All posts by Adam Harkness

Our K2 Rad Dads Contest Winner Is…

Nora Esders! Here is the winning submission of her Dad, Nick. We felt it represents K2 to the fullest; laid back, fun times on snow! This was spring skiing at Mammoth Mountain in late June of 1972. Nick is turning 70 this year and still gets 100 ski days in every season. Enjoy your new boots Nick and goggles Nora! We hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day. | #seriousfun

Nick Esders keeping his tips up.
Nick Esders keeping his tips up.

Join K2 Pros for Groms Week at Woodward Copper!

K2Skis_SummerCamps_FB

Summer camps are right around the corner, so secure your spot at Week 9 of Woodward Copper sponsored by K2!

Maks Gorham gapping the stair set last year.
Maks Gorham gapping the stair set last year.

Woodward Copper always has their park dialed to a T so you know it’ll be one of the best weeks you’ve ever had!

Sean Jordan tailpressing.
Sean Jordan tailpressing.

It’s Grom Week and will be July 31-August 4, 2016 so don’t miss out. Go here to sign up and get more information!

K2 Rad Dads Father’s Day Contest!

K2Skis_RadDads

To celebrate Father’s Day this year, we are launching a contest for you and your Dad! Show us your favorite Rad Dadness moment on Instagram and you just might win a pair of ski boots for your pop! Not to mention some sweet goggles for yourself.

With our FitLogix system we have the perfect fit for any foot so your Dad will be stoked. Come on, we know some Dads out there need new boots and who doesn’t love new goggles?!

All you have to do is tag both our account @k2skis and hashtag #K2RadDads in your photo and you will be entered to win! We’ll pick the winner based on our favorite photo submitted by midnight on Father’s Day, which is June 19th 2016. Contest Rules are below.

Good Luck and Stay Rad!

 

Contest Rules

Contest open to US Residents only from June 7 – June 19, 2016. Winner will be announced by June 24 2016. 

-Contest winner wins one (1) pair of K2 Ski boots of their choice and one (1) K2 goggle, both subject to availability.

– Only those who tag @K2skis and #K2RadDads will be considered.

– Winners will be asked to provide an email address within a week of winning. If Winners fail to respond, a new one will be selected instead.

K2 Athletes Across the Globe

K2Skis_AthletesAroundtheWorld_02

 

This year our athletes travelled far and wide to get the goods! Here are some of our favorite shots from the year. Follow us here for more!

ANTARCTICA

Ken Lucas / Brendan Gibson photo
Ken Lucas / Brendan Gibson photo
Ken Lucas / Hayley Melidonis photo
Ken Lucas / Hayley Melidonis photo

Here Ken Lucas checks in from Antarctica where he went ski touring among his penguin friends and nailed some really nice ascents and descents.

AUSTRIA

Severin Guggemoos ripping the park.
Severin Guggemoos ripping the park.

Severin Guggemoos has been ripping parks all over Europe, here he is with a switch cork 5 in Ehrwald, Tirol, Austria!

CANADA

Lucas Vianna / Ilanna Barkusky photo
Lucas Vianna / Ilanna Barkusky photo

Lucas Vianna oozing style above Vancouver, BC at Grouse Mountain, Canada.

FRANCE

Holly Walker / Daniela Hochmuth photo
Holly Walker / Daniela Hochmuth photo

Ski mountaineer Holly Walker has been snagging peaks left and right in France. On the ascent in Chamonix, France.

ICELAND

McKenna Peterson
McKenna Peterson

McKenna Peterson is no stranger to steep, fast lines. Here she finds a fun one in Hornstrandir, Iceland.

ITALY

Robert Szul in Mottolino Livigno
Robert Szul in Mottolino Livigno

Park shredder Robert Szul gets his fix at the epic looking Mottolino Livigno resort in Italy.

JAPAN

Adam U / Mattias Evangelista photo
Adam U / Mattias Evangelista photo

Telemark skier Adam U grinning from ear to ear after one of the best runs of his life in Myoko, Japan!

PERU

Laurent Bernhard / Martin Guerra photo
Laurent Bernhard / Martin Guerra photo

Skiing isn’t just for the winter! Here Laurent Bernhard rips a creek in Peru.

SPAIN

Adria Millan / Txema Trull photo
Adria Millan / Txema Trull photo

There is crazy good skiing in Spain! Adria Millan ripping in Baqueira Beret, España.

SWITZERLAND

Florian Bruchez
Florian Bruchez

Switzerland has some of the best parks and pow in the world. No surprise seeing Florian Bruchez styling out a side hit in Ovronnaz.

USA

Lexi Dupont / Will Wissman photo
Lexi Dupont / Will Wissman photo

Can’t forget the good ol’ US of A! Especially when it’s Lexi DuPont skiing some of the most amazing terrain in the world in Haines, Alaska.

That’s it that’s all, we’re hoping next year takes our skiers to even more amazing places around the globe!

 

K2 Ski Alliance: One of a Kind

ic_032916_k2_utah_0162

K2 Ski Alliance, founded in 2000.

Who We Are: A diverse group of women, all ages, nationwide, with different skiing styles and abilities that come together for the love of the sport, and to assist in the development process of K2’s women’s specific ski equipment.

The Allliance is the first industry program of it’s kind, ever. And the crazy thing is, it’s still pretty much the only one. Our biggest goal besides making great product is to act as an example for other ski companies to support women. Because who doesn’t want more girls involved in the sport?

Alliance trip at Silverton. Photo: Crystal Sagan
Alliance trip at Silverton. Photo: Crystal Sagan

Take your average lift line on a pow day. Hand pick the ones with the lucky extra X chromosome, put them in a line up and there you have a cross section of what the Alliance squad looks like. Just a little bit of everything!

A 14-year-old from Estonia who barely speaks English (and also happens to be one of the most decorated female skiers ever), teenage high schoolers barely more focused on skiing than boys, PSIA level 3 instructors, freeride rippers stronger than you’ll ever be, to grandmas in their mid-60s.

From park skiers to big mountain skiers, resort focused to dedicated backcountry girls, the K2 Ski Alliance is the perfect mix of women to contribute to a product line that is as diverse as the group of ladies developing it.

Anna Segal at Timberline
Anna Segal at Timberline

As far apart as we are from each other, we are a family. We communicate with each other and our ski engineers to produce the best product on the market. We make mistakes and are happy to admit it. We learn from them and fully embrace the process of trial and error.

Overall, we aim to provide a sense of community to our customers; for them to feel like they are a part of something bigger, an Alliance of like-minded females, no matter what the level of skiing is or where they live in the world.

The ladies feelin' the luv.
The ladies feelin’ the luv.

The Three Tiers of the Alliance:

Research and Development, i.e. R&D: These girls work with K2 engineers and designers to dream up, test and create the next wave of future product.

Regional Alliance: A network of women around the world who are local brand ambassadors. These girls work with their territory reps to spread the K2 luv on hill, at their local shops and at events and demos in their region.

Athletes: These ladies represent K2 in the spotlight and each contribute to the brand’s personality on and off the mountain. We look to these girls to give us product feedback in order to help us design and promote the gear they use and love.

Then there is you. If you like K2, if you identify yourself as a female and you want to be part of this collective, then welcome to the family. We are hooked on skiing and want to share our passion with you.

All K2 womens skis are tried and true.
Remedy and Luv skis developed for women, by women. Photo: Crystal Sagan

Let’s hear the truth about these so-called “women’s” products you make:

What does it actually mean to have women’s specific product?

It means the gear performs at the optimal level because it’s built with the female skier in mind. It is product with features designed specifically for girls from concept to creation (engineering to graphic production).

What actually goes into making women’s specific product?

Check out the testing blurb below. It’s a wild process. And it’s a long one. But we like doing it and we hope you like what we make for you! Out of the gates to the finish line, we try and make sure females are involved in each and every product we make.

Are all women’s K2 products different than the men’s product?

Depending on the needs of the product, there are shared innovations between the categories.

For example, a few of our women’s skis share the same construction as the men’s version. Why is this? When a good engineering concept is born and proven to be successful, we may use it across a spectrum of products.

Don’t forget we produce skis, boots, poles, helmets, goggles and accessories! We can proudly say though, that our entire women’s product line is tested and approved by girls, with most items having a unique build for the gals.

How specific to women are these products?

It depends on what we’re talking about. For skis, it can vary in the materials used (different types of wood, metal, urethane or carbon compounds), stature or weight of the incorporated bindings, type of steel edge, style of tip protector, color of the sidewall, texture of the topsheet, ink variations of the graphic, flex profile, aesthetic of the logo and much more!

Other product categories have components that are built specifically to fit a woman’s body: pole grips designed for women, boot liners and cuff heights, helmet shapes, goggle frames, etc. The list goes on and on.

In the rare case that the construction doesn’t vary much from the men’s version, you can be sure everything else about the product will be tailored specifically for the female customer.

k2_copper_2014_476
Longtime Alliance member, Heather-Paul Featherman, ripping it up at Copper!

What is the bigger picture?

Well of course the goal is to make gear that makes you comfortable and confident on the slopes. We are here to help you have a good time because #seriousfun is what it’s all about, right?

The Alliance also has input on graphic concepts and designs, model names, marketing initiatives, social content and collaboration, as well as events.

>K2 proudly started International Women’s Ski Day in 2013, which has grown into a grassroots, worldwide celebration. Follow along with us by checking out the hashtag #IWSD.

>>Thank you for taking the time to learn about the Ski Alliance. We take great pride in this program and hope that it inspires you to spend more time in the mountains.

>>>Keep up with us on social media and make sure to hop on the chairlift with one of the Alliance members if you have the chance. In all that we do, we #luvk2!

Instagram and Facebook

BCRF LOGO CMYK

For over 15 years, K2 Sports has supported the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). To date, K2 has contributed over $1,150,000.00 to research efforts. To show additional support, we proudly place a pink ribbon on our women’s skis.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR0713.
Not a bad view at Silverton. Photo: Crystal Sagan

A glance at the TEST life:

Before the R&D Alliance gets on snow, we meet in house to go over concept designs. The engineers present their ideas to the Alliance and get initial feedback. They tweak their comps as needed and produce a huge round of prototypes for testing. For this purpose, we’re going to focus on skis.

Because we’re working on product a full year and half before it hits the ski wall at shops, the prime time for testing is in the spring and summer. At Mt. Bachelor or Mt. Hood in Oregon, we average four trips over the testing season and typically there are five or six of us, depending on the amount of prototypes we have.

You may have read about the process at magazine tests (producing your fall Buyer’s Guide results) but our method is quite a bit different, and maybe a bit more intense.

An example test day would be waking up at 5:15 or so to be out of the door by 6am. Chugging coffee in the car and scarfing down a bagel, we arrive at the mountain and get briefed by our engineers on what category skis we will be working with for the day. They hand out waterproof test cards and pencils and talk to us about the test groups. There are four groupings of skis on average, with each group usually having five or six skis. Groups are identified by letters: A, B, C, etc. and skis are numbered 1, 2, 3 and so on.

In the A group for example, the engineer may say, “Group A has 85mm-waisted, metal laminate skis. You are to focus on overall versatility and performance.” They tell us that while skiing, think about, for example, how the tips feel- are they damp and solid with good initiation? Or are you feeling/seeing some chatter going on? How is the edge hold of the ski on hard pack? Enough camber? Does the ski feel damp enough in the variable snow?

The engineers have specific questions for each group of skis. After briefing us on the day’s fleet, we break up into pairs or small groups depending on boot size.

Tip: if we group girls together by their boot sizes, then we don’t have to adjust the bindings as many times i.e making each run transition go more smoothly.

McKenna Peterson catching the last light of the day.

During these tests, time is so valuable. We have to ensure we get up for first chair so the mountain is as empty as possible and snow conditions are prime.

When we head to the lift, we are usually carrying at least three pair of skis and have a backpack full of goodies- a screwdriver, an extra pairs of gloves, a spare Goretex jacket, water, a snack and an extra goggle lens just in case.

(The weather in Oregon during the spring and summer is extremely variable).

Sometimes we’re testing in 70 degree weather on the glacier and sometimes it’s 30 degrees, pouring rain and no visibility.

The skis we’re testing are all masked with a white top sheet. We are encouraged to not look down at the models we’re testing. It’s all supposed to be about feeling and getting to know what you like and do not like about the ski in one to two runs. Why ski each ski for such a limited time? The goal is to not adjust your skiing style to the ski but to go off of your initial feelings about the prototype.

Usually, you can tell what you’re feeling in the ski within the first ten turns. The things you don’t like scream out at you and the things you do like are noticed right away. You make mental notes throughout the run, solidifying your feelings and continuing to change up your turn shape and speed so that you can get a feel for the model in varying styles of skiing, putting yourself in the mindset of the person that that ski is being designed for. Are you a beginner that is comfortable on only greens and maybe some blue runs? If so, you’re going to ski slower in longer and wider turns with less carving and probably not in soft or off-piste snow. Or are you an ex-racer, looking to flex and really work the ski? Seeing how well it lays over and how well you’re able to initiate your turn.

The testers also need to take many things into account such as the weather and snow conditions that are changing throughout the test day, as well as the lengths of the test skis and even small things such as the weight of the demo bindings on them. Every little thing warrants an extra consideration.

After the day of testing is complete, we head down from the mountain to do our debrief with the engineers. At this point we have ranked which ski we like best and why, to our least favorite and why. We go over the results as a group and so ensues the afternoon of back and forth conversation of why one prototype skied the way it did. Or why one that in theory should be so similar to the one before, skied so differently. The engineers then divulge the varying construction profiles of each of the skis and we compare the K2 protos to the competitor benchmarks.

After all is said and done from three days of repeatedly testing the same prototypes, hopefully the Alliance team has decided on a direction for the next round of test skis. The engineers and in house team drives back to our headquarters in Seattle and gets to work producing a new fleet of skis with the desired changes. This process continues over the spring + summer months until the new models have been fine-tuned and are signed off for production.

It’s a lengthy process, but as mentioned earlier, we love it and hope that you enjoy the product that really is developed by women, for women.

A group of ladies from the K2 Alliance!
United we SKI!!!

 

[RECAP + VIDEO] K2 Powderbird Spring Break Heli Giveaway

The crew: Kyler, Brayden, Pep and our guide Mike.
The crew: Kyler, Brayden, Pep and our guide Mike.

By Nick Meilleur, Seattle, WA: What a day for Kyler Tritter and his brother Brayden in sunny Utah. After winning the K2 x Powderbird Spring Break Heli Giveaway last week with his badass POV video, we flew the boys out and treated them to a day in the heli with none other than Pep Fujas.

Pep, Kyler and Brayden are stoked in the heli!
Pep, Kyler and Brayden are stoked in the heli!

Upon arrival at the Powderbird Heli Port, we were welcomed with smiles, hot coffee and a smorgasbord of delicious breakfast dishes. After eating and drinking our fill we met with Mike Morris, our guide for the day. Besides being a badass skier and knowing the Wasatch range like the back of his hand, Mike is a hell of a nice guy and we were beyond stoked to have him show us around.

Kyler and Mike.
Kyler and Mike.

Conditions were all time—bluebird sky, fresh pow and the mountains to ourselves. What resulted was lots of adrenaline, high fives, pow slashes and good times! Check out the video below.

Doug Coombs – Behind the Legend

ATT00002-2

“A big, toothy grin cracked across Coombs’s face as he studied the mountains sprawling around him. The smile barely fit on his face. As long as he had been able to stand in ski boots, all he had ever wanted to do was make turns through snow. His passion for skiing and for being in these mountains radiated from his lanky, six-foot-two-inch frame like a force field, and whoever came into his presence got sucked right in by his charisma, infectious optimism, and undeniable talent. To see him navigate down a mountain was to witness perfection in motion, to watch a man fulfill his very purpose on this earth.”

April 3rd of this month was the 10 year anniversary of legendary ski mountaineer Doug Coombs’ passing. As we observe this milestone, Robert Cocuzzo has written a biography of Doug’s life; detailing not only his accomplishments in skiing but also the man himself. For more info and to preorder the book, go here.

Furthermore, the New York Times has written an excellent tribute article in remembrance of Doug, which can be found here. Read the article, preorder the book, and above all, enjoy the mountains the way Coombs did.

K2 SKIS SPRING BREAK HELI TRIP GIVEAWAY

k2 skis spring break hell trip giveaway

HOLD UP!

We want to crash your Spring Break plans and send you and a friend to Utah to heli ski at Powderbird  for a day!

To round off this once in a lifetime opportunity, you will be accompanied by none other than K2 pro PEP FUJAS!

Just upload your best line of this winter on Instagram with #k2PowWithPep, and we will choose a lucky winner. You have until Thursday, March 17th at noon to submit. Official contest rules are below. Good luck!

K2 SKIS SPRING BREAK HELI TRIP GIVEAWAY

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

The “K2 Skis Spring Break Heli Trip Giveaway” (the “contest”) is sponsored by K2 Skis 4201 6th Ave S Seattle, WA 98108 (the “Sponsor”) There is one (1) Prize (Powderbird Heli Day-3/26/16—flight to Salt Lake City, UT included) to be awarded in March 2016. Chances of winning depend on the total number of eligible entries.

Who Can Enter:

  • Must be 18 or older to enter and locations are eligible.
  • The Contest is subject to all federal, provincial, and municipal laws, and is void where prohibited.
  • Employees of the Sponsors, the Prize Provider or any of their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, or any other company or individual involved with the design, production execution or distribution of the Contest and their immediate family (spouse, parents and step-parents, siblings and step-siblings, and children and step-children) and household members (people who share the same residence at least three (3) months out of the year) of each such employee are not eligible. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

Timing:
4. The Contest is open from March 11 2016 at 9:00 AM Pacific Standard Time (“PST”) and close at March 17th 2016 PST 12:00 AM (the “Contest Period”).

How To Enter:

  • Eligible entrants will submit Instagram videos with the hashtag #k2powwithpep during the Contest Period.
  • Each entrant may only submit one video.
  • All entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Proof of submission of an entry will not be deemed proof of receipt.
  • The Sponsor reserves the right to delete any entries or remove participants that are in violation of the Official Rules.
  • By participating in the Contest, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules.
  • Entrants may only win once.

Winner:

  • Following the draw, the selected entrant will be contacted by Instagram direct message while being publically announced through K2 Skis email, website, and possibly social media outlets upon release form signature.
  • In order to be verified the winner, the selected entrant must:
    • Respond to the prize notification message or telephone call within five (5) days of transmission;
    • Sign a declaration and have his/her guest sign a declaration stating that he/she:

(i) has read, understands and complies with the Official Rules;

(ii) forever and irrevocably releases and holds harmless Sponsors, the Prize Provider and their parents, subsidiaries and affiliates, and their respective agents, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, prize suppliers, employees, officers, directors, and shareholders from and against all claims, damages or liabilities arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation and/or entry in the Contest and/or entrant’s award, participation, receipt or use of any prize awarded in the Contest;.(iii) Consent to the announcement of the winner’s name and the use by or on behalf of the Sponsor of the winner’s name and/or photograph and/or video for advertising and promotional purposes, without any further compensation to the winner; and (iv) Consent to the Prize Provider’s rules pertaining to the use of the Prize, including executing Prize Provider’s standard waiver and release of claim document pertaining to the Prize.

  • Should the selected entrant fail to comply with any of the requirements contained in these Official Rules, the Grand Prize will be automatically forfeited and another entrant will be selected and the initially selected entrant will be disqualified and will have no recourse towards the Sponsor, the Prize Provider or anyone involved in the Contest.

Other Matters:

  • The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and local/municipal laws and is void where prohibited by law. If any provision of these Official Rules is found by any court of competent jurisdiction to be unenforceable, all other provisions will remain in full force and effect.
  • The Sponsor and the Prize Provider will not, under any circumstances, be responsible for, or liable to any entrant or any other person for:
  • any erroneous lost, damaged, late, incomplete, misdirected, deleted, defective, or altered Contest registrations, regardless of the cause, including, but not limited to, failure of the Site; ii. any failure for any reason whatsoever of the selected entrant to receive a prize notification;
  • Winner and friend must board flight to Salt Lake City from same location.

iii. any changes in email addresses after Contest registrations are submitted; and

  1. any computer, online, telephone, or technical malfunctions or errors that may occur, regardless of the cause; and
  2. unauthorized intervention in any part of the entry process or the Contest; and
  • printing, typographical, electronic or human errors which may occur in the offer or administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; and

vii. any injury or damage to persons or property, including but not limited to entrant’s computer, which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Contest, or from viewing, playing or downloading any material from Sponsors’ website(s), regardless of whether the material was prepared by Sponsors or a third party, and regardless of whether the material is connected to Sponsors’ websites by a hypertext link.

  • If for any reason the Contest is not capable of being conducted as intended by the Sponsor, including due to computer viruses, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other cause that corrupts or interferes with the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Contest, the Sponsor may, at its sole discretion, disqualify any entrant responsible for such misconduct and cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest.
  • Should tax liability arise, then it will be the responsibility of the winner and winner’s guest to notify their own Government’s relevant tax department. The Sponsor takes no responsibility or liability for taxation or for any other costs incurred in connection with the prizes received in this Contest.
  • Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding.
  • By entering the Contest, participants consent to the Sponsor’s collection, use, and disclosure of the personal information provided in the Contest registration for the administration of the Contest, including posting of the winner’s name and city of residence on the Sponsor website, and in aggregated, non-personal form in order to create reports regarding Contest entrant demographics and consumer habits, which reports the Sponsor may disclose to others. The Sponsor will use the entrant’s personal information only for identified purposes, and protect the entrant’s personal information in a manner that is consistent with K2 Ski’s Privacy Policy. Entrants may write to the Sponsor and request that their information be removed from the Sponsor’s records.

Entrant agrees that: (a) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and solely and exclusively in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington or the Superior Court located in King County, Washington; entrant submits to sole and exclusive personal jurisdiction to said courts in the State of Washington for any such dispute and irrevocably waives any and all rights to object to such jurisdiction; (b) any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out of pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of entrant or Sponsor in connection with the Contest shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Washington, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules of provisions (whether of the State of Washington, the United States, Canada, or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Washington.