Review: K2 Panoramic splitboard

Find out why this splitboard is one of the best of the 2011/2012 season

K2 Panoramic
$1000 with skins
Lengths: 154, 158, 162, 168
Hardware: Voile

Wondering when K2 would step into the splitboard scene? Well that time is now with the launch of the K2 Panoramic, a quick and easy step into the backcountry.

Not wanting to just slap their logo on what everyone else is doing, K2 took a fresh look at the niche and innovated. Borrowing from their ski side they created their own skin system. Using two attachment points, at the nose and tail, makes switching to ski mode faster and easier and adds a level of reassurance. You don’t have to rely on just the glue holding the skins in place. One important caveat: make sure you have the right skin for the right board or you’ll face some serious head scratching.

The board itself has traditional camber underfoot with a rockered tip and tail. We found this shape allowed us to charge down any line, be it spring corn or waist deep powder, with confidence. Front and back rocker effectively shortens the board, making it easier to turn, without compromising the stability of length.

A softer flex made it easy to initiate turns, but contributed to our only complaint. We often slipped while edging in tour mode; a soft, wide ski can’t hold an edge on hard pack. Though we suspect the K2 Formula Bindings (sold separately) were partially to blame (see full review).

Overall: The Panoramic is an outstanding first edition by K2. We’re excited to see where they take splitboarding next.

Bonus: A neat thing that K2 is doing, which goes hand and hand with the splitboard is the Pilchuck kit. This is a great starter kit for the backcountry. It includes the Pilchuck backpack, aluminum probe and rescue shovel for $219.