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Hands-on Gear Review

Arbor Swoon Rocker Review

Arbor Swoon System Rocker
Best Buy Award
Price:   $450 List | $404.96 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, powder friendly, versatile
Cons:  Slightly stiff for park
Bottom line:  The Swoon is an affordable, all-mountain board for powder friendly ladies who aren't afraid to charge.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Arbor

Our Verdict

The Arbor Swoon Rocker wins our Best Buy Pick of 2017. For only $450, the Swoon offers the high cross-category performance we expect from a much pricier snowboard. It's perfect for the intermediate/advanced rider who's ready to take her riding to the next level — and out of bounds. The Swoon is soft and forgiving, floaty in powder, and stable at high speed. Arbor's Rocker System makes for easy cruising and unparalleled turn initiation. A real quiver-killer, the Swoon Rocker is the solution for a high performance, all-mountain board that won't cost you an arm and a leg.


Ready to head into the backcountry?
Arbor Swoon Splitboard
This favorite board is also available as the Swoon Splitboard. With the Swoon Rocker as the design base, Arbor created a women's specific splitboard for powder hounds looking to ride out of bounds. The Swoon Splitboard is available in two lengths, 148 and 152 cm, and is a more expensive $650, though that seems to be standard for a splitboard upgrade. If you're looking for a versatile splitboard at a reasonable cost, the Swoon might be the perfect addition to your winter quiver.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's All Mountain Snowboards of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Amelia Traynor
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
March 19, 2017

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This board pushes early riders to progress, and allows experienced riders to fine tune their skills. While the Swoon comes in both traditional Camber and Rocker profiles, we prefer Arbor's Rocker System for its float in powder and easy turning. Arbor's Rocker System features a parabolic design, which means it has a sharp rocker shape in the middle that gradually decreases towards the tip and tail. This tech works at reducing the leverage required to engage the boards outside contact points, giving you an effortless, intuitive ride in any conditions. Arbor also sustainably sources their materials, giving you a guilt-free conscience and a gorgeous, natural wood graphic.


Arbor's Rocker system, a parabolic rocker, gives a surfy feel to the board, while "Thunderhead Tips" minimize the plow effect as you cruise through powder. The Swoon is considerably flexible, scoring an impressive 9/10 in playfulness, outperforming the similarly powder-friendly Jones Twin Sister, which scored a 6/10.

The Arbor Swoon is an all-mountain dream.
The Arbor Swoon is an all-mountain dream.

Performance Comparison


This board outperformed in nearly every category. While the Gnu Ladies' Choice may be a bit more comfortable in the park, the Arbor Swoon handled everything we gave it with style and ease. It was our favorite powder board, and although it's springy and responsive, the Swoon floats through powder better than any other board we tested.

Edge Hold


Although the Swoon couldn't quite hold up to the Never Summer Aura (9/10) or the Jones Twin Sister(10/10) when it comes to edge hold, we found it soft and forgiving, and its powerful edge hold is that of a much more aggressive board, receiving a strong 8/10 rating in this category. The Swoon's Grip-Tech has a tri-radial side cut, creating two additional points of contact under each foot, moving the board's primary interaction with the snow to heal and toe contact points. This forms a more direct and responsive grip, allowing you to make hard, quick turns in icy conditions or dip and dodge between tight trees. Arbor's Grip-Tech also lifts the leading section of the board, reducing grab in powder conditions when you don't need it.


If you ride in icy conditions and need all the edge you can get, check out the Never Summer Aura, which received a 9/10 in this category. The Jones Twin Sister received a perfect 10/10 in edge hold, carving effortlessly through all varieties of conditions without sacrificing float in powder.

The Arbor Swoon Rocker floating on a powder day.
The Arbor Swoon Rocker floating on a powder day.

Float in Powder


The Swoon is a powderhound's dream come true. Scoring the only perfect 10/10 among the group, this board naturally floats through even the deepest snow. A "Mountain Twin" shape, the Swoon has symmetrical tip and tail, but has a 2cm setback. This keeps the board afloat even the deepest of snow, giving you a super-surfy ride in powder. Arbor's "Thunderhead" tips are blunted, providing extra speed in the deep stuff by reducing the plowing effect of the board.


Riding powder is truly effortless on the Swoon, whether it's fresh flakes or Sierra cement. This board was followed closely by the Jones Twin Sister and the Never Summer Aura, both of which scored 9/10s in this category due to their similar directional stance and blunted tips.

Stability at Speed


Falling behind in this category, the Arbor Swoon scored a solid 7/10 in the stability at speed metric. The Swoon's single-malt poplar core is super-flexible, yet provides a consistent and moderately damp ride at speed, gaining speed quickly without losing control or precision. The only flaw with the Swoon — it can be a little too bouncy on uneven terrain, and beginner riders may have trouble staying in control. If you want a damp board with high absorption, check out the Burton Lipstick, which scored an impressive 9/10, or the Never Summer Aura, which received a perfect 10/10.


The Arbor Swoon System Rocker belongs in the deep powder.
The Arbor Swoon System Rocker belongs in the deep powder.

Playfulness


While the Swoon feels stiff and solid in powder, it transforms to a flexy, forgiving board in the park. Scoring an admirable 9/10 in this category, the Swoon's Rocker system makes for easy flat ground tricks and flawless turn initiation. This board makes presses clean and controlled. Lightweight underfoot, the Swoon is a natural for rotations and grabs. It put the comparatively powder-friendly Jones Twin Sister to shame in this category - the Jones scored a 6/10.


Although the Arbor Swoon is a directional twin, switch riding won't feel like a challenge to ladies who are experienced riding switch. Ladies who are just starting to ride switch should look into getting a true-twin or asymmetric twin, like the Gnu Ladies Choice, which scored a perfect 10 in this category with its effortless flex and seamless turn initiation.

The Arbor Swoon has no problem leaving the resort boundaries.
The Arbor Swoon has no problem leaving the resort boundaries.

Pop and Jumping


Receiving a sound 8/10 in this category, the Arbor Swoon is poppy and powerful. This board is spring-loaded, launching off jumps with ease and stomping landings with stability and forgiveness. We were amazed to find this much pop on such a stable and stompy snowboard. The sustainably sourced (and gosh-darn beautiful) Bamboo Power Ply topsheet adds a little more snap while reducing weight, making the Swoon even more responsive. The Swoon was outperformed in this category by the Gnu Ladies Choice, which received a perfect 10/10 for its unparalleled lift and impressive stability when returning to the ground below.


Best Applications


Anything and everything. Although we'd prefer to take the Arbor Swoon out in feet of fresh powder, it is truly an all-mountain destroyer. The Swoon is flexible in the park, solid on icy groomers, nimble in trees, floaty in powder — what else could you possibly need?

Detailing on the Arbor Swoon Rocker.
Detailing on the Arbor Swoon Rocker.

Value


Winning our 2017 Best Buy Award, the Swoon is an unbelievable value. For only $450, you get a true quiver killer that can hang with the best of 'em. We wanted to take this board out every single day.

Conclusion


Easily one of our favorite boards to ride, the Arbor Swoon is an affordable, potent powerhouse with a whopping three-year warranty. Not to mention Arbor's classic wood-grain look, paired with the high-quality production we've come to expect from the California based company — the Swoon is a dream come true.

Fresh powder on groomers means a good time on the Arbor Swoon.
Fresh powder on groomers means a good time on the Arbor Swoon.
Amelia Traynor

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Most recent review: March 19, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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