Surf The Snow: Part 2 – Dale Rehberg’s Darwin theory
In the late ’80s Dale Rehberg redefined snowboarding for the next generation of riders through his all-out approach and later appeared in cult classics like The Hard, The Hungry and The Homeless. Dale’s riding mentality has evolved like a fine wine for over 20-years. Now the marketing director for Flow, Rehberg rides harder than ever and is one of the most stoked guys you could ever meet on the mountain. In this Surf The Snow exclusive Dale talks Darwin theory and why shorter boards can be more fun than anything beneath your feet.
Originally featured in Snowboard Mag Volume 11, Issue 1 | The Product Collection
Photos: Tim Peare (portrait), Kyle McCoy (action)
Flow Snowboarding: Director of Marketing
Home: San Clemente, California
Snowboarding since: 1987
SF: Can you share your history as a snowboarder before working with Flow?
I’ve snowboarded for a while, I wasn’t the first generation of snowboarders, but probably the second. I rode professionally for about 12 years and after that was over I started working in the industry. I figured I needed to get a job and learn about it so I started working in the warehouse and worked my way up.
How did you know that you were done snowboarding professionally?
Being done snowboarding was pretty easy because my contract ended and at that point there were so many riders coming up who were younger and next level, and I knew that. I didn’t want to grovel and go get a sponsor, so I just figured that I should try and figure out how the industry worked. So I poked and prodded around and figured it out.
How does this industry work?
I’m still trying to figure that out. It’s a small industry, I’ve learned that. It’s an interesting industry. I think that many things are decided by Mother Nature on the business side of things regarding sell-through. It’s gone through a weird phase and now it’s on a good track again, a track that I like. I hope the vibe that’s going on in snowboarding right now is translated down to the consumers and participants so more people will do it and enjoy it.
What’s your favorite board that you’re riding right now?
Right now I’m riding a Flow Darwin board, which is a powder specific, niche board and I love it. It’s kind of a collaboration between myself and Mike Basich and it worked really well today.
Can you speak to the shape of the Darwin?
The shape of the board is set back — it’s a stubby swallowtail with a long, drawn out nose. I wouldn’t say it has an aggressive sidecut, but it has a deep sidecut. It’s a camber board with a little bit of rocker in the nose. It works on everything, but really well in powder.
Do you think that the average consumer needs more than one board in their quiver?
Yeah, I definitely think the average consumer should explore the different avenues of board shapes and board types that would suit the different places they like to travel to and ride. Having a quiver is important. You can always have the one board that does everything, but getting into the really niche stuff, especially with powder boards, there are a ton of things to explore and it opens people’s minds to the different feelings you can get with different boards, different areas and different degrees of slope.
In the past you’d go into a shop and were sold on the length of a board based on your height. Now there’s a trend where people are riding shorter boards. What do you think about that?
Absolutely, I think it’s killer. When I grew up snowboarding it was basically the board needed to be at your chin, there was some rule about being between your chin and your nose that determined what length board you rode. Nowadays with the technology and the progression of shapes and designs, you’re able to ride much shorter boards and still get the same amount of float in powder or the same amount of snap in urban stuff. So I think it’s a great trend, having less board under your feet is easier to maneuver and more fun. It’s a more controlled experience and I love it. I hope that it continues to trend that way and people get it and understand that you don’t need a huge board to ride powder, you can ride a super short board and if it’s the right shape, it’s going to work.
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