The K2 Raygun is a good do anything snowboard that will appeal to a broad spectrum of ability levels, riding preferences and has a fun feel to it where ever you go on the mountain. The K2 Raygun has kept the same general ride and feel over the last few years and can it can act like a centered all mountain freestyle ride and a also be a set back all mountain board.
Conditions: 1.5+ feet of thick but fun Sierra powder, some slushy groomers, a perfect groomer day and a cold very windy hard day.
Riders: James, Jimbo,
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial
Bindings: Burton Cartel, Burton Cartel Limited, Union Force, Flux SF45
Set Up: Centered most days Approx 23inches wide 15 front -15 back. Set back all the way on the pow day 23″ wide with 15 front -6 back.
Thanks to P3 in Mammoth for the Demo and K2.
The K2 Raygun Snowboard has an excellent price point and a very good reputation. Despite that there were no expectations on our end for how this board rides. All we can say is this is one of the better hybrid shape boards in this price range. There wasn’t a rider at The Good Ride of any level that didn’t have fun on this board. With the exceptions of a few minor tweaks there is very little difference between the 2011, 2012 and 2013 models. If you are cheap advanced to expert all mountain rider or a beginner/intermediate rider the Raygun should do it’s job.
On Snow Feel: The Raygun is flat between the feet and then turns up after the bindings giving a lot more rocker going on than their almost completely flat jib rocker profile. It’s not super poppy but makes for a very stable predictable ride that many entry to mid level riders will appreciate. It has stability when flat basing and one footing/skating off of the chair but it’s still very forgiving. Its the kind of board that will allow you to center up the stance for most days and learn a solid all mountain freestyle approach on the mountain or hit up the park. On the deeper days it gives you the option to set the stance back so you can stay afloat which is a nice bonus for the entry level rider or rider that doesn’t like to ride switch in powder. Nothing stands out here but It’s the kind of board that allows you to do everything well which is hard to do at this price point.
Powder: We had a bit of powder today. At best there was 6 inches and at worst there was none. We did find a few stashes that had a consistant 6 inches of snow everywhere and the K2 Raygun did an excellent job. It has pretty good float and planes very well. All in all it did a good job with a centered stance.
Turn Initiataion and Carving– With the Flat between the feet and the rocker after the Turbo Dream had a very smooth predictable ride and easy edge to edge. We all had an easy time making short or long turns. Mellow wide radius turns feel true compared to K2’s Flatline and mostly flat boards we tried. When it came to laying down a hard carve the Raygun didn’t wash out but also didn’t have that fun kind of spring out of the turn. It could get a little washy and you had to be careful laying into a harder carve.
Speed: Well we didn’t expect much in the speed category here and our expectations were correct. The soft flex and mid tier base doesn’t make for a bomber ride but it’s fun to cruise with this board. It’s not ideal straight lining a big firm hill.
Uneven Terrain: It handles bumpy terrain very well and it’s going to be easier to deal with a wrong turn down a mogul run or deal with tracked up snow at the end of the day.
Approximate Weight– Light but not a featherweight. The Raygun is not heavy enough for us to notice it on a chair. Pretty light for a board of this price range while still feeling sturdy.
Edge Hold: This board is not going to compete with some of the other boards that have slight extensions along their side cut. Still it did a good job in the varying conditions we were riding in. Often times we would be in soft snow and then it would suddenly disappear and we’d be on rather firm hard pack conditions.The Raygun doesn’t have a confidence inspiring hold in harder conditions but you could do a lot worse. This is good in firm but as the snow turns to what we call snowment you begin to loose hold.
Flex: Pretty soft and playful. Very easy to butter and press with this board. It’s got a fun flex.
Switch: If you want to learn how to ride switch you need a twin. Also you need a board that is easy and predictable to turn. The K2 Raygun is a perfect board for people who want to get better riding switch or people who want to learn.
Jibbing: There is still a pretty decent flat area between the bindings so it’s not bad jib board for dealing with moderate to easy boards
Jumps: It’s not super poppy but the Raygun could generate some air over little obstacles around the mountain. If you are looking for fun on small to medium kickers the K2 Raygun will do a good job. If you are looking to go bigger then look for something with a slightly stiffer flex and more stability.
All in all we were very impressed with the K2 Raygun and found it to be a great board for the mellow mood my friend and I were in.