Expert Review: 2023 Salomon Dancehaul Snowboard [with Video]
Snowboards Experts Mike Leighton and Spencer Storck tested the 2023 Salomon Dancehaul snowboard on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Snowboard Experts Mike Leighton and Spencer Storck tested the 2023 Salomon Dancehaul board at Powder Mountain in Utah this past spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but don’t forget, every snowboarder is different and what works for one may not work for all. If you have any questions on the Dancehaul or would like recommendations on what snowboards would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated.
A quick note that we're not sponsored by any brands, so all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Salomon claim about the board? [Mike] It's a dance party. It's called the Dancehaul. So, Salomon wants this board to be the board you grab when you're just looking to have a good time on the hill. It's perfect for these slushier days when you're just riding around with your friends, having a good time, and dancing around on the mountain.
[Spencer] Salomon claims that this will be a great unisex all-mountain directional board, and it checks all those boxes off the list. It pretty much does hit that on the more playful side, though, so if you're trying to play around the whole mountain, it's definitely a solid board for that.
What is your overall impression of the board? [Mike] My overall impression of this board is it's really fun. It's designed to be ridden a little bit shorter. It's wide so you can get it up high on edge. And, for me, 6'2", I'm riding a 152, which is really small, but it was really fun. It's playful. You can slash it around, hit rollers, and jumps. The only time I felt a little washy on it was when the snow got a little sticky. There's not a ton of nose or tail that you can recover, but other than that, this is just a fun board, especially for conditions like now.
[Spencer] My first impression of this board was it carves really fast, edge to edge. It is a volume shift board, but it isn't super wide to where you can't get it edge-to-edge fast. It held an edge really well once you got it there with its camber through the feet. It still had a lot of pop because of that as well. And it was fairly stable, even being a mid-flexing board. If you did get in super steep and fast, variable conditions, though, it did have some chatter in the nose. The camber is fairly centered with your binding. So, it feels almost like a twin, even though you're not quite on a twin. You have less tail.
How does the board turn? [Mike] This board turns really well. It's a little bit wider. It might be a good option for those guys with bigger feet. But, as a result, you can get it up on a nice high edge angle. It has Salomon's Rock Out Camber, so it still holds a really great edge there. But overall, turning this forward, carving, short radius in the trees, it does a bit of everything.
How does it carve? [Spencer] The carving on this board was quick, edge to edge. It's not the stiffest board; it's like a mid-flex. But with that camber through the middle, it did really well. It stayed fairly stable for a shorter board.
How is its stability in turns? [Mike] Because of the width, it is very stable in turns. At no point do you really feel like you're out of control. And because of the directional shape, you can jam on the brakes.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the board? [Mike] It is fairly damp. There's a little bit of chatter when you get into some chop. And I think that's because the board's overall profile is slightly shorter. There's not a lot of tail to hold onto. And the same with the nose. You can lose it over the handlebars if you get a little nose-heavy. It's stable at speed. It's fun.
[Spencer] If you get it into the choppier stuff like we had today in the trees, I felt a little chatter in the nose, mostly because you have more of that than the tail.
How easy is it to control at speed? [Mike] It is extremely easy to control at speed. This is not necessarily the board you're going to point straight downhill and not make any turns the whole way down, but it handles speed well. And then, it's so quick, edge to edge, and you can really easily control that speed if you need to slow down quickly.
Is there anything on energy acceleration you want to touch on? [Mike] This board gives back what you put into it. So edge to edge, it will be reliable and consistent. And it isn't a board that will surprise you at any point. So this was a great board for someone that wants to go out, cruise around with their friends, and have a good time.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Mike] It is very playful. It's very pressable in the nose and tail. With the shortened tail though, if you're doing a lot of switch butters and landing a lot of switch, it won’t be the best. But, overall, it is extremely playful. Fun to press and butter your way through the hill and explore what you can do.
[Spencer] With the rocker tip to tail, it was playful enough to butter around and have fun all over the mountain. You can turn the mountain into your playground. Hit every little side hit, just butter around on all the little rollers, everything like that. It was super fun. Other than that, it was a great board for pop. It had tons of pop for being a mid-flex board with tons of control. I was riding the 147, and I am 5'10", 5'11" ish. I would be solid on this board just cruising all day. If I wanted to get into bigger mountain stuff, I'd probably size up to the 152, even though they say to size down for volume shift. But it's really a preference.
How is stability on landings? [Mike] There isn't a ton of nose or tail, so if you're landing super backseat or forward, it might buck you. But if you're landing-centered, it's really fun. It's got a lot of pop. In terms of just maneuvering in the air, it's a really lightweight board. So, if you're doing some spins, learning spins, this isn't a terrible option.
How would this board be in powder? [Mike] Would you look at this tail? It is perfect for floating in the snow. It'll decrease your volume in the tail, so it'll pick your nose up well. This board will be a great option if you're trying to ride a lot of fresh snow. And it's just a surfy snowboard. So it's great in slush. Great in fresh snow. It would be a great choice.
How does it handle chunder? [Mike] It handles chunder okay. It is a bit softer than I prefer to ride in a lot of chunder. But it's so maneuverable that you can still control your speed. So you're not going to, at any point, feel like you're out of control. And in terms of chunder, it's always good to be in control. But you're not necessarily going to pick this if you're trying to blast through a lot of stuff.
How is the maneuverability in the trees? [Mike] It is really fun in trees. We've been trying to work our little tree banks. This board was the perfect one to lead the way. It has the quickest edge, holds an edge, and is playful. So, those are all really important things for good tree riding.
What terrain is this board ideal for? [Mike] This board is ideal for someone trying to feel playful all over the mountain. It's a really good spring, slushy day kind of board. And it's also really good if you're playing in the trees, riding fresh snow, and getting into some bank turn stuff. So that's where it's going to be its best.
What terrain is this board not suitable for? [Mike] If you're riding a ton of rails, park, landing switch a lot, or getting into some super steep technical terrain, I might want something stiffer and look elsewhere. From a freestyle perspective, I would want something with more of a tail, especially riding switch. There's not a lot going on there. But if you're looking for something that's playful all over the mountain, the Dancehaul is a great option.
Is there any location this board is ideal for? [Mike] Honestly, right where we're at now here at Powder Mountain. It does well in varied terrain and would be a good board in fresh snow. It's a good board in slush. It would be a great board for someone riding out West, in the Pacific Northwest, California, Tahoe area, and Utah. This is where you're going to see a lot of these.
Is there anything that caught you off guard that surprised you? [Mike] No, honestly. From everything I've heard about this board, it lived up to the expectations. I think the one thing that surprised me is that when it got into softer stuff, it didn't handle the chop quite as well. But everything else was what I thought it was going to be.
Who would you recommend this board to? [Mike] I would recommend this board to pretty much any level boarder who’s looking to explore more of the mountain. This would be a great intermediate board for someone starting to get into some more technical trees, faster trees, and just learning to play around on the board a little bit more. An advanced expert rider can still have a ton of fun. So this board really has a wide range of who can ride it.
Who would you not recommend this board to? [Mike] I would not recommend this board for your designated park rat who doesn't do much outside the rail line or jumping. Also, big aggressive freeriders will probably want something that's a little bit stiffer.
Snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you want help finding the best snowboard for your needs, reach out to Mike, Spencer, or any other Snowboard Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations. They’ll help you find the right snowboard for you.