Fun, Fad or Flop? Onyx go Dual Snowboarding!

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The humble garden shed and garage. Home of power tools, spare pieces of carpet, Xmas presents we hated but still thanked you for and most importantly…. the birth place of crazy inventions!

From spice racks and rickety tables to the wind-up radio and even the jet engine, all are products of mankind’s special relationship with the shed. Snow sports are no different and we’ve seen some of the following creations over the decades with mixed success:

 

  • The snurfer – Originally conceived by Sherman Poppen in 1965 and considered by many to be the forerunner for what Jake Burton and Tom Sims developed into the snowboard. I think we can all agree that turned out pretty well.

 

  • Snowblades – Short dumpy versions of skis, openly mocked worldwide unless it is either a) gaper day and you’ve been enjoying a few beers responsibly in a retro suit or b)…… well I can’t honestly think of another time it’s OK to be seen on blades and especially with poles!

 

  • The Snowskate – Popular in the early noughties and essentially a skateboard for snow. The scene still exists with comps held in the States this past season and companies such as Santa Cruz producing boards.So cyclic nature tells us that we were inevitably due a new off shoot in winter sports, and here it is, Dual Snowboards.

 

So cyclic nature tells us that we were inevitably due a new off shoot in winter sports, and here it is, Dual Snowboards.

In a nut shell Dual Snowboards are small individual snowboards for each of your feet which utilise existing snowboard bindings as the interface. Now I know what you’re thinking as I describe this product mainly because the first time I saw them this was my instant reaction too as lets be fair they do look like tea trays! But nevertheless I was intrigued, so with my open mind in place I took the chance to demo them at The Snow Centre (Hemel Hempstead, UK) following our 1 day freestyle snowboard camps last week.

 

FIRST STEPS.

After strapping in and having my initial freak out that both feet were independent I was greeted by Scott, one of the company owners, who thankfully was on hand to give me a short intro on keeping my groin muscles in one piece.

After being shown how to walk (more important than it sounds) I got stuck into a few bunny hill laps where the main thing I noticed was the need to pedal/foot steer these bad boys. Other riders were demoing Dual Boards that night and really highlighted who had bad technique or relied on kicking their back foot around. So first of all be prepared to use some muscles (front of shins, inside of thigh) more than usual. Other than that the dual boards were surprisingly easy to get to grips with and was riding one footed/throwing a few 180’s/360’s in no time.

VARIABLE TERRAIN.

Training runs complete I had graduated to Hemel’s main slope which on a Saturday evening is quite the variable environment, showcasing super soft snow piles intermingled with ice patches. This really showed up limitations of the dual snowboards as they quite simply suck on ice, exhibiting all the grip you would expect from such tiny effective edges at work and in deep snow became super slow resulting in me running most of the way. So with techy/turny riding not working so well I ditched the text book in favour of jumping/spinning off anything and everything available which is where things really became fun! Having your feet independent from each other definitely opened up some new options (and potential injuries) to mess around and try daft tricks, think sideways skiing. A couple of local riders were hitting the rail and boxes with some awesome style (see pics) and one of the Dual Snowboards team riders stomped a front flip off the kicker, all very impressive!

 

SO ARE THEY ANY GOOD THEN?

Granted ‘Duals’ are the board equivalent of snowblades and I wanted to hate them, I really did, but during my 30 minute demo I just had too much fun to end this blog in a negative light! I had a really good laugh but the problem for me is that the brand name contains ‘snowboard‘ so inevitably they are going to be directly compared and the simple fact is Dual Snowboard are not as capable or versatile as a snowboard. The last half of my session really showed that you need to stop trying to ride them technically and merely throw yourself off everything having a laugh, don’t take it too seriously or you might as well be a snowblader with poles!

It’s unlikely I’ll be buying a set and while far from a game changer or snowboard replacement, for an afternoon of the hill or an occasional session at a dome you’ll definitely have a great laugh and highly recommend you give them a demo.

Personally I think dual snowboard rugby/football would be an ace idea!

 

So who’s tried, loves, hates dual snowboards then? Drop your thoughts below or over on our Facebook page

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About Author

Baden Knifton

Baden Knifton is owner and head coach at Onyx Snowboard School, holding BASI L4 ISTD Snowboard Instructor certification with further qualifications in Sport Technology (BSc) and Sport Psychology (MSc). He's the head trainer with Snowsport England and responsible for writing their instructor qualification programme. Additionally he works as a freestyle TD (technical delegate), judge, race official and regularly organises competitions around Europe. Away from snowboarding he's a winter sports and travel blogger, presenter, writer, general mountain man and tech geek!

3 Comments

  1. Hi Baden – and everyone else.

    Great that you came down and tried the Duals. The response has been massive from our tour and we have so many exciting things lined up.

    The way the thread went on the link you posted to SBUK was really unfortunate. You will see from the harsh comments, that the fire was there long before we were. Not an easy forum to walk into, so we used the back door and then let everyone know.

    We don’t like to focus on the negative and there was a method to our madness for entering that forum. At last more balanced comments are now coming. And the thread seems to be the most popular on the site too. Sometimes it just has to get a little worse before it gets better.

    Now that so many people have tried the product locally, it is great to see a lot more positivity. It was good to meet you last week.

  2. i bought duals i love them heaps of fun… spent a lot of time on my butt but picked it up pretty quickly only issue is they use diffrent leg muscles so expect sore legs after but i personaly think they are great give them a try

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