K2's Landscape Collection will change the way you choose a board, depending on where and how you ski.

Landscape Collection continues to be released from K2 Snowboarding.This season, we have a lineup of six models with different characteristics.Tom, a global marketing manager, and a senior design engineer came to Japan from the United States for the K6 test drive event held at Niseko Moiwa in January this year.We asked Justin about the characteristics of each model and how to play with them.We will also hear from K2 riders who are actually using the board.
Photo: Jun Watanabe

Two people at the forefront of K2 Snowboarding

This time, we spoke with K2 Snowboarding's senior design engineer, Justin Clark, better known as J.Stone, and global marketing director Thomas Johnson (commonly known as Tom).Justin is from Salt Lake City and previously worked at Milo Sports, a well-known local snowboard shop.He went to engineering school and in 2013 created Stoney Surfers, a completely custom pawsurf brand that combines advanced shapes and features born from the origins of surfing. He joined K2019 Snowboarding in 2.Tom, on the other hand, grew up in a town about 50 kilometers from Boston.Like Justin, he also previously worked at local skate and snowboard shop Eastern Border.He then worked for two years as marketing director at Mt. Hood's High Cascade Camp before joining K2 in 2017.

First, Tom told us the origin of the name Landscape Collection.
``The landscape that unfolds in front of you is of course different depending on the snowboarder looking at it, and the same slope can look different depending on the skill and imagination of that person.Moreover, different mountains have different topography and slope. Just like Niseko has a board suitable for Niseko, and Whistler has a board suitable for Whistler."
Justin adds:
“Freeride is the root of snowboarding.I think so.It's the fun and fun that everyone felt when they first started snowboarding.So our goal is to create a board that will satisfy both freestyle riders and riders who charge hard in powder.We thought this was the ultimate, high-quality freeride board that we were looking for."

Justin started skiing when he was 2 years old and quickly fell in love with snowboarding, and his skiing skills are on par with the pros.

6 Landscape Collections designed to suit skiing styles and terrain

 ALCHEMIST is the first model in the Landscape Collection released this season and is positioned as the flagship model.
``This model started with the aim of creating the best freeride board possible.I like to skate aggressively with high speed, and ideally I want to make big sprays in powder.If you want to skate like that... This board is the best."
So says Justin, who had completed his ideal board in his first year at K2. ALCHEMIST means alchemist, and it means that just like alchemizing base metals into precious metals, snowboarding combines various parts and techniques to become the most expensive item, like gold.

 

ALCHEMIST  SIZE: 154, 157, 159W, 160, 163, 164W PRICE: ¥104,500 (tax included)
Tom was already working in snowboarding at the age of 14.Until now, he has been spending his days immersed in snowboarding, both in public and private life.

 Next, Justin introduced us to the ANTIDOTE, an all-mountain freestyle board that incorporates ALCHEMIST technology.Both the nose and tail have a 3D shape, reducing swing weight while increasing the strength of the board itself.
"Vibrations transmitted through the nose dissipate before they reach the bindings, resulting in smoother turns and better edge control. The same year we were making this board, K2 rider Sage Kotsenberg and Travis Rice It was the year that Natural Selection appeared on the Natural Selection. Jackson Hole's course allows you to hit natural terrain, and you can ski powder, speed up, and perform freestyle tricks. ANTIDOTE was focused on that style, so Natural Selection existed. Sage's cooperation had a huge impact on the evolution of this board.Also, the model name is ANTIDOTE, and the conventional wisdom is that twin tips don't float as much in powder as tapered boards. However, by making the nose and tail 3D, it has a buoyancy comparable to that of a tapered board.In other words, the twin is "poison" in this case, but this board is meant to detoxify it and bring out even more performance. I did.”

Senior Design Engineer Justin explains about ANTIDOTE.
ANTIDOTE   SIZE: 145, 148, 151, 154, 157, 158W, 159, 161W, 162, 163W PRICE: ¥97,900 (tax included)

 

K2 Japan rider Atsushi Yamaki also usually chooses ANTIDOTE. ``In my case, I often ride free runs, kickers, and half pipes.The rebound of the board is great, and the response to ollies is fast.Also, the 3D shape doesn't get caught when flying, and even in powder, it's easy to ride snow here. It feels like it's being cut, and I'm feeling really good."

 One of Justin's favorite models was a model called PASSPORT.
"The terrain on my home mountain, Brighton, is a mix of freeride and freestyle. That kind of terrain can be found in many places around the world. The board I wanted to make is a combination of freeride and freestyle. It was a board that could do anything on the mountain.It was a board that could be skated freestyle on powder days, and it had a twin shape but a mix of powder board construction.This board was tapered and innovative. It's a side cut, so the nose is just a little shorter than the tail, so it's easy to switch.I was thinking of freestyle powder.It's my favorite, and I spend the most time on the PASSPORT during the season.''
 Next, Tom told us about the origin of the PASSPORT model name.
"If you have a passport, you can go anywhere in the world. If you take your snowboard with you, you can go anywhere there is snow and experience new culture. Anyway, this board is a great way to access the backcountry. It also has the meaning of a passport.The reason we use tents in the graphics is that as long as you have a tent, you can make any place your home.No matter where you ski in the world, you can feel as if you are skiing your home mountain. That’s the kind of board it is.”

PASSPORT JP   SIZE: 146, 149, 151, 154, 157, 159W, 160, 162W, 163 PRICE: ¥81,400 (tax included)

 INSTRUMENT was the first board Justin and Tom built together.
“We wanted to create a board that would have some kind of innovative impact on the snowboarding market.I think traditional snowboarders prefer traditional boards, but we wanted to create a more modern and sophisticated version of that. I wanted to do that.The truncated tail shape makes it easier to snap off ollies and for side hits.It adds a freestyle flavor that young riders are looking for.Model The reason I chose the name INSTRUMENT is to imagine playing jazz on a snowy mountain, just going with the flow. Instruments are essential to playing jazz."
Tom laughed, making a gesture as if he was playing the piano.Justin also told us about the ride.
“INSTRUMENT is mellow compared to ALCHEMIST, which charges hard during freeride..It has a slightly wide setting and gives the impression of cruising.It is intended to have a fairly wide level range so that anyone who wants to focus on freeriding can ride it.I think this board is easy for anyone who wants to do carving, powder, or other side hits to ride.”

 

INSTRUMENT   SIZE: 151, 154, 157, 160, 163 PRICE: ¥88,000 (tax included)

Justin says that in recent years, the number of snowboarders of all ages who enjoy carving has been increasing both in Japan and overseas.EXCAVATOR was created for such people.
“From hard carving that leans your body down to freestyle carving that incorporates tricks.,I think the number of people who are enjoying the turn itself has increased overwhelmingly.Various brands have been releasing models that are specialized for carving, but all of them seemed very stiff for everyday use by the average snowboarder.The person we envisioned is someone who wants to feel comfortable grooming and also want to ski powder.It's not that wide, but it has strong torsion between the legs to improve maneuverability.A board that allows for solid edge hold is essential for carving."
 Tom continues to explain the reason for the mysterious name EXCAVATOR.
“Excavators that can crush huge rocks are quite large machines, but they dig into the earth with tremendous power.This board is designed with the same image in mind, by digging deep turn grooves in the snow compaction barn, and in powder, using strong force to dig into the snow. Let it fly. With that in mind, we named it EXCAVATOR.”

EXCAVATOR   SIZE: 142, 146, 150, 154, 158, 162 PRICE: ¥95,700 (tax included)
Myself tooEXCAVATORHe is said to be riding onK2Rider Takashi Takai. "This board is a very thick fat board.It floats quite a bit with powder.It's also nice to be able to set a firm edge when carving.I usually use a 158cm board, and I like it because it feels like the powder rises twice as much as a regular board, and I can spray it even with the slightest movement.I usually ride with a setback, and when I do that, the tail moves more easily.”
The EXCAVATOR is also the model that K2 rider Curtis Siszek, who has created numerous video parts, trusts. "I often ride this board on Mt. Bachelor when the snow is deep. Bachelor has many flat spots, but it's a great board that floats a lot. With a big nose and setback, and a great side cut, I think it's a board that anyone can ride. .I probably ride it more than 1 days a year."

MANIFEST is the freeride model in the Landscape Collection that is more freestyle than most.Justin explained the features of this board.
``This is a board for riders who want to do anything. Side hits and jumps in the backcountry. From natural jumps to switch landings to catch powder. Structurally, the nose and tail are a little longer. I also added a little setback."
 Tom then tells us the story behind why this board is called MANIFEST.
“Aaron Robinson, a K2 rider, passed away in an avalanche accident in 2009.When I was renewing the model I had at the time, I named it MANIFEST after his last video work.This board is based on the model he originally rode, and I named it to remember him.

MANIFEST JP   SIZE: 144, 147, 150, 153, 156, 157W, 159, 160W, 162, 164W PRICE: ¥92,400 (tax included)

The board selection starts from knowing what kind of terrain the skier will be skating on.

So far, the two have talked about the 6 models of boards with different personalities.Finally, we asked Justin about choosing the right board for him.
"I think it's really important to think about what kind of terrain you want to ride and what kind of experience you want to have while snowboarding when ultimately choosing a board. There's no doubt that the type of board will affect how you ski on the terrain."
 And from Tom.
``The board you need depends on the kind of terrain you'll be skating on. If you're going to be skating on a slope, you'll need a board that's somewhat stiff, but if the terrain is gentle, you'll want a softer board.''

Suggestions for board selection from two people

 What Landscape Collection speaks to us through their words is, ``How do you want to skate?'' ” was the question.Why not step up a little from an all-round model that can do everything from park, jump, powder, and turns to a board that allows you to tackle the kind of snowboarding you really want to do?

The video below is K2 Snowboarding's latest Landscape Collection short movie shot in Utah, USA last season.SWEEP”.Aya Sato and Aifuyu Ito from Japan are participating in this shooting event in Utah, where record snowfall continues.

 

 


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