K2 Cool Bean Review

The K2 Cool Bean is the latest addition to the short powderboard phenomenom. Does its surf-inspired shape bring something new to the scene and is it worth a ride?

When I was up in Hokkaido at the end of last January with the Almo Film guys, Tim Eddy (K2) came by and chilled with us for a couple days. As he opened his board bag, I glimpsed a swallowtail and immediately went over for a look. It was the 2016 K2 Cool Bean.IMG_3861nThis is a pretty rad little board. It’s a surf-inspired shape, where they create the volume of a bigger board by giving the Cool Bean a very wide waist. They also list the specs in feet and inches, surf-style.

IMG_3871mSo, the length is 144cm and the waist is a whopping 28.7! This year there is only the one size, but for next year I’ve heard that they will add a 138 and a 150!
The profile is all-terrain rocker, which is flat with tweekend(early rise) in the nose.

Tim graciously let me have a go on it. The terrain was nothing amazing, but a good mix of pow, cat track, and dips and bumps through trees.

How does it ride?

First off, even though I didn’t like Tim’s narrow stance and binding angles, I felt immediately at home on the Cool Bean. In fact, it didn’t even feel like a 144cm board! It was only when I looked down at the tail that I saw how small it was.cool-bean-look-downNow, I’ve ridden a bunch of shortboards like the Burton Nug, Harvest and Fishcuit, and still own a Burton Root and Spliff splitboard, so this mini-board movement isn’t new to me. The difference with the Cool Bean, is the long nose with the widest point just in front of the inserts. It’s big, and it’s burly. That nose busts through chop and bumps, and obviously keeps you on top of deep snow. The other short boards I listed have shorter noses and I find have trouble staying up when the resort pow starts getting tracked. You’ll be floating, then drop into some tracks, then have to bring the nose back up to knee height immediately to get back on top of the remaining pow section (yes, it’s that deep in Japan). That’s not so good for tired legs! With the massive nose on the Cool Bean you don’t even have to think about keeping the nose up.  All you have to think about is getting rad. You can go faster, and so, have more fun.

The nosecool-bean-nose

in powcool-bean-nose-in-powThe short swallowtail sinks for added floatation, and poses lessened resistance on turns while submerged. Find the tightest tree runs you think you can handle, then go even tighter. This board will turn on a dime, in spite of the wide waist, and open up previously unrideable terrain.
The only negative I could find was the tail being too short to ride switch in pow. No problem, I will just have to spin 3’s instead of 180’s.cool-bean-swallow-tail-spray

On hardpack I didn’t notice any loss of performance – it really didn’t feel like a powder board! In fact, I forgot to pay attention – it just rode so smooth. In spring resort it rips around and brings the fun to a whole new level. While you feel the width, where you didn’t in powder, getting low on carves is easy and you can forget about toe drag! Oh, and Tim said that it does fine spinning on big kickers too! Actually, you can see Tim Eddy killing the Hakuba pow in the #japandwagon video.

All in all, this board really surprised me and I really need to get one next year!
High Five, Tim!tim-eddy-hi5-small

Extra photos:

I did a follow-cam run of Tim which unfortunately had too much camera shake to be useable. I did salvage some screenshots though, and you might find them helpful to see how the Cool Bean behaves in the wild.

Slash sequence

Finally, I’ll leave you with K2’s official promo video for the Cool Bean:

For more information about the K2 Cool Bean, check out the official K2 page here.

Disclosure: The K2 Cool Bean was borrowed from K2 rider, Tim Eddy, and also ridden on a spring demo day.