Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Arbor snowboards review: The Annex Camber snowboard doesn’t back down

Is Arbor's Annex Camber snowboard worth it?

Arbor Annex Camber snowboard bottom graphics
Arbor Annex Camber snowboard bottom graphics Nate Swanner / Nate Swanner

Amongst snowboard brands, Arbor stands out for its long-standing dedication to sustainability. It has also earned a reputation as a brand that makes performant snowboards that meet the demands of even the most serious shredders around.

Given the tumultuous winter we are all experiencing, now seems the perfect time to stress-test Arbor’s Annex Camber board. Its subtle swallow-tail and set-back stance suggest it is powder-hungry, which we’ve got plenty of here in Oregon of late. But we’ve also got plenty of slushy snow, which is its own monster to conquer.

We don’t believe in quiver-killers, but we also don’t believe in single-purpose boards. Can the Arbor Annex Camber handle powder, groomers, and some slush?

Conditions for testing

We tested the Arbor Annex Camber on Mt Hood, Oregon, in 8-inch powder, fresh groomers, and in slushy snow when it warmed up. We used the Arbor Cypress bindings on an Arbor Annex Camber 158W snowboard.

What we like about the Arbor Annex Camber

  • It’s fast. Sure, there’s a Wend wax on this board that helps it go fast, but in side-by-side testing, the Arbor Annex Camber is the fastest powder board we tested. Maintaining speed in powder is important, and this snowboard elicits confidence in that department.
  • It’s stable. Arbor makes a big deal about its parabolic camber profile, which is fancy marketing speak for “mathematically perfect camber.” We can say of all the boards we tested in powder, the Arbor Annex Camber is also the most stable. Another huge box checked.
  • It carves beautifully for its shape – because of its fenders. When you look at a directional board with a swallow-tail that doesn’t have a deep side-cut, you might think it’ll be good for powder floats and not much else. The Arbor Annex Camber surprised us; we took it out on a bluebird groomer day, too, and it carved the piste really well. This is because of its “Fender Tech” arches near the nose, just before the contact points. Think of them as two wheel-wells that help you engage the contact points and get on edge faster when carving, and tiny little snow-plow for powder days.
  • It’s fairly lightweight. For its shape and size, we expected the board to be heavier. It’s surprisingly light, which makes its performance in powder even more impressive. Lighter boards often sink and don’t contribute to casting you down the mountain, but we didn’t get any of that with this board.
  • It’s responsive. Set-back snowboards can be tough to turn. Because the nose is longer than the tail, you usually have to do a bit more (physically) to get boards to turn, especially in powder. We didn’t get that with the Arbor Annex Camber. It just did what we wanted, when we wanted. We can thank Fender Tech again, but it’s ultimately a testament to how skillfully Arbor snowboards are engineered.
  • Grip-Tech works well. In powder, snowboard edges can get a little grabby. Grip-tech, a widely-used snowboard technology that has little bulges at the contact points to engage the edges “easier” for you on groomed slopes, seems like it would not be great for powder runs. We couldn’t be more wrong about that. Grip-tech is great in powder and on groomed runs.
  • It’s packed with tech that actually makes sense. A lot of snowboards use a mix of wood, glass, carbon fiber, and other materials meant to create a “great” riding experience. You’re not meant to ride a board and know what each component does, and we don’t with Arbor, either. But after riding it for a few days, we think Arbor’s mixed bag of tech (maple stringer, mixed glass, cross vector netting – and on and on) is engineered properly. We can’t say that about all the boards we test.

What we aren’t crazy about

  • Top-deck aesthetics aren’t great. Subjective hot-take, sure, but the graphics underfoot are a little tired. For a board this great, we wanted better from the graphics department.
  • It can be hard to find. This board tends to sell quickly, so when you see one, snap it up!

The Arbor Annex Camber: Final verdict

We just told you this is a great all-around performer, and we don’t like the top-deck graphics. What do you think we’re about to say about this snowboard?

The Arbor Annex Camber is not an all-around winner. It’s purely directional; the set-back stance and swallow-tip tail don’t make it a board you’ll want to ride switch, and it’s not great in the park. I wouldn’t go after side hits on this board often, either. It’s meant to carve, digest powder, and keep you snurfing.

The Arbor Annex Camber is fast, easy to maneuver, greedily eats powder, carves groomers with pleasure, and is just flat-out a fun ride if you’re into long carves and a relaxed ride. The top deck might not be much to look at, but who cares; you’re there to surf powder and carve the piste with your eyes forward. (Besides, our deck was mostly covered in powder during testing.)

The Arbor Annex Camber is a board we’re going back to as our season progresses, and that’s about the ultimate compliment we can give any board. The Arbor Annex Camber is a trustworthy powder bomber with enough character to be just as fun on groomers. Ride it once, and you’ll want to ride it forever.

Nate Swanner
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nate is General Manager for all not-Digital-Trends properties at DTMG, including The Manual, Digital Trends en Espanol…
This van life camper van sleeps 8, goes everywhere, and you can rent it for less than a hotel would cost
Explore the best of the U.S. in these custom-built, four-wheel-drive, go-anywhere rigs
Moterra Campervan rental parked in a Utah National Park campsite.

The quintessential image of modern van life is one of unbridled freedom, of taking to the open road, of living on your terms and going whichever the wind takes you. While that can be pretty accurate, actually living the van life can also be expensive. There’s buying the van, the time and investment required for building it out, and, of course, the looming cost of repairs, which can seriously add up. But what if you could have all the fun of van living without the expense and hassle of actually owning a campervan? That’s where comes in.

Here’s the low-down on Moterra Campervans
Moterra Campervans is a rental agency offering short-term campervan rentals in the United States. These aren’t your old-school Westfalias (no disrespect intended) but high-end, late-model, four-wheel-drive, van life-worthy rigs ready to take you just about anywhere. Picture your next vacation: Trading in your typical hotel room and boring rental sedan for a go-anywhere van life rig purpose-built for exploration.

Read more
Travel tips: 5 easy ways to pack more efficiently for your skiing or snowboarding trip
Skier in Japan powder

Traveling is one of the best parts of being a skier or snowboarder. Across the globe, there's an abundance of ski resorts and mountain ranges, each offering a unique experience on the snow. Getting there can be a challenge, especially in places that are very far off the beaten path. From travel logistics to gear choices, it’s essential to optimize your plans and equipment so you can enjoy the mountains to the fullest. If not, your trip can be a series of hangups.

For a seamless getaway, we’ve compiled five travel tips to help you pack for your skiing or snowboarding getaway. Let’s dive in.

Read more
Video: Skiers and snowboarders in Jackson Hole have a scary encounter with a frantic moose
A moose on a snowy road

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a freerider’s paradise. Set amongst the jagged, awe-inspiring Teton Range, the resort offers a big-mountain experience second to none. Cliffs, steeps, and couloirs challenge even the most seasoned skiers and riders, and the Aerial Tram provides panoramic views on the way to the top. When you want to get after it, Jackson Hole’s the place to be.

When you set out on a morning run, you have a winter canvas in front, where you can paint lines to your heart’s content. What you won’t expect is a moose galloping alongside, like a thoroughbred released from the starting gate. But that’s just what happened to one skier on a recent trip to the famed resort. Here’s what happened.

Read more