Pros: excellent response, extremely durable
Cons: none really
I have been snowboarding for somewhere around 10 or so years. I started out in the state of Washington at Stephen's Pass, Whistler Blackcombe, and a variety of other off the trail hills. Through that time I have gone through a large number of boards, generally 2-3 per season, in an attempt to find the perfect board for each riding style.
I generally run each season with three active boards and two passive boards. This means that I have three boards always ready to go and I have another two that I have sitting just in case, I need to do a swap out. I know this sounds ridiculous to anyone that does any boarding, but it's practical in my mind for a few reasons:
1. I have a different board for each type of riding that I do, which is why I have three boards. I have one board for each style, one for big air, one for trick/style, and one for all mountain. I don't really have a speed board, but that's because I just can't get the feel for the larger boards.
2. Another reason that I have multiple boards setup at all times and two passive boards, is because I change up my stance from standard to goofy depending upon how I feel that day. For example if I went huge the day before and my lead leg is feeling a little bit tender, which it often is, then I will swap leads. A lot of people can't do this all that easily, but I've been doing it for so long, that this has become normal practice.
I generally go boarding five days a week during the season, sometimes upwards of seven in the beginning and at the very end of the season. I generally ride away from slopes, because I don't particularly like the predictability of the slopes. I want something that I have to react to at a moment's notice, it truly makes the ride, and keeps you from becoming complacent.
The K2 Darkstar is one hell of a freestyle board. I have had this particular board for a little over a year now and it is definitely my favorite board anytime I need a good freestyle board. The board itself is super responsive so if you are using it to do tricks (as you should be) you are going to find that it does EXACTLY what you want it to do with very little trouble. The tips of the board are incredibly light weight so I had to adapt to not having to whip it quite as hard in order to land certain jumps.
The best part about the board is that it is more stable than another other board that I have used. It is able to take the impact of a hard landing far better than my other more expensive boards and it flexes more than enough to prevent from cracking during rail rides.
This board is definitely the ultimate in all around freestyle boarding. I really can't think of a better board for the average to experienced rider. I have used a lot and I personally love this one.
I beat the crap out of this board! I don't think I could possibly work a board harder than I have worked this board. This is my main freestyle board so it is taking jumps, riding rails, and doing all sorts of tricks that require a board that is able to respond with strength and great flexibility.
Even the design on the board holds up under pressure. I am normally very surprised whenever I see a design hold up for even 3-6 months with the punishment that I put it through during a season but this board has lasted into this second season and it is still fine. While I have a lot of scratches on the board now, the design and major form of the board is holding up incredibly and much better than most of my other boards that I paid considerably more for.
Tip Tech-Hybritaper: Hybritaper takes our current Hybritech Construction, and tapers out the core at the tip and tail to reduce the swing weight. We blend the tips from a cap into a thin sandwich removing the sidewall where you don’t need itShape-Twin Tip Dual Progressive: Similar to a formula one car suspension, our Hyper Progressive sidecut allows for ultra fine adjustment at any speed and in any condition. An infinite number of different radii are blended together flawlessly from mellow in the tips, to more aggressive in the centerStance: CenteredCore-W2: Three species of renewable wood are assembled to optimize strength, reduce weight, and enhance damping without the addition of other materialsBiax Top and Base Glass: Best performing all purpose glass for an easy performance rideTorsion Forks: Carbon Matix I4000 Sintered Base: Fastest Natural Base Material, Durable, Absorbs Wax Faster, Retains Wax LongerBase Bevee: 1DegreeEffective Edge (cm) - 129.46Nose/Tail (cm) - 30.03Waist (cm) - 25.30Sidecut (m) - 8.20FINAL THOUGHTS
If you are looking for a well rounded freestyle board then this is going to be an excellent fully responsive board for you. I board is light weight and more durable than boards that cost twice as much. You simply aren't going to find a better board for the price and you most likely wont find one much better at any price regardless of where you look. This is a must have for anyone that is looking to get started with jumps or tricks.