It can be challenging to find that perfect board. Being an avid boarder for 15+ years, I know I have spent my fair share of time looking for a good quality board. I also put myself in a unique category because I prefer alpine style riding but on a freestyle board because of the versatility. I have owned a few boards in my days and I find that when you come a cross a quality board and brand, you stick with it. We have tested our fair share of snowboards and you can check out here, but we decided to hit up our friends over at Arbor Collective looking for a good board to test out. We were able to get our hands the Arbor Element. This is their signature board that put their name on the map. I have to say, this board will give any of the other top snowboard brands a run for their money. Check out the full details below and what this board has to offer.
- Ash Powder Ply Top
- Knucklehead Tips
- 2x4x14 – Pack Inserts
- Single Malt Core
- Mixed Glassing
- 360 Rails
- Extruded Base
This is the board that put Arbor snowboards on the map. The Element is an intermediate to advance freestyle, mountain twin board with medium flexibility. While speed and agility is more my style over the rails, half pipes, and terrain parks, this board is designed to take on what the mountain offers. Evolving with the times, the design and backbone behind the Element has kept “in-check” to remain the perfect all-mountain design.
Featuring a precise symmetrical design and a Single Malt Core finish gives the Element a sturdy, well-rounded base. Finished with the Power Ply Top, which imitates an added layer of fiberglass, to give the board additional durability and strength. It should also be noted of the boards super clean, craftsmanship forward approach, Arbor has continued to improve this board over the years. Its safe to say the Element will be a classic for many years to come and remains a statement of the core behind what Arbor snowboards has to offer.
The Element is designed with Grip Contact Points, four of them to be specific. This drastically helped me feel more in control of the board as I was riding down the mountain. It made for smooth carving and diminished the feeling of catching and edge. In addition, the Element features a Parabolic Rocker System. In short, this gives the board a more surf-like ride that makes you feel like you are gliding across the snow. It also aids in a major reduction of rocker towards the tip and tail.
Along with the clean look, “The System” is a design platform that will give you a cleaner ride without eliminating edge performance. This system design eliminates the amount of leverage needed to release and re-engage along the edge contact points. This was extremely noticeable the first time I took the board for a spin. I was extremely impressed with the amount of control I had and the ease transitioning from my front to back side. The outside contact points avoided the edges from digging in too deep which made for a clean ride without worrying I would catch an edge.
Arbor designed the Element with an extruded base to give it a durable, user-friendly material that is light weight and flexible to handle any terrain. What does this mean to you? Well, the short end is that its easier to maintain. While it might not be as durable at a sintered base, it will be cheaper to repair if any damage is done. Plus, it involves a lot less waxing. Some riders prefer a sintered base, but I am happy with the extruded base. Arbor refuses to compromise or cut corners on quality. As mentioned above, the boards Single Malt Core combined with the Power Ply top gives the board a solid base with added durability and strength. This is what makes the Element such a sound board.
Not only are you getting a board with quality and value, you are getting a brand that drives itself on a positive mission to provide the best possible product all while trying to reduces it’s impact on the planet. Arbor has a sweet program called Returning Roots which for every sale of a snowboard, a portion of the proceeds go back into reforesting native Koa trees in Hawaii. Talk about a positive brand to stand by!
As for getting your hands on this board, there are several retailers out there that offer the Element for around $400. However, Rei.com lets their members get $40 back as part of their member dividend.
- The Poly Ply Top
- 100% Naturally sourced poplar Single Malt Core
- The grip contact points
- The extruded base is not as fast as a sintered base
- Because of the extruded base, the board isn't quite as durable as a sinter base