2011 Arbor Draft, Westmark, and Formula Reviews
These are the three boards I rode at snow summit for an hour each during the Arbor demo day.
Bindings: Union Contact SLs
Boots: DC Ceptor 10.5
stance: 23" 15/-13
150 lbs 6'0
Arbor Draft 153:
Weight: Little heaver than my 152 Nitro Subzero
Flex: Stiffer than the subzero, but still pretty soft, I would classify this as slightly stiffer than a noodle, but i'm only 150 lbs so i'm not able to flex a board as much as some of the other riders out there, but since it is rockered you can still press the crap out of it.
Turning: The first few turns felt a little funny cause I had to get used to those weird bumps under the binding positions that act as additional contact points, but after that it felt just fine until I came across some ice. The weather has been kidna crazy down here in so-cal
lately. So we have had no new snow in a long time, and it has been 60+ degrees for the past week so it is all slush, and when the slush has been scraped off the runs there is only ice left. This has been the most ice i have ever encountered and I must say, that with the bronze edges
of the Draft, it was probably one of the scariest riding experiences i have had. The bronze edges just don't even come close to handling ice. I always felt like i was going to eat it even when being conservative. I felt the edges after riding it and they were pretty sharp, however
it felt like there was no edge at all. Additional contact points did not do anything to remedy this. The bronze edges even on the hardpack groomers with out ice just felt far too loose.
Stable: When i was riding in slush i felt fine, however on more hard-pack stuff the bronze edges just didn't feel good at all, it really limited carving ability. On ice, forget about it...
Pop: This board had some decent pop, much more than my subzero. On barrels and stuff in the park that i normally gap, i found that i was going much higher and farther than i was used to.
Switch: It is a twin rocker, 'nough said...
Overall impression: This board would be ok if you like jibbing, and don't do huge booters, however i just can't bring myself to see how the benefits of those bronze edges on boxes and rails outweigh the drawbacks of nearly no grip when you need it. Plainly put,
I would never buy this board. This was my first time on a board with bronze edges, and IMO Steel>Bronze.
Arbor Westmark 153:
Weight: Felt lighter than the Draft, but still lighter than average.
Flex: Stiffer than the Draft, but I could still butter it, just without as much lift on the butters.
Turning: I really liked this board, being back on steel edges was amazing, this board could really rail some carves and i didn't have any problems with wanting grip that was not there.
Stable: This board felt great at speeds and felt even better off jumps. Gave me much more confidence to go for that extra pop off the jumps. The westmark had no problems with the ice which led me to conclude ICE>bronze edges.
Pop: great pop, a very good park board that could probably handle some bigger jumps, and still be able to press it.
Switch: as above, it's a rockered twin, so switch is not a problem.
Overall impression: I loved this board. I also fell in love with the sintered base. It has been a while since i rode a board with a sintered base, and it made me realize how much i miss that extra speed. I also loved hearing that sound when turning the board perpendicular to the slope, the
base makes this SWWWWIIIIIISSSHHHH sound that i can only imagine comes from small channels that run down the length of the board (i really don't know why it made this sound when speed checking, but it was awesome hah). I would definitely recommend this board to someone looking for a park board
that they can still slay the rest of the mountain with.
Arbor Formula 152:
Weight: Kinda heavy actually. Seemed heavier than average.
Flex: Seemed to have a pretty stiff tail but a softer nose. More of an all-mtn flex.
Turning: This thing kind of felt like a boat. Edge to edge felt really sluggish and turning in general felt sluggish if you know what i mean.
Stable: Had good edge hold, and no problems on the ice, however i didn't like how it felt through really choppy slush. Felt very bouncy. Stable at speeds.
Pop: What pop? This thing was heavy and there was no pop... Felt like i was trying to ollie with a 2x4 tied to my bindings.
Switch: Felt a little different, but this board isn't twin so that's as expected, just takes some getting used to i would presume.
Overall impression: I understand that this is a really cheap board coming in at $295, but it really felt like you were getting what you pay for and maybe even less. The board failed to impress me in every aspect. I would never recommend this board to anyone. It also had only a few inserts so stance options
are sorta limited. If you want a cheap board, stay away, spend money on something like a Capita Stairmaster, with a board like that you are getting much more than you pay for. Don't be lured in by the very low price, it is that low for a reason. This thing is also sloooooowwww.
In all honesty i'm not so sure i'm sold on the "grip tech" they have going. I could feel the extra bumps on the boards, but i couldn't notice any extra grip over my Subzero. It seems kinda gimmicky IMO. If you are considering buying the Draft, i would highly recommend that you try a Subzero, my Subzero feels more forgiving on rails and boxes even with steel edges (due to the Drifter base), and also felt almost as stable as the Westmark.
After trying all these boards out and getting back on my Subzero, i actually appreciated my board much more. After this I have concluded that i prefer Gullwing camber (rocker between the feet and camber under the bindings) over Arbor's parabolic rocker. The subzero just feels better than the arbor boards
that i tried, but that is my personal preference. After i wear out my Subzero, i just might get another one haha. Keep in mind i only rode each board for about an hour, so don't take these reviews too heavily.
If you have any questions about the boards post em up!!!
Note: i wrote this in notepad so excuse the weird alignment of text.
Last edited by twin89; 12-14-2010 at 12:19 AM.