- Price: $700, £525, €600
- Category: Freeride/Powder
- Ability Level: Advanced
- Size: 157, 159w, 160, 163, 164w
- Flex: 9/10
- Shape: Directional
- Profile: Camber
- Base: Sintered
- New for 2020/21
Why we chose the K2 Alchemist Snowboard: You won’t get more space age this side of Saturn.
The Dictionary defines alchemy as: “A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination”, and we can’t disagree with its usage here. The K2 Alchemist is a no holds barred, no expense spared piece of kit. Let’s face it, this isn’t just a snowboard, this is a goddam’ feat of engineering. Built for deep days in the backcountry, narrow chutes, and deadly spines, this is where precision meets power, wrapped in the most premium package in their line.
When you first clap eyes on the Alchemist, you’ll probably immediately notice the alarmingly thin, bright yellow honeycomb-esque nose. Don’t fret, this isn’t some stained glass window aesthetic bullshit, it’s SpaceGlass– a precured fibreglass tip insert, insanely durable and lightweight, designed to soak up chatter from the nose and reduce swing weight up front. It’s revolutionary tech like this that justifies the Alchemist’s premium price tag.
“Putting aside all the technical jargon it’s a way that they can control and adjust the torsional flex of the board without affecting the longitudinal rigidity”
The list of ingredients in the Alchemist reads like a handbook pilfered from a top secret dungeons and dragons laboratory. Aside from SpaceGlass, the Numero Uno on the list of ‘what the fuck is this and why is it in my snowboard’ is Spectral Braid, and while it might sound like a hairstyle for ghosts, apparently it isn’t. Spectral Braid is a proprietary technology developed by the bods at K2 and putting aside all the technical jargon it’s a way that they can control and adjust the torsional flex of the board without affecting the longitudinal rigidity. Carbon stringers sat atop the core run at a 45 degree angle in the nose and tail to retain their stiffness and aggression, the weave orientation then reduces between the feet to allow for a more mellow midbody flex to engage the sidecut.
The tail of the Alchemist is further beefed up by a Carbon Power Fork and an aggressive camber right down to the contact point. The more you engage the back foot, the more energy is created and transferred from the rear of the snowboard. Carbon is incredibly rigid and lightweight, but when it’s bent under pressure, it snaps back with explosive power. You can drive and slash your turns when the snow gets deeper, and it’ll hold through the arc of the turn without skidding out on the groomers.