The 2014 and 2015 Arbor Element now comes only in their continuous rocker shape and they dropped Arbor Element CX from their line. This is why it’s now called the Arbor Element instead of the Arbor Element RX. It has a centered stance and a very freestyle approach to mountain riding.
Not much changed for 2016 in terms of how it rides as well.
The 2014 Arbor Element changed up it’s tip/tail to make it look more sexy but it also changes up the ride a little bit. The effective edge is now 2cm shorter which means there is a little more nose going on for dealing with powder.
Arbor changed the manufacturer this year so the 2014 production models are not coming from Elan but instead they are coming from SWS.We didn’t try the Production model and neither did most review sites. We tried a demo model from Elan. SWS is pretty much the same people who made the boards at Elan starting a new factory so my guess is the boards should be pretty much the same as they were before with the exception of the sexy tip/tail.
Conditions: One day Perfect Sierra Snow. Not too soft and not to hard. love these days! Another day with a little left over powder and the other 2 with spring conditions that’s hard in the morning slowly transitioning to slush patches early afternoon.
Riders: James, Peter Jimbo,
Boots: Burton Imperial, Burton Hail, Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Nike Lunarendor, Nike Kaiju,
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Flux DS, Union Contact Pro, Burton Cartel Limited
So the Arbor Element is marketed as a mountain twin. We would call this all mountain freestyle which is pretty much the same thing. Arbor does 3 things. This is a pretty good board for those that want to take a freestyle focus to the mountain and don’t carve out your turns much.
On Snow Feel: Same feel as the old Element RX. I thought it would feel different with less of an effective edge but the ride feels pretty much the same.
Powder: I had no powder but the addition of more nose/tail adds will definitely add to the float in powder. It’s almost the same kind of change with the Coda and it helps compensate for the inability to set back the board like most all mountain rides allow you to do.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Nothing special when it comes to a carve here. Continuous rocker just doesn’t allow you to get the kind of spring out of a really hard turn as a board with some camber in the profile or the old camber model. It’s really good for rocker but it washes out when you lean into a carving turn. This is what makes me lament for something more in the profile to complete this board. This is quick and fun for a short radius turns and medium to wide radius turns are pretty good.
Speed: This is pretty fast for continuous rocker but if you compare it to the old camber model or a hybrid shape it’s not going to compete. Still you can pick up some good speed and there is pretty decent stability…again for continuous rocker. It feels like a little bit stiffer Coda and makes middle ground groomer speed more smooth and damp. My crew and I actually preferred the Element here compared to the Coda but the extra pop the Coda has makes us fine tolerating the extra chatter.
Uneven Terrain: Almost as good as the Arbor Coda here and it really deals with crowded bumpy snow very well. It’s great for busy resort days and I’ve never had a problem on this in any bumpy terrain. Expecially if I pair it up with some good shock absorbent bindings like the Cartels or Cartel Limited. Its easy to manuver and handles slower speed shock really well. It’s like an off road car with massive shocks and a lift going over a dry creek bed. Good times.
Edge Hold: This edge hold grips when you need it and doesn’t grab when you don’t. Grip Tech is one of the better additions to the side cut.
Flex: Very solid medium flex going on here. The rocker makes it still easy to butter and play around and it’s pretty playful. Not as playful as the Coda but still really good.
Switch: I think the tail is stiffer than the nose but I’m not sure. Other than that it’s a twin and rides equally well in either direction. It might be a little different when it comes to buttering but I had a hard time telling the difference.
Jibbing: The medium flex and larger size isn’t ideal for a jib board but it’s ok if you want to play around on occasion.
Pipe: Pretty fun Pipe board. It’s not ideal for the technical expert pipe rider but most people will find it very easy and forgiving to play in the pipe. It’s not a bad board for someone who wants to get better there or someone who doesn’t want to push it too hard.
Jumps: There is nice pop from between the feet. It doesn’t have the bounce that the Coda does but you get a little more stability at speed with the Arbor Element so it’s a nice compromise between stability at speed as well as keeping a lot of pop when it comes to an ollie. Hitting kickers of most size should not be a problem. On the medium size kickers I hit there was no issue here. Pretty stable on approach and forgiving when it lands. If you don’t land right you don’t have any camber to help you compensate and possible pull it off but at the same time it’s not very catchy either.
If you want a little more stability in your all mountain freestyle approach than the Coda then this could work well for you. If you are looking for a true all mountain board then this might not satisfy all your needs when it comes to medium to carving turns.