K2 Simple Pleasures ReviewMarch 13, 2018
- Designed to be ridden shorter makes it more fun
- Great for powder & riding the trees
- Not for traditionalists
- No bueno in the park
- Just two sizes
Big brands like Lib Tech and small brands like Spring Break have been having a great time with board design of late. One emerging trend is small boards that ride like surfboards. Most make up for lost surface area from the reduced length by adding width, arguing that a shorter board is more maneuverable. Lib Tech is even employing a surf shaper to design these decks.
The Simple Pleasures is part of K2’s Enjoyer series that includes the popular Cool Bean and adheres to the “shorter is better” philosophy. Designed be ridden at least 5 cm shorter than you’re normal board, initial direction changes are easy thanks to the abbreviated length.
All things being equal, shorter boards are easier to maneuver than their longer counterparts. With two lengths — 151 and 156 — the Simple Pleasure is designed to be ridden shorter: about 5cm – 7cm shorter than your normal deck. This makes riding trees as well as quick, slash like turns a breeze.
Even though the Simple Pleasures is wider than similar boards, the added girth doesn’t slow it down too much. And it’s great for riders with larger feet because that width reduces chances of toe drag. There’s rocker at the tip and tail, so it rides loose. Flat between the feet, it rides loose, closer to a reverse camber deck than most other hybrid camber decks in this test.
Pop & Energy
A bamboo-based core provides sufficient pop for the Simple Pleasures. And the camber between the bindings helps add power to your turns.
The Simple Pleasures is great for riding the groomers, sidecountry, and backcountry. And if you love the trees, you should consider this board. K2 is accurate with their assessment of the Simple Pleasure: 5 out of 5 for pow and groomers, 1 out of 5 for park/rails and jumps/pipe. So if you ride in a place with regular pow access and you love short, slashy turns, the Simple Pleasures should be on your short list.
Right down the middle—there’s no added tech to the Simple Pleasures for edge hold, but the grip is adequate.
Sustainability & Craftsmanship
Built overseas, K2 isn’t overt about any environmental initiatives in building the Simple Pleasures. But the core is built using quick-growing, earth-friendly bamboo, so they get a point for that.Continue Reading
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.