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 maneuverable board to their quiver.
K2 Simple Pleasures Review
Cons: Flex feels bland, harder to land jumps
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K2 Simple Pleasures
|Price||$599.95 at Amazon||$669.95 at Amazon|
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|$559.99 at Amazon|
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|$570 List||$479.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Fun turns, powder, maneuverable, floation||Floaty, precise edging, good construction, playful||Lightweight, well-made, fun, responsive, user-friendly, made in the USA||User friendly, turning experience, versatile, playful||Great value, versatile, stable, beautiful graphic|
|Cons||Flex feels bland, harder to land jumps||Tricky to size, unappealing graphic||Below average float||Top sheet scratches easy||Can slip on hardback|
|Bottom Line||Accentuates the beauty in simply snowboarding.||"That was totally wicked." -The Incredibles||Snowboarding can be hard; help lower the learning curve with this model.||Has a playful merit to its high-performance abilities.||Porsche performance at Honda prices.|
|Rating Categories||K2 Simple Pleasures||Yes. Optimistic||Never Summer Proto Type Two||United Shapes Cadet||Jones Explorer|
|Float In Powder (20%)|
|Stability At Speed (20%)|
|Pop And Jumping (15%)|
|Specs||K2 Simple Pleasures||Yes. Optimistic||Never Summer Proto...||United Shapes Cadet||Jones Explorer|
|Camber/Rocker||Camber w/ early rise tips||Hybrid-Rocker/Camber||Hybrid-Rocker/Camber||Camber||Hybrid-Rocker/Camber|
|Weight||6.39 (lb)||6.2 (lb)||6.2 (lb)||6.22 (lb)||6.44 (lb)|
|Available Lengths||151, 156cm||151, 154, 157cm||152,154,157,160,153X,155X,158X,161X,164X||144, 152.5, 156, 159, 162cm||152,156,158W,159,161W,162,164W cm|
|Core Material||Bambooyah||Carbon-wrapped wood||Wood||A11x (poplar, bamboo)||Wood|
|Radius||7.4m||6.5m||7.6 toe/7.3 heel||7.5m||7.5m|
Our Analysis and Test Results
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 were able to hold on this board for a while - they were that incredible. We could go fully on edge without encountering heel drag on our size 8 boot, which is attributed to the volume shift of the snowboards profile. 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. It also takes some getting used to on smooth snow, but is incredible when you tune into it. The width of the board can be challenging in bumpy snow or rutted out powder areas, where we were getting 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.
The flex of the Simple Pleasures, while it was consistent through a turn, also lacks liveliness throughout that is responsible for in turn sensation and finishing acceleration. This board absolutely rails and is nimble while doing it, 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.
Float in Powder
Based on the review period of this board, we haven't had the opportunity to test it in powder extensively, and thus, this metric is still in progress. The shape of this board indicates good powder flotation. The direction camber blends early to behave like a long rockered nose and promotes flotation. We expected its long nose, shorter tail, and taper to help keep the front foot up and minimize back foot fatigue. We believe the design of this board will provide excellent floatation.
Stability at Speed
At higher speeds and on firm conditions, the Simple Pleasure is an incredibly stable turning platform. We found the volume shifted platform and a stiff nose to support a lot of power and speed, which we never overwhelmed by. 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.
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, but it was less playful in terms of butters, due to its camber and stiff flex. The nose is pretty hard to flex in butters, and when you do, it wants to release the energy in terms of pop. If you're looking for a playful and buttery ride, better boards can suit your needs.
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 Simple Pleasures offers a turning experience and unique ride that is well worth the MSRP price. 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.
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 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.
— Isaac Laredo