Pros:Good for handrails, Inexpensive
Cons:Worthless for anything else, Falls apart
The Bottom Line: If you do handrails, the Street Dweller is the only choice.
Catching an edge while sliding a rail has always been a problem for snowboarders everywhere. Catching an edge on a handrail has huge consequences because injuries or loads of pain can occur. The idea of an edgeless snowboard had never been experimented with by very many companies before Forum released the Street Dweller in circa 2004. Forum's team had always been known for their jibbing skills, so it was natural that Forum was first to release an edgeless snowboard.
Recommend this product?
Is a steel edge really needed?
For resort and other types of snowboarding that require you to turn, steel edges are necessary. The only thing an edgeless board is good for is street handrails and maybe jumps on small hills that you can hike, and don't have to turn or stop in a big hurry.
The Street Dweller only come in two sizes, 148 and 152. Both are small and agile enough for all types of rails. The graphics are the same on both of the sizes. Also included with the board is a "stencil kit" for complete customization of topsheet and base graphics.
I was presented the opportunity to buy this board for the measly sum of $80, which was an offer that I could not pass up (retails at $160). At that time I had been reading about the Dweller and wanted to give it a try. I had little expectations of the board, and it easily surpassed my expectations. I thought it was going to feel like a plastic, cheap, poorly made snowboard because of its low price. Forum did a great job with this one for making it look and feel just like a normal snowboard would.
It has the industry standard wood core and freestyle shape. The Dweller does not have Forum's slider system, and has only four pre-drilled holes for very limited stance options. I was able to still adjust the angle of my stance even through the width was unchangeable. The holes are set up so that your stance is perfectly centered in the middle of the board. The place where the edges should be is occupied by what appears to be an extension of the top sheet but is actually an ABS sidewall system.
After mounting my bindings onto the board, I was ready to find some street rails to slide. The first one my friends and I selected was a 15 stair, kink-less handrail. I noted that the smaller size and extra flex made it quite easy to pop onto the handrail. On that first handrail I especially noticed how much easier doing boardslides was (sliding the rail with your board horizontal to the rail). I also noticed the narrower length can create problems for those of us who have big feet.
I was really starting to feel comfortable on this board after sliding a variety of handrails and funboxes that I had set up. I had also used it to hit kickers on small hills because of its nice flex, lighter weight, and smaller size. This board works well riding small hills with not much snow because the edges on conventional boards attract mud and grass particles. After about two months using the board, the rails (sides) of the board began coming apart from all of the impact. The rail area of the board always takes the most abuse and the steel edges takes the abuse much better than the ABS sidewall on this board. I rode it for about another week before it was unridable.
Is this snowboard right for you?
I really enjoyed using the Street Dweller while it was still in good shape. It really does not fit the riding style of most snowboarders. It can't be used for freeriding or resort riding, and it also can't be used in a resort's terrain park because the only way to get it there is to carry it in a bag. Handrails are becoming more and more popular in the snowboarding world and if you would like to get into them the Dweller is your best option.
If you are looking for a board to ride in the park to prevent damage to your main snowboard, many companies have come out with snowboards that cost less and have more flex. Examples of these boards are the Capita Stairmaster and Burton Dominant. These boards are less expensive than other boards but more expensive than the Street Dweller. The Dweller is a good board but falls apart and could get expensive replacing if you slide handrails often.
Thanks to Openroad for adding this snowboard to the database.
Other Forum Snowboards
2001 Peter Line 155
2005 Devun Walsh 157