- Price: £410 / €600
- Sizes: 151, 156
- Flex: 7
- Profile: Camber
- Shape: Directional
It’s occasionally been a struggle for ski brands that dabble in snowboarding to set themselves apart in a competitive market (remember Atomic Snowboards?). Fortunately for the folk at K2, they have two things going for them.
Firstly, they’ve been making snowboards since way back in 1987. Secondly, no-one’s had as much consistent success at making short ‘n’ stubby shapes as they have.
The K2 Simple Pleasures is a new addition to their ‘Enjoyer’ series for 2017/18, following on from the Cool Bean, CarveAir and Eighty Seven. Those were all well received when they first appeared, and we expect it to be the same for this one.
This has actually replaced the CarveAir in K2’s line, and while it shares a few similarities with one of our favourite boards of recent years, there are also a few differences.
The sidecut is a little shorter for one, as is the effective edge. Combined with the scaled-down size (K2 recommend downsizing by roughly 5 to 7 cm), this results in a fast-reacting board that’s a blast to turn.
"This is a fast-reacting board that’s a blast to turn"
The beefy waist width may take a little bit of pace out of edge changes, but it’s a fair trade-off for the sheer fun factor. The K2 Simple Pleasures can blast through thick porridgey slush with minimal drag, and floats beautifully in powder too.
"You could still boost around at a decent pace on this all day without ever feeling sketchy"
Rocker sections at each end help in that regard too - as does the shape of the nose and tail - but there’s still enough camber between the feet to power through the turns and get some proper pop off side hits.
As with most Enjoyer boards, the K2 Simple Pleasures looks the part too, but that topsheet’s not just for show. Made from cherry wood, it delivers a livelier ride, whilst the bamboo in the core ensures a nasty snap is far from likely.
A more conventionally-shaped board will be better at face-melting speed, but you could still boost around at a decent pace on this all day without ever feeling sketchy. The profile and directional shape of the K2 Simple Pleasures are ripe for pointing it, after all - it’s just that you can have heaps of fun tearing up the piste or pow at slower speeds too.
“Without fail, for the last few years we’ve ended up fighting over who gets to test K2’s latest Enjoyer Series boards - and this was no exception. While we’re sad to see the CarveAir go, fortunately the Simple Pleasures is a worthy replacement.
"The presence of some actual camber gives it the edge over the Party Platter or Bottle Rocket, for my money"
As with any smaller stick, I’d advise easing off the gas a little and just enjoying the ride. The shape is just perfect for flowing turns on the piste, with a waist that’s wide enough to make the downsizing work - especially in powder - without fully taking the piss.
The presence of some actual camber gives it the edge over the Party Platter or Bottle Rocket, for my money anyway. It’s obviously a lot more versatile than the Cool Bean too, to the point where you could picture a seasonaire spending their whole winter on one of these; nipping through tree runs in January, enjoying park laps and piste cruising once the pow is gone, and being the envy of everyone once the late-season slush appears.
Aside from those who are into wild graphics (which this definitely doesn’t have…) then it’s hard to imagine any rider who wouldn’t love the Simple Pleasures."
Tim Eddy - Team Rider, K2
"I lived in my truck all winter with minimal storage space, and this was my one and only all-mountain quiver killer board. Pow-pow, slush, groomers, and even some freestyle stunts when the opportunity arose.
It's got a dream-come-true combo of classic camber and tapered shape that delivers a responsive, lively ride anywhere and everywhere. At the same time it doesn’t lose maximum powder-floating surfability; it's all in that big beautiful nose!
Righteous sidecut and a wider waist are the ingredients for the most tasty deep carves, and the stiffer, shorter tail makes one heck of a stable rudder.
It's just a quality-over-quantity kind of board."