Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 4966 Location: California
Our friends at the Arbor Collective are stoked to announce they'll be offering the Abacus splitboard next year (press release coming soon).
They've turned to splitboard.com to get a little feedback from anyone that had a chance to demo the boards at the recent Mt Baker Splitfest. They're also interested in learning any of the split community's thoughts about them entering into the splitboard market. Thoughts and comments are appreciated!
ps. Anyone we know win one of the two splitboards they gave away at the Baker event?
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:27 pm Posts: 632 Location: Rainier Beach
Didn't try one at MBSF, but love that Arbor is entering the SB market. I have a Abacus solid from 09 and it's my go to solid. Unfortunately don't get many days on it anymore as I don't really ride resorts much, but I do love the Abacus.
Also good is that Arbor is turning back to the freeride market, they seem to have put a lot more into their freestyle boards and team for the past few years.
I think Arbor's are absolutely beautiful. I've always wanted an Arbor more than any other board. It would be nice for these newer companies building splits to provide an option between k-clips and hooks when you order. Options are always a good thing.
I have an Arbor Draft as my park board. Absolutely love it. It is by far their softest board, but I take it anywhere on the mountain. Handles 2 foot pow days like a champ. I am sure their splits are built of the same quality if not better. Anyone know how stiff this upcoming years will be?
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am Posts: 1538 Location: Colorado
Hi Arbor. I have not ridden the new Abacus Split, and I have not yet seen full specs published anywhere, so I will not comment directly on it. I am glad you guys are going to be offering a split, and I do have some advice: the split market is starting to get crowded, but still, many companies are just offering split versions of their (generally designed for riding at a ski area) solid boards. If you want to distinguish yourself in the split market, I would suggest designing boards specifically to perform in backcountry snow conditions. Here are some ideas: Long sidecut radii: for snow conditions with any depth at all, deep sidecuts hurt performance (especially float and stability), long radii perfrom much better, I am talking radii like 11 m and above, even up to 20 m. One can still get quick short radius turns out of boards like this by downweighting in any kind of softer snow, and the long radius makes the board less hooky, and improves float. Long radius sidecuts like this need to be paired with a wider waist, to achieve the desired width at the feet (and same average width). Rocker, and low rise, blunted, tip and tails: Rocker works, plain and simple. My favorite for a split is flat through the middle of the board (a compromise, to allow for good skinning) combined with subtle early rise tip and tails. The rocker should just extend to the very tip and tail of the board, without an abrupt rise at the very tip and tail-this subtle rise, when combined with a blunted shape, allows the full surface area of the tip and tail to contribute to float. Tapered tip and tail: end the sidecut radius early, and blend the sidecut into the tip and tail shape over a longer distance. This makes the entry (and exit) point of the sidecut very gentle, making the board very forgiving when charging at speed through variable conditions, and also keeps the board from wanting to "knife" through the snow and dive at the transition from the sidecut point to the tip and tail shape. This (combined with rocker and long sidecut radius) also allows the rider to more easily incorporate slarves, smears, and all other sorts of sliding turns into their riding, allowing for more creative riding styles in soft snow. Nose to tail taper: Significant taper, setback, and a directional shape is going to be better for backcountry freeriders (8-15 mm), for freestyle riders, they will want a different board, but hard charging freeriders will appreciate significant taper on this design, as it allows quick planing, and also gives the rider more control over the tail of the board.
Right now, no one is really making a split incorporating all of these features, some are close... Furberg makes solids like this... I would love to see splits with this design, perhaps a 167x26.5 with a 16m radius, and a 171x27 with a 18 m radius or so.
Hint: see what DPS is doing with their skis, they are making some of the most advanced shapes for backcountry free riding, and adaptiong those ideas to snowboards makes total sense.
Keep your true rocker profile, flats in the middle make no sense in my opinion, full rocker boards skin just fine. consider a constant radius deeper rocker in your longer boards, throw a few paulownia stringers in your cores away from the edges to watch weight, experiment with channelling out the base side of the core. Have a look at what Rad Air has been up to, they have 172 cm boards at 7.5 lbs. which is more than a half pound lighter than Voile and stiffer. A couple boards for cheap demo through local shops right by the mountains in places like SLC, Tahoe, Seattle, Bozeman and Anchorage would probably create tons of feedback for you. have the demo cost 20 bucks and refund for a solid report on the including the rider's weight, style and experience with other boards.
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm Posts: 1438 Location: UT
I love my little Arbor for its previous life as a playful groomer deck and fun but deep pow averse split/swallowtail, So I was stoked to check these out and chat with the dudes form Arbor during a recent splitboard art showing.
The board is extremely light, well constructed and beautiful. Flat bottom with rocker tip/tail. As near as I could tell there is no camber (trad or reverse). They only come in small sizes according to the guy I spoke with. (Small in my opinion is less than 165)
FWIW They also had a 145-ish women's solid board on display with really nice graphics.
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:48 pm Posts: 215 Location: N. Vancouver <=> Santa Cruz
Didn't get a chance to ride the Abacus split but I did get to fondle one, was really happy to see a factory split Arbor, been hoping you guys would get into the market for a long while. I have the A-Frame in a solid and a DIY split (thanks to Down The Middle). I'd REALLY like to see you guys offer the A-Frame as a split, I'll guarantee you at least one sale. Hope to borrow the Abacus split sometime in the near future to see how it compares.
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:39 am Posts: 124 Location: Helena, MT
I got to handle this guy at the local board shop... a very pretty board. With the bamboo sidewalls (inside and outside), the board felt pretty light. Of course they all seem to w/o any hardware!
A neat idea on the contact points along the edges too.. there is a magnatraction-esqe contact point on the heel and toe side of the board, right in front/behind the binding inserts. So, just two on each side (i think), but right where your boot would sit.
I agree with the poster who said the boards should be offered with the option of the Karakoram clips or Chinese Hooks from Vole. I prefer the Chinese Hooks because they make it a lot easier to throw your board together for a quick boot, but I understand that others might prefer the increased rigidity of the Karakoram clips.