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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
Photo: Arbor
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Price:  $460 List | $449.99 at Amazon
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
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 13
  • 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.

Product Updates

Arbor updated the Swoon since our test period. The details are outlined below.

January 2021

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Arbor Swoon Rocker
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Arbor Swoon Rocker
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $449.99 at Amazon$500 List$580 List$530 List$550 List
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Pros Tons of pop, super playfulFantastic all-around board, great in powderUnmatched pop, great edge hold, supremely stableWell-rounded, great edge-to-edge transition, fastGreat value, supremely stable at high speeds
Cons Doesn’t have the best edge hold, could be more stableNot the best beginner boardNot the best board for powderNot the best for jibbingNot as much pop as other boards
Bottom Line This flexy, playful all-mountain board has a ton of bounce but is a little soft for aggressive ridersIf you want the best of the best all-mountain board, it’s hard to find a better optionEarning the highest honor, it did exceptionally well in all our testsA versatile all-mountain board for intermediate to advanced riders with a more aggressive riding styleA fantastic all-mountain snowboard that won’t break your budget
Rating Categories Arbor Swoon Rocker Yes. Hel Yes - Women's Gnu Ladies Choice Never Summer Lady West GNU Klassy
Edge Hold (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Powder Performance (20%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Stability (20%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Playfulness (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Pop And Jumping (15%)
9.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Arbor Swoon Rocker Yes. Hel Yes - Women's Gnu Ladies Choice Never Summer Lady West GNU Klassy
Shape Directional Twin Directional Twin Asymmetrical Directional Twin Directional
Camber/Rocker Rocker Hybrid Hybrid Fusion Rocker Camber Hybrid
Flex 3-5/10 7/10 4/10 3-5/10 6.5/10
Tested Length 148 155 148.5 153 155
Measured Weight (Tested Length) 5.8 lbs. 5.4 lbs. 5.6 lbs. 5.8 lbs. 6.2 lbs.
Available Lengths 144, 148, 152, 156 146, 149, 152, 155 142.5, 145.5, 148.5, 151.5, 153.5 144, 147, 149, 151, 153, 156 145, 148, 151, 155
Core Material Single Malt Core (Poplar Wood) Poplar, paulownia, and bamboo wood Aspen, Colombian Gold, and poulownia wood NS SuperLight Wood Core Aspen and paulownia wood
Waist Width 23.6 cm 24.4 cm 24.2 cm 24 cm 24.7 cm
Radius 7.4 7.3 8.2/7.9 7.42 8

Our Analysis and Test Results

Updated Swoon Rocker


Along with new graphics, Arbor gave the Swoon Rocker a few tweaks this year. The flex has been adjusted for easier pop and better turning ability, and the weight has been reduced significantly via lighter weight Palouwnia wood used in the core. See the latest Swoon Rocker board in the first photo, followed up by the model we tested previously.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

We're linking to the latest version of the board, but until we can test it out, the review below only chronicles our experience with the previous model.

Hands-On Review of the Swoon Rocker


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.
Photo: David Wise

Edge Hold


The Swoon Rocker got off to an alright start in our edge hold metric, 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.

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

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

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

Powder Performance


The Rocker improved its performance a bit in our powder metric. 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...
We were impressed by the Swoon Rocker's fun and freestyle approach to riding deep snow.
Photo: David Wise

Stability


Unfortunately, the Swoon Rocker didn't do well in our next metric. 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 dissuade you from swooning for the Swoon.

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

We found it to get chattery at higher speeds and it doesn't instill a ton of confidence. It also gets 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...
The Swoon Rocker features a soft to medium flex and a twin shape that gives it a surfy and fun ride.
Photo: David Wise

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

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

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

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.

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 of the biggest kickers or for the superpipe.

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 other boards are just as much fun in our minds and more stable with better edge hold than the Arbor Swoon Rocker. This flexible and fun board is great for butter, presses, and ollies, but it can get quite squirrely in steeper or icy terrain.

Marissa Fox