Everyone has been affected by impacts from Covid-19 in one way or another. Have you had to change manufacturing or sourcing processes and can you explain any good examples of how your business has pivoted effectively?
We were affected like everyone in terms of shipment and resources. We were lucky to have our own factory in the Far East so we didn´t have to fight for capacity with other manufacturers. Nevertheless, shipping was the biggest issue in terms of cost and lead-time. I must say our planning and supply chain did a great job from the first moment on so we were able to deliver better than originally expected.
Carry-over was a hot topic for 21/22 boards. Where did your brand sit on the matter and has this changed for 22/23?
On certain items we carry-over but that didn´t increase due to Covid. We are keen on serving hot new products with fresh designs every year and tried to keep up with this strategy. We believe that it wouldn´t help retailers to leave them with carry-overs and the tough retail price battles. End consumers want new stories and products also in this situations. Regarding Splitboarding the boards and bindings are carry-over but we have a new boot in the game and have something cooking with energy projects.
The bricks and mortar model is changing rapidly. How are you working with retailers and your ecommerce channel to ensure as little conflict as possible?
The retailer is our biggest value. As we don´t sell direct (in Europe) we give all effort in empowering our retailers. Of course, there is a big shift into ecommerce and here we help with tools like “loadbee” where retailers that are entering the ecommerce world have a perfect tool to implement our products on their online shop.
What is your company doing to improve its carbon footprint/eco consciousness?
This is a tough task for our whole industry and we need to be clear that our sport has big challenges with this topic. To prioritize sustainability in all aspects of our business we want to achieve the targets of a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, an 80% reduction by 2040 and net-zero before 2050.
Prices: Which area of the market do you primarily cater to, price-wise? Has this changed at all in recent times, or is it pretty consistent?
We increased the retail price on our whole collection regarding higher costs but no further new strategy.
Please tell us about the dominant visual themes in your 22/23 gear, including any interesting artist collabs you have lined up.
In 22/23 we are coming up with two new collections. All items in these collections have a consistent design strategy and are influenced by many areas from all sort of cultural movements this year. We are planning energy projects with great artists but this will have to wait a little longer to be dropped.
Most brands tell us that selling in store is really important for splitboard gear, as it’s where you can get good advice. Can this be maintained post-COVID, or will you be looking to find more customers online?
Splitboards are very technical and not as easy to be bought online as other products but the ecommerce world is getting more and more helpful when trying to find the perfect product. I think buyer´s guides and product tutorials are asked more than ever so the sell-through will still increase via online for splitboards as well.
What are your three biggest European markets for splitboard hardware?
France, Switzerland and Germany are our strongest markets here.
Best Sellers/Hero products
–FREELOADER SPLIT PACKAGE
Countless hours on the skin track. A healthy number of summits and ridgelines, and more pow turns than we can count. It’s all lead to this. The K2 Freeloader was built to climb faster, descend sharper, and get you further into the backcountry than any splitboard we’ve ever built. The K2 Freeloader Splitboard package is built on the same unisex outline as our Marauder Split. A bit of taper in the tail of the Freeloader helps it sink in the deep stuff, while the wider nose stays up well above the surface and blasts through choppy snow.
–FAR OUT BINDING
Every splitboarder knows the best turns usually are not found inside the resort boundaries. The K2 Far Out splitboard binding is built to help you access your favorite backcountry terrain and minimize the time spent transitioning to and from split and descent modes. The Far Out’s mid-to-stiff flexing aluminum chassis is incredibly strong and is CNC machined with the maximum amount of cutouts to keep weight to an absolute minimum.
The K2 Waive snowboard boot is the perfect companion for those long days in the skin track. Packed full of K2-specific features like Endo™ construction, our Eco-Step Vibram® V5 Outsole, vibration damping Harshmellow™, and so much more. Unique to this model, we’ve integrated a “walk mode” feature powered by an H4 BOA® Fit System Dial – this allows for longer strides on the ascent without sacrificing performance and stability on the way down. Less fatigue equals more laps.