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K2 Simple Pleasures Review

Accentuates the beauty in simply snowboarding
K2 Simple Pleasures
Photo: K2
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Price:  $600 List | $569.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Fun turns, powder, maneuverable
Cons:  Flex feels bland, harder to land jumps
Manufacturer:   K2
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 29, 2020
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 16
  • Edging - 25% 8
  • Float in Powder - 20% 8
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 8
  • Playfulness - 20% 7
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The K2 Simple Pleasures impressed us with its serious prowess on edge. The design and shape of the board create a stable turning platform, but its flex pattern is somewhat bland and lacks in turn sensation. What it lacks in sensation, it makes up for in ability. The Simple Pleasures provided just that — nothing but enjoyment. When things got firm, or we landed back seat, the board performed. The Simple Pleasures is for a higher lever rider looking to add a surf styled and capable board to their quiver.

Graphics Updates
K2 updated the graphics (shown above) for the Simple Pleasures board. It also has a 4000 sintered base instead of a 5500 carbon-infused sintered. It also has a new camber profile.

Compare to Similar Products

 
K2 Simple Pleasures
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $569.95 at Amazon$669.95 at Backcountry
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$679 List$598.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Fun turns, powder, maneuverableFloaty, precise edging, good construction, playfulUser friendly, turning experience, versatile, playfulResponsive, snappy, maneuverable, durable topsheet, powder performanceLoads of pop, stable, fun turning experience
Cons Flex feels bland, harder to land jumpsSwitch performanceTopsheet scratches easy, topsheet is slipperyBackseat landings, switch ridingAverage powder floatation, pop is less user-friendly
Bottom Line Simple pleasures is rightIf we could only buy one, this would be itHigh performance embedded with a consistently playful charterAgility meets stabilityA board fit for those sunny all-mountain laps filled with turns, methods, and straight lines
Rating Categories K2 Simple Pleasures Yes. Optimistic United Shapes Cadet Weston Backcountry Backwoods Jones Mountain Twin
Edging (25%)
8
10
8
9
8
Float In Powder (20%)
8
9
8
8
7
Stability At Speed (20%)
8
7
8
8
8
Playfulness (20%)
7
8
9
7
8
Pop And Jumping (15%)
7
7
8
8
9
Specs K2 Simple Pleasures Yes. Optimistic United Shapes Cadet Weston Backcountry... Jones Mountain Twin
Riding Style Alternative Freeride Alternative Freeride Freeride Freeride All Mountain Freestyle
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional Directional
Camber/Rocker Camber w/ early rise tips Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Camber Directional Multi-Radial Camber Rocker CamRock
Flex Medium Stiff Medium Medium Stiff Medium Stiff
Weight 6.39 (lb) 6.2 (lb) 6.22 (lb) 6.63 (lb) 6.1 (lb)
Tested Length 151 cm 151 cm 156 cm 157 cm 157 cm
Available Lengths 151, 156 cm 151, 154, 157 cm 144, 152.5, 156, 159, 162 cm 152, 152 wide, 157, 157 wide, 160, 160 wide, 163, 163 wide, 167, 167 wide cm 151, 154, 155, 157, 158, 160, 161, 162, 164, 167 cm
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Bambooyah Carbon-wrapped wood A11x (poplar, bamboo) Slayer (bamboo, poplar) FSC Mountain (dual-density wood, hardwood bamboo stringers)
Waist Width 26.1 cm 26.6 cm 25.6 cm 25.6 cm 25.3 cm
Radius 7.4 m 6.5 m 7.5 m 7.5/6.8/7.8 m 7.8 m
Taper 22 mm 6 mm 20 mm 18 mm 0 mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


This model helps to accentuate the simple things in snowboarding...
This model helps to accentuate the simple things in snowboarding like powder, groomers and methods.
Photo: Laredo

Edging


After the first turn on the K2 Simple Pleasures, we were hooting and hollering as we railed turns down a black diamond run of perfect corduroy. We will remember the turns we could hold on this board for a while — they were that incredible. We could go fully on edge without encountering heel drag on our size eight boot. This is attributed to the volume shifted profile of the snowboard. Volume shifted snowboards are shorter and wider to achieve the same stability of a longer, narrower board.

The primary benefit is that it mitigates toe or heel drag, which changes the ride of the board to require a little more effort to get up on edge. The added effort takes some getting used to on smooth snow, but it is incredible when you tune into it. It becomes a set it and forget it edging style when turning. The width of the board can be challenging in bumpy snow or rutted out powder areas because you can get bucked around. In slush, we were able to surf around and coexist with the inconsistency of the snow surface, thanks to the short tail and surfy shape.

The shape of this board is designed for carving and making beautiful arcs all over the mountain. Its camber profile and complimentary sidecut help create powerful turns of any radius and style. We felt the board was consistent in its turning power and accelerated out of the turns; the shape created a board that turns and turns well. However, its flex pattern was underwhelming.

While the flex was consistent through a turn, it lacks the liveliness that is responsible for in turn sensation and finishing acceleration. This board absolutely rails, which makes the experience fun despite a bland flex pattern. We reached for this model often because of its edging prowess. The Simple Pleasures board should appeal to anyone who wants to lay beautiful lines around the mountain.

The Simple Pleasures has a wider waist width which allows for...
The Simple Pleasures has a wider waist width which allows for average foot sizes to go full tilt.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Float in Powder


The Simple Pleasures brings the simplicity and elegance back to low angle snowboarding. Its shape and design bode well for float to be able to ride low angles than possible with some other boards in the category. This board has a wide waist width, shorter tail, and long rockered nose to strategically map out the surface area of the snowboard. The surface area is one of the main components of floatation and a key to minimizing back leg fatigue. Its short and volume shifted profile allows the Simple Pleasures to be incredibly nimble in tight areas, thus very enjoyable to ride in the trees. Overall, this board would please any powder enthusiast.

Stability at Speed


At higher speeds and in firm conditions, the Simple Pleasure is an impressively stable turning platform. We found the volume shifted platform and stiff nose to support a lot of power and speed. The board resisted chatter very well when straight-lining and turning; its stiff flex was able to plow through bumps, while the tail was reliable enough to catch our weight when we needed it most.

The volume shifted profile of the Simple Pleasures makes this 151...
The volume shifted profile of the Simple Pleasures makes this 151 ride like a 157.
Photo: Laredo

Playfulness


This model is playful on edge but less playful in flex. We were able to surf, slash, and ollie around the mountain in a playful style. However, it was less playful in regards to butters, due to its camber and stiff flex. The nose is pretty hard to flex in butters. If you're looking for a playful and buttery ride, better boards can suit your needs.

Snowsurf and volume shifted shapes help you to enjoy the simple...
Snowsurf and volume shifted shapes help you to enjoy the simple pleasures of snowboarding.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Pop and Jumping


This board is fun to get in the air, as its long nose becomes a platform to load your ollie. If you're not used to popping off a smaller tail, it will take some getting used to because there is less to lean on. The tail is quite stiff and has a strong pop to help your ollies and jumping. When we landed backseat, we were able to recover more often than not due to the stiffness of the tail.

The smaller tail of the Simple Pleasures is generally stiff enough...
The smaller tail of the Simple Pleasures is generally stiff enough to recover from backseat landings.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Value


The Simple Pleasures offers a turning experience and unique ride that supports its value statement. We think it can change your outlook on the mountain. K2 is a widely available snowboard brand, and with some searching around, you are likely to get a good deal on this board.

Conclusion


Thanks to its wide waist width and stiffer camber profile, the K2 Simple Pleasures might change the way you look at turning. It provides a stable ride for strong arcing turns but allows you to slash and surf the mountain. This board is a great choice for intermediate to advanced riders looking to add to their quiver to carve and surf the mountain in whatever condition they may find themselves in.

Our face after riding the Simple Pleasures says it all.
Our face after riding the Simple Pleasures says it all.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Isaac Laredo