Questions answered by Snowboard Product Line Manager and Snow Team Manager Matt Patti
What are the biggest forces shaping the changes and developments you've made to your boards?
As the rocker revolution is giving way to the rocker generation, it's become about refinement for us. Reexamining things like tip heights and transition lengths, rethinking our nose and tail profiles and how these things can evolve certain models into a version 2 or 3.0 from it's original camber to rocker transition. We're rethinking our cores and core reinforcements as they relate to the shape evolutions and how each of these individual aspects allows us to refine specific aspects of specific models while expanding the horizons on the collection as a whole. The Arbor System is our cornerstone true rocker technology; but it's the sometimes subtle tweaks that can take a really good snowboard and make it a great one.
To what degree are you emphasizing camber shape and core profiles in your lineup?
Our experience with camber today is that it's become the more specialized and technically driven technology. By that I mean we're finding in our own sales that today’s camber customers are one of two riders: either big mountain, big line, big carve shredders wanting max effective edge contact for lock and load performance or super core park riders who are still looking for the load and release that only true camber still provides. Both are very technically driven but at completely opposite ends of the performance spectrum. For most other customers, or everyone in between, rocker is proving to be the more applicable, and often enjoyable, technology. At retail camber represents only about 20% of our total sales and that's also about its representation in our collection.
Are you cooking up any new materials or construction techniques?
We're introducing what we're calling Wood Power Walls exclusively on the Draft – Nick Visconti Edition this season. Wood Power Walls are a stacked ply-wood sidewall that are extremely durable, allow us to reduce our plastics use on this model, and visually create the look of a skateboard sidewall. It's a six ply stack pressed the same way as a traditional skate deck then sliced applicably for a snowboard sidewall. They provide more return than the standard ABS sidewalls but don't effect the boards flex or press abilities.
What themes are you seeing for graphics?
Our internal design philosophy this year was to bring the noise down and connect deeper with the brands roots. Arbor was built since 1995 on wood grain and the Power Ply technology. With so many other brands now biting the look we felt it important to really own it and let the wood be our primary aesthetic story across the entire collection. We've maintained our strong artist ties and stepped up the ways we use the wood and color and we think as a result we're delivering the best designed Arbor collection to date.