K2 once reigned over the US market for so long, its sales leadership practically became a cliché. The keys to its sustained success were manifold, but from a product standpoint it’s not hard to summarize: K2’s have always been 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.
It’s been a couple of years since the investment group Kohlberg & Company acquired K2 (along with a fistful of other ski brands). It’s impossible to effect much change in year one, so it was no surprise the ski collection didn’t move much in 2019. But while the Pinnacle design limped to the finish line last year, R& D was preparing a sweeping overhaul of K2’s men’s and women’s core collections. The limited quantity of the new Mindbender series available last spring were snapped up by eager consumers, auguring well for a brand rebound.
The women’s market has always been vitally important to K2 – 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the K2 Alliance – and the 2020 collection shows admirable gender balance, matching the unisex line, Mindbender for Mindbender. The ladder of women’s Mindbenders extends from the Mindbender Alliance 85, pitched to the intermediate market, all the way to the Mindbender 115C Alliance, one of the fattest made-for-women models you can find. All but the lowest price point models use women’s specific cores and tooling.