Arbor vs Sector 9- With which should you go?
Sector 9 Lookout
Today we will be pitting two large skateboard companies against each other comparing who they are, their history, missions and using a couple of their available boards to make comparisons. To give you a better idea of whether to buy your first board from Arbor or Sector 9.
Quick intro about the brands
Arbor has been in the scene for over 20 years, producing snowboards, skateboards and clothing since 95. Describing themselves as a “collective of growing cooperative of designers, artists and friends, whose shared goal is building rideable and wearables things from the best stuff possible”.
Arbor also takes pride in being environmentally friendly with programs such as “Returning roots” and building decks from recycled materials. Arbor’s Skateboards line provides a wide range skateboards for all styles of riding including cruising, freestyle, free riding and downhill.
Like Arbor Sector 9 is an established and have a well-established reputation amongst skaters. Sector 9s history goes back to 1993 where a “bunch of good friends” decided to enter the industry and set up their very own Sector 9 factory.
Sector nine produces everything from skateboard decks, hardware, wheels, accessories and clothing. With a wide range of boards to choose from whether you are into downhill, free riding or just something to cruise with.
Arbor or Sector 9?
Both companies are similar to each other in the range of skateboards however they do have their differences. This is not a yes and no question.
Sector 9 boards are in the low to mid – high price range for completes and decks. Though their prices vary greatly, one place you can find them is Sector 9 official website.
Generally speaking, their entry level boards are slightly cheaper than Arbor’s. This might change considering where you’re buying them.
Products and quality:
Sector nine has a larger range of bamboo and surf like inspired boards. As well as skate orientated gear to choose from for those who are beginning. As Sector nine sells a great range of gloves, replacement pucks, wheels and style of boards made of different materials. Such as the fibreglass and carbon fibre construction in Sector 9’s “Carbon flight deck” or classic maple to bamboo as used for Sector 9’s “Lookout”.
Whilst Arbor has stuck a chord to using more traditional maple for most of their boards they also have combinations of maple and bamboo for their “whiskey” and “legacy” series as well as advanced features such as gas pedals, micro drops in their downhill boards such as the “2016 Cypher”. Arbor also sources materials from environmentally sustainable materials, whilst providing donations to causes.
Both boards have a reputation for being affordable and of decent quality.Arbor typically use a clear grip tape to show the wood grain effect on top.
However in some Arbor boards such as the “Axis” the grip tape is prone to peeling off if exposed to water, where as there are no such issues compared to a similar cruising board such as the “Lookout” from Sector 9.
Whilst the lookout is similarly priced it has bamboo construction making it a more suitable option for those who are looking for something to simply use to cruise, commute and carve with.
Maple boards are also more likely prone to waterlogging and chipping. Sector 9 have a wider range of surf inspired and bamboo constructed boards.
Good value with their completes
As Sector 9 complete boards and Arbor completes all come with mounting hardware, bearings, wheels and trucks ready to roll. Both companies provide suitable wheels. As the “lookout” comes with large 74mm, 78A wheels making it ideal for cruising and commuting. Arbor’s decks such as the “Axis” and “Koa pin” both come with suitable wheels for cruising as well. However Arbor are using their “sucrose initiative” wheels that are also great for cruising but also leave a smaller “petroleum footprint”.
Here this guy fron Tactics goes a little deeper into Koa Pin. You can get a good sense of how it measures to a person, and some other insights if you’re interested.
Both brands include decent trucks with their completes however Arbor provides better options such as 50 degree Paris trucks.The Whereas most Sector 9 boards come with only gullwing charger trucks. Both companies supply completes with only ABEC-5 rated bearings however.
Which Graphics Do You Prefer?
Sector 9 has a greater range of different art styles and graphics to choose from and their boards are generally really colourful and contain abstract and artistic imagery. From skeletons and samurai featured on downhill decks such as the “Bomber” to detailed picturesque shore lines and simple patterns.
Whereas Arbor boards mostly features woodgrain on the top of the board and simple graphics such as simplistic patterns, to diagrams, photos and world maps.
Whilst both companies are similar to each other in what they have to offer, for a beginner whose looking to simply only buy a board to cruise around on then I’d recommend Sector 9 as they have cheaper options. The Sector 9 “lookout” is a comparative price to Arbor’s cruisers such as the “Axis” and “Koa Pin” however the bamboo will give you greater durability and reduce the risk of water logging. Sector 9 also have a larger range of boards when it comes to choosing a cruiser made from bamboo.
However if you would like to buy a board as a beginner board to progress into more advanced riding such as downhill and freeriding I would recommend to spend the extra bit of money on an Arbor deck as it has more features and there is greater diversity in shapes. Also if you are environmentally conscious you will be glad to know you are supporting an environmentally conscious company.