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K2 Simple Pleasures Review

Accentuates the beauty in simply snowboarding.
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Price:  $600 List | $599.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Fun turns, powder, maneuverable, floation
Cons:  Flex feels bland, harder to land jumps
Manufacturer:   K2
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 20, 2019
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 17
  • Edging - 25% 8
  • Float in Powder - 20% 7
  • 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 maneuverable board to their quiver.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Fun turns, powder, maneuverable, floationFloaty, precise edging, good construction, playfulLightweight, well-made, fun, responsive, user-friendly, made in the USAUser friendly, turning experience, versatile, playfulGreat value, versatile, stable, beautiful graphic
Cons Flex feels bland, harder to land jumpsTricky to size, unappealing graphicBelow average floatTop sheet scratches easyCan slip on hardback
Bottom Line Accentuates the beauty in simply snowboarding."That was totally wicked." -The IncrediblesSnowboarding 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
Edging (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Float In Powder (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Playfulness (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
Pop And Jumping (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs K2 Simple Pleasures Yes. Optimistic Never Summer Proto... United Shapes Cadet Jones Explorer
Shape Directional Directional Asymetrical-Twin Directional Directional
Camber/Rocker Camber w/ early rise tips Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Camber Hybrid-Rocker/Camber
Flex Medium Stiff Soft-Medium Medium Stiff
Weight 6.39 (lb) 6.2 (lb) 6.2 (lb) 6.22 (lb) 6.44 (lb)
Tested Length 151cm 151cm 157 156cm 159cm
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
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Bambooyah Carbon-wrapped wood Wood A11x (poplar, bamboo) Wood
Waist Width 26.1cm 26.6cm 26.3 25.6cm 25.4cm
Radius 7.4m 6.5m 7.6 toe/7.3 heel 7.5m 7.5m
Taper 22mm 6m 0 20mm 0mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The shape of the K2 Simple Pleasures gives it a surf styled approach to smooth snow.
The shape of the K2 Simple Pleasures gives it a surf styled approach to smooth snow.

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 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.

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

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.

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, 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.

Snowsurf and volume shifted shapes help you to enjoy the simple pleasures of snowboarding.
Snowsurf and volume shifted shapes help you to enjoy the simple pleasures of snowboarding.

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.

Value


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.

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 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.


Isaac Laredo