefer carving turns.

    My feelings about this board really come down to the base profile. The only reason the 20m sidecut works is because of the middle rocker. Put this sidecut on any other base profile and you might as well be strapping onto a dining room table. Torture. Middle rocker on hardpack tends to wander aimlessly and not traverse well. One-foot riding is compromised. Middle rocker in pow makes the trim feel weird and slow to me sometimes. Flat and camber bases feel faster.

    HOWEVER, what Barrows said about the super fun pivot turns in pow is absolutely true. Get this thing floating and bouncing and it’s magic. Excellent in slush too. Any soft snow really. Just know that it’s a quiver board and what compromises you’re willing to make for a unique powder feel.

    I don’t think it’s THE FUTURE of freeride designs but it is one future. There are still bugs to be worked out.

    #667056
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    First: the backcountry does not ever have the kind of snow I would call “hardpack”, to me, the term hardpack means resort on piste riding, where the snow has been packed down by both grooming and skier traffic. Since this is splitboard.com, I really do not concern myself with how a given board might ride on a resort piste. Honestly, if I was concerned with the best board for resort free riding, I would consider a Kessler “Ride”.
    Granted, the backcountry does sometimes have certain types of hard snow conditions: spring ice on the cloudy days which never quite corn up… And, perhaps windboard in the high alpine terrain occasionally. Otherwise, snow in the backcontry is almost always 3D, penetrable snow to some extent; note that I am not talking only about blower powder here, just any kind of snow where one can get the board to penetrate into it, rather than just riding on a flat surface. I have ridden the furberg numerous times on packed out (by skier/boarder traffic) out tracks at popular backcountry spots-those icy toboggan run type things, and it handled them beautifully, as the tail of the board is so forgiving it is super easy to push it around at will, without it hooking up.
    I have not ridden, say, icy super steep couloirs yet (and I think the 167 would be a better bet there), but I suspect the board will handle them very because of how it concentrates the edge pressure at your feet rather than at the tip and tail of the board. Note that highly accomplished snowboard mountaineer David Capozzi is now riding furberg, he is riding some very, very serious shit on one (first descents around Chamonix) and there is no way you can count on powder snow in those places.
    Right now, I am pretty confident that the 167 would suit my backcountry needs 80% of the time, and the other 20% (blower days) I would choose the 173. I really do not care about resort riding at all these days, and my claims about the furberg were specifically stated to be in piste riding conditions.

    Edit: I do not agree that all turns on the furberg are sliding turns, I can make it arc very well when I want to, it just requires a little bit more rider input to bend the board into an arc. Back in the day, there were many boards with similar sidecuts (14-18 m radius were common). A lot of contemporary riders who learned to ride on deep sidecut boards often do not know how to downweight to reduce turning radius, this is a good skill to have to ride a furberg.

    #667057
    Powder_Rider
    498 Posts

    I see that Furberg has a 173 cm splitty too.

    See:

    http://www.furbergsnowboards.com/?product=the-furberg-splitboard-173

    Barrows: got any pics of your of the DIY furberg?

    Did use the Quiver Killer inserts with this board?

    #667058
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    @powder_rider wrote:

    I see that Furberg has a 173 cm splitty too.

    See:

    http://www.furbergsnowboards.com/?product=the-furberg-splitboard-173

    Barrows: got any pics of your of the DIY furberg?

    Did use the Quiver Killer inserts with this board?

    I think if you look at the furberg snowboards FaceBook page you can see a pic of my DIY, might have to search a little. I used Quiver Killer inserts to mount the Dynafit toe piece, the heel lifter is mounted with ski screws. Originally I used old style Voile Pucks mounted with ski screws, but those have since been removed and I mounted Phantom SB Bindings using a customized Phantom interface drilled for the original 4×4 holes… this worked out really slick with no additional holes through the board. Super light as well…

    here:

    #667059
    powslash
    382 Posts

    Hey Barrows, I’m not trying to piss in your cereal. I hear ya about 3D snow. Bob was asking for some resort context so I chimed in.

    The Burton Spliff thread is talking bout THE FUTURE and the Furberg threads are talking bout THE FUTURE. That’s too many futures. Need Dr. Who to sort it out.

    #667060
    whistlermaverick
    312 Posts

    @barrows wrote:

    OK, I finally got a really good powder day in on the furberg

    😯 WTF, IT’S MARCH!!!

    I really hope you get some more pow days

    @j.memay

    #667061
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    POW: no worries man, I guess I misunderstood a little. To be clear, I would have no problem getting around a resort on hardpacked runs on the furberg: that is riding groomers on the way to something better. If I was out specifically to carve turns on the groom, then certainly I would choose a different board (Kessler).
    Yeah Jamie! Unfortunately, not everyone lives in Canada. It has been two weak seasons in a row here in Colorado, but for sure, there have been more pow days. The other day was the best day though, and the only day I mounted up and chose to ride the furberg specifically because I knew it was going to be deep everywhere. I rode the Storm a lot this year as it is now my rock split, and the first half of the season had weak coverage.
    It takes longer for our season to get going here in any year, usually it is not good until mid January, and then it runs late ’cause we have high altitude. It is not at all unusual for us to ride powder in April, sometimes even in May.

    #667062
    Cadderly
    42 Posts

    I’d like to chime in on the Furberg awesomeness. I’m hooked. I’ve found the shape to ride really well in both hard snow conditions and powder. The 3-D feel in powder is really amazing. It is amazingly forgiving and versatile. The board can get really nice edge hold when you ask it to do so. I rode it on a recent trip to Utah at the resort and sidecountry for 4 days in deep powder, powder, firm snow and spring conditions the last day. It was really nice in a variety of settings. It also did a nice job in the trees. I’m planning on getting a split for next year.

    #667045
    mtsurfr
    48 Posts

    i would not worry about its performance on harder snow, unless you want to carve on groomers, which it does not do unfortunately (or at least not well), but then, thats not what it is for. I rode the the steepest couloir i’d ever ridden about 2 weeks after getting the board last year. The conditions were super hard-pack, almost ice, and the edge hold was amazing.

    #667046
    mtsurfr
    48 Posts

    Barrows, i have a question for you, as you seem to understand snowboard tech and design quite well. My only complaint about this board is the way it rides on groomers. Obviously, this is not the purpose, so its not a big deal. But i see it an area where it could be improved. I also ski, and this year i upgraded to a pair of 4FRNT Hoji’s. the design is pretty special, it is a fully rockered ski but they matched the sidecut to be the exact shape of the rocker. this allows the ski to carve on groomers. It really works. I mean, im not rocketing in between slalom gates or anything (but of course, like the Furberg, carving is not the point of this tool), but I can lay down some nice tracks on the groomers. I tested about 12 different big mtn/freeride skis before buying, and this carves equal to majority of them, which all have at least some traditional camber in the middle. To me, this seems like the perfect combo to employ with the Furberg (matching the sidecut to the rocker). I brought this up on the Furberg FB page, and Daniel quickly disagreed and hocked it all up to clever marketing from 4 FRNT. I can promise you, it isn’t. I don’t know if you’ve seen this combo before, but is there any reason you can think of that this wouldn’t work on a snowboard? This would not involve shortening the sidecut radius, just matching the sidecut radius and rocker radius (im sure thats not actually what they call it). To my limited ‘snowboard design’ brain, it just seems like this would improve the boards hardpack carving performance without sacrificing anything that we all currently love about it. Thoughts???

    here is a link that kind of shows what im talking about

    #667047
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    1. furberg matches the rocker between the feet to the sidecut radius.

    2. furberg has a flat section, from the bindings outwards until the tip and tail rocker begins. This flat section is what allows the board to have good stability and edge hold. I suggest that the tail especially, would be way to loose if not for this short flat section, and performance in the steeps would suffer.

    3. furberg carves fine long radius turns for me, it just will not lay trenches at slower speeds, and neither is that what it is for. This is a board optimized for off piste riding, it will get one through groomers one the way to the good stuff just fine.

    No single board is going to be perfect for all kinds of riding. The furberg is designed for off piste freeriding, and it excels at its purpose. If you are looking for a board for riding groomers, get a Kessler.

    #667043
    permnation
    303 Posts

    Barrows, Thanks for the review. I am going to split one of my Furbergs from this year. Did you do the cutting yourself? How much softer flex do you think the board would have without the carbon added to the inside edges? I want to split the 162 for using at Wolf Creek Pass but am afraid of it becoming a noodle. Nate

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