k2 manifest snowboard review

K2 Medium Snowboard Review [2024]

by Ben

While K2 have long been a Snowboarding Days fan-favorite, not every board can be a crowd-pleaser.

Enter the K2 Medium Snowboard—a board that promised versatility and park prowess but delivers a ride that might leave some riders wanting more.

Let’s dive into what makes the K2 Medium tick, and where it may have missed the mark this season. 

The K2 Medium [Product Roundup]
7.9/10 Our Score

Best For: Freestyle
Flex:
6/10
Profile: Camber (mostly)
Base: Sintered 4000 base
Shape: True Twin
Additional Features: Carbon Backbone, Carbon DarkWeb

  • Decent pop (once accessed)
  • Super stable at speed
  • Carves really nicely 
  • Timeless aesthetics 
  • Good build quality

✖️Unforgiving
✖️Less stable at slower speeds
✖️Pop isn't easy to access 

About The Brand

K2 Snowboards are a long-standing and reputable brand in the snowboarding (and skiing) world. Known for their innovative design and commitment to quality, they even topped the list of our best snowboards for beginners.

Having contributed significantly to the development of modern snowboarding gear, K2 has a loyal fanbase and has made some killer boards over the years. 

About The Board: The K2 Medium

The K2 Medium Snowboard is marketed as a super versatile park board, designed in collaboration with K2 pro Jake Kuzyk.

k2 medium snowboard

It features a True Twin shape, a mostly Camber profile, BAP Core, and Carbon Backbone™ for added torsional strength and response.

Intended to be a go-to choice for aggressive park rats, the board aims to deliver on pop and playfulness. 

Testing Conditions

1. Terrain

Mostly park – a mixture of hard-pack morning sessions and some more slushy afternoons. I also took it down a couple of groomers, and even a modest powder stash. 

2. Boot and Binding Pairings

Burton Ion boots with Union Ultra bindings. 

3. Board Size

K2 released this board in a massive range of sizes. The tricky part is the amount of overlap! 

At 185lbs, I could technically have chosen anywhere from the 152 right up to the 159. I went for the 155 which was a happy “medium” (see what I did there?). 

If you’re unsure about your sizing, check out our snowboard length calculator

Size (cm) Weight Range (lbs) Weight Range (kgs)
141 90 - 160+ 41 - 73+
144 90 - 160+ 41 - 73+
147 90 - 160+ 41 - 73+
149 110 - 180+ 50 - 82+
152 120 - 190+ 54 - 86+
154W 130 - 220+ 59 - 100+
155 130 - 230+ 59 - 104+
157 130 - 220+ 59 - 100+
158W 130 - 230+ 59 - 104+
159 130 - 230+ 59 - 104+

First Impressions

The K2 Medium has the clean, sharp look typical of K2’s aesthetic. Its graphics stand out in a sort of subtle, appealing way.

The colors vary according to size, which is pretty normal. The construction appears solid at first glance, suggesting K2’s usual high-quality build. 

Flex Rating

With a medium flex that’s closer to mid-stiff, the K2 Medium is meant to offer a balance between flexibility for tricks and support for landings. 

flex rating 6

This stiffness, however, might feel somewhat limiting when taking to rails, jibs and boxes. I certainly found it harder to butter and press than anticipated.

Camber Profile

The essentially (mostly) camber profile promised enhanced control and pop. They have added a little early rise in the tips too. 

K2 MEDIUM CAMBER PROFILE

While this should theoretically provide a good blend of playfulness and precision, in practice, the board felt unexpectedly rigid. This surprised me given it’s MO – to provide an easy going freestyle deck. 

The Review

Carving and Edge Hold

The K2 Medium performed pretty well on groomers, providing decent edge hold and stability during carves. However, it lacks the energetic feel one might expect from a park board, feeling more mechanical than fluid.

I also found it a little catchy. The combination of a predominantly camber deck with a stiffer-than-expected flex required close attention to my edges. 

Stability at Speed

One area where the K2 Medium shines is its stability at high speeds. Thanks to its stiffer flex and robust construction, it holds a line pretty well and provides confidence on the steeper, faster runs.

This makes it more suitable for riders who prioritize speed and power over flexibility. 

Conversely, at slower speeds it’s was a little more hooky. Definitely prefers to be on edge (as camber often does). 

Park and Pop

Despite its design intentions, the K2 Medium disappointed slightly in the park. The pop is less accessible than anticipated, requiring a little more “oomph” to initiate.

Once you do find the sweet spot, the pop is admittedly pretty decent. No doubt we have the camber to thank for that. 

Powder Performance

As a park-focused board, powder performance is not a priority (and it shows). The K2 Medium struggles with deeper snow, where its camber profile and stiffness prevent optimal float. 

In fairness though, park boards shouldn’t really be judged for their powder performance. 

Who Will Love This Board?

The K2 Medium will best suit riders who appreciate a stiffer, more stable board and do not mind sacrificing some playfulness for speed and power.

It’s more suited for those who enjoy big airs and faster, more aggressive park riding (rather than nuanced jib and rail tricks).

Strangely, I normally fit into the “aggressive-rider” category. But something about the “hooky” feeling wasn’t exactly confidence inspiring.  

Final Verdict

While the K2 Medium offers the build quality and stability expected of K2, it falls short of being the versatile park board it aims to be. 

Its stiffness and lack of responsiveness make it a challenging choice, even for dedicated park riders. For those looking for a dynamic and flexible park experience, plenty of other models might be a better fit.

In summary, the K2 Medium (in it’s current form) doesn’t live up to its all-rounder aspirations in the park.

But maybe I’m wrong? Maybe you’ve tried it and loved it? Let me know in the comments below. 

Happy riding!

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