The K2 Joy Driver is a brand new board for 2015/16 and, along with their CarveAir and Cool Bean, one that they’re making a lot of noise about. As well they might; it’s an evolution of the mega-selling (but now dearly departed) Zeppelin, and the brainchild of big-mountain hero Lucas Debari.
While the profile is one of K2’s signature concoctions, it’s essentially a camber board that’s great for carving and charging. Backcountry freestyle is its sweet spot, but you can get plenty from this even if you’re not a beardy freerider.
Some boards designed by (and for) big-mountain hellions can be a bit on the heavy side due to prioritising a stable ride, but the Joy Driver is surprisingly light and responsive without compromising on high-speed control. The core is mainly bamboo with added urethane, and the high-quality sintered base is as fast as they come.
Another weight saving comes from cutting out the traditional topsheet layer and printing the graphic directly onto the fibreglass. In that respect it’s almost like a wolf in sheep’s clothing; if you want to get nimble with it, whether through the park or on the piste, you definitely can. Then you can take it to the steep and deep and unleash the beast.
It may not have the visual impact of K2’s other new additions, but this is the only one with serious all-round chops.