A couple of weeks ago, we got to talking with our Arbor Collective Snowboards Rep, Tim MacKenzie, at the Providence Winter Sports Show about some of the new changes that they have made for the 2015 line. For those of you who are not familiar with Arbor Snowboards, they began making boards in 1995 and were known for their high quality construction, durability, beautiful wood inlay top sheets, full-wrapped sidewalls and hand-made wood cores. Most of these early model snowboards were oriented towards free-ride and all-mountain riding with stiffer flexes and full camber profiles.
Today, Arbor has a wide a range of snowboards to choose from including their “System” line that incorporates a full rocker profile and “Grip-Tech” edges. Arbor is also one of the most ecologically responsible snowboard manufacturers on the market today. Their all wood and bamboo top sheets are sustainably farmed and the clear coating is made from 30% bio-plastic resins, which eliminates a lot of toxic material. Arbor’s makes their edges from 60% recycled steel and the factory wax they use contains no fluorinated chemicals. In addition, all their boards carry a 3 year warranty.
For next season, Arbor Snowboards has added a few new boards and changed the shape and flex of others. Let’s have a look at some of these changes and additions in Arbor’s line.
Shreddy Krueger: A new board for 2015, the Shreddy Krueger is a directional, all-mountain/powder board with 2cm of set back, fish-style tail, long bullet nose, sintered base and an poplar wood core. The cool thing about the Shreddy Krueger is that Arbor uses their full rocker System profile making it even easier to ride in the powder, blast down tree runs and rip the steeps at high speed. The Shreddy comes in 156 (25.1 waist), 159 (25.3 waist) and 162 (25.4 waist).
Swoon 2015: For 2015 the women’s Swoon got an upgraded profile. The Swoon is an all-mountain, freestyle snowboard twin snowboard with the full rocker System and Grip-Tech edges. It is designed to handle any size mountain in any condition. New for this year is the addition of the elongated tip and tail that gives the board better float and maneuverability in deep snow and makes it more stable and easier to control when travelling at speed in firm conditions. This tech was carried over from the men’s Arbor Coda, which has a similar profile and performance design. The Swoon also has a full-length natural bamboo top sheet (giving it lively/snappy feel), all wood core, sintered base and full wrap sidewalls for durability and impact resistance. It comes in a 144, 148, 152 and a 156.
Westmark and Blacklist: Blacklist has been the wide version of the Westmark. This year Arbor integrated the Blacklist into the Westmark line so that there is now only the Westmark with wide versions: 154 mid-wide (25.9 waist), 157 mid-wide (26 waist) and 160 mid-wide (26.2 waist). The Westmark has won a lot of awards and is an awesome park/all-mountain true twin snowboard that is stiff enough to be stable at high speeds but also flexy enough to jib in the park. It has extruded base, ash top sheet, and fall wrap sidewalls. There will also be a limited number of special colorways available for the mid-wides.
Arbor has also put the elongated tip and tail tech on the Wasteland and given the Roundhouse and Element and diamond shaped tips. The Element is also offered in a “black” version that has a hand dyed Ash top sheet instead of the original Eldorado. Also, Arbor has lighter version of Abacus splitboard for 2015 with carbon fiber in the tip and tail as well as a Eucalyptus top sheet making for a very light-weight and strong splitboard.
Flux Binding Collaboration: For 2015 Arbor is doing a “collab” run of bindings with Flux. The bindings sport the graphic designs and attributes from some of Arbor’s snowboards and pair up particularly well with the boards whose graphics they share.
So there’s a quick look at the new boards and tech in the Arbor Snowboards 2015 line. The top sheets continue to be awesome in the classic Arbor way with poppy wood grains and classic earthy feel. There has been lot negative feedback over the years that snowboarding only cares about marketing to kids and the graphics are always tasteless and juvenile. Well to each his own, but no one can say that about Arbor’s snowboard line for 2015. The Relapse is probably the only one the mightget a odd look and even that is pushing it.
And finally, the System profile is obviously working very well for Arbor as it continues to expand throughout their line including the free-ride boards. Hats off to Arbor for putting the needs of snowboarders first and not just chasing trends just to make a quick buck.