Expert Review: Arbor Spruce Snowboard Bindings
This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
The Arbor Spruce Snowboard Bindings are a steal for the price. They offer a medium flex that is perfect for all-mountain riding, and at a price that is hard to beat.
About the bindings I own
- Model: Arbor Spruce Snowboard Bindings - 2021/2022
- Size: M/L
- Burton channel compatible: Works with 2x4 and 4x4
- Mini disc (reduces footprint of the binding on the board to enable more board feel): No
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 175lbs
- Experience: 2 years of skiing
- When I bought these: November 2021
- Days tested: 10 days
- Board: Arbor Formula Camber 2022
- Boot: Ride Anthem Size 10
- Where I’ve used it: Snowbowl, AZ, and Whistler, BC
- Terrain: Groomers, park, powder
How they perform
What I was looking for
These were my first pair of bindings I ever purchased, so I was searching for a binding that was versatile enough to ride the whole mountain and wouldn’t put a hole in my pocket.
Why I chose this gear
I decided on this binding because of the price point and I decided to match my bindings with my Arbor board. Arbor offers a lifetime warranty on base plates, which is another great perk. I considered purchasing Burton step-ons, but ultimately went with these because I didn’t want to have to buy a new pair of boots (Burton Step-Ons only work with specific boots).
What I love about them
- Binding adjustability in boots: The straps can be adjusted in basically any way I need, which makes it easy to find the perfect fit for a specific pair of boots.
- Stance adjustability: The baseplate comes with a universal 4x4 disc, making micro-adjustments to find my perfect stance angle or stance width extremely easy.
- Comfort: At first, these bindings took me a few days to “break-in” and they would cause my arches some pain. After I found my proper stance and foot angles, these bindings have been comfortable to ride.
- Shock absorption: These bindings are awesome at helping absorb the impact of my jumps. The footbed is also constructed of a textured rubber that helps take the brunt of hits.
- Carving: The medium flex of these bindings offers great stability when carving. As I continue to progress in my carving, these bindings haven’t disappointed me at all.
- Ease of turn initiation: I have found turn initiation extremely easy with these bindings, I am confident in my carving turns. Even though this is a medium-flex binding, it still handles very well with tight turns.
- Buttering: I am still new to buttering, but these bindings have straps that are very secure and responsive to my movements.
- Straps: At first, these bindings were causing me issues. But after I realized I was tightening them way too tight, I haven’t had any issues or pain since. I cranked the straps down enough to hold my feet firmly in place, but not enough to “squish” my boot.
- Buckles: The straps on these bindings are extremely easy to ratchet down. Most of the time, I don’t even have to take off my mittens. I haven’t experienced the buckles shifting at all while I ride.
- Durability: The Spruce bindings are constructed of sturdy plastic and aluminum ratchets. They also come with an Arbor warranty that will replace the baseplate for a lifetime.
- Weight: Thanks to the sturdy, plastic build, these bindings are lightweight and don’t add much weight to my build.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Responsiveness: These are medium-flex bindings, which were perfect for me as an all-mountain rider. However, if one plans on focusing on carving or backcountry, they may want a stiffer binding.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite memory with the Arbor Spruce bindings was my first trip to Whistler last year. I was able to ride all the terrains put in front of me thanks to the versatility of these bindings.
Value for the money vs. other options
I haven't found another binding on the market at this price point that offers the quality and versatility of the Arbor Spruce bindings. Another option at a similar price is the Union Flite Pro Snowboard Bindings 2023 at around $170. Although they may be cheaper than the Arbor Spruce, they are slightly softer flexing and may not be as responsive or stable when riding aggressively.
For those looking for a pair of bindings that won’t cost an arm and a leg and will still deliver great performance, they don’t have to look further than the Arbor Spruce bindings. These really do it all, and at an amazing price.