DUOTONE Whip D/LAB 5’3 2022 Kitesurfing Review

DUOTONE Whip D/LAB 5’3 2022

Reviews / Surfboards

DUOTONE 102,827

At A Glance

The Duotone Whip has been a staple in their lineup for so long now it's hard to think of a time without it. Over the years, it has undergone many changes, but the same basic design principles remain. The board is a compact design, meaning a stubby nose and tail. This offers a few advantages; it feels snappier on the wave and cuts down on weight. In addition, the longer drawn out rails offer plenty of grip in the turns.

Of course, it makes it a decent size for travelling, and this is one of my favourite boards to take on a kite trip. It's designed to be a very competent all-rounder that can handle a myriad of conditions and wave sizes. The aggressive channels underneath remain for 2022 with the big news being the D/LAB moniker and what that means for the board.

D/LAB is the name given to the top end products coming out of Duotone right now; it is used across the range on products where only the highest end materials are used to develop high-performance products. On the Whip, this means a new Reflex Memory Foam Shock Absorber.

The board is still packed with the same high tech construction seen on the SLS model. The Innegra Shield ensures it's tough and durable, and the Carbon Beam reduces weight and keeps the board lively on the water. The new Reflex Memory Foam Shock Absorber replaces the cork shock absorber in the SLS version.

The new material, as the name suggests, has a memory allowing it to return to its original shape. This means any pressure or heel dents from long sessions or hard landings will magically disappear over time. In essence, the board fixes itself, which is great for the long term resale value and riders who want their gear to look like new.

Sizes: 5'1", 5'3"

On The Water

I rate this board as one of the best single-board quivers you can own. It's a compact size, great for travelling, transporting in small cars, and storing at home. The real beauty, though, lies in the versatility of the design. The smaller plan form is great for strapless freestyle, and the construction offers a dynamic and lively pop. In the air, the lightweight and small shape sticks to your feet like glue, and the channels underneath help to smooth out harsh landings and give you control when landing and riding on the nose.

In the waves, though, this shape really shines. Sometimes it is difficult to get a good freestyle board that can ride well in the waves; the compromise is often too difficult to make it work. The Whip, though, absolutely shreds in the waves. I've had it in small onshore mush to large double overhead down the line charges, and the board handles it all with aplomb. The only time it feels a little lacking is in really large sucking and dumping waves, where sometimes the drop can leave you feeling a little underconfident in the boards' ability. But in 99% of the waves you are likely to encounter, the Whip will absolutely shred.

We've ridden the board now for a few months and so far haven't noticed any heel dents or pressure marks on the deck. A plus point for the new Reflex Memory Foam Shock Absorber.

Overall

The ultimate swiss army knife, the Whip D/LAB can shred a wide variety of waves with few limitations and is a fantastic partner for your freestyle endeavours. The ultimate construction; it's light, durable and feels lively underfoot, with a snappy response in the pocket and plenty of drive through the turns.

Videos

This review was in Issue 91 of IKSURFMAG.

For more information visit DUOTONE

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By Rou Chater
Rou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!

Tried this? What did you think?