The California based ‘Arbor Collective’ has been running strong for over 20 years now, and built a strong reputation for making some of the most environmentally-friendly snowboards around. The use of unique wooden top sheets and progressive shapes gave Arbor an underground freeride reputation that stuck with the brand as it transitioned into making more freestyle-orientated boards and stacking its team with some of the industry’s best riders.
Despite the growing recognition, Arbor still stands by what made it popular to begin with – natural design constructed by their collection of riders and artists. They fuse old school craftsmanship with modern technologies, and use locally sourced, eco friendly materials that give their handmade boards an amazing finish, resulting in the best possible ride.
Power Ply top sheets and unique sidecuts
Most Arbor boards are constructed with a Power Ply Topsheets of wood or bamboo. This top layer is first soaked and assembled into faces, treated with natural oils and slowly fused to the deck over time. The process is labour intensive and expensive for Arbor to do, but they feel it’s worth it as many of the woods and oils they use are better for the environment. The outcome of this construction also makes for boards that are stronger, using the natural grain of the wood for support, and more durable than their competitors that use laminate topsheets. Also, the topsheets look unreal.
When you combine the Power Ply Topsheets with Arbor’s custom CNC cores – one of four distinct Carbon Reinforcement layouts that run through the core depending on the boards shape and riding purpose – you get boards that have a rare tolerance for flex and abuse from the modern snowboarder.
Many Arbor boards also come with Grip Tech Sidecut. These two little waves in the edges at the bindings bolts work to add four points of contacts on the boards edges, that helps with those power turns when you’re riding fast on hard pack.
The Arbor System. Two Profiles, the same principles
Many Arbor boards also come with two distinct camber profiles, and decks like the Coda and Bryan Iguchi’s pro model offer models with both, which result in different rides. The Camber System is a traditional negative camber board, which offers a snappier ride, with a crisp performance, for max board control.
The other is the Rocker System and this line offers reverse camber decks. These boards allow for easy turns, a more forgiving ride, more float in powder, while easing the rocker towards the nose and tail of the board.
Both Rocker System’s or Camber System’s feature Arbors Parabolic Profiling. This centers the boards by creating a parabolic arc, allowing for the reduction of swing weight and the need for more rocker or camber towards the boards tips. The outcome is lower profile ride. Combine the Rocker or Camber System’s with the Grip-Tech Sidecut and you have a heck of well riding board, with optimum edge transmission, playful turning ability and the snappy pop riders crave.
I get it. Arbor boards are tech and environmental. But why should I buy one?
What Arbor offers is a range of different board shapes and styles to suit any ride. The street riding, video part superstar Frank April rides the jib friendly Draft, which has a Flaheaded low profile and comes with the Rocker System. Jackson Hole legend Bryan Iguchi – often seen riding along side Travis Rice in the backcountry – rides his pro model, which comes in both the Rocker and Camber System and has a Thunderheaded, all mountain shape for the steep turns and deep snow.
When you’re buying Arbor, you’re purchasing a snowboard that’s truly worth the price you paid. Few board companies can offer the range of snowboards made to the high standard that Arbor sets. And few companies offer boards that can hold up to the price tag you’ve paid for them, while also focusing on the environmentally friendly side of board manufacturing. Arbor is one of those companies.
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