RIDER OWNED AND OPERATED
Our mission is simple, make the best board we can and get it under the feet of as many riders as possible so they can join us in the year around hunt for the best hill, the best friends, and the thrill of Snowboarding the Streets.
Progression and innovation are what drive us. Through years of evolution and rider-driven design, Freebord has engineered a setup that rides exactly like a snowboard on pavement.
Freebord was started in 1996 by Steen Strand in Palo Alto, CA while studying for his master’s in product design at Stanford University. Steen wanted to find a way to bring the snowboard ride to the street and began developing prototypes of a skateboard that could slide, drift and stop just like on snow. He patented his design and began assembling and selling the first “Alpha” Freebords in 1997 out of his garage in San Francisco, CA. Since then, Freebords have evolved to become shorter and lighter, with bindings to hold the rider’s feet while carving and sliding.
Design and Prototyping
Early Freebord prototypes mimicked the sidecut of snowboards to allow for carving, but it took several design revisions to recreate the sliding motion that makes the Freebord ride unique. Steen realized that the center wheels needed a directional bias for stability (in early models, provided by surgical tubing) and extra wide trucks, a critical component of the eventual design. “After one of our riders drifted into fakie and caught a fat edge, I began designing a center wheel that could rotate 360 degrees”, says Steen. “Once the test setup worked, I built two cam center wheels and mounted them on a test deck that I had already used for earlier prototypes (it probably had a hundred holes drilled into it from trying different things). I tried many different deck shapes and sizes but eventually learned that width, stiffness, and concavity improved the ride.”
The Alpha 112cm was our first production model Freebord, with a twin tip construction and sidecut much like a trimmed down snowboard. Also made in an 110cm model, the Alphas rode well but were heavy and hard to control on the increasingly steep roads on which riders were taking them. So in 2001, we began to produce the smaller, lighter and more maneuverable Xponent decks in 80cm. Also included on these boards were Skyhook S1 bindings that kept the rider’s foot in place and allowed for much more leverage when carving and sliding downhill. These bindings have since evolved into the S2s, which features more foot coverage and added adjustability. In response to growing demand and rider feedback for a more aggressive setup, we introduced in 2008 the G3 trucks, with improvements in durability and strength as well as a wider footprint for added responsiveness.
In 2015, we released the G3-R trucks. The G3-Rs featured angled hangars that increased stopping power and allowed the rider much more rocker. The center wheel bracket was redesigned to improve strength and adjustability. Check out all the improvements here.
In 2020, we launched a successful Indiegogo Campaing to release a new product line. The world’s first independent suspension trucks are featured on the Freebord 5X. While stepping into new territory and also decided to stick with our roots and release an upgrade on the traditional kingpin trucks. The Freebord 5 features a super-sized bushing to provide maximum stability and comfort.
Freebord Europe is fully connected and dedicated to Freebord, but as a separate company, based in Germany. The Company is founded by 2 long time involved Riders and the only non Freeborder involved. He has most of the Jobs none of us wants to have but are very necessary to have a healthy company. He is asking questions we usually try to avoid. Also we have assembled a Team of longtime involved Riders spread all over Europe that never lost passion for the Sport and have been riding together for many years.
What are the goals of this Company?
Without Company you won’t have a Product, without Sport you won’t have a Community, without Community there is no Sport or Company. Everything is connected and fails to exist if one is gone.
The goal of the company is to secure the Brand, Sport and Community within Europe and do as much worldwide as we can. Also we want to be a part of Freebords backbone to ensure the future of production. Ultimately we like to focus on the community, developing the products further and of course enabling as many people as possible to be able to ride all year.
What is our Philosophy?
The Philosophy was clear from the beginning. The Company needs to be set up professionally. Run by highest German standards with everything that comes with it like Liquidity planning, professional accounting, good contracts, clean structure as well as clear roles and responsibilities. The company is a GmbH. Google it if you don’t know.
On the other hand, we don’t want to forget who we are as Riders and as individual People. We don’t want to become another corporate skate company with the goal of cashing out and scamming customers into something that might not be right for them. We are here for the love of the sport and community and understand that it needs a solid and strong company holding it all together.