Expert Review: K2 Dreamsicle Snowboard · Women's · 2023Published on 12/05/2022 · 10 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2021.
All photos courtesy of Liz Swan
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2021.
The K2 Dreamsicle is just like it sounds: a dream of a ride, and frankly, it’s been a game changer for me. It’s a fantastic all-mountain, women-specific board capable of handling any aspect of riding. It is a great option for beginner to intermediate riders who want a surfy feeling and a fun and forgiving board that will help them progress. It does especially well on groomers and in powder, but it’s also a great choice for advanced riders who may just want a mellow feel and laid-back daily driver.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 K2 Dreamsicle
- Size: 153
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 150lbs (at the time, I was 165lbs)
- Experience: 30 years of snowboarding (with about five years off due to having kids)
- When I bought these: February 2021
- Days tested: 45
- Mount position: +12 -12
- Boots: 2021 Ride Sage
- Boot Size: 9
- Bindings: 2021 NOW Vetta
- Where I’ve used it: Northeast (Crotched Mountain, Mt. Sunapee, Killington, Okemo, Mt. Snow, Attitash, Stowe, etc.)
- Terrain: Groomers, park, sidecountry, powder
How it performs
What I was looking for
First off, I am far from my days of being a young rebel rider. At the point I purchased the Dreamsicle, I had been on a five-year hiatus due to childbirth and childrearing. All very exciting, exhausting, and life-changing. I also had some changes in my weight and body composition. I wanted to get back to the mountains, but I needed a soft and forgiving way to get back into it (and not injure myself). My old full-camber freeride boards were not going to cut it. I needed a forgiving profile, a softer flex, and, overall, something a little more suited to laid-back riding.
Why I chose this gear
After shopping around and checking out boards like the Never Summer Infinity, GNU Ladies Choice, Nidecker Elle, and the Arbor Cadence, I landed on the K2 Dreamsicle. Actually, it was someone right here at Curated who made the recommendation. My oh my, how we come full circle.
I liked certain features that the K2 Dreamsicle had to offer. A flat rocker profile, directional twin shape, women-specific rhythm core that only K2 makes. I am no stranger to the high-quality products K2 puts out. I really wanted to check out their latest innovation in women-specific boards. I am not going to lie — I loved the graphics too.
What I love about it
- Speed: I can get some decent speed with Dreamsicle, but if one is looking to win a boardercross competition, there are better boards out there.
- Edge hold: If the Dreamsicle can make it on an average East Coast riding day without giving way, it is a fair test for the edge hold of the board. Northeast conditions are often hard-packed groomers, often with ice patches and some chunder depending on the run, time of day, time of the season, mountain traffic, and temperature. I find this board to be stable, and even though some chatter at high speeds can come through on occasion, it definitely did not let me down. It definitely passes my Ice Coast test.
- Turns: It turns out it is just what I needed to get back at it: a great board for cruising around the mountain without a care in the world. It is, in fact, dreamy. Let me explain my favorite part about this board. It forgives beyond measure. There were many times on my first day back when I definitely thought I would bite the dust, but I could easily self-correct. I attribute this to the flat rocker base. I was honestly super impressed by how easy it was to turn and how surf-like my turns felt. It was such a blast to ride. I was feeling very confident by the end of my first day. Guess what else? I did not fall once that first day back, and it was not for lack of being sloppy. By the end of the first week, I felt like I hadn’t even had a break from riding (aside from sore muscles). One thing on the turns — they are less precise when making small tight turns, so they are not great for moguls or inexperienced riders in the trees. Awesome and easy turn initiation, especially with a bit of momentum. Slower speed turns are just not as precise, but that is okay because that lack of precision is traded for softer, more flowing turns that will have a catch-free feeling.
- Groomers: As I familiarized myself more with the Dreamsicle, I realized what it was really meant to do, what it is capable of, and how it likes to be ridden. Part of what makes this board so cool is that it is meant to feel mellow. Its qualities are meant to take its rider on a tour of all the possibilities of all-mountain riding without dumping them in head first. It is going to be great on groomers, it will be awesome in powder, it will give its rider a nice profile for riding switch (it’s important to check one’s stance for switch riding), and it will offer a soft, playful flex and yet still maintain really great stability when things get dicey. It is far more playful than it is precise, but that is what I love about it.
- Powder: This board has become my go-to for powder days. As an East Coast native, we are not so accustomed to the same kind of beautiful powder that is abundant out West. I can say the Dreamsicle is the most capable board I have ridden in powder. Maybe someone could chalk it up to where I live, but at least now I know what it feels like to have a board that does powder well.
- Park: The Dreamsicle has enough pop to take some side hits and land them solidly. It’s super fun on box jumps and feels great coming off a roller. That being said, I would not venture into the half pipe, hit rails, or try more aggressive elements with it. It’s just a little heavier than one’s ideal park board. I’d give it a 4 out of 10 for the park overall.
- Durability: The quality and durability of this board are outstanding. It still looks brand new after 40+ days of riding on it. There is barely a scratch (and yes, I am a little meticulous with my boards). The edges hold up well even when faced with the icy conditions — a few burrs here and there, but nothing a quick swipe of a diamond stone cannot handle. I do all my own tunes and waxing. I have found the extruded base to be very easy to wax and any knicks in the base are easily repaired with my own DIY p-tex.
- Weight: Though there are lighter boards out there, this board is evenly distributed and still in line with the average weight of a women’s board the same size. I have no problem maneuvering in all kinds of snow conditions.
- Switch riding: This board definitely helped me with getting my switch riding back up to par. The directional twin shape made it pretty easy to do that — unlike more aggressive freeride boards with a directional shape. I find it super helpful that this board is forgiving. There are definitely times I would have bit the dust had I been on one of my stiffer camber boards. This shape and profile allow me to self-correct before going down. This board is the most catch-free board I have ridden.
- Stability: On an average groomer day, the Dreamsicle is super stable. If it is particularly choppy and icy (which frequently happens on the Ice Coast), I feel some minor chatter, but nothing that would cause me to wash out. Overall, I still consider this a very stable board. It definitely kept me on my feet that first day back.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Trees: This is not the best pick to use if one spends a ton of time in the trees. That tight turn at a lower speed is tricky for this board. I would not recommend this if one is constantly riding tree runs. It will hold up just fine for the odd tree run or two, but I really had to work to keep it on the lines I was riding.
- Moguls: This board is not the best for moguls. It does not have the nimble response I want in a board for that type of riding. At the end of the day, this board is designed to be easy to ride with a mellow feel. It’s not a stiff freeride board. If one is looking for a great women’s board that will allow that kind of handling, look into the CAPiTA Equalizer or the Arbor Veda — two of my personal favorites.
Favorite moment with this gear
The first time I took the Dreamsicle out to the resort, I was nervous. It had been so long since I had ridden and not only was I feeling rusty, but I was also not in the best shape having just been focused on having and raising my kids for five years. I’m not an inexperienced rider, but I just didn’t have the same mojo I used to.
I got to the mountain early in the morning and basically had the resort to myself (isn’t midweek riding the best?). I hopped on the lift and took it to the summit. I knew I made the right choice about the Dreamsicle when I was getting off the lift. It was easy to maintain control right away. As I rode down the first trail, I noticed how different it felt to ride this kind of profile. There were a few times I thought I was going to catch an edge, but surprisingly I stayed on my feet the entire time. I actually didn’t fall once on my first day back after a five-year hiatus. That’s pretty great.
Value for the money vs. other options
In my opinion, this is one of the best entry-level boards out there. I couldn’t beat the price for the quality that K2 delivers here — it rides like a dream (pun intended), and the graphics are fresh. To check out boards with similar features, try the Nidecker Elle, Nitro Lectra, or the Salomon Lotus. There’s no shortage of great women’s boards on the market today. If help is needed in getting the right setup for one’s unique needs, Curated can help.
The K2 Dreamsicle is a staple in my quiver; I choose the Dreamsicle for powder days, working on my switch, and for the days I just need an easy breezy ride. This is an excellent choice for someone looking for their first set-up, for the intermediate rider who wants a relaxed board, or the individual who has some skills but just needs a little Dreamsicle love to get back into their groove. (Moms who have been on hiatus and are looking to make a comeback — I am looking at you.)