Hello and welcome to my K2 Joy Driver review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Joy Driver as a Freeride snowboard.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Joy Driver a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other freeride snowboards.
NOTE: The 2020 model was the last model of the Joy Driver.
Board: K2 Joy Driver
Price: $599 (USD recommended retail)
Flex: Stiff (8/10)
Rating Score: 83.7/100
Compared to other Men’s Freeride Boards
Out of the 39 men’s freeride snowboards that I rated:
- The average price was $577 (USD)
- The average score was 81.4/100
- The highest score was 91.8/100
- The lowest score was 57.1/100
- The Joy Driver ranked 13th out of 39
Overview of the Joy Driver’s Specs
Check out the tables below for the Joy Driver’s specs and available sizes.
|Style||Freeride||Flex||Stiff (8 out of 10)|
|Ability Level||Advanced to Expert||Feel||Semi Locked-In|
|Weight||Lighter than Normal||Turn Initiation||Medium-Fast|
|Camber Profile||Hybrid Camber (setback camber with a flat zone and then rocker zone at the nose end of the board)||Shape||Tapered Directional|
|Stance Setback||Setback 20mm (0.75″)||Edge-hold||Hard snow|
|Waist Width (mm)||248||250||252||254||263||266|
|Weight Range (lbs)||<150||120-200||>150||>150||130-210||>150|
|Weight Range (kgs)||<68||54-91||>68||>68||59-95+||>68|
Who is the Joy Driver Most Suited to?
The Joy Driver is best suited to anyone who wants a board that will excel in powder but still be able to ride the groomers – preferably those that like to ride the groomers at speed, and like to carve (rather than someone who wants to do tricks etc on the groomers).
This definitely isn’t a slow-it-down and play it casual type of board and not for the park either. It’s stiff and likes to go in one direction and preferably fast in that direction – be it over powder or down groomed trails.
Also, not for beginners. Far too stiff and aggressive for beginners. For advanced level and up riders.
The Joy Driver in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Joy Driver is capable of.
Board: Joy Driver 2017, 156cm (248mm waist width)
Date: April 16, 2016
Conditions: Started out with hard conditions with some icy spots but the snow softened up a bit and a got a little bit slushy in the afternoon but still mostly firm. Sun and clouds in the morning then light snow in the afternoon.
Bindings angles: +18/+3
I would love to have had deeper powder to test this board in. Where I did find some deeper snow, the Joy Driver felt good. The rating here is based on what little powder there was to test it on and on the specs of the board as well as other reviews.
This board has a mostly camber profile – but that camber is setback towards the tail and then it flattens out and then rockers up at the nose.
Really nice for carving and actually pretty good for standard turns. Not one for really skidding your turns but can definitely get some good swarves going on it.
Carving was the highlight of this board for me.
It felt snappy and springy out of turns and was quick from edge to edge.
Along with carving and powder, speed is what this board is made for. Felt a little bit lighter than the average big mountain/freeride kind of board. But that didn’t seem to effect its stability at speed.
Felt really stable when getting this thing up to good speeds, despite feeling light. Apparently the lightness doesn’t affect the durability either – K2 have a 5 year warranty on it.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
Not terrible in the bumpy stuff. Fine on more gradual contours and that kind of thing. But not really a board for end of the day chopped up busy groomers. But that’s not what it’s designed for. If there’s no powder and you’re in the resort, you want to be taking this through less traveled black runs, steeps etc.
For dropping over lips and what not and even if you want to pop over them, this isn’t bad. There is some pop there and that lightness helps – but it’s not really what you’d buy to be doing jumps in the park.
That said, you can take it over jumps in the park if it’s something you want to do occasionally but it’s not designed for that, IMO.
There’s a ¾” (19mm) setback, a directional shape and a camber profile that’s set back towards the tail. This is mostly a one-directional snowboard. The only thing that makes it relatively doable is that the setback isn’t huge compared to some freeride boards.
If you get flipped around or need to flip around for a moment, then you can do it, so long as you can ride switch ok – but it’s not something that feels natural on your switch side – but again, it’s not designed to either.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
|TOTAL after normalizing||83.7/100|
Overall the Joy Driver is a high performance board that kills at carving and riding at speed. It also feels really good at riding the powder – a must for a freeride board – but I didn’t have much to test that on – but based on feel and specs and other reviews, I’d say it’s pretty good.
It feels a bit lighter than other freeride boards but still stable – and apparently still just as durable.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you’re interested in the Joy Driver, are ready to buy or just want to research current prices or availability, check out the links below.
If you want to see how the Joy Driver compared to other freeride boards or want to check out other freeride options, check out the next link.
>>My Top 5 Men’s Freeride Snowboards
konstantinos avramidis says
I wish you to have a good new year with healthy. I’m from Greece and i think that am 1-2 level up from begginer , i mean i can do slalom, nose ,small jumps and i can go on red and black lanes comfortably.
I learned with “nidecker play” and now i buought “k2 joydriver 2019” because i like to go freeride , powder, freestyle and very little park. I want to tell me your opinion about k2 joydriver 2019 and generally what kind is this board.
Thank you very much in advance.
Looking forward for your response.
Thanks for your message.
I found the Joy Driver to be quite a stiff, aggressive board and wouldn’t typically recommend it to a beginner. It doesn’t sound like you’re a beginner though, from what you’re describing. You sound like you’re likely more intermediate. Which I still wouldn’t typically recommend this board for. You may get away with it, but there are more mellow freeride boards, if you were looking for something that was still directional/freeride oriented, but less stiff/aggressive, like those in the following:
>>Top 10 Mellow Freeride Snowboards
Hope this helps
Just picked up a Joy Driver. Currently looking into the K2 Formula bindings. I have heard that they are more still than the Lien Ats, would you recommend this setup ?
Thanks for your message.
I would recommend going with something a little stiffer than the Formula for Joydriver, which is a rather stiff board. I would say the Formula are around a 6/10 flex, similar to the Lien AT. But with the Lien AT, you can extract a bit more stiffness out of them by using the stiffer grommets in their tripod tech (assuming the new models still do that). So, I would probably say that the Lien AT is a better fit for the Joy Driver. But the “Formula C” bindings would be the best match for the Joy Driver from K2, IMO. Stiffer than the regular Formulas and better suited to Joy Driver, IMO.
By “more still” I’m guessing you meant more stiff? I would say that they’re a similar flex, but the Formulas don’t have as good a board feel. So, they don’t flex with the board as well underfoot. So in that sense, they are more stiff, but in terms of response and highback and baseplate stiffness, I wouldn’t say that they’re stiffer, if that makes sense.
Hope this helps
Thank You for the input Nate . I did mean “more stiff”. I did take a look at the Formula C, thought they were a bit pricey for what they offered. I’m currently leaning towards the Arbor Cypress, reviews advise they are on the stiffer side of the spectrum. Do you think they will a suitable option?
I think the Cypress would be closer for sure, and I think they would work. I would rate the Cypress 7/10 in terms of flex, so still a little softer than what the Joy Driver represents, but still a close match. If you want you can check out more of what I thought of the Cypress in my Arbor Cypress Review
Awesome. Appreciate the advised Nate!
You’re very welcome Spencer. Happy riding!
Niko Fullmer says
Hey Nate, I just bought a K2 Joydriver 2018 and was curious to what type of bindings you use on your set up? I look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks for your message.
I rode the Joydriver with K2 Lien ATs. They did the job and would be a possibility for this board. But ideally I would ride it with something a little stiffer. The Joydriver to me felt like an 8/10 flex, whereas the Lien ATs are more like 6/10 (by my feel). That said, since the ATs have those interchangeable grommets, you can probably get a stiffer feel out of them by putting the stiffest grommets in them. But here’s some other options that are stiffer flexing:
>>Top 5 All-Mountain-Freeride Bindings
>>Top 5 Freeride Bindings
Hope this helps with your decision