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Snowboards

K2 Cool Bean 2019-2020 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 138, 144, 150
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: FlatRock
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: £370
  • BUY ONLINE

The Cool Bean is a board with a weird and wonderful shape, but it’s not just done to catch eyes in the lift queue, every part is specifically thought out and purposefully designed. 

It uses K2’s Volume Shift, which takes volume out of the length of the board and instead puts it in the width. You’re able to ride a much shorter board, but it will retain the stability and float of one far longer.

“The swallow tail reduces the surface area in the rear of the board, causing it to sink deeper in the deep snow, further accentuating the effect of the nose rising”

The overall surface area remains the same, but now the board is more manoeuvrable, has a tighter turn radius and is able to spin quicker. Get this thing through the trees and you’ll be zipping in and out with ease. 

The Cool Bean is mostly flat, with a directional rocker in the tip and tail. The nose has a more prominent rocker to keep it from sinking in the deeper snow. It’s got a significant setback as well, with a long spoon nose and a short stubby tail which will keep your weight centred over the tail – say goodbye to that burning back leg when riding powder. 

The swallow tail reduces the surface area in the rear of the board, causing it to sink more in the deep snow – further accentuating the effect of the nose rising. It also allows both sides to flex independently of one another, leading to increased mobility and better edge hold through the end of a carve on piste.

You want to ride the Cool Bean shorter than your normal board. It’s still surprisingly versatile despite its funky shape. The tight, tapered sidecut makes carving on a short board not just a reality, but a pleasure. It floats, it rips, it slashes, it carves – sounds cool to us. 

Tester’s Verdict

Paul WoolProfessor

“What a great snowboard the weird and wonderful K2 Cool Bean is, an absolute pleasure year after year. Being a big fan of the short and fat boards (do these have proper name yet?) the Cool Bean is one of my all time favourites.
I love the big rockered nose and tiny tail in powder, as long as you keep your speed you can go where the longer boards can’t. Facilitating extremely tight surf-style turns, big slashes and unchartered tree runs. This light and nimble board is always choice favourite on a powder days.

“This light and nimble board is always choice favourite on a powder day”

It isn’t limited to powder by any stretch of the imagination. This board is a hell of a lot of fun just about anywhere. That tiny stiff tail acts like a rudder navigating you through slush and choppy terrain like no other board can. Its wide base and rocker profile gives more stability than you would imagine. Although it won’t give you the pop of a bigger more flexible board, its small size and light weight means you can jump moguls and side hits with a refreshingly different dexterity.

It carves very well for a board of its profile and size. Naturally better at slower, tight, responsive, turns, it opens up new possibilities when carving. But this comes at a price as is it easily gets out of control. I’ve definitely had my fair share of edges slipping out on very low carves and it gets out of control easily at speed.

I’m a huge fan of the K2 Cool Bean. Its a great example of a short and fat rocker, that’s a breath of fresh air on powder. Its versatility on the rest of the mountain, although nice and different, may be overshadowed by the new Nidecker Mosquito which shares many of the great characteristics of the K2 on powder BUT has far better power and control when carving and charging.

For me the Mosquito pips the Cool Bean at the post, but do not be put off by this board – it’s a modern classic which, if you’re up for the challenge, offers an unlimited supply of good times. For me it is a great second board, a true snowboard curiosity, and a perfect way to inject some vigour into a snowboard trip.”

Tester’s Verdict 2018/19

John Wellswhitelines.com

“Accept no imitations: this is the ultimate short ‘n’ fat, setback rocker. Small, lively, and mischievous, if this board were a dog it would be a Jack Russell crossed with the best day of your life.

It all started when a K2 rep came up to me with what i thought was a travel sized ironing board. Historically i’m not one for new experiences, “NO CHANCE! Get that thing away from me. Its got no tail for Christ’s sake, and why does it have the shape of a cartoon bomb?” I yelled. “Just try it, just one run, please!” the K2 rep replied. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how my life changed forever… my snowboard life, that is.

“If this board were a dog it would be a Jack Russell crossed with the best day of your life”

I had some incredible powder experiences on this bad boy which produced some serious smile-induced face cramps. That giant bulbous shovelhead mixed with the heel & toe drag eliminating width make this board float like nothing else. That tiny stiff swallow tail opens up your back foot to give unparalleled turning and slashing capabilities.

In my (correct) opinion, the ‘surf’ term gets bandied about too liberally in snowboarding but, holy shit, it felt like i was killing it in the WSL on this little rocket ship. Its short size makes it terrifyingly responsive. It takes a corner like Mario Kart, holding turns nice and tight to give a refreshing whippy feel.

But here is the thing; this board isn’t some one trick powder pony. It is a hoot and a half on the groomers too. The small rocker shape will still hold an edge pretty damn well and that extra width means you aren’t getting any drag. However, don’t forgot this is still a super small rocker so you will get out of your comfort zone pretty quickly once you get some speed up.

Overall i was really shocked by the Cool Bean’s on-slope capabilities. In particular, it excels in freshly pisted snow and slushy spring snow. It is definitely a stiff board, so that tiny tail gives you just the right amount of pop. Its small size and light weight make it somewhat twitchy in the air, but a total blast on side hits and mogul gaps.

The sheer uniqueness of the Cool Bean makes it a challenge but no less a pleasure. It is the ultimate second board, a true snowboard curiosity, and a perfect way to inject some vigor into a snowboard trip. So good I have to get one.”

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