- Ollie Bar
- Flatline Technology
- Carbon Web
- Carbon Web
- WH3 Core
- Triaxial Glass
Rider: 6’3”, 175 pounds
Nose and Tail Width: 299mm
Waist Width: 251mm
Effective Edge: 120.3cm
Boots / Bindings: Salomon Faction/Flow The Five
Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, Crested Butte, NM backcountry
Days Ridden: 15+
K2 let their snowboarding team design every aspect of this punk-rocker board themselves, and it shows: The K2 Happy Hour looks New School.
It has a pointy nose and tail with bright and scribbled graphics that make for a strange-looking board that garners some sidelong glances in the lift line.
I’m the opposite of punk rock. I like classic rock. My clothes fit. I’d rather drop powder stashes than hit boxes. At first glance, the Happy Hour and I didn’t seem like a great match. But despite my Old-School leanings, I was intrigued. So when I had an opportunity to get my hands on one, I didn’t walk away.
My first thought about the board was how ugly it was: hunter orange with juvenile-looking doodles all over the top sheet. I’m talking fish-heads with antlers, people barfing into each other’s mouths, and tattooed devils with beer bellies. The base is a creepy monster hand with a bowie knife forearm that the team calls the “Grabby-Stabby.” I felt kind of ridiculous even holding it.
A day after I got the board, one of my buddies called to see if I wanted to ride some Santa Fe backcountry. We schwacked our way up through windblown powder stashes in tight aspens, and I noticed that the board felt light, both in my hand and later when I stashed it in my pack.
About forty-five minutes before dark, it started snowing hard, so we gave up on bagging the peak and strapped in.
The board floated nicely through the foot or so of powder, a happy medium between putting me too far on my back foot and nose-diving. It felt natural. I whipped the board back and forth through the small, tight trees, surprised at its responsiveness. I was stoked to be on a new board, but to be fully honest, I kind of forgot about it as I rode. It was just doing what I wanted (despite the 157-centimeter board really being on the short side for me). By the time we finished riding, I couldn’t wait to unleash this thing at Taos.
I had to wait a few days before I got up there, but my desire to ride was so strong, I’d often walk into my gear room just to size up the board. The tip and tail felt oddly thin and light, a result of the Hybridtaper construction K2 uses to feather out the core in those places, in the interest of reducing swing weight. The thickness goes from normal board width to alarmingly thin quite fast. I was concerned with how this would affect the board in powder and on the steeps.