K2 Vandal Review
This freestyle youth board performs consistently on a variety of terrain. Consumers can count on K2 for durability, and the board's extruded base makes wear and tear from boxes and rails easy to repair.
The K2 Vandal (starting at $200, Amazon) is geared toward younger riders with a hankering to start grinding rails and boxes in the terrain park. Consumers will be hard-pressed to find a better kids board for the price, according to a K2 Vandal review by an expert at snowboard shop The House. A user who commented on that video review is thrilled with the 2011 version of the board and opines that the 2012 graphic is the best yet. In a review at SB-RV, the site's team of snowboard enthusiasts recommends the board for both park riding and freeriding, saying young riders can quickly get the hang of the hill and move on to the park.
The K2 Vandal has a wooden core and a true twin shape, meaning the board is symmetrical and the flex is consistent from front to back. This lets riders change stances freely, alternating between regular and switch as they negotiate the terrain park.
The board features a reverse camber that K2 calls Jib Rocker, which is flat between the bindings but upturned at the ends. This makes the Vandal especially well-suited for jibbing, or sliding along any non-snow object in the terrain park or on the trail -- rails, boxes, trees, etc. (This is also referred to as grinding.) The extruded base is easy to repair if it gets dinged up during these maneuvers.
The K2 Vandal is flexible board ideal for young riders who may not have the strength to effectively control an adult board. Its sweet spot is probably a tween or teen rider, although it comes in sizes big enough for small adults. K2 also makes the Vandal Wide for kids with bigger feet.
For young riders bent on honing their skills and eventually floating into the realm of jumps and other tricks, the K2 Vandal is an attractive and reasonably priced starting point. One enthusiastic amateur boarder who posted a K2 Vandal review at retailer Dogfunk.com simply declares the board "dope."