Some wise guy once proclaimed that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. While laminating various materials into a snowboard wasn’t around in the days of Aristotle, he was really onto something.
There’s a lot of ingenuity that is packed into making any snowboard, and for the past twenty-five years, Arbor has been exploring the use of sustainable bio materials in their snowboards. Where other brands use all-synthetic materials as board layups, Arbor implements sustainable wood veneers to give their boards both their beautiful visual appeal, as well as each individual board’s unique riding character.
For this particular Stripped study, we’re going to focus on the Shiloh, a twin all-mountain freeride board with graphics designed by SNOWBOARD’s beloved art director, Aaron Draplin.
Starting at the heart of it all, the core, the Shiloh pairs up two woods: poplar and two full-length bamboo stringers, which are vertically laminated together to make the board both strong and snappy. Each wood, like all of the woods used in Arbor’s creative process, is sustainable and fast-growing.
Surrounding the core, Arbor bonds two different fiberglass weaves, which give the Shiloh additional character while it’s being ridden. Biaxial fiberglass adds to the strength and snappiness of the core, and triaxial fiberglass delivers torsional (twisting) rigidity, which is super helpful in delivering energy from your bindings out to the edges of the board, which makes for a crisp, active-feeling experience.
Working outward from the core and fiberglass sandwich, Arbor uses a die-cut, sintered base, which is fast, strong, and requires minimal maintenance, giving the Shiloh a long service life. As a final touch, each board that leaves Arbor’s factory is waxed with Wend’s Natural Wax. Remember, we’re aiming for minimal environmental impact here.
Speaking of, one of the most caustic, but essential materials–because they hold every piece and part of a snowboard together–are epoxies. Arbor has developed a secret formula bio-resin to use in place of epoxy, and it’s just as strong but with none of the adverse environmental impact or the exposure to a host of VOC’s when workers are building boards.
Now, on to what interests most people to pick up an Arbor at their local snowboard shop: the topsheet! Aside from Aaron Draplin’s awesome graphics on the Shiloh, it’s hard to overlook the gorgeous bamboo topsheet. This upper layer of the board is made with carefully laminated strips of thinly veneered bamboo. As a fast-growing grass, bamboo is well known for its incredible flexibility, light weight, and snappy action. It’s a great addition to a snowboard sandwich, and in fact, many companies implement bamboo in various ways in the development of their snowboards. Arbor puts this gorgeous material front and center, though, with a full-length PowerPly topsheet.
As a final touch, Arbor bonds a bio-plastic topsheet to seal and protect the bamboo veneer. This bio-plastic, like much of the rest of the Shiloh, will naturally degrade over time, returning the board to the Earth, where this whole board-building process originated.
The Arbor Shiloh is available in both cambered and reverse-cambered versions.
Shiloh Camber sizes: 153, 156, 159, 160MW, 162
Shiloh Rocker sizes: 154, 156, 157 MW, 158, 161MW, 163MW