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Thread: New K2 Split System - Kwicker
12-20-2012, 10:03 AM #1
New K2 Split System - Kwicker
Toughest thing will be convincing riders they worked all of the kinks out of the clicker system.
After catching site of a new splitboard set up on K2 Snowboarding Global Marketing Manager Hunter Waldron’s Instagram feed yesterday, and getting a cryptic text back on just what it was, we caught up with Waldron for the skinny.
K2 is digging deep in its library and marrying its Clicker technology with a new splitboard system. Dubbed the Kwicker, it’s a throwback from the future. The step in binding system is based on the Voile puck and plate system married with a step-in binding and the Stark boot, which comes with internal support to make it ride like a traditional system. Paired with the new UltraSplit board, based on the UltraDream, the system comes together in a kit that weighs as much as a normal board and cuts binding transition time in half.
Too good to be true? That’s what we thought so we sat down with Waldron for a Q&A.
Give us a little background on the Kwicker. What’s included with it and what makes it different?
Kwicker is the result of a two-year development effort to drive K2 deeper into the Backcountry/splitboard market. Over the past three years we have been adding to out Backside board, tools, and pack program and this is the next level, a complete splitboard system. It is a board, boot, binding splitboard system that is based on Voile’s puck and plate system. To that we brought in a next generation attachment system and a completely new way of attaching and locking to the Voile pucks that really increases the speed and ease of transition from splitting to shredding modes.
In the end we have a system that is four pounds lighter then the current industry standard of Voile with a conventional binding and boot. Also transition time is cut in half.
So the bindings are a take on your old Clicker system – it seems like a great addition to keep things simple, lighter, and faster. How do the bindings ride compared to normal highbacks?
The binding and boot feel is almost indistinguishable form a conventional setup. This can be contributed to two things. First, in order to get this right, we spent the first phase of the development creating a 360 degree flex test machine from scratch. This machine flexes a boot in a binding in all directions and spits out a 360 flex plot of that boot/binding combo. We benchmarked some of our most popular boot and binding pairings and then set out to mimic those 360 degree flex signatures in the Kwicker setup.
The second key part of this is some of the boot technologies that are built into this [Stark] boot model. Endo Construction is something we have had in our line for a number of years now and has proven itself as a super durable way to build a boot. In the Kwicker application this internal structure acts as an internal highback that stiffens the backstay of the boot and provides solid repeatable support an flex. Second is our Boa Conda system which essentially is a Boa controlled internal ankle strap.
The Clicker went away for a reason – how have you corrected its previous shortcomings?
The weak point in the Clicker system was the boot. Ten years ago we just didn’t have the technology to solve the highback and ankle strap replacement challenges. But with the Endo construction and the Boa Conda internal heel hold, those problems are solved without bulky external parts that were bolted to the previous generation boots. Also, fit technology has improved by leaps and bounds in ten years. With better materials like Intuition foam liners, Boa precision lacing, and better last shaping our modern day fit makes a step in system possible again.
You guys really planted a flag in the splitboard sand with the Panormic at that price point. How does this build off of that package? Is it an evolution? Will you keep that in the line? Is this a Panoramic deck with the Kwicker system on it?
The Panoramic still exists in the line. The Kwicker system is being launched as the premium option above the Panoramic with our new UltraSplit board. This is a tuned up version of our popular UltraDream board that itself has a long list of technologies that add to the impact of the total system. Most important is the Split track system that offer infinite stance options and our new UltraTech board construction that removes 500 grams of weight compared to the Panoramic. The result is a splitboard that weighs the same as a regular board even with the basic split hardware included.
What will the package sell for at retail?
The details are still being worked out, but it will be offered as each part and also as a full kit complete with boots.
Any plans to implement the boot/binding system with non splits so people don’t have to buy a full kit just for splitboarding?
We are offering a standard mount binding so that those that invest in the system and therefore have the boots can then use those boots on their regular in-bounds board.
What are you most excited to share with retailers and riders about this new system?
After using it a few times myself it is really how easy this system in to use. It is fast and it is light, but really the easy of use and user experience is what has me stoked. It is all designed as a system. Kind of like going all in with Apple products, they all just work seamlessly with each other and are super solid. A big part of this is the pinless transition design. The plates go from locked in skinning mode to locked in riding mode without and pins. It can all be done with gloves on and is super simple and easy to do.
What essential problem does it solve?
Weight is the marquee story with the system. That 4 pounds is huge when you are lifting the system with each step. However I am just as excited for the ease factor. We have heard a lot of feedback from riders that splitboarding is fun, but it is just too complicated. Getting all the gear together and then performing the transition at the top and bottom and sometimes in-between each run is just too much. Kwicker is easy and intuitive enough that the potential avid user looking at the sport or trying it once falls on the side of yeah it is worth investing and getting into it.
12-20-2012, 10:06 AM #2
Weird that they would put so much into this, but still use the voile pucks. I'd love to test it out though.
12-20-2012, 10:10 AM #3www.apriliaforum.com
"If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?
"How many words would a butthurtjong type?
If a butthurt jong could build a hut? " skifishbum
12-20-2012, 10:22 AM #4
@VT-F - Mods can move this if needed. My bad. Seemed like it fit the bill for "...ski snowboard related cool shit."
12-20-2012, 10:42 AM #5
@VT-F - Mods can move this if needed, my bad. Figured it still met the requirements of being "...ski snowboard related cool shit."
12-20-2012, 11:02 AM #6
12-20-2012, 11:24 AM #7Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
kinda a half ass clicker resurrection, the new boot is a start, but anything stiff enough to ride in with out highbacks needs a walk mode or touring will be the suck think rearward ankle movement. what we need is a soft boot with a walk mode / removable tounge that tours without a binding, dynafit or nnn or something (soft boots are light there are a couple models are 650 gm). then throw in the sparkys are krackacraks for the down.
12-20-2012, 12:07 PM #8
click in snowboard boots and bindings are lame. Real snowboarders strap in.....yo
12-20-2012, 12:15 PM #9
If I didn't like riding with straps or highbacks I'd just mod a good AT boot and be a fruitbooter. Much lighter and better for mountaineering.
Looks nice but it won't find a niche to sell imo. Karakoram is where it's at.
The Stark boot? Lol, seems like they're trying hard to sound like the Spark boot.
Last edited by BGnight; 12-20-2012 at 01:11 PM.
12-20-2012, 12:51 PM #10Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
hmmmm, toe piece looks interesting
12-20-2012, 12:56 PM #11
Have to see how the pricing works out. K2 obviously has a much wider distribution and can get it in front of a lot of customers/first-time buyers who may have never heard of higher-priced Karakoram.
12-20-2012, 12:57 PM #12
My first thought was where is a highback, then reading the text (spoiler alert) it's in the boot, so I see nothing I'd be interested in.
12-20-2012, 01:10 PM #13
Built in highbacks and independent highbacks perform drastically different....unfortunately for this system :/
True nfaust. I'm sure they'll get these to move due to their company name, but it's hardly what a revolutionary step in splitboard technology. It'd be cool if they made it with a simple, optional carbon highback. Would still be really light. I really want K2 to add a stiff sole and toe box to their T1 boot for mountaineering. That boot rocks.
12-20-2012, 01:25 PM #14
12-20-2012, 06:17 PM #15
Splitboards work so great that they turned my lifelong snowboarding wife into a skier. Best invention ever.The older I get, the better I was.
12-20-2012, 09:02 PM #16Minion
- Join Date
- Dec 2012
I have been a snowboard mountain guide in Jackson WY and Valdez AK since 2000 I was a strong supporter of the original clicker system and used them while guiding for years. There were limits to the technology but the many pros certainally outweighed the cons. Having tried the new system I am completely convinced this is the way to go. Step in convience alone is key for traveling in the mountains but the weight savings of 3.9lbs is groundbreaking, the speed of transitions is cut in half, and the tip and tail skin system is a necessity not a luxury. The board rides better than any other split I have riden and I've riden them all.
12-20-2012, 09:53 PM #17
Friends don't let friends ride step-ins.So local it hurts...
12-20-2012, 09:59 PM #18
Color me skeptical. I've never seen a good quality step in binding.
12-20-2012, 10:09 PM #19
If the boots are anything like in the past, they will be ~1lb heavier per boot...making the weight reduction claim a bit 'optimistic'. I will be curious to see a real weight comparison, with full setups represented.
12-20-2012, 11:01 PM #20
12-20-2012, 11:04 PM #21
^^ YOu obviously did not read the article which says "In the end we have a system that is four pounds lighter then the current industry standard of Voile with a conventional binding and boot. "
Four fucking pounds, that makes my new jones carbon set up look like a fat kid. But im still very skeptical of step in bindings. Seems like they could get really caked with super compact snow from tour mode and be a nightmere to clean out ontop of an icy ridge. Not really sure where people get the idea that current splitboard technology is difficult to assemble but quite frankly those people can quit bitchin, go fuck themselfs and probably should not be viewed as someone to trust your life with in the backcountry. But 4 fucking pounds, holy shit i really do hope there on to something although its doubtful
12-20-2012, 11:13 PM #22
Yeah, I read it...I am still skeptical.
12-20-2012, 11:25 PM #23
12-20-2012, 11:34 PM #24
The issue I see with clickers was that the boot was fairly stiff (if you got the right boot, there were some crap boots on the market) and didn't have the same free style flex if you were a park rider. I am more free ride so that never bothered me. Didn't walk as nice as other boots on hard, flat surfaces and the boots were somewhat heavy I suppose, not that noticeable though.Education must be the answer, we've tried ignorance and it doesn't work! Wait, nevermind, when you see a liberal using science to advance an idea...grab your wallet and your freedom and run.
12-20-2012, 11:35 PM #25
One thing I would like to see in a kwicker system is a stiff sole and narrow construction that is crampon compatible for climbing. All snowboard boots I have seen and used are dangerous as hell for any type of climbing in steep or hard snow, forget about ice. I was able to fit some strap on crampons on my boots but I didn't feel comfortable enough to complete my objective and turned back with the other guy who wasn't feeling it that day. Never figured out a way to climb with snowboard boots and frankly just went with my AT set up if there was any climbing or skinning involved.
Might try this system though, been thinking that splitboarding tech would start to get better.Education must be the answer, we've tried ignorance and it doesn't work! Wait, nevermind, when you see a liberal using science to advance an idea...grab your wallet and your freedom and run.