2013 Arbor Element RX Snowboard Review

The Element RX is the rockered version of the Element (CX) which has been part of Arbor’s line since day 1 as a big mountain/all mountain board. My first opportunity to ride an Arbor and they’ve got it in sweet-spot size for me at 161, set up with some Ride El Hefe’s let’s see what it can do.

First Impresions: A rockered version of a burly board designed for big lines on big mountains is kinda what I’m expecting. Also, I’ve always admired their topsheets.

2013 Arbor Element with Ride El Hefe

2013 Arbor Element with Ride El Hefe bindings

 

Size: 161
Shape: d-twin, Arbor’s “Mountain System” parabolic rocker with grip-tech
Bindings: Ride El Hefe
Stats: Dave 6′ 210 lbs stance at ~24″ regs, 15/-15
Conditions: hardpack, semi-firm groomers not a patch of ice to be found anywhere, well groomed boarder-x course, beginner park features about 30 degrees.

Flex:

Arbor lists the Element RX as medium but I’d say more like “medium-firm” if you like numbers let’s call it a “7″,  stiffer through the tips, torsionally pretty rigid as well.

Ollie/Pop: 

Consistently but nothing out of the ordinary, you won’t have a problem clearing the occasional shrub line, shark fin or snow hippo.

Jibs/Playfulness:

Too stiff and damp for most rail/park features but under an experienced rider it could handle the occasional rail. Arbor’s rocker system is pretty forgiving and if you really work at it you can squeeze out some presses or really stiff butters but that’s really not what this board is meant for.

Handling:

The Arbor Element was one of the fastest and most stable boards at Test Fest this year.

There’s a slightly “loose” feel to it due to the rockered shape which I notice more on hardpack but even straight-lining it and pushing speed over 50 MPH in the afternoon chop there was really no chatter; this board is damp enough to rival Never Summer.

On the groomers the Element was responsive enough for shorter carves but you’ll really notice the “grip-tech” working for you on the longer drawn out carves even in sketchy conditions which varied from spring mash to hardpack/ice. I’d expect this board to excel in powder.

Price: Not for the faint of hear the Element RX retails for about $550 which is pretty standard for higher-end boards. Click on the "Buy Now" button to compare prices.

Summing it up:

The Arbor Element RX delivers enough control to get you through the trees, rocker for effortless float in the pow and the edgehold and responsiveness to tackle nastier conditions on the piste. Off-piste or on, this board will let you slay man-sized lines. I wouldn’t bother taking it in the terrain park or doing much more “freestyle” than the occasional drop or jump. Upper-intermediate and advanced riders will get the most out of this board.

 

 

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