Snowboard Review: 11-12 Arbor Swoon

03 May, 2011

Location: Mammoth, CA + June, CA

Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to softpacked to powder.

Setup: I rode the Arbor Swoon with Union Team bindings and Vans Veil Boots size 8.

Size: 155cm.

First Impression: The new Swoon gives women a snowboard that goes along for the ride, wherever you ride.

Weight: Average

Flex: Medium flex all around on the swoon, longitudinally stiffer so you have a more stable ride and some torsional softness between the bindings that made it a bit more forgiving and easy to initiate edge to edge response.  Softer nose to handle any powder on the board which it handled.  The swoon has the mountain system reverse camber which has parabolic rocker which has more rocker in the center of the board and decreases the rocker to the tip and tail of the board.  It’s designed for more mountain riding with the flex.

Turning: The swoon is an easy board to engage onto edge, actually really easy to ride overall.  Turning felt most comfortable on long drawn out turns but it could handle riding in the trees for shorter turns okay.  If you weren’t paying attention, the swoon didn’t care, it’d just let you enjoy the ride.  There was no aggressiveness in how it turned, it did what you wanted when you wanted.

Stable: When riding groomers and charging on groomers, the board felt fine but any kind of chop on the swoon and you’d feel the board get bounced around a bit more.  In powder, it floated fine for the conditions but it wasn’t more than a couple inches of new snow on the mountain.  The grip-tech was only noticeable on some icy days when it might have slipped out.

Pop: For the couple laps through the park at June and Mammoth, the pop was good on the swoon.  Definitely not as poppy as some other arbor boards but it handled better than expected.  The medium flex felt fine on the smaller jumps and in the pipe, it gripped the hardpacked walls.  For buttering, it was doable but definitely the Cadence was easier to butter/more playful.

Switch: The swoon is a directional-twin but I didn’t notice much difference when riding switch.  It also helped that I rode switch a lot on the board because the first time I took it out I was riding a bunny slope waiting for my roommate’s girlfriend.  Easy to switch around and subtle differences.

Overall Impression: The Swoon is a new women’s board to the arbor lineup, it offers a reverse camber option for the women looking for more mountain riding.  In my opinion it wasn’t as aggressive as the push but the push is camber.  The swoon did perform on a mix of riding from powder to parks for someone who wants more from their board.

Shay’s Honesty Box: I was expecting the Swoon to be like the Push in terms of aggressiveness but what I found was the board was more forgiving (which is typical of reverse camber) but with some similar familiarities about the board.  For the first year, it’s a good step but I’d like to see it take it to the next level for women and challenge riders a bit more.

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

On Snow Photo

Arbor Swoon description

Review Disclosure:  I borrowed this snowboard from Arbor after the SIA on-snow and returned it to Arbor.  Please be aware boards may change, this review was done in February 2011.

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. Victor
    June 29, 2011

    Hi Shay,

    Last year was my wife’s first time boarding (about 5 weekend trips). I was thinking about buying her the cadence or the swoon. First she rode 5150 revert. Then she rode my son’s 2010 149cm draft. She loved the rocker system and felt more stable and forgiving. She is still learning, which board would you recommend and why?



  2. June 29, 2011

    Hey Victor,

    What’s your wife’s stats? Boot size, weight and how often will she go? Is she ever interested in park or do you think she’ll just freeride? What size was the 5150?

    The rocker will be more forgiving than traditional camber which is what I’m guessing the 5150 is. Cadence is the woman’s version of the draft, so it’s very soft flexing and easy but in the long run, it won’t be as stable as the swoon or pushing her riding unless she rides park. The swoon is a good all around mountain board with all mountain rocker. But give out some specs and let’s figure it out.

  3. Victor
    August 14, 2011

    Hi her stats are as follows: 8.5 boot, 5’5″ around 150. She probably will go around 8 weekends and has no interest in the park. However, she did enjoy riding the draft. I am sorry I did not respond sooner; my email did not alert me. Thanks for your opinions and judgments.

  4. Victor
    August 14, 2011

    The 5150 is a 146 cm. Hope this helps.

  5. keri
    October 10, 2011

    Hi Shay,
    Thanks for a great site with honest product reviews. I’ve only ridden traditional cambered boards and am looking to progress in the park and try a rockered board. The Arbor Swoon and Arbor Westmark are 2 I’m deciding between. At 5’8″ 168lbs, would the swoon 155 be too short? The westmark looks a bit more aggressive and able to handle higher weights…what do you think?
    Honestly, the swoon’s graphics appeal to me more…but I’d hate to get one and not enjoy the ride!

  6. October 11, 2011

    Victor, I’d keep her on the swoon for her stats and riding style. It’s suitable to her and i think she’ll enjoy the ride more than the 5150.

    Keri, what’s your boot size? The swoon 155 would be fine for your weight, you could even go lower if you plan for it to be your park board. Westmark is a men’s board so will definitely be more board to ride than the swoon but handles weights for sure. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about your weight on the swoon.

  7. keri
    October 11, 2011

    Thanks Shay, my boot size is 9.5. I have a bataleon Violenza 153 right now, but it feels a bit slow…and short somehow…maybe just hard to get used to

  8. October 12, 2011

    Keri, Surprised you think the violenze rides slow and short, do you wax often or feel it’s not enough underneath you? Definitely your boot size could handle a men’s board and your weight would be fine on it. The 155 Arbor Swoon won’t be an incredible leap in flex from your violenza but it will have the reverse camber to make it more playful. You could definitely ride the westmark as well but I think you’d be more comfortable on the swoon.

  9. keri
    October 12, 2011

    I wax often, but honestly, I never know if I’m using the right wax for the temps. It was ridden last spring, felt really slow and I didn’t love the TBT on the boxes/rails (it just scraped where the TBT lines were!). Usually ride either Burton Balance/seven/Custom – all 158cm. The swoons graphics definitely appeal to me more than skulls of death on the Draft, and even the Westmark. Thanks again for taking the time to help!

  10. October 12, 2011

    Keri, yeah I wouldn’t think the wax would effect you that much. Well definitely if you love the swoon, go and see how you like it. It’ll be a lot different feel than the TBT and definitely more park suitable than the violenza.

  11. Stef
    October 16, 2011

    Hi Shay!

    Thanks for your fantastic reviews! I`ve been riding a Burton Clash beginners board (154 cm) for 6 years and now it`s time for a new board. I thought about buying the arbor push 156 cm. But now they brought out the swoon which also sounds really good. I never tried a rocker-board, but I´ve heard it`s easier to ride and more forgiving but not as stable as cambered boards when taking more speed? . I live in Europe (Austria)and love rding in powder, but really good powder days are rare in my area, I often have to deal with either icy groomers or slushy snow in spring. I´m trying to improve my riding/carving etc., but I`m not so intersted in park and pipe (doing only smaller jumps). It`s almost impossible to test arbor-boards here in austria, so I have to order it via internet. Shay, would you recommend the push or the swoon to me? And which size? (I`m 132 and 5,77″)

  12. October 16, 2011

    Stef, awesome definitely sounds like time for a new board! Rockers are definitely more forgiving and much easier to handle kind of boards. Stability is better on camber but depends on the rocker version, the rocker/camber styles still do good. A rocker board will float in powder easier.

    Honestly if you don’t ride park/pipe the push is the more aggressive, charging board. The swoon is a bit more easy riding, all mountain freestyle. So depends on your style and preference. Both boards are great. For size, 151-154. You could go bigger and get more stability, 155-ish but really depends on your riding.

  13. Stef
    October 20, 2011

    Thank you very much for your help! Finally, I decided to buy the Push. Actually, I could make a good deal with a last year`s Arbor Push 152 cm, but I`m a little worried it might be too short? (since I rode a 156 board over years…)What do you think?

  14. keri
    October 27, 2011

    Hi Shay, just wanted to let you know that I went ahead and purchased the Swoon…should be arriving tomorrow! Thanks for the help…

  15. October 30, 2011

    Stef, awesome on the Push! It won’t be too short for your weight, but definitely smaller than you are used to.

    Keri, sweet that’s awesome! Let me know how you like it when you get it on snow.

  16. Crystal
    November 06, 2011

    Hi Shay!
    Thanks for the great review! I currently own the Push, from about 5 years ago when I started boarding, and I love it. I figured, though, that it’s about time for me to get a new board. Because I love my Push, I was thinking of getting another one, but I noticed the Swoon, and am curious if I should not stick to the same and try something completely different. I prefer to board groomers and love the thrill of speeding down through them. I hardly go through trees and hit the parks only just for fun towards the end of the day when I’m winding down.
    What do you think? Should I get another Push? Or will the Swoon fit my preferred style of boarding more?

  17. November 06, 2011

    Crystal, If you ride the Push and love it, the Swoon might be a bit too easy for you. I’d check out the NS Lotus as a comparable board to the Push but with the reverse camber option or if you want to stick with camber, go with the Push for sure.

  18. Stephanie
    November 07, 2011

    Thank you for your review! I was going to buy a board last year but cannot decide. I have been riding my sister’s 142 Ride Solace (about 3 years old). I like that it is a stiff board, but I feel it is too wide and hard to initiate turns. I like to fly down the mountain and never enter the parks. I ride both the powder in Mammoth and Tahoe, also the hard-pack and slush in local so cal mountains. I’m looking for an aggressive board that is easy to control.

    I tested the Push last year and was almost sold. Then they had me try the Cadence. It took awhile to get used to, but I ended up liking it just because I could ride through slush and hard-pack choppy snow with zero effort. My grip was that it did not hold an edge very long and felt off-balance. I held out hoping that the Swoon was a happy medium. Do you recommend the Push for my style of riding or would the Swoon be a good contender? An issue with the Swoon is that they don’t make the board smaller than a 147 and the tallest I have been on is at 144 (which handled well). Is there another board that is similar that you would recommend?

    Height 5’2″, 114 lbs, foot size 7

  19. November 08, 2011

    Stephanie, The swoon would definitely be a happy medium between the Cadence and Push. It’ll have a lot of the same benefits you liked with the Cadence, much more forgiving, easier to adapt in conditions. It’ll hold an edge better than the Cadence. But since you already tried the Push, we know it’s a board you could ride and enjoy. So it’s tough. For board size, your weight and riding style could easily ride the 147-149 range. It’ll give you more stability as well since you’ve been riding smaller boards.

  20. keither
    November 10, 2011

    All I wanna know is how the Grip-Tech rides? Similar to Magnetraction?

  21. keither
    November 10, 2011

    Wait….. does this one even have Grip-Tech? and it’s a womans board, but I still wanna know how the grip-tech feels

  22. Elin
    November 26, 2011

    Hey Shay,
    I’m looking to buy a new board after recently moving to Vancouver and hitting whistler mountain as much as possible. I am an intermediate rider a bit out of practice after having lived in the tropics for a while. Im 5″6 and 135lbs and looking for a board that can pretty much do anything. I cant decide between the arbor swoon or the NS infinity. I really like to just cruise around, both powder and groomers with the occasional park ride. Looking to step up my game! I’ll also need a board that will perform well in all conditions – got any tips?


  23. November 27, 2011

    Keither, it’s less contact points than MTX so won’t be as grippy but helps on hardpacked/icy. Yep it has griptech.

    Elin, Sweet on the new board for a new location! Both boards would be totally good for all mountain freestyle handling.

  24. Chris
    November 28, 2011

    Thanks for your review! Do you know anything about the 2011/2012 Arbor Flight available from REI? From what I can tell it seems to be based closely off the Swoon, only with a different design and Bamboo plies rather than poplar. The Flight retails for around $100 less than the Swoon, so I’m guessing there’s got to be some more differences.

    Pretty much I’m curious to know if the Flight is a good value – I’m interested in buying the Swoon for my girlfriend but would like to avoid paying over $400.

    • March 02, 2013

      The Flight is based off of the Cadence which means the flight has the same true rocker parabolic arc, same full wood topsheet and FSC Certified Poplar Core, same 2×4 14-Pack Inserts, Recycled Steel Edges and all the same System set of technologies that are available in the Cadence. However there are differences, most notably is the cadence comes with a sintered base and the flight’s extruded, the cadence has a deep shadow flex in the core and the flight has a medium (the shadow is a thinning of the core profile between the bindings). So the flight is going to be a touch stiffer than the cadence and more suited to all mountain performance. Definitely sounds like a cheaper option if you want something like the Swoon but more suited from the Cadence.

      Hope that helps!

  25. Kristen
    February 18, 2012

    I am buying a new board and consider myself to be an advanced boarder. With boards going on sale now though, I’ve found this board for about $100 cheaper than the Burton Feelgood Flying V. Do you think the extra $100 is worth it for the Burton board? I prefer powder and laying fresh tracks off-piste when possible, but when conditions call for it, I play in the park.

    • March 02, 2013

      The Swoon would be a great choice and definitely a comparable board to the Burton Feelgood. With Burton, you pay more for the brand name and there are definitely brands that are cheaper that do just as good. I would definitely recommend the Swoon.

  26. February 27, 2013


    I’m looking to get my wife a new arbor board. I have a question on size. She switched from skiing last season to boarding this season and she loves it, however she’s been riding my old k2 brigade and the board washes out at higher speeds. It wants to pull itself out from under you and flip you forward. I actually had the same problem when I rode the board. Anyway it’s a 156 and she feels like maybe is because of the size. I’m guessing its just a sh$&y ride in general. She’s 5’11” and weighs 135lbs. What board would you recommend and what size? She rides every weekend in the Tetons ( targhee )

    • March 02, 2013

      Hi Adam, awesome on the new board for the wife! 156 is on the big side for her weight and depending how old the K2 is it just might have been too heavy, too old and too big for her (and maybe too wide if it was the wide version). Construction has improved a lot in the past couple years.

      What is her riding level right now? The Arbor Swoon would be a good first board, definitely handles the mountain and great for progressing with. For size, look at a 151-153cm for her. I’d really recommend demo’ing the latest boards from a local shop and she can find one that suits her riding style the best.