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Andrew Forward

Age: 25 | Vitals: 5’ 11” 155 lbs | Years Snowboarding: 16; Splitboarding: 11 | Current Residence: Anchorage, Alaska

As a lifelong Alaskan, I have grown to love expansive wilderness and endless mountains. In the winter, my passions consist of backcountry snowboarding, camping / hut trips, no-boarding / powder surfing on the deep days, and more recently, speed flying.

During the summer, my desire for speed and exploring the mountains is fulfilled by downhill mountain biking, in addition to more relaxing activities such as fly-fishing, hunting and backpacking.

Andrew Forward Bio

Andrew Forward on a fly in, float out trip with Paul Forward (brother) in the Chugach Mountains, AK.

My summers are often spent working in the remote “Alaskan Bush,” doing exploratory geology work throughout the state. During the fall when work slows down, I enjoy handcrafting and pressing No-boards / Powder surfers, experimenting with a variety of cambers and shapes to further develop a feel for the physics behind winter board sports.

Growing up in the mountainous South Central region of Alaska, it was natural that the mountains would shape much of my life. The life-changing purchase of a 166 cm, 2005 Voile Freeride splitboard as a sophomore in high school quickly opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of such a sport.

In addition to snowboarding wherever I please, a splitboard allows for efficient traveling over fresh snow and the ability to explore a plethora of untouched terrain. Traveling in the backcountry creates the opportunity for me to get a sense of “pioneering” untouched terrain, whether it’s just a new zone, fresh powder, or simply not seeing any other inhabitant besides the local wildlife.

Andrew Forward reviews the Deluxe Independent BC for Blister Gear Review.

Andrew Forward in the Thompson Pass backcountry, AK. (photo by Josh Randich)

A large, stiff splitboard and ample tree-less alpine riding less than 10 minutes from my parents house encouraged high speeds, hard turns, and a thirst for long lines and launching natural features. That introduction to snowboarding has led to a preference for a stiff, yet responsive powder setup that can handle variable snow, as is often encountered near ridgelines and between snow cycles. The remoteness of the Alaskan backcountry and lack of splitboard- / snowboard-specific parts has made me greatly appreciate durable products, since broken parts equate to time away from the mountains.

In recent years, the desire for longer lines, more remote locations and bottomless snow has encouraged me to acquire mountaineering skills to continue my progression, in addition to lighter, stronger, and more aggressive snowboarding gear.

In a snowboard, I really appreciate powder specific cambers (particularly early-rise rocker, with camber between the feet) and high volume, blunt shapes that can handle deep powder to variable snow at higher speeds. However, I still want gear that allows for more freestyle-oriented riding on natural features, and explosive slashes in deep powder.

The same is applicable to my boot preferences: stiff enough to handle rough landings and high speeds through chunder, yet soft enough to tweak grabs and launch cliffs.

Some Favorite Boards:
10/11 K2 Gyrator; 12/13 Jones Hovercraft; 14/15 Jones Carbon Solution Splitboard

 

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