List Price US $529
K2 Instrument 2023 Snowboard Review

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Riding Style Freeride
Riding Level Intermediate - Expert
Fits Boot size (US) 8-10, 10-12
Manufactured in China
Shape Tapered Directional
Camber Profile Directional Camber
Stance Setback -20mm
Approx. Weight Feels Normal
Split No
Powder Great
Base Glide Good
Carving Great
Speed Good
Uneven Terrain Great
Switch Good
Jumps Good
Jibbing Average
Pipe Good
On Snow Feel

Stable

Turn Initiation

Medium/Fast

Skidded Turns

Moderate

Flex

Medium/Stiff

Buttering

Moderate

Edge Hold

Hard Snow

K2 Instrument 2023 Review by The Good Ride

Turn Ons/Swipe Right: Very versatile all conditions directional ride.
Turn Offs/Swipe Left: a little less pop than I would like but not a deal breaker.

Summary

We liked the K2 Instrument a little less than the Excavator but that is setting the bar high. This is a very versatile all conditions ride.

Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews and this is our unfiltered opinion. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.

K2 Instrument 2023 Snowboard Review- How it rides and who it is for

K2 Instrument Snowboard Review

How This Review Happened:

Borrowed this for an extended demo and sent it back.
Size: 157 & 154
Days: 6+
Conditions: Excellent late spring pow that felt like mid-winter, wet spring powder, varied spring conditions and some slackountry time with Drift Boards
Riders:
 James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs)
Boots: Burton Kendo
Insoles: F.I.T. Gamechangers
Bindings: Union Atlas
Jacket: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Tusk Jacket, Volcom Guide Jacket, Burton Gore-Tex 3L Treeline Jacket, Jones Peak Bagger Jacket. Burton AK Helitak Gore-Tex Jacket
Pant: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Hover Pant, Burton AK Gore-Tex 2L Swash Pant, Burton Gore-Tex Ballast Pant
Helmet: Smith Maze
Goggle: Smith 4D Mag
Gloves: Burton AK Clutch Mitt, Burton AK Clutch Glove, Burton AK Tech Leather Glove, Burton AK Tech Glove, CG Habitats Work Glove, Drop Tahoma Mitt,

Similar Boards (but not the same): Yes Pick Your Line, YES PYL Uninc, Burton Flight Attendant, Jones Flagship, Rossignol XV, Lib Tech BRD, Weston Backwoods, Season Nexus, Burton Cartographer, Burton Instigator, Never Summer Hammer, Cardiff Powgoda, Jones Mind Expander,

James’s Set Up: 21.5” Wide. Sance Angles +18/-3 in pow, +18/-9 on groomers. Close to Reference and Set all the way back.

How It Was Tested

I rode this often on the same day as the K2 Passport, K2 Excavator and K2 Alchemist.

Approximate Weight

The K2 Instrument felt pretty middle ground weight wise. (We don’t put in the exact weight because with wood cores there is no consistency in a boards weight)

Sizing

 

 

 

 

 

So the K2 Instrument 154 felt a little small for me James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs) and I wish I sized up to the 157. A few years back in really terrible snow (didn’t do a review) I felt the 157 was a little on the big side but of the two I would like to be on the 157.
Here are some ideal US boot sizes for these boards. You can of course go bigger or smaller but these work best for not turning the board slower than it should be and not having the dreaded Toe & Heel Drag.
151: 8-9
154: 8.5-9.5
157: 9.5-10.5
160: 10.5-11.5
163- 11-12

For weight I would stay close to K2’s recommended weight ranges. If it comes down to boot size or weight, I would make sure it fits your boot first and then your weight a close second.

Shape/Camber/On Snow Feel/Ability Level

 

 

 

 

 

The K2 Instrument has a tapered directional shape but it doesn’t feel super set back or super tapered. You can ride this centered or with a little back foot weight and it won’t wash out on the tail.

 

 

 

 

The camber profile is a mellow directional camber with a decent amount of early rise before the nose. The K2 Instrument did not feel too locked in and I think this is for sure intermediate friendly. It was pretty easy to skid a turn and it one footed/flat based really well. Very stable ride that didn’t feel locked in or catchy.

Flex Personality                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The overall flex is just barely medium stiff. The board I had was ridden a bit before I got it so maybe that is why. It might be a little stiffer out of the wrapper but overall it has an all mountain personality in a tapered directional shape. It was easy to butter off the tail and easier to butter off the nose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pop factor wasn’t that great but it did more than I expected for having that kind of damp/rubbery personality that a lot of K2 boards have. This isn’t good or bad. I would say that if you want more pop boards with a similar construction to the K2 Alchemist or Excavator seem to have more energy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uneven Terrain

So what gives it middle ground pop also gives the K2 Instrument an excellent all around personality in all conditions. If I had the 157 it would have been a perfect board for all day resort riding. There isn’t a condition this board isn’t ok with in terms of not sending feedback.

Edge Hold

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing really happening here in terms of sidecut disruption but competent in harder snow but not a hard snow specialist. The good thing is the edges feel great in soft snow.

Speed

There is very competent speed with the K2 Instrument. It isn’t a bomber like the Alchemist but it is not afraid to point it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The base glide was good but not amazing. I didn’t feel a lot of glide but it was good enough for this price point.

Turning Experience/Carving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So being on the 154 instead of a 157 I thought I wouldn’t have a time but it was pretty fun. There was a very good all around spring out of the turn that I didn’t expect for this slightly damp/rubbery flex. It is a slightly turny sidecut but overall very balanced.

Powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was very lucky to get some late spring powder in that felt like mid winter pow. It wasn’t super deep but about a foot in some places. Then I got some wet spring powder. About 6-8 inches. Nothing that would stress test the K2 Instrument. It felt like it wasn’t even trying. I like the taper, bigger nose than tail, a good bit of rocker before the nose and the set back on board of -3.375” at a 21.75” stance width set all the way back. All these factors worked really well to give it good directional float.

Conclusion

The K2 Instrument didn’t overly impress me in any one place but never disappointed me either. That is a good thing for a one board quiver. Yes I enjoyed the overall board feel of the Alchemist and Excavator better but this is a very versatile one board quiver that I think a lot of riders will enjoy.

 
K2 Instrument Specs

 
K2 Instrument Images

We try to get as many images of the K2 Instrument, but forgive us if they're not all there.

2023

 
K2 Company Information

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Average rating:  
 1 reviews
 by Anonymous on The Good Ride

Got this as my second board as a low intermediate.
Super fun hard carving nimble but forgivable board.
Didn't have a ton of powder for trying it out, but from the little I saw I'd say it has good float.
Like the reviewer said super stable in all conditions.
Great board for people progressing into intermediate or people taking it easy with the kids or people who just wanna have fun.

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