As soon as I pulled the Solo out of the box, I realized that Slingshot and Dylan Miller had come up with a board that is definitely unique. The board I tried was a size bigger than the LF Deluxe I normally ride, but it was narrow in comparison, with the inserts placed farther toward the center of the board than what I am used to, allowing for a seriously narrow stance (the Dylan Miller signature). I also have to say that I really liked the narwhal graphic!
On the water, the board was very comfortable to ride. The narrow width made it feel like the larger size was the right-size board, just with extra tip and tail. It has a moderately soft flex throughout but is stiffer in the midsection, so it didn’t ride like a wet noodle. The flex tip is extremely soft, but because of the extra length in tip and tail, it didn’t negatively affect the way the board reacted on the water, and I was able to ollie onto even the highest rails with ease. The channels that run through the middle of the board stop before the tip and tail, so it gave traction while on the water, but it didn’t interfere on the rails at all. There is a gentle concave in the tip and tail that flexed to become flat when on a box-style feature, so it didn’t get in the way and hugged pipe rails nicely, adding extra stability. Although I am normally not a fan of any spine on a cable board, the Solo’s spine was so mellow that it didn’t negatively affect me, even on the pipe rails where it usually would. On the other hand, I also didn’t notice much benefit from the spine on the water or on landings off the kicker, and it landed only slightly better than a flat-bottomed board.
The most noticeable aspect of the Solo is definitely that it was designed to be ridden big with a slightly narrower stance, allowing for a lot of tip and tail. Board slides and lip slides were really fun because you can poke it out a lot and easily get both boots to one side of the rail. Nollies and pokes were so easy to do with just a slight bend of a knee that it was really fun to add these little maneuvers in as I rode around the park. On the other hand, I did find it hard to overcome the extra tip and tail while pressing. Getting into a press was easy, but doing a crazy press was more difficult. It was also more difficult to release for air tricks, although if you’re riding this board, chances are you’re probably not doing it for air tricks.
Overall, the Solo was a fun board to ride around the park, and I enjoyed having that extra tip and tail to play with for a couple of days. The bottom contours, flex pattern and overall design are great for the park and riding features. Slingshot has taken Dylan’s style and approach to riding and created a solid design that is a super-fun board.