And Morrow spent some of that money on a huge, two-story booth made of white Formica and metal. It must be nice. The Morrow extra large booth cost the company nearly $250,000. Not bad considering in years past they’ve paid up to $90,000 to rent a booth for the five day SIA Show.
The more important use of the cash influx has been in technology. Morrow purchased a machine that transforms CAD drawings into 3-D proto-types without any molding, milling, or human hands. This allows designer Neil Morrow to design a binding part and have a fully functioning model built the next day. Being a techno-geek, Neil must to stoked out of his head with this new toy.
The machine offered greatly needed help in the binding department. (They’ve finally made the switch to the 4×4 system, thank God.) But Neil’s been pushing the board design along just fine without it. The newest, techest board at Morrow is called the 3-D Revert. Utilizing three-dimensional flex patterns the board is equalized for performance. “We’ve oriented our composite matrix so all the forces travel through the minimum amount of material in the right pattern,” he says. “Which distributes the forces to equilibrium and makes a lighter, more responsive board.”
To get to this point Neil says he and his cousin Rob Morrow tried to distill snowboarding down to it’s minimum and start there. “Basically you have your feet and the mountain,” Neil says. “If you could functionally snowboard with only that it would be the optimum. But obviously you can’t so we asked the question what do you need? And we found out that you need a lot less than we’d assumed before.”
Neil and Rob looked at the force lines for a riders feet to the edges and found that most of the forces are centered around the feet and extend from there to the edges. That means a lot of the material in the nose and tail of the board is useless. “People used to say that you needed the material in the tip and tail to add torsional rigidity, but think of a tennis racquet,” Neil asks. “It’s got material the edges with really nothing in the middle and yet it’s torsionally rigid. That’s kind of what we’ve created with the 3-D Revert.”
Using fiberglass sock technology and three-dimensionally shaped core pieces Neil was able to get the desired performance characteristics. But, Neil admits the board is going to look odd to some people. “It definitely is going to look different from everything else out there,” he says. “We could have made the board look super tech, but we kept the graphics pretty simple. People will know the difference when they ride one.”