Lucas Debari Discusses His Pro Model – Joy Driver Snowboard
By Chris Cahill, Seattle, WA: Mt. Baker has been a legendary training ground for some of snowboarding’s most renowned characters like Craig Kelly, Mike Ranquet, Jamie Lynn, and evoCollective’s Lucas Debari. The technical terrain is demanding on the rider, but their board also needs to be up to the task of navigating hairy lines and tight spaces. Over the last few years, Lucas has been hard at work developing a pro model with K2 that can handle everything from a day cruising his home mountain to dropping into the gnarliest of Alaskan spine lines. Finally, the wait is over. The Joy Driver Snowboard is finally here.
We caught up with Lucas to get his take on the overall direction he took in creating his pro model, and find out what’s coming up for his R&D with K2. Here’s what he had to say…
How involved were you in the development of the Joy Driver?
I was able to work closely with the engineers throughout the design of this board.
How was it working with the engineers?
Anytime you are working in an office trying to articulate concepts that are only feasible in a practical environment, it can be pretty hard. That being said, the dudes at K2 were on it and worked really hard to create the right board.
What does the Joy Driver bring to the table that other big mountain boards can’t offer?
The Joy Driver is the quiver killer. I would ride that board in any snow conditions. It still has a bit of that freestyle shape, but is geared more towards fast pow shredding, allowing you to rip in and out of the resort without compromise.
Where was the Joy Driver tested?
Its sturdy flex and setback stance make it a beast on big mountain lines, but can it handle more freestyle oriented backcountry riding, too?
Yah, I’m all about having a board that I could land switch in pow if I had to. The slight rocker in the nose allows you to be further forward in pow, this way if you spin off of a pillow or spine, you don’t have to initiate it from a back foot heavy stance, which would previously make you spin off axis.
Can we expect a split version in the future?
Already in the works, just have to figure out how to change the materials of the board to adjust to the fact that it’s cut in half.
How did Mt. Baker’s terrain affect how you approach board design?
Mt Baker’s terrain dictates how I snowboard 100%. The Joy Driver needed to be able to support heavy impact landings, so the tail is stiff, with minimal rocker to keep you on your feet. It also needed to be quick as can be to rip through trees and feel agile on pillows and steeps. The sidecut, length, and stance came into play here. We mostly tried a bunch of shapes and went with what felt the best.
How did the Raven graphic come into play?
K2 ambassador Danny Larsen is one hell of an artist. I told him what Pacific Northwest shredding was all about; he must have caught on to the raven concept and went with it. It’s one of the better graphics I’ve seen in a long time.
Did you hit any bumps in the road while designing your first snowboard?
The biggest challenge was creating a language that articulated what it was I liked about a snowboard, and converting those ideas into the actual materials and design of the board that creates those desired feelings. I am not an engineer, but I know what I like. That was by far the most difficult.
What was the “a-ha” moment when you knew the Joy Driver was the real deal?
As soon as I strapped in to the finished product.