K2 Bottle Rocket Review
- Designed to be ridden shorter makes it more fun
- Light and poppy
- Great for the park
- Not for traditionalists
- Mediocre in powder
With boards like last year’s Cool Bean, K2 has been pushing the envelope of board design and ushering in the philosophy of shorter is better. New for 2017, the Bottle Rocket is fun thanks to surfy turns and is laced out with a cool retro graphic. While it’s a great board for the park, it suffers in deeper powder.
Big brands like K2 and small brands like Spring Break have been having a great time with board design of late. One emerging trend is smaller pow boards. Most make up for lost surface area from the shortness by adding width, arguing that a shorter board is more maneuverable.
The Bottle Rocket adheres to the shorter is better philosophy. K2 advises that riders size down by 3cm-5cm. A true twin, the symmetrical Bottle Rocket is a hybrid camber board, like just about every other all mountain board out there. Since it’s softer than the other boards in the test, it loves to butter.
And it’s tough not to love the retro graphics that probably pre-date K2’s snowboards and harken back to the days of straight skis.
Shorter boards are easier to maneuver than their longer counterparts. This quality makes you approach the mountain differently because a direction change is so easy. Even though the Bottle Rocket is wider than similar boards, the added girth doesn’t slow it down too much. Flat between the feet, it rides loose, closer to a reverse camber deck than most other hybrid camber decks in this test.
POP + ENERGY
Full-length carbon stringers provide proficient pop for the Bottle Rocket. And K2’s “ollie bars” that are located between your bindings and built from carbon, Kevlar, and urethane also help. These two design features help this loose-riding deck have plenty of vitality.
The Bottle Rocket is great for all mountain riding. This is the board for people who want to spend a lot of time in the park but want to get out on the rest of the hill, too. A true twin, this isn’t a great board for powder days because the rider is too far forward on the board. Even if you offset your stance, you’re working against the design of the board.
Right down the middle–there’s no added tech to the Bottle Rocket for turning, but it holds an edge just fine.
SUSTAINABILITY + CRAFTSMANSHIP
Built overseas, K2 isn’t overt about any environmental initiatives in building the Bottle Rocket.
We tested these boards in the Eastern Sierra, in and around Mammoth and June Mountain. Testing began at a trade show in February, where we took about 15 boards. We rode each for about an hour. After that, we whittled the number down to the six tested riding all the way into August thanks to Mammoth record breaking season. They were open daily until August 6. We rode in all conditions from bulletproof hardpack to pow and everything in between.
Stephen Krcmar splits his time between Mammoth Lakes and Los Angeles. A snowboarder, cyclist, and motorcycle guy, he skied 76 days last winter. He’s written about the outdoors for more than 16 years.