Nowadays there are so many ways to bend a snowboard. The debate is always which is best, but really it should just be, which you like the best. Either way a few brands including K2 just figure the hell with it… and started making snowboards that are flat. The concept is similar to a hybrid board where you get the best of both worlds, reverse and positive camber, but with a much more minimalist approach. You get superior edge hold, snappy power, and easy floatation. Even though the majority of the board is flat, K2 adds variations in the length of the flat area to change the way the board performs.
The most basic shape in K2’s line is the Freestyle Baseline. The Freestyle Baseline can be found in K2’s softer flex, park and freestyle-oriented boards like the World Wide Weapon, the woman’s K2 Limelite and for the more advanced youth rider, the K2 Vandal. Besides the natural lift of the nose and tail, the majority of these boards are flat. This shape makes it easy to press and do buttery spins without losing the responsive pop on your ollies and other freestyling.
One of the newest shapes in K2’s Line is the Precision Baseline. Among others, this profile can be found in K2’s high end boards like the K2 Happy Hour, and the K2 Women’s Spot Lite. The contact points near the tip and tail are flat but the rest of the board is lifted which is similar to a traditional camber board. When standing on the board, the rider’s weight is distributed in a way that gives you the power and precision of a cambered board, but relieves pressure on the contact points so you don’t get hung up on your edges. Boards equipped with Precision Baseline tend be great all-mountain boards for an experienced rider look for response and stability.
Similar to the Freestyle Baseline, the All-Terrain Baseline is flat from tip to tail. It’s flat except for a medium rise through the tip and a low rise in the tail giving this board a directional shape. This baseline is found in boards like K2 Turbo Dream and the K2 Raygun. The larger nose and set back stance are great for floating in powder and staying on top of the rough stuff. Whether you’re looking for a casual cruise, or a day of hard riding, these all terrain snowboards will keep you satisfied from sunrise until bed time.
For The Backcountry Powder Hounds, K2 Created the BC Baseline. The only board that comes with this shape is the K2 Peace Keeper. Out of all their shapes, this board has the shortest flat area giving it more of a rocker shape for floating in powder. The low profile tail allows this board to dip down into the snow and helps create more stability when riding on the hard pack.
Last but not least, K2’s Catch Free Baseline is designed to help riders that are just developing their snowboard leg strength. This shape is found in the Women’s K2 First Lite, the Youth K2 Kandi, and the K2 Mini Turbo. The baselines of these boards are flat from the center out to the contact points. The contact points are lifted up in a rocker shape to prevent them from catching in the snow. This provides a platform that is user friendly and great for riders that are looking to progress with confidence.
Once you figure out which baseline is best for you, you will find that K2’s Flat designs are just as versatile as any other hybrid shaped board on the market. Be sure to check out the new boards for the 2015 season.