In any avid collection of longboards there’s that one board which you become especially fond of - taking it to the shops or hopping on it to work - not because it’s spectacular at doing one single thing, but because it’s a nice balance of aesthetic appeal, a good ride and an uncompromising size. Dusters have designed such a longboard with the Snapshot.
Refreshingly the Dusters Snapshot is all about being raw; which we absolutely love. Not only is the bamboo veneered deck beautifully exposed top to bottom, but the colourful blend of sun soaked imagery and wording upon it, convey a casually friendly board. This is big praise, but of all the longboards we’ve previously reviewed, the Snapshot has to take the trophy for best looking. It’s a fashion accessory that you want to be seen with, which the swallowtail shape only helps to confirm.
It measures 36” inches in length; but in spite of this, we found the front nose and tail made it feel a lot shorter. It has a contained centred weight of 3.4kg/ 7.5 pounds, that could feel substantial after 15-20 minutes lugging it around underarm. Having said that, in general the weight didn't cause us much concern and we especially liked the non-coarse grip that doesn't scratch your hands when handling it.
The entirety of the visible deck is bamboo veneer, but the actual materials that make up the rest of the deck aren't mentioned. We suspect it’s a mix of maple and bamboo, as the deck has a rigid, yet very mild spring-back when jumped on. It’s worth pointing out that clear broadcast grip, that boards such as this one feature, keep the wooden deck completely visible, unlike traditional black grip tape. Moreover, as evidence of the grip's strength, our Dusters Ace High skateboard, featuring the same clear grip, has been ridden heavily over two years and the grip remains stuck strongly onto the deck.
Dusters have included in-house 65mm translucent green wheels with an 83A measurement of hardness on Abec 7 bearings. The trucks are 150mm reverse kingpins, with 1/8” riser pads equipped. These are strong steel trucks, that solidify a rather respectable and loose setup that we wanted to ride really hard, to see just how it performed with the stiffer deck.
Highlights of this board are the slanted loose reverse kingpin trucks, with their riser pads keeping the deck relatively high from the ground and producing a clearance of 6.25cm. These make the Dusters Snapshot a superbly invigorating and surfy board that can flutter quickly in and out of turns. It's awesome for cramped areas like sidewalks, and it’s effective for pumping to keep the ride moving on the flat, as the trucks are so easy to build up a rhythm with. Whilst you can happily cruise gently along, this board is great for those occasions when you need a speedy dash to work or school because you’re late; it really is designed for that. The trucks turn so easily and to such an extent that the wheel arches have been shaved above each wheel to avoid them biting against the deck. It seems to work as we’ve never had any problems.
Standing on the Snapshot with its mildly dipped deck produces a comfortable ride, where the feet are secured with moderate grip. After riding the Dusters Snapshot for nearly six months we can see why they chose to use 65mm 83A pre-textured wheels, as we find they offer a softer passage over textured concrete and stones whilst keeping a hearty grip on wet ground. They also help to diffuse the stiffness of the deck, which in itself is also practical for control and turning. What’s more, we like the featured internal Abec 7 bearings that present a nice smooth roll and allow for a steady build-up of speed. This set-up produces a swift ride that is ideal for city living, and that high 6.25cm wheelbase makes things like curb drops a little easier.
Certainly the looseness of the trucks and moderate grip make steep long slopes and hills challenging when trying to remain on the board. This is because, as speed is built, the trucks feel looser, which really makes this kind of activity quite dangerous. Nevertheless, breaking into carving on the Dusters Snapshot, whilst bursting down milder slopes, is great fun. Certain tricks can be made on the Snapshot due to its little tail and nose and the wheels make sliding pretty easy on wetter ground. Though it's main expertise is being an exceptionally pleasant commuter.
Dusters have successfully translated a taste of both the image and feel of the sea within this longboard. The surfy ride of the beautiful sun-soaked Dusters Snapshot is an honest and fun setup for every longboarder, regardless of experience.