It must have been on one of those epic powdertrips to the Southern Alpes that dr. Gear saw the first drawings of a snowsurfer that resembled the Morris 157 and 164. Until a few months ago a best kept sectret. As it turned out Morris and friends have been working in their woodshop atelier for years, crafting on a board that would make ‘snowsurfing great again'. Eventually starting with Big Bombers of 175 cm their creations slightly transformed into smaller ones with sizes like 160cm and even 155cm. With the decrease of length, Dr. Gear noticed an increase in width. The Doctor liked what he saw: really nice and explosive powderboards, but for Morris these early concepts weren’t good enough. So when Morris eventually presented his raw sketches of the Morris 157 during the memorable winter of 2011-2012 dr. Gear went head over heels about this heavenly creation. This could be the gamechanger everybody was waiting for! However, dr. Gear never rode the final product. Due to a tragic accident the woodshop atelier shut down. It forced the shapers to store their tools and wait for better times to come.
As a result dr. Gear was back on his mission: finding the perfect powdershape. In three decades he must have strapped in dozens of snowboards. Small ones, fast ones, big ones, expensive ones and cheaper ones. Sometimes he felt this sparkling feel of falling in love again, but no board could completely fullfill his desires. It was somehow cruel to notice the dissapearing magic of an extremely expensive 1000 euro board after several years. He got hangovers from some promising “boards on a budget". In the end those budget boards all turned out to have a greater shape than performance.
Dr. Gear stayed on a mission. Powderalerts and big dumps became beacons where dr. Gear met Morris and friends. Dropping some lines, chasing powder, living the dream. But when the Doctor asked the boys about their Morris snowsurfer it got quiet. Too quiet. No word in the chair-lift, no word on the hike to the top, absolute silence around the nightly campfires. After a while dr. Gear decided to ask no further questions. Just when he accepted the fact that he would probably never know the secret behind the Morris 157, a knock on the door put him back into reality: Morris and Haas. Uninvited, but hiding something big behind their back. With a grin meaner than powder pirates they explained their silence over the years: a top secret, total confidential project of five years gave birth to a brandnew, perfectionized Morris 157 and in the slipstream even a 164. An Aesthetically pleasing design. A nice early rise nose rocker, a carefully re-designed swallowtail, width under feer and a progressive radius. Morris claimed,“this is the ultimate wide open field powderboard, the tree run master, a natural wave rider and a carving machine on freshly groomed hardpack”. All materials are AAA grade: P-tex 5000+ black electra, bamboo sidewalls, all natural bamboo topsheets, full metal edges and an amazingly bamboo packed core. Dr. Gear has an outstanding name in objectivity, but coming so close to this new love in his life it was hard to stand the tempation to ride this board right away. That day we all rode freshies, but the only ones allowed to test the newborn were the engineers themselves. Haas, the woodworker, was still not completely satisfied with the construction of the core and decided to build three different cores. A full bamboo core, a bamboo/poplar core and a third core with a bamboo/paulownia/poplar blend. Each with different damping, flex, rebound and riding characteristics.
Haas went back to his woodshop atelier and dr. Gear was told to stand by for the ultimate test trip. The time past and it was already April 2017 until there was significant fresh snow in the air. While Morris was catching some waves in Portugal the Alpes got hammered heavily in the last week of April. On a beautifull spring morning Dr Gear was texted: “ Surf’s up, winter is coming, Engelberg it is. See you in three days. M. “.
Only 72 hrs later dr. Gear found himself on a parking lot at Engelberg, catching up with old powder friends, sharing old and new adventures and the stoke of the freshly arrived boards. There were three boards laying on the parking lot but nobody knew the exact specifics of each core. These were in a sealed envelope, only to open after the test was finished. Dr. Gear noticed that Morris and friends take their things seriously. It has to be a randomised double blind test. The next few days all test-pilotes became overwhelmed with joy. Deep powderdays and no one around. Morris' forecast was spot on. Especially day two was a winner. A cold, bluebird powderday. Dr. Gear scored some epic pow during his first run and met Morris at the base of the Rotair lift. Morris was busy explaining a group of Swiss, English, Australian and German snowboarders the concept behind his line. “I overcame my fear for smaller boards in 2011. When you combine a wider nose, waist and tail in a shorter board you will get same amount of float a in a a traditional 165+ freeride board. But with the shorter size you have a very playfull treerun monster, where as our progressive radius gives you confidence in smaller and bigger turns. The Japanese knew that already for ages, but I can’t see why anyone should pay 1000+ euro for a snowboard?”
Dispite his words two boardriding die-hards were still sceptic about the board: 'The shape differs so much from the standard directional twin', 'Can all these natural materials compete with my carbon fibre?'. But already in the first descent they got blown away: 'This board makes turning so easy', 'Nice explosive respons from the tail!', 'Excellent damping', 'High speed carving!', 'I could even pop a 360'. Carving groomers? No problem. 360?180? No problem. Controll on high speed runs? Very good. Powder? Really deep powder? No problem. The rocker in the nose prevents nosedives when it gets deep, while the “powfinder camber” gives the board extra side bite and energy once the board is ridden actively on the edges.
After a few days of testing all test pilots agree: these were good times. Extraordinairy days on exceptional boards. After comparing the “secret core test results” the 19 riders agree that this one special “27Cbppw core “ should be the chosen one. But there is also some discussion on the price level of the board. Most riders expect a price between 800 and 1200 euros. Or as dr. Gear points out “High end products deserves a high end Price”.
The response of Morris, Haas and Sander is the opposite. 'We started this project to built the best boards and ask a fair price. We do think that all people should have the opportunity to ride premium quality snowsurfer. We won’t cut back on materials but we we can cut costs on things you don’t need in the snow. We will not make fancy colored topsheets that will change every year, we will advertise by worth of mouth, cut out the middle man, will not work with expensive distributors and sell them directly at our own shop. Instead of 1000 Euro we think we can sell these high end snowboards for just under 600 Euros'.
And so they did. Just one month after Engelberg these guys had their website online: Powfinder. The pre sale for the Morris 157 started in May and the early adopters got their board deliverd by the mail man last week. And even untill november the 5th early adopters can order their 157 with a 50 Euro early adporter discount. Once the winter kicks in the price will go up to Eur 599,00. There are still some Morris 157 boards left that are ready to ship. You can order the Morris 157 Signature here.
They even launched a Morris 164 a few weeks ago which be ready for delivery by the end of december. Just as with the 157 early adopters can get a significant pre order discount by ordering in advance. If you order your board between now and november the 5th the boys are giving you a reward of 120 euro for the trust you put in them. For only 479 euros you will have the chance to ride your Morris 164 signature this winter. You can pre order the Morris 164 Signature here.
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