OnTheSnow spoke to the K2 Ski Design Team about their 2013 ski line. Find out what they tip to be 2013 best-sellers on the slopes, how they test new skis, and what they think skis may look like in 10 years.
OnTheSnow: Tell me a bit about the process of designing K2 skis - how did you get inspiration for this year's ski line?
K2: We are on snow testing and developing products nine months a year. A crew is actually down in Chile as we speak signing off on the 13/14 collection. We are usually 18 months to 24 ahead of what is at retail, so we are constantly looking for ways to improve and innnovate the products. We have a test and development team dedicated to each series of skis to ensure we develop product for the intended customer. Prior to the test, we outline what we are trying to accomplish with a prototype. During the on snow testing process, each tester has a score card and it is the job of our development crew to interpret the feedback and modify the subsequent prototypes to create the best product that meets the intended function.
OnTheSnow: Any new trends in K2's hard/soft goods this year?
K2: With the addition of Rocker, skis are so much easier to initiate into a turn and super versatile in all types of terrain. Up until this point, rocker was just about raising the tip off the snow, but now camber, flex and other construction modification are being made to supplement the rocker design. Since a rockered ski initiates a turn easily, we have found a way to torsionally stiffen up the forebody of the ski without creating a stiffer longitudinal flexing ski. This creates a ski with amazing hold that turns effortlessly. This technology is called Rox Technology.
OnTheSnow: What do you think will be K2's best sellers in this year's ski line?
K2: That is a tough one. We have two new Pro Model Skis, one for Seth Morrison and the other for Sean Pettit, so there is a ton of excitement around those skis. Seth’s gets a harder charging ski in our Adventure category where Sean gets his first Pro Model in the Factory Team line. We also have the new Bolt Ski with the Rox technology I discussed above.
OnTheSnow: Is there anything K2 is particularly proud of in the 2013 ski line?
K2: We continue to develop and innovate products for our BackSide Adventure category. Our BackSide collection was built upon the idea that each product is a tool for adventure. With that being said, they are all designed with multiple functions to allow the skier to remain safe without carrying additionl gear a hike, heli, cat or tour.
OnTheSnow: Where do you see skis in 10 years time?
K2: Ski design will continue to evolve. Rocker and shape will remain a very important part of ski design as we look into the future. I think skis and bindings will continue to get lighter without sacrificing the downhill performance (currently heavier skis have a more solid and secure feel with higher performance). Back and Sidecountry will continue to grow, but there will be a strong resurgence and focus on the All Mountain resort skier too. Not sure what the innovation will be for the resort, but you can count on it being something that will make skiing more enjoyable and allow people to ski more with less effort.
Read OnTheSnow's 2013 K2 Ski Reviews