Sizes Available: 5’1″ 18 1/4″ x 2 1/8″ – 21.6L, 5’3″ x 18 3/4″ x 2 1/4″ 24.2L
Sizes Tested: 5’1” x 18 ¼” x 2 1/8” – 21.6L
It’s the brand new 2022 Whip shape, but in our premium D/LAB construction that brings another level of performance and durability. The key feature of the new D/Lab construction is the new Reflex Memory Foam Shock Absorber on the deck of the board, making D/Lab boards feel incredibly more responsive on the water, even compared to SLS boards. Notably lighter than our Cork Shock Absorber, the RMF also boasts key technical benefits including the magical property of memory. If you land hard from your freestyle tricks and put a small dent in the deck, it will over time gradually push the dent out to its original shape and your board will stay looking like new for longer.
The all-new Whip D/LAB is a great board for pushing the progression of all your freestyle tricks and one of our team’s most highly regarded performance surfboards that is guaranteed to put you in all the right places on the wave from tight in the pocket to above the lip and into big open faced carves in small to medium waves. There’s lots to love about this board – incredibly light, very durable and capable of excelling in waves and in the air. All you have to do is jump on board and reap the rewards!
Visit for more info: www.duotonesports.com/kiteboarding/boards/surfboards/whip-d/lab/
This year the Whip is available in two levels of construction. While Duotone offers both the SLS or D/Lab options, for this year’s test, we got our hands on the all new D/Lab version of this longstanding surf/freestyle model. It’s worth noting that Duotone has been a leader in pushing surfboard construction and the latest D/Lab developments once again establish new boundaries in feel, weight and durability.
Design and Features
The new D/Lab construction comes in two sizes (5’1” and 5’3”) and beyond this year’s changes to the template and rocker design, the Whip D’Lab swaps the shock absorber in the deck from cork to Duotone’s new RMF material. Because the RMF material doesn’t absorb resin during construction, the board is lighter in weight and offers a soft dampening effect that takes the edge off chop and adds to the natural flex of the board.
While the weight reduction and template are hands down a favorite for strapless freestylers, this year, the Whip has received some subtle yet significant changes to its shape that make a considerable difference in its wave riding abilities. For 2022, the board’s nose template around your front foot has gotten narrower with a bit more rocker that helps the board pivot and recover in tight snaps without the nose getting caught or slowing the turn. The rail shape is slightly rounder under your front foot and narrows to a sharp release in the new tail shape which does away with the wings from the previous year. By revamping the tail the Whip still has a narrow tail that is really reactive for sharp turning but without the winglets the initiation is smoother and offers more control.
The Whip still features the same bottom shape as years past with a double concave channel right down the middle, a soft, rounded spine down the center and a gentle overall concave through the whole board. The center channel goes from light in the nose to a little bit deeper and wider throughout the tail. The Whip comes with a nice minimalist ¾ deck pad with fine corduroy that features cut-outs to keep down on weight. The kickpad has a mild bump down the center which fits into your foot’s arch and a solid kick at the end to keep you planted on the board during aggressive maneuvers. The center portion of the rail has a bevel which helps with grabbed airs, and like most boards that push lightweight boundaries, it doesn’t come with inserts for straps and therefore is a dedicated strapless board.
The most apparent quality of the Whip D/Lab is the mind-blowing light weight of the deck when you hold it in your hands, but what struck us most was how that lightness blends with the Whip’s flex and shock absorption properties at the same to feel unbelievably active and forgiving under foot. From our first tack out into the choppy waters, we could feel a little bit of give in the deck that translated to a slightly softer feel where the rougher chop hits are absorbed in the deck. If super light boards are known for being stiff and harsh, the RMF material underfoot makes the Whip feel super comfortable while not going so far as to muddy the active feel of the board.
While the Whip is much more than a strapless board, the hi-tech blend of construction used in the D/Lab makes it one of the most flickable freestyle boards that still retains its surf pedigree. The Whip feels astonishingly fast and efficient through the water which makes it easy to gather enough speed to launch really big airs. The tail template and rocker are super easy to load and release for clean jumps with good amplitude. The Whip’s weight savings really come alive when you feel the board floating through jumps, impressively sticking to your feet during the entire duration of the air. If you’re having a hard time staying connected through the last quarter of your strapless airs, you’ll find the Whip comfortably glued to your feet through the end. The channeling combined with the RMF shock absorber make landings feel extra soft and easy to ride away from.
In terms of wave riding, this year’s changes make the Whip feel incredibly versatile in the surf. The Whip has always been a strong performer in small and medium size waves but with the additional nose rocker and super controlled carving off the tail it felt like you could add as much speed and charge the face more critical of the wave while still maintaining control over the board. The drive through turns felt very positive with the tail having a lot of grip that provided us with confidence during higher speed bottom turns and it felt like it took a little more effort to release the fins. The side to side stability during transitions and tacks felt fairly forgiving for those that are still getting their footwork locked down.
Overall, the D/Lab construction pushes the envelope on weight reduction while improving the flex and dampening feel by a noticeable amount. This is an award-worthy combination that accentuates everything from the Whip’s very capable freestyle abilities to its improved performance surf aptitude. While the Whip has historically been designated as a small to medium size shredder, we think it’s tuned up handling will encourage you to push it into bigger conditions with no problems. Riders who place a premium on surfboard weight and feel will find the new D/Lab Whip an exciting step forward that will help push boundaries in both their surf and air game.
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