Hello and welcome to my Arbor Relapse snowboard review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Relapse as a freestyle snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Relapse a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other freestyle snowboards.
Board: Arbor Relapse
Flex Rating: Medium-Soft (4/10)
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Soft (4/10)
Rating Score: 85.9/100
Compared to other Men’s Freestyle Boards
Out of the 36 men’s freestyle snowboards that I rated:
Overview of the Relapse’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Relapse’s specs and available sizes.
Traditional Camber But not quite - Arbor's "System Camber"
Waist Width (mm)
Rec Rider Weight (lb)
Rec Rider Weight (kg)
Who is the Relapse Best Suited To?
The Relapse is most suited to anyone looking for a dedicated freestyle/park deck and who the limited sizing can work for.
It's a really well priced board but still a really good freestyle ride - so it's ideal for those looking for a freestyle deck, but have a smaller budget. A big reason why it's cheaper is the extruded base on it - so if you can live with an extruded base (which if it's going to be your dedicated park board, you probably can), then it's a really good value buy, IMO.
Not for a beginner, but could work for a beginner park rider who otherwise has good general riding/good technique down. Otherwise intermediate and up.
The Relapse in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Relapse is capable of.
Board: Arbor Relapse, 2022 153cm (250mm waist width)
Date: April 5, 2021
Conditions: Sunny! Barely a cloud in the sky and felt nice and warm.
2°C (36°F) degrees o°C (32°F) with wind. Barely any wind. 5kph.
24 snow: 0cm (0")
7 day snow: 3cm (1.2")
On groomer: Icy in patches, medium in patches and slushy in patches. Snow quite messy/cruddy. GOt softer and more slushly as day went on.
Off groomer: Icy/crunchy for the most part particularly on particular sections - but certainly not bullet proof and in places started to soften up quite a bit as the day wore on.
Pretty typical spring riding.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 560mm (22″)
Stance Setback: Centered
Width at Inserts: 264mm (10.39")
Rider Height: 6'0"
Rider Weight: 175lbs
Rider Boot Size: US9.5 Adidas Tactical ADV
Bindings Used: Burton Malavita M
Control Board for Control Laps: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
Weight: 2920grams (6lb 7oz)
Weight per cm: 19.08 grams/cm
Average Weight per cm: 18.43 grams/cm*
*based on a sample size of around 100 models that I’ve weighed in 2019, 2020, 2021 *& 2022 models. So quite heavy on the scales - and nearly 3kg is heavy for a 153, but on snow it felt a really normal weight and even bordering on being lighter than normal.
Damp or Chattery?
Didn't think this would be that damp - and it's not super damp for sure. But a little damper than my control board (Terrain Wrecker) - I'd say right in the middle of the scale between ultra damp and ultra chattery.
Smooth or Snappy?
Really snappy. Quite high up the snappy end of the scale.
OK, you can ride any board in powder, no doubt. But this is one board that you could just tell would be quite sinky in deeper powder. It's a twin, it's camber dominant, there's not setback. The nose and tail are exactly the same. Didn't have any powder on the day, but the feel and the specs, suggest that it wouldn't be ideal - a back leg burner.
Carving & Turning
Carving: Really good for slower speed carves. Not as good for really bombing and carving, but for slower speed carves was really fun.
Turning: Really effortless and really fun board to turn on. Particularly good for short/sharp turns. Part of that is the size that I was riding, but even in a bigger size would be more adept at smaller/tighter turns than big arcing ones.
Maneuverability at Slow Speeds: Super nimble - again part of that is probably size, but this is the kind of board I wouldn't ride that much longer. I'd probably ride the 155, which would still be super nimble. I'd even consider the 153, if it was going to be my dedicated park board.
Skidded Turns: It's like beginner level forgiving of skidded turns, but it's quite friendly in that sense. More so than I thought it would be.
Gets quite squirrelly when really opening out but ok up to a certain speed.
Crud: Gets bucked around quite a bit in crud - not surprisingly given it's flex and snap, but it is really easy to adjust and recover as you get bucked around.
Bumps: Super nimble for weaving between bumps. Effortless and hugged them nicely when going over top.
Let's Break this Text up with a video
This video is for the 2021 model. If I can find a 2022 video, will replace it with that.
Really fun - easy pop and perfect for side hits. Best for smaller jumps.
Pop: Really good pop and super easy to access.
Approach: Gets squirrelly on faster approaches but nice and nimble for adjustments and trickier approaches - and certainly stable enough for medium jumps.
Landing: Nice and solid for small to medium jumps and nice and forgiving of errors.
Side-hits: Pretty much ideal - and super fun! Nimble for tricker and last second approaches, easy to access pop, forgiving landings. Setting up and landing switch great too.
Small jumps/Big Jumps: Best for small to medium. Approach and landing is a little more wobbly on bigger jumps.
Pretty much the same in both directions. Really easy and natural riding switch.
Great for spins. Easy pop, great for setting up and landing switch, easy to get the spin around. For anything that's not a massive trick, it felt pretty much ideal to me.
Nice and easy for the setup, good pop, easy to pop off. All round really good on boxes/rails etc.
It's not something that just melts under your feet when you press onto the tip or tail, but it's pretty easy to butter all round. And some like there to be a bit of resistance there.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
The Relapse is a nice snappy, energetic ride that is like a hyperactive child, that seems hell bent on wanting to find the next side hit and is beckoned to the park like a heat seeking missile, whether you want to hit the jump line of the jib line.
And whilst it's strengths for sure lie in the park and riding freestyle in general you can definitely enjoy this board on groomer laps too - just don't expect it to bomb you down the hill at 50mph and not complain about it.
This actually went down in price for the 2024 model, so with the average price of freestyle boards going up and this going down, it's become even better value-for-money.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to check out some other freestyle snowboard options, or if you want to compare the Relapse to other freestyle snowboards, then check out the next link.