About a decade or so ago, I won enough cash at the South Lake Tahoe blackjack tables to consider buying a used snowboard. But once in the shop, I couldn’t take my eyes off the latest unused delivery: an Arbor Collective snowboard made from koa, the wood used by ancient Hawaiians to surf the mountains of the sea. The deck was naturally pleasing to the touch and eye, the cruising-oriented cut was sleek, and the money was soon exchanged.
For years, I couldn’t get through a lift line without someone commenting on how cool the board looked—and if they only knew how it rode, like sliding your steak knife through a juicy, ripe peach, even on the iciest of days. Today, while these eco-minded, sustainably sourced Arbor boards have become much more commonplace—and can now be found on the waves and streets, too—I still swear by my koa queen.
Now even more Santa Barbarans can catch the wooden love bug because Arbor is opening a store at 1221 State Street. “Santa Barbara has always been an area where we wanted to come up,” said Arbor’s Andrew Jacobson, explaining that it will be the 15-year-old company’s second retail store but that the owners have longtime roots in town. “It’s a very surf-skate-snow culture, there’s lots of local flavor, and there’s plenty of tourist traffic, too,” he said, adding that the store, like the one in Venice Beach, will function “more like a showroom,” and hopefully also kick some business to other board stores in town where Arbors are sold.
In typical board-sport fashion, they’re throwing a bash to kick off the good times. It goes down Saturday, June 5, 6-9 p.m. and features DJ Durty Power, homebrew from Orella Ranch, food, and plenty of giveaways. The event will be followed by the official afterparty upstairs at SOhO, where Soul Majestic will reggae the night away. See arborcollective.com.