Until recently, K2 reigned over the US market for so long its leadership had practically become a cliché. The keys to its sustained success were manifold, but from a product standpoint it’s not hard to summarize: K2’s are easy to ski. Regardless of your skill level, your terrain preferences or your gender, there’s a K2 for you and chances are you’ll love it. Given K2’s longstanding preeminence, just about every American with 20 years on the snow has owned a K2 at some point, creating a groundswell of skier-to-skier endorsements that has kept the K2 ball rolling even when, on occasion, it’s been deflated.
As I edit this profile in June of 2017, K2 is emerging from a form of Purgatory during Newell Brands brief reign of reluctant ownership. It’s impossible to tell at this embryonic stage in the new-owner/iconic-brand relationship what sort of steward the investment group Kohlberg & Company will prove to be, but at a minimum it will bring stability, direction and a higher level of TLC to a brand accustomed to being an industry leader.
Despite the boardroom brouhaha over the brand’s destiny, R&D and marketing must continue to play their parts. From a product perspective, K2 is in the middle of a technology transformation. In 2015, it jumped whole hog on the Lighter is Better bandwagon, jettisoning 15 years of heavy-on-the-damping-agents design. Its iKonic core retained slivers of wood and metal around its perimeter, but the tip, tail and central channel were made from Nanolite, aka milled (as opposed to injected) foam.
There’s a point at which Lighter is Not Better, and while K2 didn’t cross the line, its first iKonic and Pinnacle collections danced mighty close to it. After two seasons of tinkering, K2 has worked out the kinks in Konic, primarily by adding more mass and camber to the flagship Pinnacles and going with an all-wood core with more metal over the edge in the Frontside Konic series. To dig further into the details on the latest line, see The 2018 Season, below.
Part of K2’s enduring legacy is its longstanding relationship with female skiers. For a generation of women, their first skis were K2’s. Women’s memories of old Luv models are scarred by recollections of their hefty weight; the new Luv line copycats the Konic and Pinnacle designs, which makes a point of paring away all excess weight.https://k2skis.com Download Catalog