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Review: 2012 Arbor Westmark 153
This format was borrowed, with permission, from Snowolf.
The MSRP for the standard board is $419
Available sizes: 150, 153, 156, 159
THE ARBOR SYSTEM
A FUSION OF INTERDEPENDENT TECHNOLOGIES THAT SUPPORT TRUE-ROCKER PERFORMANCE
Arbor offers The System to provide riders with an amazing amount of edge hold in a rocker design that preserves the full range of performance associated with true-rocker shapes. We did this by perfecting the true-rocker profile (Parabolic Rocker), while building in real edge control through a unique sidecut (Grip Tech). In our opinion, the award winning “System” has proven to be the best rocker design yet offered.
This design is built on the Park System, which utilizes a flex and shape that are specifically tuned to Park oriented riding.
OTHER FEATURES & TECHNOLOGY
Power Ply Topsheet
Bio - Film
Unblended Progressive – Grip-tech
Rhythm Rails Side Walls
Butter Glass – Biax over Biax layup
Sumo Stance - 2X4 14-PACKS Inserts
Recycled Steel Edges
Two Year Warranty
Overall Length: 153 CM
Construction: The System Rocker
Effective Edge: 119.6 cm
Sidecut: 8.6m / 7.7m / 8.6m unblended
Nose Width: 29.4cm
Waist Width: 25.0cm
Tail Width: 29.4cm
Stance Range: Unlisted, but large.
Weight Range: 112lb (48kg) – 192lb (84kg)
Boot: K2 Raider 8.5, BOA
Binding:Rome 390 Boss L/XL
Stance: Goofy, 22.5", 15/-12
Rider Skill: Intermediate Freestyle/Advanced Freeride
Wax: Oneballjay 4WD
Riding Background: Have been riding for 13 years, usually going 3-5 times a year and in the past 5 years increasing to 20+ days per season. I've ridden a variety of regions and conditions from Michigan and Montana to Utah and Eastern Canada. I am an intermediate freestyle rider who rides freestyle all over the mountain and of course frequent the park.
Conditions: Martock, Windsor, NS. 45 degrees, sunny and mashed potatoes.
Flex: Felt right in the middle for me, a little softer in the tips than between the feet.
A perfect blend for the ride everywhere park stick. Stiff enough to easily absorb the biggest jumps I was comfortable with, yet super easy to press and jib around on.
Sidecut/Cruising: Grip Tech just felt so dialed, it held an edge perfectly in the few icy spots I came across in the shaded areas. Steers right between/at your feet and just felt so fun. The sidecut felt so good for short and long turns and you could be aggressive or just take it easy. The board was predictable and quick transitioning from edge to edge and felt more like a 155-156. Great for progressing your riding in the park. I landed a few tricks I usually struggle with, thanks in part to the great sidecut. It was just tons of fun! Did I mention that?
Stability: Rode longer than most boards this size do and handled the choppy snow very well. I never felt like the board couldn't handle the conditions or the terrain. I felt safe going 40 mph and the whole mountain was pretty chopped up. Not a damp board, but plenty stable for a board in this category.
Ollies/Pop: I was very impressed with the snap I could get out of it. It was just boosting off side hits and rollers and if I took the same speed and pop into the jumps as usual, it was sending me higher and farther than I was used to with my other boards. It's also predictable in the way it loads and snaps so no surprises.
Butters/Presses: Pressed like a dream and just as others have said, the sweet spot is so nice. Buttered like a dream.
Base: The base was nice and fast, and although I've heard things about it's durability, I didn't have any real issues. I even rode over a hidden rock and there was very minimal damage. One thing though, not sure if it was just because it was a new board, but I waxed it to start the day and by the time I was coming in for lunch, it looked dry as a bone. I waxed it again and it seemed to absorb even more wax than before and I expect it will be slightly better the more it's waxed.
Overall Impression: I have been hearing a lot of great things about Arbor in general and specifically the Westmark/Blacklist. I was not disappointed and this is now my favorite board by far. It lived up to the hype and then some. It was easy to ride from the beginning to end and felt like a board I had been riding for years. I would reccomend it to anyone looking for a park oriented stick that can handle the rest of the mountain as well. Best board I've ridden by far!
Nice review. My biggest problem with my Westmark has easily been how the base holds wax. I am happy though as there could me much worse problems to deal with.
Yeah, I agree, there could be worse things to worry about. I just waxed it again and it seemed to still leave dry spots. It could just be me but I think you are right. Just doesn't hold wax as well as I would like. It was still very fast though.
Does it look dry and ashy? My friend's forum did the same thing. kept looking ashy by mid day. But we checked it, and it appears it was residue of some kind, perhaps wax, and the base was still solid. Not dry feeling at all.
Just wanted to throw that out there.
Thanks, I'll check that next time I'm out
So I waxed again before I took it out again and about an hour into the day I checked the base and it looked dry again. Upon further inspection, the stuff does scrape off. It didn't seem to affect my speed, but I have to wonder what the cause of this is. My other bases have never done this. Could it be the wax I used? It was toko all temp stuff. Anyways, it doesn't seem to affect the performance of the board, which is great!
maybe the holes are compressing from the cold and pushing the wax out:dunno:
I am thinking that perhaps, I should have used a prep wax or renewal wax before I just threw the regular wax on it because it was dry when I got it. It may just need to really be saturated and put a base layer of wax on first. Also could be the crappy wax I am using, haha! Conditions have been slow overall on the east coast anyways, but it still rides like a dream.
The base isn't bad as far as getting core shot more than other bases but it definitely just dings up like crazy. You won't notice it until you go get a good base job and stonegrind done; it's like night and day afterwards. Mine was so pitted up with small gouges, it was edge high which they had to fill in to get it flush again but after the stonegrind it looked brand new and was even faster than my other out of the box Westmark 50.
If you ride more than 40 days a season, plan on getting at least one stonegrind done, especially if you abuse your board.
My wife, who doesn't spend two seconds looking at boards or on the internet or know a thing about snowboarding other than strapping in and going down the hill, looked at it when I was looking at it, and said, "oh that's just wax." How the hell does she know? But I think she's right.
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