Dash Panel is a term used to refer to two different objects in the Kirby series which have a similar function, but do not look or behave exactly the same way. They appear in Kirby's Dream Course and Kirby Air Ride.
In Kirby's Dream Course
In Kirby's Dream Course, a Dash Panel is a red tile with chevron-shaped lights that flow in one of four cardinal directions. When Kirby rolls onto this panel, he will be rapidly accelerated in the direction shown, with the final resulting speed and direction depending on how long he stayed on the panel and what his original velocity was.
Dash Panels should not be confused with the blue Kick Panels that they are sometimes paired with on certain boards. Kick Panels redirect the user to a specific angle of travel but do not accelerate them, while Dash Panels create a big acceleration in the direction they point, but only add to the user's velocity angle and speed, rather than forcing it into a particular state.
In Kirby Air Ride
In Kirby Air Ride, a Dash Panel (referred to in the North American manual as Boost Panel) is an object that makes up part of a race track in Kirby Air Ride. It is a section of floor that glows green (usually with an arrow pointing in the direction it will boost), and will cause a vehicle to rapidly accelerate when the player either taps the charge button, or will happen automatically if a wheel-based vehicle is used.
The Dash Panel boosts the player's Air Ride Machine when activated. It is present in every Air Ride course but Nebula Belt, and spawns in the Grass Top Ride course. There are many different kinds of dash panels, and they come in many different sizes. Only the large and medium ones are found in Air Ride courses. Small ones are found in certain Stadium events.
Most dash panels are green in color. Besides differences in size, there are two different kinds - The kind that appears as two green chevrons change the player's direction when boost is activated immediately into the direction it is pointing in, regardless of the player's original direction. The other kind, which resembles two green diamonds stacked on each other, does not change the player's direction, but simply applies the boost in the current direction.
The last one, only present in the Drag Race #2 Stadium, is not a panel at all, but a vertical yellow-orange, semi-transparent energy field that boosts the player when passed through.
Since the green ones cover a certain area, there is a technique in Air Ride mode referred to as double or even multiple-boosting, whereby the panel is activated multiple times as the player's Air Ride Machine passes over it to maximize speed gain. The efficacy of the technique is affected by the size of the Air Ride Machine - the larger the machine, the more difficult it is to perform multiple boosts using one Dash Panel.
- Named in the North American Kirby's Dream Course instruction booklet, page 51
- "Top Ride: GRASS Finish 1st and hit 5 or more Dash Panels!" --one of the Top Ride Checklist objectives in Kirby Air Ride
- "It's easy to skid on this course because most of it is made of ice! Even during Boosts, your top speed will not decrease dramatically, so race aggressively and use the Boost Panels!" --Kirby Air Ride North American instruction booklet, page 36