Freeride Heaven 150
The lithe finesse of the ride is sublime. An effortless pleasure only enriched by the steeper the mountain throws at you. This board has now become the go to board for all occasions and conditions.
I'm in love with, as it gives me so much pleasure everywhere, though it's not made it next to me in bed yet....
A nobody’s quest for perfection - A tale...
A little context for this writing. I am a male snowboarder, about 190cm tall and weighing in at 84kg. I’m 43 now, and have been snowboarding for more or less 29yrs. I like speed and powder, and are mostly seeking lines around 40-45 degrees. I’m in rotten shape but I still drag my corpse up the mountain when conditions are good enough, and if I have the opportunity.
My first 10yrs was spent doing mostly freestyle and some backcountry riding. After that, I tried some longer boards. Going from 160 to 165 made a difference, but the real difference came with board stiffness. I switched focus to backcountry and freeriding and the urge to go faster and harder grew, especially in decent powder. That’s when I started to do some exploring in the alps of Europe with my friends.
This made us realise we needed better equipment. We tried a lot of different boards, boots and bindings. I was trying to find a setup that made me super stable at high speeds, but also incorporated playfulness. I found boots first. I can’t remember when, but I ended up with the Sonic’s from thirty two. For me, these where great! Very stiff when I needed them to be, and could - just about - be adjusted loose enough to be playful.
Binding where next. I needed more control and power for my 163 wide Jones Flagship. (This was the 2012 model, which was a little too soft in the nose..) And I chose the burton diode. They where a little to stiff in the upper high back, but otherwise the perfect binding for me.
At this time, I was switching between the Jones Flagship and the Rome Notch 2010 model (camber model, not S-rocker).
Both boards had good features, but none of them did everything right. The Flagship had good float and good grip on even terrain, but felt a little unresponsive and imprecise compared to the narrower and more surfy Notch. The Notch where also much more stable and trustworthy on hard and choppy snow. Good overall stiffness and shape made this board cut threw anything, at almost any speed. But both boards could need some more damping. Especially the Flagship, and the notch would tend to oversteer in hard pack due to a bit too much taper, or maybe lack of any reverse sidecut. Otherwise the Notch was perfect for hard and steep conditions. Great grip, fast and surfy. Most obvious downside was lack of float, which the Flagship had. Otherwise both boards had a rather short sidecut radius, and therefore did not perform well with proper carving at really high speeds.
What I wanted was the best of both boards, and maybe more.. a surfy but playful board that could go faster, without any problems in any condition from choppy hardpack and ice, to pure powder bliss.
I started analysing board shapes to understand which board to buy next. I did not understand all aspects of it, but at least I understood more or less what I wanted, and I got some idea of what to look for in new boards.
This is when I coincidentally met a Furberg team rider through a friend of mine, in the alps of Italy. I think this was back in 2012. We rode together for a day or so, and I remember asking him a lot of questions about his board. Telling him about my boards shortcomings, and what I was looking for. I was on a quest to find the perfect board, and he gave all the right answers about his board, to my increasingly suspicious questions. I had not seen his board before and never heard of it. And to even top that, it was also from my home nation Norway. Very strange..
I could not completely believe what he said, but he rode faster than me, and I surely couldn’t keep up. He was obviously a better rider and in good shape - which I couldn’t say for myself - but maybe it also was somewhat down to the boards as well..?
Later I tried to do some research on this board, but little came up. Time passed, and I didn’t buy any new boards for a while. Meanwhile the splitboards gathered momentum, and we did more and more riding where splitboards could be interesting. I started checking them out, and Furberg came to my attention again.
Last year, l actually bought a Furberg Split and was really exited about it. But due to different circumstances, I ended up reversing my order before I got it. Mostly because I could not really afford it, but also because I had never tried it. Splitboards are very expensive, and buying one that isn’t exactly what you want, really sucks. Besides, now more reviews where available and I read most of them. I found some reviews very good and reassuring, others where a bit strange and concerning.
Since I got my money back from the split and really wanted a Furberg, I made a search for used boards. I ended up with the board on “review”, the 2016 Furberg Freeride 172. I thought maybe it was too big, but I bought it anyway. If nothing else just to check it out..
First day was not completely satisfying. I tried a lot of adjustments but couldn’t quite get it right. During the second day I managed to get it dialed in pretty good. The third day, we had our eyes on a pretty nice and relatively safe line. The sun was shining, snow conditions were stable and we had about 40-50cm of good pow. I was confident on the setup and determined to go flat out from the start...
... I cannot really explain the feeling of this ride without sounding like a babbling idiot. But I’ll try. Suffice it to say - that for me - this ride was truly epic! At last I was actually satisfied, this setup really worked, and it worked better than I thought possible.. Without any training or any other change, I went faster and felt more in control than ever before. I also think this is the most fun I have had on a snowboard, ever! It was a total blast.. coming down the mountain.. epic.. I actually gave my board a name after this run.. though I don’t think I will tell you.. And what’s worse, it wasn’t even a very challenging run either, just deeply deeply satisfying!
...and no, I was not under any influence, but I certainly got very very.... no TOTALLY stoked! And of course my friends had to hear me rave about it all night.. to the point it may have had a reverse effect..
Anyways, if you ask me about this board today - fair enough, a nobody in rotten shape - all I can soberly say, is:
For freeriding and more, this is definitely the best board I have ever tried. And I think you will be wise to try it..
You may be surprised, possibly you’ll end up giving it a name too.. I certainly hope so :)
I bought two 160cm Freerides, both the solid and the split, for the '17/'18 season. It was an uncommonly big season for me, 50+ days riding, which is a lot by my standards. I would say that I have spent a good half of these days on a Furberg. I am a fairly tall guy (190cm), so 160cm might be a fair bit on the short side, but I am also skinny (about 70kg), hence I was sure the 165 would be too much.
Initially, I thought the Freerides would be boards for rather specific conditions and terrain, given their unusual layout. I was thinking "wide open/good snow/fast riding", doubting usability in icy and/or tracked out terrain as well as tighter surroundings like tree runs. Performance on icy surfaces in particular were a concern for me, and as you will read, I have no definitive answer yet.
However, I rode the solid at Baldface Lodge, which means a lot of dense tree runs in deep snowpack, and it handled the tight turns and abrupt stops like a charm, not sinking, not catching, easy to turn on the spot. I tried a Yes 20/20 in between, which allegedly is at home in this type of terrain, and right away I wanted to get back on the Freeride. Supergood. Frankly, I was surprised.
I have also ridden the boards on more serious terrain, like around Verbier's Mont Fort as well as some classic runs in Chamonix and Diablerets, and I was even lucky enough to get some heli-runs in Riksgränsen. In that type of terrain (obviously) the boards excelled. Nice float, stable at high speeds, relaxed ride all around. Also, I felt the boards handle tracked out, choppy traverses well, stable and catch-free.
One thing I was worried about is iced up traverses. I cannot legitimately comment on this as (luckily) conditions were just too good for the most part. I would still think that in terms of grip the superwide sidecut is a bit of a drawback there, and on the few days with rather icy conditions I had last season, I basically always chose to ride other boards. However, I have splitboarded up the Gran Paradiso and the Pyramide Vincent, both well above 4000m, on the Freeride Split. The first section of the run down Pyramide Vincent was icy for sure, so was Gran Paradiso, but icy to a level that - in my view - hardly any board could correct. So, as said, for lack of experience I cannot say for sure, but maybe adding something like a serrated edge would ease my doubts...?
On a side note, I felt that I could land drops and jumps well on the board, and even if at times the tail felt like giving way (mind you 160 is a rather short board for me), it never did.
The only surface I would still at any time prefer other boards to the Freerides is groomed pistes. While I have learned to ride on-piste with them in reasonable style (took me a while), I find they are not exactly carving machines. It is a bit of a shame, because the flex is OK for some fun butters etc., but it just does not have that turning radius you want on-piste (and how could it given its USP?).
To sum it up, I really like the boards and will continue to ride them. I would however appreciate an in-between length of maybe 162 or 163 for the really big stuff (or wait until Furberg eventually puts out the Big Mountain board there have been so many rumors about).
excellent powder board
I went from a traditional board to a furberg twin 4 or 5 years ago to a freeride last year. and almost only surf powder snow.The key difference from my older board to furberg twin was the much better stabilty at speed. The board feels really safe at speed and do not catch so easily on the wrong edge when flat. When trying a freeride last year I was first impressed by it feeling much lighter than the twin and having much better floating (probably due to much increased setback). Ideally I would have bought a new twin but it does not exist and I have to admit that the very good floating of the freeride is very nice. Overall I am very happy with the board.
Best board I have ridden
I have had several version of The Freeride board, and have spent winter seasons in Chamonix and Engelberg, as well as months in Japan. The board is outstanding in everything from deep powder to icy big mountain conditions in the Alps, nothing beats it!
It take some time to get used to this board. In the beginning I found it a bit hard to do quick turns, but when you get used to it. it is no problem.
It has a medium stiff flex, and a tiny camber. (close to zero) It is more stable than any board I have had for 24 year of snowboarding.
I love the waist width; it fits my big ass boots! I love the construction. And I love Hampus! That guy kicks ass!