Snowboard Review: 10-11 Arbor Formula

08 Dec, 2010

Location: Mammoth, CA

Snow Conditions: Mixture of hardpacked groomers to softpacked powder.

Setup: I rode the Arbor Formula with my Union bastardized bindings and Vans Veil Boots size 8.

Size: 155cm.

First Impression: This is one of those boards that’s an easy forgiving ride for any level of rider and can be ridden anywhere on the mountain from park to powder to just groomers.

Weight: average

Flex: The formula’s flex is a very forgiving flex, softer torsionally so the rider eases into turns and tad stiffer from the bindings to the nose/tail with a longer nose.  Overall the board is medium flex, it’s not a soft board and it’s not a stiff board.  It handles the mountain but it is still very much a beginner-intermediate progression board, you could ride this board on day 1 or day 100 of your riding career and always feel comfortable on it.

Turning: It was an easy forgiving ride from the second I stepped on it, just all around handled each turn and delivered initiation easier to the rider.  The formula features a tri-radial sidecut which allows for all options for turning, whether you want a quick arc turn or just laying it out longer on the mountain.  The griptech gives you additional contact points near the bindings on toe and heelside edges so you feel grip when you need it.  The board was really easy to ride and made clean turns.  The whole time riding I felt comfortable from the beginning.

Stable: I got the formula in a mix of conditions from hardpacked to powder spots.   In the powder, the mountain system had no problem staying afloat and did quite well for some deep spots with low speed.  On hardpacked groomers, the formula held an edge especially with the additional contact point that the system offers with the grip tech and felt comfortable cruising.  When I picked it up to higher speeds I could feel a little bounced around but I remembered this board isn’t meant to charge the lines with.

Pop: I hit up the park a good amount with this board, just lapping the smaller jumps in Forest Trail and playing in Wonderland another smaller park with jumps/boxes.  Both times the board was fine on jumps, easy to pop when you wanted to or just handling a landing if you rode off of jumps.  Presses and butters are possible but with the stiffer tail a little more difficult.  On boxes, no grabbing and felt comfortable right from the start.

Switch: The formula is a directional twin so there’s some difference in the board but it kept it’s forgiving easy ride switch and regular.

Overall Impression: The formula is that inexpensive great entry level board that will help progress your riding to the next level.  It can ride a mix of terrain with the mountain system option, it handled everything from park riding to powder turns.  The price is great too, that’s what surprised me the most was your definitely getting a bang for the buck board if you get this when you start snowboarding and you can ride it for a long time.

Shay’s Honesty Box: The formula isn’t an aggressive ride, neither in the flex or how it turns but it’ll handle the mountain when you step it up a notch.  I found it really forgiving and all around easy to ride, the mountain system held up in a variety of conditions.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the snowboards or shop their full line of Arbor Snowboards

On Snow Photo

Arbor Formula description


Review Disclosure: I borrowed this board from Arbor Snowboards.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. jenario
    May 02, 2011

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been thinking about getting this board for a while now. I know it’s geared toward beginners, and I am far from it. but for the price and what I’m looking for, it seems like a good pick. I’m just worried I might be too advanced for this board, because I of course still want to progress. I’m looking for an all mountain board… I ride park and pow, but also enjoy cruising groomers and effin around and jibbing the whole mountain. I’ll take on any size jib but keep it medium on the kickers. When it comes to the deep stuff, I tend to go bigger and faster. Now that you got a better feel for what kind of rider I am… you think this board will be able to hold up with my riding?

  2. May 08, 2011


    It’s hard to say but the formula sounds like it won’t progress you riding. It’ll be easy for you and forgiving but if you want to advance more with a stiffer more charging board it’d be a tough call on this board. Since it’s the end of the season now, start looking around to see what deals are out for boards.

  3. first time
    September 08, 2011

    As a female that’s only snowboarded 3-4 time is it a good idea to invest in this board or the burton brand I’ve rented with lesson pkg? Is it good quality?

  4. September 22, 2011

    First time, what’s your boot size, weight and riding style? Unless you have a bigger boot size, I’d suggest going with a women’s board. Arbor makes great snowboards, definitely good quality.

  5. Anthony
    October 11, 2011

    IM thinking of getting this board… IM a male..5’9-5’10…155 lbs… Size 8.5 boot…. I’m new to boarding… Only started last season… Still working on turns and all that… But I just got my Burton Ruler boots and just recently found this board for a good price… IM unsure there size I should get 155 or 158…i was thinking 158… But I would like your opinion… Not ready for park yet… Just want to enjoy riding the mountain and learning… help me out Shay… Would this board be good for me to learn on?

  6. First time
    October 12, 2011

    My boot size is 7-7.5, 135lbs, no particular style I think…. I’m also looking at BOA boots right now and can’t decide between last season’s K2 Haven, K2 Sapera, Salomon Peral, Salomon Ivy or Flow Lotus.

    The salesperson never mentioned that this board wasn’t a women one…

  7. October 12, 2011

    Anthony, Awesome on looking at the formula, it’s a great board to progress with and it won’t hold you back. For size, go with the 155cm it’s better suited to your weight without being too big for you.

    First time, take a look at the Arbor Swoon. You don’t need a men’s board with your boot size. For boots, try them on. Fit is everything for boots and brands all fit differently.

  8. First time
    October 31, 2011

    Three different boots I’ve tried on all feel about the same – K2 Haven BOA, K2 Sapera BOA, Van Veil BOA Focus. They all feel comfortable; right heel is a bit loose but not lifting much. The Sapera has the interesting ankle/heel conda system, Haven is more of beginners boot, and Veil has the double BOAs. Any suggestions as to what other factors I should consider?

  9. November 01, 2011

    First time, keep trying other brands. See if you can find Salomon, Burton, other major brands to try on. You’ll get a better feel for fit and hopefully secure your right heel better. It’s all comfort and good fit. Lacing is dependent on what you want to try/prefer. I like dual BOA because it keeps me locked in, no loosening and it’s independent so upper/lower can be different.

  10. first time
    November 20, 2011

    Should you go for boots that are 0.5 of a size to big or too small? I fit both the 6 and 7 and there’s no 6.5. 7 has more width room then the 6 but my toes might not be touching the front when I’m standing normally.

    Spent so much time looking at boots that I haven’t looked at bindings. What should you look at there? Considering last year’s Union Milan and Burton Stiletto – any suggestions btwn the 2?


  11. November 20, 2011

    First time,

    When you try on boots, you want your toes to barely touch the end but not be curled over. Boots will pack out after you break them in. If you can wear the 6 without your toes being curled over, I would buy those but you will have to break them in.

    Both of those would be great choices for bindings!