When it comes to winter adrenaline-seeking, snowboarding is my sport of choice. This is because I am not good at things that require thinking about both feet at the same time: I am a better skateboarder than skater; I’ve never downhill skied; and I tend to fall sideways for no apparent reason when cross country skiing. Thus, when presented with a set of Dual Snowboards to try out, I was a little trepidatious.
I had seen Dual Snowboards’ promotional video before they arrived, but I was still surprised by how small they were. Each board is not much larger than a magazine. They come without bindings, but the boards are drilled with standard-sized and -spaced holes. I was able to take the bindings off my regular board and mount them on the Duals in less than 10 minutes.
The Dual Snowboards are a little wider than my standard-width board. This makes sense and allows the Duals to accommodate a wider variety of boot and binding sizes.
After getting the bindings on, I took the boards to a neighborhood park with a sledding hill. I figured it was better to embarrass myself in front of a bunch of kids on sleds than end up roadkill on a slope. On this first test run, I didn’t wear my snowboarding boots, which was a tactical error on my part — my bindings fit a little loosely, so it took a little more time for the edges to respond to my shifts.
The first thing I noticed was how much more convenient the Dual Snowboards are for getting around. Rather than unstrapping one boot, you can just dig your toe or heel rail into the snow and walk. The next thing I noticed was that I couldn’t rely on the rigidity of a single board to keep me stable. When I started down the hill the first time, I had a really hard time coming around to a stop because I couldn’t get my heels dug in at the same time and at the same place on the hill. So, I had to use a few more muscles than I usually do with my standard board.
It took me a few times and a few falls — par for the snowboarding course, regardless — to get the hang of the Duals, but I eventually got comfortable. Though I don’t think my snowboarding instructor will appreciate what they did to my form.
Later in the week, I took the Dual Snowboards out to a local ski area here in the Twin Cities. It’s small but extremely board-friendly, with one of the area’s best terrain parks — where I did not go. Negotiating the chairlift with the Duals was a pleasure, compared to having 60 in. of board dangling from one foot for the duration of the ride; and the dismount was smooth. On the slope — a modest hill with a dogleg to the left through some trees — my initial takeoff was inauspicious, and I sat down pretty quickly.
Although the Dual Snowboards were more responsive with the proper boots, they were still slower to respond than a traditional board when it came to slowing and stopping. I had to really over compensate on my heel side. Toe-side turns and traverses were a little easier for me. Going up on tip-toe with the Duals was a very natural motion. After a couple runs, they became more comfortable, and I was having fun on the boards. But not comfortable enough to try them on a bigger run, yet.
I got a lot of questions from people who viewed the Dual Snowboards as a kind of novelty. I think I will have to get a little more used to them before I stop thinking of them in this way, as well. This being said, I didn’t have nearly as much trouble adjusting to the split-style boards, as I thought I would — especially after figuring out that I needed to exaggerate the toe and heel motions in order to boost thee boards’ responsiveness. Overall, I think the Dual Boards are a fun product, but I am not convinced that they can replace my regular board, yet. On the other hand, if I’m heading out with the kids to a local sliding hill, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring them along and shred around the toboggans. And who knows — they could certainly grow on me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a set of Dual Snowboards for free from Dual Snowboards as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication.