Stats/Setup: I'm checking in around 6'1" and 165# wearing size 10.5, 32 Focus Boa boots inside Union Force SL bindings. I rode the board (a 161) at a demo day at Mt. Hood Meadows.
Conditions: Boot-top powder and soft groomers
First impression: Classic Arbor wood topsheet, average weight
The Ride: This is my first experience with full-length rocker and the first thing I noticed was the instant press-ability. This stick lets you get waaaay back. As a consequence, it's less poppy and the pop engages later. Once I adjusted to the rocker, I found this lively board at home with its fellow trees. With full-length rocker and some extra length on the nose, it should do well in powder. I didn't get a chance to dive into anything substantial, but it did fine in the few inches we had.
Rockered boards can get a little squirrelly underfoot and the Cascade is no exception. A nice longitudinal flex pattern kept this to a minimum while preserving turn initiation.
Another sacrifice was stability at speed, which kept me from testing many high-speed turns. The one flat-out, toe-side turn I arced felt like riding a mechanical bull. The Grip Tech sidecut holds through short- and mid-radius turns and engages subtly without grabbing. I liked it better than a radial sidecut, but the runs weren't icy, either.
Bottom Line: Fun to butter and cruise around with. It might be an all-mountain board, if you live in the Mid-West. Otherwise you'd want to look for something a bit more damp that could handle speed better. The reps said that's it's bro, the Arbor Coda.
Similar Boards: Lib Tech Skate Banana
|Arbor Cascade, available only at REI|