If Lemmy from Motorhead rode a snowboard, the man known for playing at deafening volumes and lightning speed would chose the Arbor Wasteland. And that’s not just because the graphics are totally bada*s.
Underfoot, this mid-width deck is just built to go fast. I rode this board for about 10 days during April and May last spring at Mammoth Mountain in conditions ranging from pow to dust on crust and wicked fast early morning snow. It held its own in all of it. The board excelled when I totally opened it up and it just begged for more speed.
Built with all kinds of high tech touches, this directional twin (read: it’s not a symmetrical deck, but it’s dang close and great for going switch) is eco-friendly and pieced together from a variety of different woods, some of which are organically grown. And don’t call it greenwashing — Arbor has been on the eco trip long before it was in vogue.
This traditional cambered deck is quick from side to side, and it just feels good when riding. It’s comparable to a steel bicycle frame — alive and active in a “Steel is Real” kind of way. And if you have any love for heavy metal aesthetics, you can’t not love it.
A progression of the death-metal-meets-tree-hugger theme that’s been the signature look of the Wasteland since day one, it’s what an art student might create if they were going for Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” with a post-apocalyptic spin. The industrial smoke stacks juxtaposed with visible wood grains adds another level to this look and the autumnal reds, natural tans, dark browns, light oranges and ivory colors are awesome in the true definition of the word.
My only complaint: A small chip in the tail. But the board I tested already had a fair amount of days on it after completing the demo circuit where boards are usually ridden pretty hard. Although at $695 it’s spendier than most, it may be an ace for intermediate and expert freeriders. And it’s definitely an Ace of Spades. www.arborsports.com
—Stephen Krcmar lives, works and listens to ’80s heavy metal in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. His review of the best boards of 2010 is in the November issue of Men’s Journal.