In the slew of snowboard companies hocking product in Las Vegas one company stood out from the mess. Not because it had a better product, or a cooler production process. Arbor Snowboards attracted attention at the show because they make boards that look like classic wood longboards i.e. surfboards circa 1955.
Does a Koa veneer top sheet really mean a better snowboard? Probably not. But the people at Arbor Snowboards don’t seem to be worried. Their boards look cool and that’s counts. “There are all kinds of cartoon graphics out there and who really wants them,” said Chris Jensen, production and sales person for the snowboard company. “This board looks great. Can you imagine it on the snow, under your feet? We’re making these boards for older snowboarders who want a classic look, you know the cross-over market.”
The boards are straight up wet-wrap laminates with tri-axial woven fiberglass, a super-thin layer of Koa, and an epoxy top sheet. It’s the top-sheet that’s the hard part, according to Jensen. “That’s why all the boards have some rippled spots in them,” he said. “Doing this epoxy top sheet is tough so there are going to be some irregularities.”
One of the “irregularities” could be delamination, but Jensen didn’t mention a word about that. Really, who cares about irregularities or performance? The board looks good and to most mainstream snowboarders that’s all that counts.
The Koa boards come in four sizes: 138, 146, 151, and 156. Of course, they haven’t built any of them yet, but that’s what they want to do once they “go into production.” They also plan on using even more exotic woods in the future. Tiiimmmmbbbbberrrrrrrrr.