Rider: 6'1, ~200lb, Size 9US Ride Fuse. Advanced freeride, intermediate freestyle. Go fast, carve hard, pop high, get playful on any sidehits I find or just send it deep, lots of ground tricks when riding slower.
2021 Salomon Dancehaul 157cm ridden with Nitro Team Pros, Burton Cartel X, and Rome Katanas. +21, -9, 22inches wide on reference stance.
Days on Board: 8 or 9 across Sunshine and Lake Louise, pretty much all conditions aside from 30cm+ pow or true ice.
Profile/Flex: Salomon Rock-Out Camber, mostly camber with more rocker in the nose than tail. Nose rocker starts in front of the binding, tail rocker is just before the rear contact point. Flex feels pretty bang on medium, maybe a touch above. Supportive but accessible. I've ridden the Super 8 and Assassin a fair bit, the flex feels very similar to both of those (same core, not shocking). Definitely softer nose and stiffer tail, but that's likely more down to the length of said nose and tail. The nose is 12cm longer than the tail with much more rocker. From the bindings and between the feet I get Assassin vibes, torsional flex matches that hair above medium. Stance is centered over a radial sidecut, so it's very predictable.
Pop/Ollies: On groomers it feels middle of the pack, has all the pop you need but not the 'wow' factor or snappiness of more lively decks. With that nice accessible flex you can do quick skate style snaps or load the camber and use the stiffer tail to generate a lot more air. Basically it'll match the effort you put in as far as pop goes, nice and predictable. Now, in powder and soft snow that completely changes, or maybe I just haven't experience this often enough, but that wide and short tail provides a fantastic platform for getting air in pow! I found myself jumping over every half buried baby tree I came across, more than once friends have exclaimed "How did you not hit that!?" This is from loading the camber so you do have to time it well and work for that pop, but boy is it worth it.
Stability: Very stable, overall I'd say it sits evenly along the damp/lively spectrum, nice middle ground, but that width does help provide a tonne of stability, and with the bigger nose out front I've yet to be bucked. Don't be afraid to point this through some chopped up pow or late afternoon groomer crud if you need to. Not freeride bomber stable, but d'uh, it's a volume shifted party board and in that world it shines pretty well. In really rough conditions at higher speed the nose probably would fold, so don't straightline a mogul field at 70km/h+ and you'll be fine.
Carving/Edgehold/Handling: This board loves to turn and if I wasn't in a size 9 boot on the 157 I'd even call it nimble. I think they really dialed in the sidecut well, at 7.3m it's tight enough to help overcome some of the width, but not so tight that it becomes a limiting factor at high speed. You're centered on a radial sidecut so predictable is probably the best word for it, and the flex allows you to manipulate the board when you want/need to. The only time I haven't enjoyed turning on this board was icy moguls, and normally I love moguls. The width definitely works against it there. Softer 2-3 day old powder moguls it's a blast, can try to carve through them or use that width and platform to ride up the sides and almost treat them like a banked slalom. Edgehold isn't the best but more than adequate, snow here is typically pretty easy to sink an edge into so I never felt it lacking until a firmer day at Lake Louise. I wouldn't have called the frontside icy but it was definitely approaching that point in high traffic areas. I put a 1 degree base and 2 degree side edge on it with our ceramic disc and the finish on the edge was much sharper than from the factory. Was back at Lake today and it held well in those higher traffic areas, though the snow was generally soft today I found the firm spots to test it on and it didn't let me down. This is also the first board I've ridden where I've cleanly gotten some 360 degree heelside carves, I will be trying it + + at some point.
Park/Playfulness: The perfect amount of playfulness to compliment the all mountain flex profile and shape. Easy enough to press, supportive enough for larger jumps, predictable accessible pop, snappy enough to pop out of butters. Definitely a board to have fun and get silly on but it's more than capable on the rest of the mountain too. Very stable on rails and boxes, I just like wider platforms for that. I'm not doing 270s on 270s off, so for just holding a regular front or back boardslide, the camber wraps well and the width makes it easy to keep your balance. Also rides switch great, obviously there's the longer nose, shorter tail and decent amount of taper (12mm) to overcome but being centered on a radial sidecut makes all of that pretty easy to work around. I wouldn't have any concerns riding any groomed feature/terrain switch with this. Had a weird foot issue end of day that forced me to ride some pretty moguled out trees switch in soft snow, and I managed. Obviously not pretty or the regular flow I aim for on that type of terrain, but I picked my way down with barely any sideslipping and the only time I had an issue was ramming the tail directly into the side of a soft mogul and digging it in. Shorter swallow tails in soft snow will do that. Anyone familiar with Lake Louise that last lap was a frontside top to bottom starting on the old summit platter line and switch 80% of the time. I also cannot wait to get this in some slush in the spring!
Powder: Heck yes, this is clearly built for some pow! Width, nose length, and rocker all combine to give you a tonne of float. The nose planes seriously well, I'll attach a vid at the bottom. Have had multiple days on this between 10-20cm of fresh snow overnight and it really is a blast, especially with the great powder pop mentioned above. Shorter stiff tail is great for slashes and throwing up snow, with enough volume back there to support some flatter pow landings. I still think boards with significant taper are better in low angle tree type situations, but outright surface area goes a long way to keeping you on top of the deep stuff.
Overall Impression: I knew I would love this board, and I'm very happy it's filled the exact spot I wanted it to. I loved my 154 OG Warpig but I always wished it had a slightly larger sidecut and had some camber between the feet. The Dancehaul delivers everything I wanted from it. Incredibly versatile, this is a board I would happily ride anywhere in any condition. For truly icy days I'd want a longer edge and full camber, luckily we don't see too many of those days here, so I expect this board to see a lot of days this season. I used the word predictable a lot, and it really is. This is a board built to handle anything thrown at it, and appeal to every type of rider outside of a pure rail gypsy or big mountain freerider.
Tweaks: Because I always have to think about tweaking things... And really the only changes I would make, and I'm crossing my fingers Salomon does this, is add a Pro version of it to their line. They have the Assassin Pro, Huck Knife Pro, have done Villain and Super 8 Pro etc. Give this board the same treatment, slightly lighter, stiffer, and snappier core with a higher end base. I'd for sure buy the 157 Dancehaul Pro for All Mountain duties, and a 152 regular Dancehaul for party boarding and playful days. Really I just want it to feel a touch lighter and snappier, I don't need all this dampness but many will appreciate that.
In this video I'm riding with my weight centered on the board, not leaning back at all. I'm barely out of bounds on a relatively flat section of terrain (you get stuck if you don't cut back into the resort early enough) but it's a spot guaranteed to find some untouched snow days after a storm. Nose is doing a beautiful job of keeping me on top of the snow at moderate speeds (can't have been going more than 30km/h here)
Now I'm sure that's more than enough rambling! If anyone has specific questions they'd like to ask fire away, I know there's still not much out there about this board but it definitely lives up to the hype!