List Price US $579
Arbor Steepwater Snowboard Review And Buying Advice

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Riding Style Freeride
Riding Level Expert
Fits Boot size (US) 8-10
Manufactured in Dubai by SWS
Shape Tapered Directional
Camber Profile Traditional Camber
Stance Setback over 20mm
Approx. Weight Feels Normal
Split No
Powder Good
Base Glide Good
Carving Great
Speed Excellent
Uneven Terrain Poor
Switch Poor
Jumps Poor
Jibbing Poor
Pipe Poor
On Snow Feel

Locked In

Turn Initiation

Medium

Skidded Turns

Hard

Flex

Stiff

Buttering

Hard

Edge Hold

Hard Snow

Arbor Steepwater 2016 - 2014 Review by The Good Ride

The Arbor Steepwater is the next step up in gnarlyness from it’s freeriding brother the A-Frame. This is from the mind of Steve Klausson, the Owner of Wave Rave Snowboards and it offers up a very different ride from the A-Frame. Wave Rave use to sell the Stepwater directly at their shop but it wasn’t the pretty high-quality feel board it is now that Arbor got their hands on it. First off this is a beast and it’s stiffer than the A-Frame. It also has a very shallow side cut that likes to go straight. It’s a powder/groomer bomber and one of the fastest boards we have ridden in a little while. Not much has changed over the years and this model is like most cars.  They only make minor tweaks for a few years.

Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews.  No one is perfect and we do make money from the “Where To Buy” links below, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective. 

How This Review Happened:  We had the Arbor version for a couple of laps at a frantic manic demo day but also rode the older model Wave Rave used to sell for a day.
Size: 167
Days:  1
Conditions: Practically perfect Sierra snow
Riders: James Peter and Jimbo
Boots: Burton IonBurton SLXNike Kaiju,
Bindings:  Burton Diode
Set Up: Set back, about 23″ wide 18 front and 0 back

On Snow Feel:  So even though the A-Frame and Steepwater look a lot alike these days from a short distance you can see some differences when you look up close.  This looks like there is almost no sidecut depth going on here and it has a go straight go very fast kind of personality. It’s not gentle either.  It’s mean and fast and I wouldn’t even recommend it to advanced riders.  This is an expert only freeride board.

Powder:  We had no powder but this will do very well. It’s about 1.7 inches back which makes it a little less surfy off the tail than the A-Frame’s massive 2″ set back.  1.7″ is still a lot and it has massive float for a true camber board.

Turn Initiation and Carving:  So the Arbor Steepwater is a solid bit of work edge to edge and it feels like what the Jones Flagship would be if it was full camber. It’s not quick edge to edge like the A-Frame and it prefers to go straight instead of making turns.  It’s still really fun on a carve but it does so with a bigger radius when you lean into it as far as you can.

Speed:  Peter summed it up by calling it a Ferrari Tank and I can’t think of a better way to describe it.  This is a chunder buster. When we went down Coronus (Very steep groomer run at Mammoth) the damp stability of the Steepwater was almost scary because you don’t feel that scared straight lining the whole run.  It reminds me of the older stiffer Nidecker Platinum from the mid 2000s.  You don’t feel like you are going as fast as you are.

Uneven Terrain:  While you can bomb at high speed through thick uneven Mammoth Powder it’s one of the last boards I want to be on when riding on a choppy, tracked bumpy end of a Saturday groomer. You pay a price for that much perfection at high speed. I’d actually be surprised if it did well in slower bumpy areas. This is a perfect condition kind of board.

Edge Hold:  Borderline excellent and it grips well in most conditions you will want to ride in.

Flex: Very stiff when you compare it to most boards out there in 2014.  Maybe in 2004 I would have called this Med/Stiff but nowadays it’s very stiff.

Switch: nope

Jibbing: no fucking way

Pipe: naaaah.

Jumps:  Fine for a method off a cliff but that’s about it.

All in all the Steepwater is a really unique board that is only for a select group of riders. If you are one of those riders you will have shit’s and giggles but for most I would say go A-Frame.

 
Arbor Steepwater Specs

 
Arbor Steepwater Images

We try to get as many images of the Arbor Steepwater, but forgive us if they're not all there.

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