Forums Splitboards K2 introduces the new "Kwicker" splitboard system –
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  • #663343
    jgusa
    68 Posts

    @Jefe009 wrote:

    So obviously their #1 splitboard athlete was not involved at all in the design of this new system.

    This completely blows me away. I can’t even put into words how disappointing it is to hear this about the new product.

    Kicking myself right now for not applying for that K2 Snowboards design/R&D position opening two years ago.

    #663344
    Chewbacca
    100 Posts

    I only tried clickers with a shimano boot once. The boot was WAAAY too stiff, almost like a hardboot. I always wanted to try the K2 Yak boot out, but never got the chance. That boot at least seemed to have potential. That boot with modern tech, seperate cuff like some modern boots like the burton slx, and of course a walk mode mech in the highback, maybe a 3rd strap in the highback for touring (strappy strap). I wouldn’t leave the ankle strap out, but maybe the woked that out.

    Anyway the slider track seems to hook onto the touring bracket more or less like the Mr. Chomps crampons from Spark. just not sure if those hooks will take the abuse of long tours with steep and/or icy transitions.

    My :twocents:

    A Merry Christmas to all of you.

    #663384
    b0ardski
    251 Posts

    POP!!! That’s a bubble bursting.
    This is NOT innovation. I have one word for ya’ll, bicycles. I thought about putting the shimano “toe” hook and “heel” latch directly on the voile slider 10 years ago. Shimano bindings are just not designed for snow.

    I don’t want to hate on K2, in fact I was a huge fan back when some of my favorite boards were built on Vashon, (170 TX, 159, 164, 173 eldos, recon riser)

    Think about this for just a minute, a hole in the bottom of the sole of a snow boot; that is integral to latching you on to your slope tool :scratch: :nononno:

    Those who claim to “used them for yrs and never had a problem clicking in”, I call BS, maybe if you’ve never walked around much in sticky 32* soft snow.
    I bought clickers and skylords (built in high back) in ’01, the boots came with a sm pick for cleaning out the sockets(red flag). The system was a dream to use until the sockets clogged (switch & burton SI were less finicky, toe/heel, side/side retention arguments aside).
    Sold them to a friend that needed new boots because I preferred the progressive forward flex and support of my raichle hardshells which are still going after wearing out 3 liners in well over a decades use.

    Rode Lookout last Sat, with a friend who just got a pair of new old stock clicker boas on his skunkape. All was happy until we pushed across 50 yards of flat to a different run and he had trouble clicking in. almost every run after that it took several to a dozen tries to lock in.

    Secondly he couldn’t get the boa tight enough without fear of breakage until I let him use my extra power straps on the upper cuff allowing a few more clicks of the cable mech.

    You want innovation, how about clicker binders that hold the board together like phantom or edison w/hybrid boot, ie AT style lower shell with walk mode cuff, either lace up or buckle options having clicker sockets AND dynafittings. And a smaller lighter weight tech fitting tour bracket???

    ps love the tip/tail shape on that ultrasplit, oldskool :disco:

    #663385
    idarado
    69 Posts
    #663386
    Kyle Miller
    510 Posts

    O.K……so here is the lowdown of what I know

    It is true that I didn’t work on development of the “Kwicker” system and the reason behind that is because I am a sponsored athlete for Spark and to be involved would be a break in contract. What I did help work on is the UFO boots that are part of the system. I tested those boots out in the Pickets, Rainier, numerous North Cascadian Peaks and a full year of touring and resort riding. I really dig the dual boa system.

    As for the Kwickers them self. I have had the opportunity to check them out and see how they transition. I am excited to get them out in the field and put them through the ringer for sure. I would have been testing them a tad bit earlier but size 13 feet made it a challenge with proto gear. My hope is to make it to all/most of the splitboard festivals and if that happens I should have the system with me for peeps to check out.

    #663387
    powslash
    382 Posts

    K2 is 15 years too late with this. During the first clicker go around there were a handful of splitting weirdos trying to convince K2 that splits were the future.They weren’t seeing it. Imagine how different this conversation would be if K2 had been early adopters. Instead they went with approach skis and snowshoes. Fast forward to now, approach skis and snowshoes are curse words.

    A quote from someone still rocking clickers in 2013, ” My clickers never released on me, well, except this one time on top of a cliff…”

    There are innovative small business people making wicked bindings in their garages. Support them.

    #663388
    Scooby2
    620 Posts

    on behalf of all splitting weirdos, we invite all innovative small business people to join the club of splitting weirdos :bananas: :bananas: :bananas:

    #663389

    @Scooby2 wrote:

    on behalf of all splitting weirdos, we invite all innovative small business people to join the club of splitting weirdos :bananas: :bananas: :bananas:

    Hell ya! 😀 I think this is how the sport will grow, more people, innovations, and companies building equipment.

    #663390
    tahoeBC
    4 Posts

    Have a pair of these in hand. Boots are very stiff!!! System is actually heavier than Voile hardware and lightrail or sparks bindings. FALSE CLAIMS on weight!!!
    To give them credit, it is pretty elegant. I just do not see the splitboard market resorting to stepins!?!

    #663391
    philip.ak
    679 Posts

    Are you going to ride the stuff? What is your relationship to K2 (in other words, why do you have a set in hand)?

    #663392
    tahoeBC
    4 Posts

    Need to get out on them still. I do have not direct relationship with K2. We have a couple sets in house to test and try out. We weighed directly against voile, sparks, and karakoram. Heavier than voile or sparks for sure.
    I personally do not like stiff rigid boots, but I’m going to get out on it this weekend and try a couple laps on them. The system looks elegant but I had clickers back in the day and stopped riding them because of the boot fit more than anything.
    I will be very subjective when riding them regardless of my personal opinion. I really do not see myself switching from my strap in bindings anytime soon.
    The tour brackets are pretty sweet though, easy to click in and well thought out.
    I will try to upload a couple pics while out on them.

    #663393
    philip.ak
    679 Posts

    Thanks for the extra info. I’m looking forward to your impressions.

    #663394

    Forgive me…..I have more to add… The touring bracket and slider plate look like they will integrate very well, similar to how mr chomps hooks on to my LT pins. Super slick with going pinless. That would be super slick during transitions with gloves on. Which is problably the coolest part to me. Maybe that would be more Benificial on a normal (highback) binding. I like how the slider plate works integrated with the rest of the touring interface.

    P.S. I am a part of what y’all assumes is K2’s “target market” and both of my “target market” friends and I that have spent/ will spend money on splitboard crap……Well, we think that clickers are for noobies, or oldies.

    #663395
    aliasptr
    282 Posts

    I still think it’s a bummer that the pivot point, especially for larger footed people is so far back in addition to how people already mentioned the lack of rearward cuff flex for touring.

    I want to like it but I’ll stick with my Scarpa F1s and Dynafit setup for now. I am really excited to hear other people’s actual experiences on the system though!

    #663396
    wasatch surf
    979 Posts

    once again this seems to be a lateral move and not a forward move for the progression of splitboard gear. the problem is most companies are not in tune to what splitboarders actually want or at least what most of us want. the reality is touring in snowboard boots is a joke. not having any reward flex(walk mode) is not acceptable. even if a lot of people won’t go to hardboots, most can acknowledge that the touring is vastly superior.
    in my opinion here are the pros and cons.

    pros-
    no strap bindings.
    seems like a cool system(skins, bindings, boots) and would be a great option for someone that is looking to get their first spliboard setup.
    i’ve toured with a lot of people on clickers and they are always the fastest at transition and don’t seem to have any issues. I don’t think the clicker interface is the concern here. I am more concerned about the boot just being a normal snowboard boot.

    cons-
    normal softboot. (sucks for touring, no crampon compatibility, not a great sole, not an improvement for kicking steps)
    I don’t want any sort of binding on my foot when i’m touring.
    I would question that lateral stability of the boot/binding when skinning icy traverses
    lack of touring functionality
    not releasable

    I just fail to see how this is an improvement on anything that is already out on the market :scratch:
    if you are just going to make another mediocre softboot set up at least make it releasable. people have only been asking for that for 10 years. good try though.

    #663397
    peacefrog
    376 Posts

    this seems to be a lateral move and not a forward move for the progression of splitboard gear

    Sometimes you’ve got to make a lateral move to make a forward move. I’m sure you done a switchback before. 😉
    not that I’m running out to get a pair, it seems to me that the Edison will solve most of our switch over issues.

    #663398
    Jason4
    443 Posts

    I agree with a lot of what has been said here, this system offers another choice, not a revolution for splitboarding. There is a good chance that I’ll have the opportunity to give it a try in the near future since one of my friends is on their team and has a set headed this way.

    A couple things to point out, K2 now has a couple more heavyweights on their split gear: Lucas Debari and Kael Martin. Those two have been getting after it this year. Lucas has experience with hardboot splitboard mountaineering in a serious way. Kael is also serious about climbing and riding and hopefully both will have a lot of input into new K2 products along with Kyle Miller.

    I see big shortcomings compared to both straps and hardboots with the new Kwicker system. The biggest are the traversing abilities, crampon compatibility, and toe kicking ability. I would love to see a hybrid boot with a hardboot lower with dynafit toes and a softboot upper to retain the classic snowboard feel. The reality of things is that the splitboard market is too small to justify dedicated molds for snowboard specific AT boots. K2 does have a dynafit compatible ski boot in their line up now so maybe there is some hope of seeing a skunk works frankenboot from them.

    #663399
    jive stick
    110 Posts

    Took it out yesterday. Used old boots(backwards compatible).
    Marginally functional as it sits. Needs some serious work and a mountain boot not a jibber boot.
    BTW, I am not calling a modified AT ski boot a mountain boot. Ski boots are for skiers.
    I want a light comfy updated super pipe style snow board boot.

    wowasatch.com

    #663400
    Jason4
    443 Posts

    The super pipe is a terrible snowboard boot. I have experience with them in plate bindings and in straps. They aren’t a very good climbing boot either because they are a lot taller than they need to be. They’re heavy. The heel is really tall. The rands aren’t stiff enough to hold bails on reliably. I double ejected plenty of times and I was a whopping 13 years old and around 100 lbs at the time that I rode in them. I have very little faith that Super Pipes would hold up to much riding for me at this point. There was a better hard/soft boot hybrid out in the early 90s and it was still pretty bad. Either way, splitboarding is not currently a big enough market to have dedicated molds for boots, it’s going to have to be something borrowed and modified from AT skiing or cut/sewn.

    #663402
    powslash
    382 Posts

    [youtube:3tkmxdjn]6bOy3RNyWME[/youtube:3tkmxdjn]

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