Arbor Element Review and Hemlock Binding Review

Travis GneitingReviews, Snowboard

Everything you need to know before buying the Arbor Element Rocker.  I have been snowboarding for over two decades and have wide experience with the sport.  I have been riding the Arbor Element Snowboard for the last couple of months here in Utah.

This is the second Arbor Snowboard I have owned, previously riding the Arbor Draft Rocker a park and freestyle snowboard. The Element is a more all-around resort board I was excited to try and share my thoughts on.

Arbor Element Snowboard Review

The Arbor Element Snowboard is a standout all-mountain board that combines style, sustainability, and performance. It’s a fantastic choice for riders ranging from intermediate to advanced levels. Here’s a detailed review of its key features:

  1. Design and Performance: The Element is known for its versatile all-mountain design. With a medium flex, it strikes a perfect balance between responsiveness and forgiveness. The board’s parabolic rocker profile provides a surfy feel, making it excellent in powder while still offering sufficient edge control on groomed runs. But also comes in a camber version.
  2. Construction and Durability: Arbor’s commitment to quality is evident in the Element’s construction. It features a mixed wood core that offers both durability and a lively feel. The sintered base ensures long-lasting glide and is easy to repair, which is great for riders who put their gear through the paces.
  3. Sustainability: One of the most commendable aspects of the Arbor Element is its eco-friendly construction. The board utilizes sustainably sourced wood and other green materials, aligning with Arbor’s mission of environmental responsibility.
  4. Aesthetics: Arbor boards are known for their beautiful designs, and the Element is no exception. It features a sleek, wood-grain top sheet that’s both classic and stylish, appealing to riders who value aesthetics as much as performance.
  5. Ride Feel: The Element is designed with a System Rocker profile, which makes it incredibly forgiving and fun to ride. This makes it an excellent choice for progressing riders looking to build confidence in a variety of terrain and snow conditions.
  6. Versatility: Whether carving on groomers, exploring off-piste terrain, or playing around in the park, the Element handles it all with ease. Its versatility makes it a great one-board quiver for those who enjoy exploring the entire mountain.
  7. Price: While the Arbor Element is in the mid to high price range, its quality, performance, and durability justify the investment, especially for those who spend a lot of time on the slopes.

Arbor Snowboard Profile

The Arbor Element snowboard comes in both a rocker and a camber profile. The profile just explains the overall shape of the snowboard if you were to set it on a workbench and look at it from the side. A rocker profile will look more like a banana with the tip and tail rising up. A camber profile will be like an upside-down banana with contact points on the tip and tail. Choose the rocker profile for a more playful buttery board, or the camber profile to make turning a little easier and a more locked-in feel.

The Arbor Element Camber is suited for someone who likes a more locked-in feel to their turns. When you turn your head, body, and toes or heels start to dig into the snow with a camber profile snowboard you feel the board start to turn like it’s on a roller coaster rail. It can be a little easier to catch an edge, but it will make turning a little easier. Arbor System Platform boards also have “Fender Tech” where the forward edge is slightly lifted off the snow. This allows the board to be a little more forgiving.

The Arbor Element Rocker is a more forgiving board that is harder to catch an edge on for beginners but also a little harder to get a turn started because the edge of the board has less pressure on the edges when the turn is starting out.

Rocker and Camber boards are both fun to ride just have slightly different characteristics.

Arbor Snowboard Edges

Arbor Grip Tech adds two little points on each foot for added traction in harder snow and ice. These points are designed similarly to a crampon toe piece or a serrated blade drug across the snow. Imagine your metal edge sliding across the snow in a turn. The friction of the edge plus the pressure on the edge of the board as well as the side cut all work together to start the turn on the board. These toe and heel points will dig into the snow harder and more quickly than the length of the metal edge. This still allows for a playful and smooth ride when ripping laps on the cordouri. When conditions get icy leaning harder into your toes or heels will dig in quicker slowing the board down faster and getting back into the turning portion of the sidewall.

Arbor Snowboard Sustainability

Arbor Camber Final Thoughts

I am 5’10” and weigh about 165lbs with a size 10.5 boot. I have been riding the 157 Rocker for the last couple of months. I was able to ride it on some very cold days, warm days but unfortunately didn’t get any powder days on it. There is a reason the Arbor Element has been such a long-standing board in the lineup. It’s a perfect do-it-all board that really caters to a resort rider. It handles well around the mountain, it is a lot of fun on groomers, and the flex is soft enough to have some fun in the park but it can also move the bindings back and tackle the powder. With the softer flex, you feel it bouncing around a bit more in the choppy snow. The ratings from Arbor below on Terrain and Flex are spot on.

Other Arbor Snowboards

Arbor has several snowboard options that will perform differently and are catered to various terrains. The chart below offers a guide to point you in the direction of a few boards that you might prefer.

Arbor Hemlock Binding Review

Arbor Element Snowboard and Hemlock Binding Review Conclusion

The Arbor Hemlock Snowboard Binding is a versatile and high-performing choice for riders who demand flexibility and comfort in a wide range of conditions. Here are some key aspects of the Arbor Hemlock Binding:

  1. Flex and Response: The Hemlock is designed with a medium-soft flex, making it an excellent choice for all-mountain and freestyle riding. The bindings provide enough flex to nail those buttery maneuvers in the park while maintaining enough response for carving down the slopes.
  2. Comfort and Fit: Arbor has integrated its exclusive “Bow-Strap” adjuster and “X-Drive” baseplate to ensure a snug and comfortable fit. These features distribute pressure evenly across your foot, minimizing fatigue and enhancing control.
  3. Durability and Construction: Crafted with high-quality materials, the Hemlock binding is built to last. The combination of a durable baseplate and robust, yet lightweight, highbacks ensures long-term durability without sacrificing performance.
  4. Ease of Use: With tool-less adjustments and a user-friendly design, the Hemlock bindings are easy to set up and adjust on the go. This makes them a great choice for riders who value convenience and time efficiency.
  5. Aesthetics: Arbor’s commitment to clean, functional design is evident in the Hemlock bindings. They boast a sleek look that pairs well with a wide range of snowboard designs and styles.
  6. Sustainability: Staying true to Arbor’s environmental commitment, the Hemlock bindings feature eco-friendly materials, reinforcing the brand’s dedication to sustainability without compromising on performance.

My Thoughts on the Arbor Hemlock Snowboard Bindings

Overall, the Arbor Hemlock Snowboard Binding strikes a balance between playful, freestyle-oriented flexibility and all-mountain functionality. It is an excellent choice for the intermediate to advanced rider seeking a binding that performs well in a variety of conditions while providing comfort and a sustainable design ethos. Pairing the Hemlock binding with a rocker profile snowboard gives a stable but surfy feel that allows boots to flex in all angles and a highback to lean against on those long heelside traverses.


The Hemlock bindings have a stock feeling build quality to them. The binding has enough flex to minimize cramps and move when the board moves. You feel more of the board flex under the foot which I like. The System X baseplate offers a natural flex torsionally and toe to heal. The soft EVA footbed does a good job of self-clearing snow and is soft on the heels.