The K2 Happy Hour introduced a micro camber in 2014 and kept the same design for 2015 which makes it seem like a small addition but it’s actually a big change to the all around ride. It’s changed from a good board that was missing something on a turn/carve to a great board that is fun to turn and carve. The 2014 and 2015 K2 Happy Hour is a better ride than the previous flat camber models. They were fun but not as fun as the new hybrid camber models.
2014-2015 K2 Happy Hour Review – Other than a few minor tweaks the ride of the 2015 K2 Happy Hour is only slightly refined from the 2014 model.
Conditions: 2 days with almost perfect snow and 1 day with good snow with some ocasional hard areas on the mountain.
Riders: James, Peter and Jimbo
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Nike Kaiju,
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Cartel Limited, Burton Diode, Flux SF45, Flux DS30, Burton Genesis,
Set Up: approx 23″ wide, centered, 15 front and -15 back
On Snow Feel: Just like the old flat model the K2 Happy Hour with camber still has that very stable feeling but it’s got a little more consequence than before now. It’s a poppy playful aggressive all mountain freestyle ride for those that like to ride centered all around the mountain, hit the park and pipe. It feels more aggressive than the flat model but still less catchy than a true camber. It would stoke out a technical rider who primarily rides hard but want’s to occasionally take it mellow.
Powder: Neither Happy Hour were really impressive in what little thick off piste snow we found. It’s better than traditional camber but I’d say it’s probably a little bit less than the flat when it comes to easy float in thick powder. If you mainly ride soft and fluffy with a centered stance then it will be fine. The nose and tail have a design that wants to float well but the flat and camber don’t make it super easy. It will plane well but not float effortlessly. It’s more for the old school rider.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The K2 Happy Hour’s turn initiation personality completely transformed over the flat to rocker model. The edge to edge transitioning is so much more lively and fun. It took this board from a fun but not very well rounded ride to a very well rounded all mountain freestyle ride. Short radius turns require some knowledge on how to turn with out skidding the tail but they are also quick. If you know what you are doing you can keep it tight and quick edge to edge in most terrain. As you widen it out it’s still fun and there is a little spring out of it. When it comes to carving it’s a huge transformation over the flat model. The flat was just off where this has the spring of a mellow camber board.
Speed: Pretty fast and fun for a twin. The base has a good glide and the medium flex handled speed really well. It’s got enough speed to have no problem all over the mountain.
Uneven Terrain: The K2 Happy Hour is going to handle slowing down and dealing with a crowded day rather well. We hit some chewed up crappy sections on the mountain and it didn’t punish the body powering through it. Pair these up with a good set of bindings like the shock absorbent Company IPO and you have a fun ride.
Edge Hold: Prety solid edge hold and almost up there in the great side of things. It would be nice to see a little bump or special side cut but it’s holding pretty well in most conditions you want to ride. The little bit of camber after the bindings gives it a little extra bite than the older flat model. Making some turns in steep hard snow held well enough but didn’t feel 100% secure.
Flex: Medium and lively. It feels really fun under your feet. The tip and tail don’t feel so stiff that you can’t butter.
Switch: Fine switch. Feels the same as regular.
Jibbing: For most of us we weren’t happy with the Happy Hour as much as boards like the WWW but Jimbo (our best rider) had no problem hitting medium level jibs, rails and such. It’s probably because we were on the 154 instead of the 157 which would of been a better fit for our specs.
Pipe: Much better than the flat version. It feels good driving from wall to wall and could make a great pipe board in most conditions you want to ride. Before it just felt a little off in the pipe.
Jumps: Really big improvement here too over the flat board. Its got more pop, ollies better, snaps better and hit’s kickers better. Really fun all around ride.
2013- 2012 K2 Happy Hour Review
The K2 Happy Hour is a reincarnated K2 Believer for riders who like to bomb the mountain and don’t care too much about carving or wide radius turns. This is a borderline aggressive all mountain freestyle ride and it’s also kind of fun to look at. Flat camber is hard to do well but K2 pulled it off.
Size 154 and 157
Conditions: Hard snow with a little light snow on top in some places and practically perfect soft groomed snow.
Riders: James, Peter, Jimbo, Kyle
Bindings: K2 Company IPO, Burton Cartel
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton Ion, DC Judge, Nike Kaiju
Set Up- Each time it was approx 23″ wide centered 15 front -15 back.
The Believer was discontinued for 2012 and then the K2 Happy Hour appeared. They have the same size’s, similar shapes (except for the pointy nose/tail) and similar specs. The happy hour is definitely a big improvement from the Believer. It’s very fast and stable for a board of this design with good all mountain speed comparable to many twins out there. The K2 Happy Hour has a fun look to it and the ride matches the fun. It’s pretty easy to see how many an aggressive all mountain freestyler can enjoy this ride despite some of it’s minor shortcomings.
On Snow Feel: So the Happy Hours flat camber is stable between the feet and it feels like it would be catchy but it’s not. Its very easy to one foot and flat base. It’s the kind of board that is made for riding the mountain regular or switch at higher speeds and looking for things to ollie off of. Its also fun to take a bigger aggressive approach to the park.
Powder: This is a twin with flat camber and a centered stance so it’s going to be easier than a camber board and tied with mostly camber hybrid camber boards but more work than almost any other hybrid or rocker shape.
Turn Initiation and Carving– it’s lifeless and lacking any return when it comes to even moderate carving. Short radius turns aren’t easy but very quick and it’s fun to go edge to edge as fast as you can. Medium radius turns are pretty fun too. Wider radius turns are where the fun starts to leave the board but it’s not terrible or anything. When you have a fast aggressive board like this it makes you want to carve and this is probably the only disappointment when it comes to the Happy Hour. It doesn’t really have a semi-circular type of carving turn like most boards. It seems to have trouble finishing at the end of the semi-circle and instead want’s to go angular. It’s not washy but instead just angular. Hard to explain but the bottom line is it just feels off and unrewarding. There also isn’t also a return or spring out of the carve after bending the board into one.
Speed: This is fast and very stable at speed for a twin. It’s not going to take out the K2 Slayblade or boards in that class but it’s one of the faster all mountain freestyle boards out there.
Uneven Terrain: Not bad for a more aggressive board when it comes to slowing down and negotiating bumps or shitty end of the day snow. If you put on a good shock absorbent binding its going to handle bumps like a car with medium shocks.
Edge Hold: Pretty good edge hold compared to most of K2’s Twins but still didn’t feel like you would want to take it out on snowment or ice. We’d say it’s closer to the Great side of Good.
Flex: None of us found it easy to butter and this is a pretty stiff ride for a twin. Most of us thought the flex with this shape was off for the average rider. It appeals to the more aggressive high speed all mountain freestyle rider out there.
Switch: Very easy either direction but that is what twin’s do.
Jibbing– The happy Hours flat camber can handle jibs but we’d much rather be on the Fastplant or WWW. It’s flex is just a little too stiff for really technical jibbing but it can play around fine with a wide box or mellow bonk. Let’s face it a really good rider (like Jimbo) didn’t have much trouble there but you can put him on a piece of plywood and he’ll ride it.
Pipe: The edge hold is there for most pipe days but if a board can’t carve well it’s not as fun in the pipe. Driving from wall to wall doesn’t feel as good as many boards we rode here.
Jumps: The Happy Hour is snappy when it comes to Ollie’s and it does a good job helping you generate your own air. It’s fun hitting kickers of any size and has a nice confidence inspiring approach to bigger kickers.
If you like to go fast and don’t get your thrills from aggressive turns or carves the Happy Hour could be a good choice. It definitely lives in the aggressive side of the all mountain freestyle world.