Expert Review: 2023 Arbor A-FramePublished on 09/14/2022 · 7 min readSnowboard Expert Yuri Czmola tested the 2023 Arbor A-Frame snowboard on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Snowboard Expert Yuri Czmola got his hands on the 2023 Arbor A-Frame this spring and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every rider is different; if you have any questions about the Arbor A-Frame or need recommendations on which board would be best for you, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Arbor claim about this board? The A-frame is a part of Arbor's System camber profile with a tapered shape, a setback stance, and an awesome side cut that is designed for large radius turns. This board is a true blast in the classic camber feel. This was one of the fastest centered bases that I've ridden this week by far. And it definitely is designed to ride steeps early and often.
What is your overall impression of this board? My overall impression of the Arbor A-Frame is, the board rips. It's designed for high speed. It is a directionally cambered snowboard. It's tapered and designed to float and I was able to prove that in the spring conditions today. All in all, there was a great locked-in feeling. I was able to plow through the firm conditions and the softer mogul conditions as well. There's a great locked-in feel with this snowboard that was kind of unparalleled on larger turns today.
How about edge hold? The camber between the feet allowed for that classic locked-in feeling. Due to the early rise, it very much a surf-like feel to it, but once you went to finish the turn, you were locked in and ready to snap or bounce into the next turn. This board is designed to make your own wave.
Was it stable? This was the most stable board I rode by far. The nose is designed to plow through any condition I rode through today, and the stiffness rating that Arbor gave it proved that. My other takeaway is for larger riders. I happen to be 6'6, so I think that I was able to maneuver it a bit more. I might push it towards maybe an 8 out of 10 as opposed to the 9 listed on the flex rating system. But this is a fabulous board for the passionate freeriding connoisseur.
Was it easy to control? It is much smoother than I thought it would be, but all in all, I think an expert rider is going to have a great time on this snowboard. It does not provide a true catch-free feeling. So you have to be conscientious with every move you make.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the board? This board also flattens... The Arbor A-Frame pretty much flattened everything in its path today. It was great. It's almost like I didn't feel most things underfoot. I had a great time and this was a great board to ride in the afternoon and on spring conditions if you were looking to just move everything out of your way.
How does it perform at speed? This board is designed to ride at high speeds. I feel that you have to put a lot of energy into it, but the amount of rebound or pop you get out of it is well worth the experience. This is not designed for someone who wants to sit back. This is for someone who's looking for that larger wave, whether it's large carves on groomers or riding some deep powder and getting ready to burn some calories. The camber between the feet definitely forces you to stay active. I would recommend this for an expert rider, looking to tackle expert terrain while free riding. This board has a classic camber feel when you begin carving on it, and experts will realize that the carbon inserts on the snowboard require energy, but you definitely reap the benefits of it, and are able to ride this board at high speeds. I would not call this one a ‘social snowboard’, but more so designed for those steeper lines and shoots that you're looking to tackle. It requires effort riding it at slow speeds, but that's not what this board was designed for.
How is its playfulness and pop? With the extra effort put in, this board actually has a ton of pop. I had a blast hitting side hits. I'm kind of a bigger dude, being 6'6. When you put the energy in, you definitely are able to reap the benefits. I wouldn't ride this in the park all day. It's probably not the best option for boxes, rails and or jumps but you can still have a good time catching some air.
How does it perform riding switch? This board is very much directional and I would not ride this thing switch. There's a longer nose than tail for certain. It's not impossible, but there are much better twin options on the market.
How is it for buttering? This board is very stiff. It is not the friendliest thing to butter. It’s definitely possible. I was able to flex this thing and it kicks back pretty well, but all in all, the early rise kind of lets you get away with nose butters and whatnot. It can be playful. It's probably more playful at higher speeds than cruising on green trails.
How was it on jumps? This thing was fun hitting some side hits. There was a locked in camber feel that I love. I would not encourage someone to ride jumps all day on this one, but if you're riding a fun line, steeps, shoots, cliffs, it's definitely dialed in for a great free ride experience to allow for some expression.
How would it be in powder? This board is great for floating in powder. It's a blend of that classic camber feel and the float in the nose with the taper shape is awesome. I would take this with me if I was looking to ride Big Mountains beyond just resorts and I think it would find its way just fine.
How about tree runs? This board rode a lot better than I thought it would in the trees. I was interested because these were spring conditions, but the way the nose was able to respond, I was really able to press in and even make quick turns in tight situations.
What kind of terrain would it perform well on? This is a great snowboard. I think anyone who's pursuing steeper terrain, this is a step in the right direction as long as you were willing to put the energy in. I think camber enthusiasts are going to love this thing. I myself am a camber enthusiast and had a great time. I would encourage this for an individual who is looking to ride mostly black diamonds, trees, moguls, and definitely some powder.
Who would you recommend this board to? This is a very lively snowboard. I think any individual who happens to be looking for a mid-wide or wide, this is a great stop. I think that if you are looking for a freeride experience to tackle steeps and put some energy into a snowboard, you should not be intimidated by the 9 out of 10 flex ranking. To me, honestly, this felt more so like an 8 out of 10. Which is a compliment to it because it felt very lively, and snapped beautifully from turn to turn and was a really smooth experience.
Who should avoid this board, there are better options for them out there? I would not recommend this snowboard for a beginner. It requires a lot of work. This snowboard is great for riding at high speeds, but there are definitely other options that are available that I feel are better options for cruising the mountain if you were looking for a more catch-free experience.
Snowboards ride differently depending on the rider. If you are looking for a snowboard, reach out to me or another Snowboard Expert here on Curated, and we will help you find the right gear for you.