- March 23, 2016 at 12:48 pm #790734Kahti RyanParticipant
So I know this was done awhile ago but I finally got to test the new Furberg Freeride at last weekend’s Upbattle festival and thought I’d add my view.
I am comparing it to a 2014 Freeride that I split myself, with prowder hardware. Both boards with the same Spark Afterburners and Fitwell Backcountry’s. Unfortunately no powder left here so the test was on corn and piste.
The new camber: I loved it! A really noticeable difference in pop and liveliness, increasing speed edge to edge. Also better edge hold and nicer carving. I can now get proper decent eurocarves as long as the run is quite steep and wide, whereas on the 2014 I found it has a habit of sliding out just around the time you start extending your arm out across the snow. On steeper icy terrain this should translate to better edge hold. I tried as hard as possible to blow out an edge at full speed on 25 degree hard piste and it just won’t budge! Feels like a race board!
My only worry with the camber was that making quick turns on low angle hard snow would require even more effort – no more sliding around on the rocker. Luckily with the new nose design – see below- this isn’t an issue. While still not the effortless short radius carves I can do on a park board, it actually feels slightly more nimble than before.
The new shape: While I’m not entirely sure how the mechanics of this works, it really does. The nose is more oval than before, and this seems to translate to really fast turn initiation, without being the least bit “grabby” (possibly its an even shorter effective edge now?). On the old model I find there’s a slight “dead spot” in the turn, just after you weight the direction you’re turning and before you’re fully on edge, where you can’t feel the board doing anything. The new design is much smoother feeling throughout the turn.
It is also impossible to catch an edge. I seriously challenge you – Busting through crud, straightlining, flat basing before a jump it all feels super stable. More so even than the TBT boards i’ve ridden. As mentioned above these features make for easier turning on low angled hard snow – something we often have here, navigating small channels of what’s left in between the heather and rocks at the end of a line.
The new flex: Flexier than before, and the old one isn’t exactly stiff compared with a lot of big mountain boards. This one I can actually comfortably butter on! But I’m a light guy (67kg) and I don’t like really stiff boards as I don’t find I have the weight to flex them to their full potential. Also when a board is this stable then who needs extra stiffness anyway?
The new radius: Ah. Just when I was about to get my wallet out. While 18m may be awesome for bombing big, wide pow lines I found it was just too much for me. Unless you have a lot of space (or perhaps a lot of weight behind you) it’s pretty hard to cleanly rail tight turns. In a couloir or any kind of tight space I’d have to be jumping or sliding the whole way. This was an issue for me on the old ‘berg as well (14m radius) and the new one exaggerates it. I would personally have preferred a bit tighter – I think 10-12m would be ideal.
Conclusion: Furberg have managed the impossible – making the new board both more playful and more stable than the previous generation. If only there was an option of a tighter radius I would be in heaven! This is still one of the nicest boards I’ve ever ridden though. So uniquely awesome! Also the F&F is top notch, the tightest board I tried for sure. For anyone deciding between an old or new, I would say definitely the new, but for me I’ll stick to my DIY and see what happens next year…
Some other boards tested:
Jones Hovercraft – Really good fun, really good edge hold but seriously uncomfy mashing through tracked out corn. Obviously not the conditions for it really but it was surprisingly fun laying out the eurocarves on piste!
Unity Dominion – Dull. Felt like riding a generic all mountain board after the ‘berg and hovercraft. Also heavy but surprisingly responsive despite this. However it failed my “edge blow out” test spectacularly, sending me sliding down the mountain on my bum at top speed! Despite this i’ve definitely ridden worse boards, but given the amount of choice on the split market these days I don’t know why anyone would choose the dominion.
Salomon Premier – Oh dear. Where to begin. Super heavy, would not like to have to walk or climb anything with this on my back. The 3 piece design is kinda novel but as I’ve had no problems keeping up with (or overtaking) skiers on a regular split it seems redundant. Just another thing to have to attach to your pack.
Riding wise it pretty much sucks. Stiff in all the wrong places while still not feeling very stable. Generally very “dead” feeling and a total PITA to manoeuvre at low speeds. Also that horrible “any second now my edge is going to catch and kill me” feeling while flat basing or moving edge to edge on slarves that I thought was reserved for soft, full camber “beginner” boards from 10 years ago. Edge hold better than the dominion but nothing compared with Jones or Furberg. I finally found some fun in it once I got above around 40mph and the added momentum livened the board up a bit, but nothing exceptional and not worth the rest of the time I spent hating it! The only board I tried that I wouldn’t take if you gave it to me.
Karakorum Primes: Tried on a Furberg 164, compared with Afterburners on a 160. A slightly unfair test as I rode my friend’s stance (18,-9 and gangster! I ride 24,0 and feel like a spaz riding wide ducked stances these days) but I didn’t notice much difference in response between the two bindings, despite the theoretical advantage of the K’s overlap. I also found the K’s a much harsher ride in chopped up snow. This might be as they’re nowhere near as beefy as the afterburners. I did like the touring mode and the lightness, but what’s the deal with the toe straps? How did anyone ever think that would be a good idea?? For me personally I’m quite happy saving the ££s with Sparks (Until the Arc’ boots come out next year and I blow all my savings on those and Phantoms!)March 23, 2016 at 7:54 pm #790742permnationParticipant
Thanks for taking the time to do a comparison. Just to clarify, the 2014 lineup was 162 w/ 16m, 167 w/ 18m, and 173 w/ 20m scr. The new Twins at 15m were the first men’s models to drop below 16m. The womens freeride is the only model that has a 14m scr. Have you tried the Twins? They are a super-fun resort board and would make a great DIY split.
Also, I heard someone say today that the furberg is the most revolutionary shape in 25 years.March 24, 2016 at 2:39 pm #790761Kahti RyanParticipant
Oops cheers for that Permnation! Mine is a DIY of the solid freeride which I believe was a 160? I’m sure your right on the sidecut though.
However it was, increasing the radius with board length made more sense to me, although I didn’t actually notice much difference between the 60 and 64, but the 164 was setup badly for me so wasn’t riding it to it’s full potential.
I’d love to try the twin, but I still reckon 15m is way overboard for anything but big wide faces, at least for the way I ride – lots of carving and not much weight behind me to flex a board. I’d really like to try a Tom Burt Winterstick, as that seems like a nice compromise in radius that no one else is doing right now, but a) the chances of finding a winterstick in europe are pretty slim and b) 173 would be mahoosive for me!April 17, 2016 at 6:07 pm #791359TaylorParticipant
I have now had sufficient time on both (173 / 172) off piste to render a comparison of the two shapes.
Off piste in breakable snow surfaces I prefer the gen 1 shape because it is quicker, more nimble, more readily dives into and out of turns, and still offers stability at speed. It’s a damn kick.
The new cambered shape is less lively and more stable, but still a kick. I would probably choose it as a splitboard over the gen 1 for riding steeper high consequence terrain with un-breakable or variable snow.
I totally and respectfully disagree with your sidecut conclusion. I want less. Even as a resort board, where sidecut most matters, the new shape would be more fun — and have an even wider speed envelope — with a 22 or 24m radius.
I hope that Furberg trends back toward the gen 1 rocker shape for future split shapes. I think it’s a much better shape for breakable untracked snow, which is why and what most people choose to splitboard.April 17, 2016 at 8:38 pm #791361permnationParticipant
with a 22 or 24m radius.
Sign me up for a 167 with one of those radii. The 1st gen. shape is the most fun I have ever had on a board with the 2nd gens. a close second.March 1, 2017 at 1:54 am #800857ieismParticipant
Next years models will have a few small tweaks again. I still ride the rockered model, although I’ve tested the newer cambered ones every season so far.
For me the rockered is more allround as it turns a little easier so I can still use it in trees and heavy snow.
The later cambered model has it advantages too, mostly if you ever hit a groomer or hardpack it feels much more stable. The rockered 1st gen Furberg still scares the $#!t out of me on horizontal smooth cat tracks for some reason. Maybe it’s my lack of technique though.
http://flatlandsplitfest.com/May 15, 2017 at 9:12 pm #805181firstlightParticipant
I rode the new camber 167 in Gulmarg this winter.
I had a 167 blue topsheet DIY rocker before and it was my fav board so far. Didnt love the new camber nearly as much. Really hard to ride when on flat long traverses. Ive worn out my DIY and would love to get my hands on a solid 167 rocker to make another DIY
www.alpinefirstaid.com.auMay 16, 2017 at 7:49 am #805218JimmyCParticipant
I have a solid 2013 Freeride 167 (blue top sheet/rocker) that has about 5 days on it that I would be willing to sell cheap—–but I live in South Lake Tahoe, CA and the cost of shipping to Australia could be a prohibitive (?)May 17, 2017 at 3:04 pm #805280firstlightParticipant
Anyone else with a solid or split like this one that wants to sell let me know
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