by Bart Beck
No, I’m not talking about a newly discovered species of fish that spend their lives in trees; I’m talking about a cruiser of a long board that spends its life on concrete and asphalt. Back in high school, I found myself buying a Fish by Arbor. The eco-minded philosophy of Arbor and the Fish’s versatility are what led me to the purchase. Plus, you can’t beat the graphics that come with an Arbor Skateboard.
The Fish board is a simple teardrop shape made from 7 plies of maple (it also comes in a bamboo version) and is a nice manageable length. This gives it a medium flex that’s great for easy-going cruising versus hard carving or sliding. You can get the board with a different truck and wheel configurations, but the Fish GT Skateboard comes with Gullwing Charger 1 9.0 trucks and Arbor Sucrose Initiative – Mosh Series wheels.
I found this combination to accelerate fast and stay extremely stable at speed. Arbor calls it a “mellow carver”, but you don’t want to buy this if you’re planning on doing some sliding; the Fish can handle some decently hard turns if you work them right, but that might take a bit of skill. I’ve found the board to be a perfect commuter; whether it’s around campus or on a country hill, you’ll get there with ease and you won’t have a huge board to carry around when you’re done.
Because the artists Arbor chooses to work with do such an amazing job complementing the board, your Arbor skateboard, no matter how you ride, is basically a piece of art on wheels. Derek Knobs designed the art for the Fish GT and came up with an awesome northwestern underworld design. The picture is really eye-catching; however, the traditional Fish board currently out there has a nice mellow surfesque design, if that’s more your speed. Either way you’ll definitely catch some attention.
Speaking of attention, that’s definitely something Arbor grabs with its eco-story. The wood used for the board is produced using sustainable methods, and the wood by-product produced when they make the boards is used for other products, so there’s very little waste from beginning to end. A water-based sanding sealer that is ecologically responsible is used to produce the deck. The Arbor Sucrose Initiative – Mosh Series wheels are made with sucrose rather than petroleum-based materials. Finally, the plastic used in the risers is recycled (that soda bottle must have had some good karma to come back as a skateboard riser). Arbor is truly putting forth a good effort in trying to reduce the impact their boards have on our environment, and it makes me happy to ride one.
Bottom line: every day I get out there with my Fish is a good one, and I would definitely suggest it for anybody in the market for a nice cruiser. Whether I use it for commuting or just carving around, I’m always having a great time and the awesome design is always drawing eyes my way. Plus, I can sleep easy at night knowing that Arbor’s doing their part in conserving our natural world.