K2. The ARC Collection. Made in the USA

Big J

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And consumer preferences and purchase behaviors also differ. My point was “made in USA” by itself isn’t worth this much price premium (for me). There are plenty of examples where USA manufacturing is inferior and pumping out higher quantities of the same ski in China could actually translate to better quality. My opinion would change if the construction was different or there was something else “special” about it vs. the China made ones. Not a lot of details here so maybe the construction is different (think Volvo V-Werks or DPS Alchemist) or something else to change perceived value for me.
No argument from me on any of this. I do not care where a ski is made as long as it does what I want it to at a price I want to pay for it. It would be nice if this was a testing of the waters before deciding to bring production back to the USA. I do not know if making them in Des Moines WA which is right across the water from their old facility on Vashon Island is a sign of something or not. My interpretation is that this is not a production run for full retail sales but perhaps a testing of the waters only. I currently own 4 pairs of K2 skis.
 

BillVT

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I've been skiing on a 182cm Disruption TI2 test ski all season and I have to say it is by far my favorite ski and one I won't give up. Well done K2! Arcs turn like a slalom ski, though it's a 19m radius. Fantastic grip throughout the turn. Tip is just soft enough to absorb rough surfaces but still has good grip. Really grips in end of turn,but those who like to slide their tails might not like that. Not a race ski, but a great ski for an ex-racer who wants performance reminiscent of a race ski with a little more all mountain comfort.
 

Erik Timmerman

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I've been skiing on a 182cm Disruption TI2 test ski all season and I have to say it is by far my favorite ski and one I won't give up. Well done K2! Arcs turn like a slalom ski, though it's a 19m radius. Fantastic grip throughout the turn. Tip is just soft enough to absorb rough surfaces but still has good grip. Really grips in end of turn,but those who like to slide their tails might not like that. Not a race ski, but a great ski for an ex-racer who wants performance reminiscent of a race ski with a little more all mountain comfort.

Would you use it for Ski Bum?
 

Wasatchman

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Although I have concerns about the execution, I applaud the move and say it's about time K2 is trying this.

Their market share has significantly eroded and the mindbender series didn't change the trajectory (at least so far).

The very essence and history of the brand was being American and the brand's market share has been on the decline since the move to China.

I would have preferred different execution on reintroducing American made skis but I'm happy they are trying it and hopefully this is a sign that they may finally be recognizing or open to considering the impact of moving their production to China has had on the brand.

I just hope they don't give up on the idea if this initiative isn't as successful as they are hoping as I don't think they are executing on it in the right way.
 

Tony S

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Is that really one ski? I would think two, but then it’s asymmetrical. Just seems too wide for a 106
It's just a REALLY SMALL Blue Man pouring the resin.
.... or Boeing's version of Skunkworks.
Don't think Boeing has a great quality rep right now.
Volvo V-Werks
Now there's an idea for the car geeks!
The green skis look fantastic
Topsheet mystery solved. It says "money."
 

Tom K.

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....I also managed to bend two pairs of TNC Comps I'd got on pro deals that season, and ended up going back to the KVC's....

K2 used to be such an amazing company! Two quick stories:

1. Core shot a VO on Day 1. Called K2, got transferred to the race shop, and begged them to sell me one ski. They said it was difficult to do that.......and just sent me a new pair of skis. For free. Meant a lot to a young 28-year old kid just putting his career together.

2. Back in college, I bent a pair of 812s on a spring break trip to JH. K2 frigging sent me a new pair, and a pair of 712s with a note that said "Use the 712s on bump days". I actually had that note until our recent move, but cannot find it at the moment (it's somewhere.....). Note: Might have been 810s and 710s, it was a long time ago.

And consumer preferences and purchase behaviors also differ. My point was “made in USA” by itself isn’t worth this much price premium (for me). There are plenty of examples where USA manufacturing is inferior and pumping out higher quantities of the same ski in China could actually translate to better quality. My opinion would change if the construction was different or there was something else “special” about it vs. the China made ones. Not a lot of details here so maybe the construction is different (think Volvo V-Werks or DPS Alchemist) or something else to change perceived value for me.

I remember reading an interview (in Powder Magazine?) with Tim Petrick when K2 first moved production to China. He expressed surprise that they found quality actually improved with the change, when measured by "culls" per 100 pair of skis. That was good enough for me at the time, but now, given any reasonable alternative, I'll choose something made elsewhere.
 

Tony S

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Back in college, I bent a pair of 812s on a spring break trip to JH. K2 frigging sent me a new pair, and a pair of 712s with a note that said "Use the 712s on bump days"
Were you, you know, some kind of public figure?
 

dovski

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Let me start by saying this is great marketing. K2 wanted to remind everyone that they are an American company who actually employs people in the USA. Showcasing their ARC facility where they design really cool skis by releasing a small number of super premium skis hand made in that facility is really smart. I live in the Seattle area and did not even know that this design studio existed, so good work K2 mission accomplished.

Now as for bringing ski manufacturing back to the USA, I struggle with that, since they are make 10s if not 100s of thousands of the same skis in China and selling them at a fraction the price as the "US made skis". Simply put this is not part of a bigger shift to bring manufacturing back to the US, it will not create many if any new jobs, but it is great PR. So cool that they can do this and glad to see they still drive design and innovation here.
 

Ken_R

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The idea that all Chinese stuff is of low quality is a myth.
Consider an iPhone.
You get what you pay for in China (if you are clever and vigilant) just like anywhere else.

We know. It depends on the particular factory and qc. Such a huge range of quality. China or not the K2 skis were meh, average at best. Maybe they did not make all of their skis at the same factory and held to the same standard. Besides that the brand lacked focus. They trudged along by supplying ski rental fleets (mostly lower end models) for years. That all changed a few years ago.
 
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Philpug

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We know. It depends on the particular factory and qc. Such a huge range of quality. China or not the K2 skis were meh, average at best. Maybe they did not make all of their skis at the same factory and held to the same standard. Besides that the brand lacked focus. They trudged along by supplying ski rental fleets (mostly lower end models) for years. That all changed a few years ago.
Every brand goes through their ebbs and flows...hell, Blizzard are pretty much out of the market around the turn of the century (I still like saying "turn of the century").
 

crgildart

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2. Back in college, I bent a pair of 812s on a spring break trip to JH. K2 frigging sent me a new pair, and a pair of 712s with a note that said "Use the 712s on bump days". I actually had that note until our recent move, but cannot find it at the moment (it's somewhere.....). Note: Might have been 810s and 710s, it was a long time ago.

I had the 812s for powder and hauling ass on groomers.. 710 FO for bumps. They were lighter and softer than the 712s..
 

Tom K.

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Were you, you know, some kind of public figure?

Heck no. I had skied K2 exclusively since 4th grade, and been on a volunteer NSPS patrol for several years.

My family even stuck with K2 through their "delamination years" since they always came through (maybe ~1973?).

I don't think I owned another brand of skis until the OG Enforcer.

EDIT: I did, in fact, dabble with Volkl, buying a pair of their vaunted bright green Super Gs. Turned out that THEY had the qc issues that year, and offered no support whatsoever.
 

Choucas

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Meh. They built a very few nice, expensive skis in a small skunkworks. Nice, but doesn’t change anything. Since production went to China, the skis are better than what was coming out of Vashon, but there’s still a made in China stigma. They haven’t hit on the right marketing formula to make the brand truly competitive in the US market.
 

Wasatchman

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Meh. They built a very few nice, expensive skis in a small skunkworks. Nice, but doesn’t change anything. Since production went to China, the skis are better than what was coming out of Vashon, but there’s still a made in China stigma. They haven’t hit on the right marketing formula to make the brand truly competitive in the US market.
I agree the execution by K2 on this initiative is not good. But it gives me hope that K2 is thinking about USA production again and hopefully there is more testing to come on this front as far as US production
 

dovski

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I agree the execution by K2 on this initiative is not good. But it gives me hope that K2 is thinking about USA production again and hopefully there is more testing to come on this front as far as US production
The real question is which skis are better quality, the handmade skunkworks ski from the US or the same ski made in China. The next question is if they do scale production in the US can they sell the skis at a comparable cost to the ones they make in China. As I said earlier I think this great marketing that was well executed but I do not think it signals a change in their business model of mass producing skis in China.
 

fatbob

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I think you're kidding yourselves if you think K2 will be bringing scale production back to US and selling product at the everyman price. I can see why this PR is something that might make you hope for that and K2 are unlikely to correct you on that but don't lose sight of the fact that the world has moved on.

Still the PR has had its intended impact it's got everyone nice and nostalgic about how awesome K2 skis used to be so maybe people won't yawn and walk past them on the rack next time.
 

Scruffy

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By some accounts, there are 1.2 million skiers currently in China, and over 700 ski resorts. China wants to increase their counties snow sports participants to 300 million near term. China is hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic games. If you want to tap the Chinese market, you best have set up manufacturing there; it's kinda required. I don't see any ski manufacturing company abandoning manufacturing in China if they're already entrenched there at this time. K2 is not going anywhere unless they are forced to.

What does this current very small sampling of halo skis made in USA mean for long term manufacturing K2 skis in the USA :huh:
 
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