THE EVOLUTION OF BACKSIDE ADVENTURE K2
What a long, strange, snowy road trip it’s been. The winter landscape has changed a lot since we launched our original Adventure ski, the Piste Off, and with it infused the wheat grass drinking telemark world with red bull and muscle car flames. Over almost 15 years, K2 introduced countless innovations to telemark skiing, from deep sidecuts to wide widths, to womens models to inserts to rocker. One could say we jump started the modern day telemark revolution and helped grow the entire telemark and alpine touring market.
As the market grew with us, we noticed that the distinctions began to blur. Telemark and AT boots and bindings progressively increased in size and power, and the subtleties of the skis gradually diminished. The necessity of a telemark-specific flex for light boots and bindings faded, as skiers embraced more powerful and exhilarating performance.
As more and more people ventured out into the backcountry, their opinions on what makes a good backcountry ski began to broaden as well. Some skiers like Martin Volken or Andrew McLean want a narrow, lightweight ski that’s skins well, and covers long distances efficiently. Others like the Crist brothers and Luke Miller prefer something fat and stable, and willingly pay a weight penalty. There is no wrong answer.
Our passion for the adventure that we created with skis branded “K2 Telemark” and “K2 Alpine Touring” continues just as strongly today with a revolutionary new line that blends the best features of backcountry skis with the powerful alpine characteristics of sidecountry models into one comprehensive collection we call BackSide.
We think the most important determining factors in choosing a ski are your objective and motivation – no longer your method of glisse. Are you touring for days or weeks, or merely an hour or two? Would you rather flash a 2,000’ slope in 6 turns, or milk it with 100? Those are more important questions to answer than what kind of binding you’ll put on the ski.
The common thread that binds this BackSide collection together is that they’re all designed for backcountry. Sure, any manufacturer can make the claim they’re making backcountry skis, but what truly makes them backcountry worthy? The features that set the BackSide collection apart from the pretenders are skin notches, straight tails, and tip and tail holes. These features transform the BackSide collection from simply great skiing skis into functional backcountry tools.
In our “BackSide Resources” section, guides and ski mountaineers from all over the globe will share with you some of the reasons they require these features in the backcountry. They’ll cover everything from putting skis on in steep terrain, to building ski anchors to constructing an emergency sled with your skis.
Ski touring is all about efficiency, so the more utility you can squeeze from your skis, the more equipment you can leave at home, making you faster and safer, your pack lighter, and your experience more enjoyable. So choose the BackSide model that fits your style and objective best, throw tele, AT or alpine bindings on them, and get out there.