The Nitty Gritty on Furberg Snowboards, interview from splitboard.com
Furberg Snowboards and their long radius designs have been creating quite the buzz in the forum and the intrawebs over the last couple years. At first glance, riders quickly point out the minimal amount of side cut making the board much more rectangular in shape. This stark contrast to the conventional shapes and designs of today’s snowboards leaves many wondering why, and how will it ride. We reached out to Furberg Snowboards Founder, Daniel Furberg, to get the skinny on the brand, and it’s designs.
Who is Daniel Furberg?
A somewhat nerdy engineer and freeride snowboarder.
What pushed you to take the leap and start Furberg Snowboards?
The freeride skis were revolutionized during the 00’s, making freeride skiing a much easier sport. To me it was obvious that the same principles could revolutionize freeride snowboards, but the snowboard industry was just passively watching the development. Pretty much in the same way the ski industry was passive when snowboards with sidecut were introduced. It took 20 years before they realized that sidecut worked good on skis as well. But the ski industry took it one step further and found out that different types of skis should have different sidecut radius. It is pretty obvious that a slalom ski needs a different sidecut radius than a downhill or freeride ski.
Back to the question, I believed that freeride snowboards could be revolutionized in a similar way as the freeride skis already had been. The snowboard sponsor I had at the time didn’t show any interest for my ideas, so I simply started my own brand.
Furberg Snowboards is best known for it’s innovative and unique board geometry. How has Furberg Snowboards moved away from the norm in terms of snowboard design?
The longer sidecut radius and reverse sidecut towards the tips are our most distinctive characteristics. The longer sidecut radius, adapted for freeriding, gives a more stable and forgiving ride. Reverse sidecut towards the tips generates a smooth transition. This distributes the pressure, making the board more catch free to ride. It also makes turn initiation much more effortless.
Why has there been so much resistance for manufactures to create snowboards with long radius side cuts?
I think the snowboard manufacturers have been comfortable with making boards the way they always have. We are starting to see some more or less unsuccessful attempts to copy us, from smaller brands. But so far the bigger brands seem too proud to copy us, but that is probably just a matter of time. So we need to work hard to stay ahead of the game.
How or why did you choose an 18m sidecut for the Freeride Splitboard? Why not 15m or 20m?
A 20 meter radius is a little bit too slow on hardpacked. While 15 meter is touch too quick and nervous for a freeride board. The Freeride Twin, which is an all mountain board, has a 15 meter radius.
How do you respond to those who say the long radius sidecut reduces the ability to make quicker or tighter turns?
If they want a board for eurocarving on the groomers, they should look for something else – we make freeride boards. No one expects a freeride ski to be good at super short carving turns in the groomers, why should a freeride snowboard be developed for that?
Tell us about the changes that were made to the board designs between the 13/14 and 14/15 models.
The biggest change is that we went from a slightly rockered mid section to a slightly cambered mid section. The cambered mid section gives better edge hold and more response. We did a lot of prototype testing to find the right balance between edge hold and response versus floatation and effortless turning.
With durable topsheets, thicker bases and burly edges, Furberg appears to have an above average focus on durability. Why is durability so important at Furberg?
Everyone working with Furberg Snowboards are dedicated freeride snowboarders. And we develop boards we want to ride ourselves – boards that hold up for hundreds of days of abuse. There is so much marketing BS about environmental impact from brands using thin edges, thin bases and super light cores. The greenest board is the one that holds up for the most days of riding.
Another fact is that a heavier board with more inertia gives a more stable and forgiving ride. While a super light board will be more nervous and difficult to ride.
What are your thoughts on the industries move towards carbon construction? Are there any plans to utilize carbon at Furberg?
We have been experimenting with carbon on prototypes. But for solid boards it is not interesting at all. The riding performance of a fibreglass board is much better and the environmental impact is considerably smaller.
It could maybe be interesting for a light weight version of the Freeride Split, for those who value easy skinning higher than riding performance. We’ll see.
What can we look forward to seeing from Furberg next season / in the future?
We have some interesting R & D work going on and hope to revolutionize more than just board geometries. Stay tuned :)
- Colin Balke, splitboard.com