The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Arbor Swoon Rocker Review

This flexy, playful all-mountain board has a ton of bounce but is a little soft for aggressive riders.
Arbor Swoon Rocker 2017/2018
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $450 List | $382.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Tons of pop, super playful
Cons:  Doesn’t have the best edge hold, could be more stable
Manufacturer:   Arbor
By Marissa Fox ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 27, 2019
  • Share this article:
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Edge Hold - 25% 7
  • Powder Performance - 20% 8
  • Stability - 20% 6
  • Playfulness - 20% 8
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The Arbor Swoon Rocker is a solid, all-around mountain board. It offers a smooth, bouncy ride that is playful across the mountain. Its got decent float in powder and is a great option for anyone who wants a mellow ride with plenty of bounce. However, this also means that it doesn't have the best edge hold and is a little squirrely at high speeds, so it isn't the best bet for more aggressive boarders who like to ride fast and hard.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Arbor Swoon Rocker finished in the lower portion of the group overall, just behind the Jones Dream Catcher and ahead of the Salomon Pillow Talk. The Dream Catcher is a bit more stable at speed, but lacks the pop of the Rocker. The Rocker and the Dream Catcher both retail for about the same price. The Pillow Talk isn't as playful as either of the other boards, but it does have a far better float in powder, though we weren't fans of its weaker edge hold. However, it usually does retail for quite a bit less.

The Swoon Rocker features a thunderhead tip  giving this board superior float in powder.
The Swoon Rocker features a thunderhead tip, giving this board superior float in powder.

Performance Comparison


In our crusade to find an all-mountain snowboard to top them all, we compared and researched a bunch of different boards, then bought all the best of the best to test out ourselves. We rated and scored each snowboard in five weighted rating metrics, with the Swoon's results explained below.

The Swoon Rocker didn't hold up to the competition for edge hold.
The Swoon Rocker didn't hold up to the competition for edge hold.

Edge Hold


The Swoon Rocker got off to an alright start in our first metric, edge hold, which is responsible for 25% of its final score. To test this out, we pushed the Swoon Rocker to the limits on all sorts of snow conditions, seeing if it ever washed out from under us when doing a toeside or heelside turn. It did fairly well, earning a 7 out of 10 for its results.

The Swoon Rocker is a fun all around board  but not our favorite for stability or edge hold.
The Swoon Rocker is a fun all around board, but not our favorite for stability or edge hold.

While the Swoon has fancy edge technology — Arbor's Grip-Tech edge with a tri-radial sidecut — we didn't think this matched the edge hold of some other manufacturer's serrated edged. The tri-radial sidecut is supposed to provide more effective heel and toe contact points, but we found it to be disconcertingly bouncy on uneven terrain. It gives this board a really surfy ride, but we wouldn't be super comfortable carving with the Swoon on steep icy terrain at higher speeds.

The Swoon Rocker is soft and playful  but we weren't enamored with its edge hold at high speeds.
The Swoon Rocker is soft and playful, but we weren't enamored with its edge hold at high speeds.

Powder Performance


The Rocker improved its performance a bit in our powder metric, earning an 8 out of 10. We waited until there were some good powder stashes on the mountain, then took the Swoon out to see how much it floated and how easy it is to turn in the deep stuff. Overall, these tests are responsible for 20% of the final score for the Swoon.

This is a mountain twin board with a shorter tail than a nose, giving it a setback stance that provides considerable flotation. The thunderhead tip — whatever that means — allegedly lifts the nose and adds to the float and we will agree that we didn't have any issues with the nose sinking when riding freshies with the Swoon. It is quite easy to turn in powder and very versatile, giving it a fun and freestyle approach to riding deep snow

We were impressed by the Swoon Rocker's fun and freestyle approach to riding deep snow.
We were impressed by the Swoon Rocker's fun and freestyle approach to riding deep snow.

Stability


Unfortunately, the Swoon Rocker didn't do well in our next metric, meriting a 6 out of 10. We took this board down the steepest slopes in all conditions, rating and scoring how stable it felt, how comfortable we were carving at top speed, and if it ever started to wobble or chatter, which also accounts for 20% of the total score. If you are someone who likes carving at high speeds, we would definitely dissuade you from swooning for the Swoon.

While the Swoon Rocker is a blast in powder  we wouldn't recommend it for icy steeps.
While the Swoon Rocker is a blast in powder, we wouldn't recommend it for icy steeps.

We found it to get really chattery at higher speeds and it doesn't instill a ton of confidence. It also gets really bouncy on uneven terrain and feels quite shaky on steep icy terrain.

The Swoon Rocker features a soft to medium flex and a twin shape that gives it a surfy and fun ride.
The Swoon Rocker features a soft to medium flex and a twin shape that gives it a surfy and fun ride.

Playfulness


We took the Swoon all around the resort for this, seeing how it handled and maneuvered, as well as how it did in terrain parks, boardercross courses, and off natural features, which account for 20% of the final score. The Arbor Swoon did quite a bit better in this metric, earning an above average score.

The Swoon Rocker is an all-mountain freestyle board that is a blast to ride.
The Swoon Rocker is an all-mountain freestyle board that is a blast to ride.

This board is an all-mountain freestyle board that is quite fun to ride. It has a soft medium flex that is really flexy and bouncy. Its twin shape gives it a really surfy and fun ride that is also really good to ride switch. It's an absolute blast in the park and really excelled off natural features and in the trees.

The Swoon Rocker is one of the lightest boards we tested and we're impressed by its playfulness and pop.
The Swoon Rocker is one of the lightest boards we tested and we're impressed by its playfulness and pop.

Pop and Jumping


The Swoon Rocker finished out with a solid showing in our last series of tests, which constitute the remainder of its overall score — 15%. We ollied and jumped with the Rocker, scoring it on how much pop it has and how springy it is, as well as how it willing it was to soar. It did very well, receiving an 8 out of 10.

This board is one of the lightest of the group and it has tons and tons of pop. It's super springy with great ollie potential, letting you launch over practically anything. It's a good little freestyle board, but it is a little soft for stomping the landings off the biggest kickers or for the superpipe.

Best Applications


This flexible and fun board is great for butter, presses, and ollies, but it can get quite squirrely in steeper or icy terrain.

Value


The Arbor Swoon is a so-so value. It's a super fun playful board that sells at a middle-of-the-road price, but you can also get a top-of-the-line board for roughly the same price.

Conclusion


If you are looking for a fun and playful board, the Swoon is a great option. It's an all-mountain freestyle board that has tons of pop, but there are other boards that are just as much fun and more stable with better edge hold than the Arbor Swoon Rocker.


Marissa Fox