Hello and welcome to my Arbor Hemlock Bindings review.
In this review I will take a look at the Hemlock as freestyle snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Hemlock a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other freestyle bindings.
Bindings: Arbor Hemlock 2019
Price: $209 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Medium-Soft
Flex Feel: Medium-Soft (4/10)
Rating Score: 80.0/100
Compared to other Men’s Freestyle Bindings
Out of the 20 men’s freestyle bindings that I rated:
- The average price was $224 (USD)
- The average score was 78.1/100
- The highest score was 92.6/100
- The lowest score was 62.6/100
- The Hemlock ranked 5th out of 20
Check out the table below for the available sizes for the Hemlock.
|Size||Fits Men’s US Boot Sizes||Euro Boot Sizes (depending on boot brand)||UK Boot Sizes|
|S/M||7.0-9.0||39.0 – 42.0||6.0-8.0|
|M/L||9.0-11.0||42.0 – 45.0||8.0-10.0|
|L/XL||11.0-13.0+||45.0 – 47.5+||10.0-12.0+|
Who are the Hemlock Most Suited to?
The Hemlocks are best for anyone who likes a looser, softer feeling in their bindings. Great for jibbing, butters, presses etc and for small jumps and side-hits.
Also, really good for beginner riders.
Not really for hard charging or backcountry excursions. More of a park binding or an easy going resort binding.
The Hemlock in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Hemlock are capable of.
Bindings: Arbor Hemlock 2019, M/L
Date: March 9, 2019
Conditions: Sunny with periods of cloud. Great visibility Icy in patches and getting slushy in other patches that were in the sun. A little bit of fresh powder in the upper parts of the hill but didn’t have to go too low for that to disappear.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance Width: 550mm (21.7”)
Board demoed with: Rossignol One 2018, 159cm
Baseplate Length: 24.5cm (9.7“)
Baseplate with Toe Ramp Extended: 25.5cm (10.0”)
Weight: 960 grams (per binding) (2lbs, 1.9oz)*
*Heavier than most I weighed but that was only a small sample size (10 different bindings). The average of the 10 was 864 grams, though that did include some very light Union bindings and it was a small sample size.
They feel softer than medium but not super-soft. 4/10, I would say.
For their flex, they actually have decent response. More than I was expecting.
Really good board feel/butterability – they have a mini disc so that definitely helps with this aspect.
You can extract some good pop out of these bindings – and that pop is really easily accessible. I’d say less poppy than the Arbor Cypress I tried on the same day, but easier to extract that pop – the Cypress you got more out of it but you had to put more into it. About the same amount of pop as the Malavitas I compared all 2019 bindings against.
You can adjust a lot of things on the Hemlock including:
- The heel cup position (which I really like so it’s easier to center your toe and heel),
- The toe strap position
- The highback lean
- Highback rotation
The highback lean and the length of the toe and ankle straps are tool-less and they are channel compatible.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
Not like the kings of shock absorption but still pretty good. Not as damp/cushy as the Malavitas, but those are really damp/cushy!
Like the Cypress, the Hemlock have some pretty sticky hard to use ratchets. You’ve really got to put some effort in to ratchet your bindings up and it’s not a smooth experience. Getting back out again isn’t any easier. This isn’t a deal breaker in my book – but certainly the biggest weakness of these bindings.
From my time on them, I didn’t notice the straps coming loose at all. I’m not sure about over a longer period of time, but from my experience they don’t come undone, they are just sticky to use. Once I was strapped in, I didn’t notice the straps.
UPDATE: I didn’t ride the 2020 version, but I did get my hands on some to check them out, and the ratchet system has definitely improved. Still not the smoothest going around but definitely better than they were.
They’re really comfortable. The straps might be hard to do up/undo, but they did conform well to my boots and hardly noticed they were there, once I got them on.
They have really good ankle support, like the Cypress, and very similar to the Malavita (and other Burton bindings) as well.
They’re about the average price for this type of binding, which is pretty reasonable.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
Overall the Hemlock are solid bindings for riding the park, and riding casually/riding freestyle over the groomers. Great for a beginner too.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Hemlock, are ready to buy or want to research prices and availability, check out the links below.
If you want to see how the Hemlock compares to other men’s freestyle bindings or want to check out some other options in that category, check out the next link.