K2 Panoramic Splitboard on Snow Review
The K2 Panoramic snowboarding splitboard is an enticing option for someone getting into the business of backcountry riding. Because it comes with a kit; skins and the industry standard Voile, kit it’s a perfect place to start. But, with the board being that inexpensive – is it worth the money and will it hold up to the abuse of the back hills rocks and stumps? Keep reading to hear our review of the K2 Panoramic snowboard as we use it on snow in the backcountry of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains.
Our first impressions of the Panoramic Splitboard are that it’s light and has a very low overall profile. Additionally, it’s hard to not notice the price for it that includes basically everything you need to get started. The Panoramic uses a hybrid rocker that is forgiving in the backcountry in all conditions. We were very impressed with the quality of the skins as well. The back of the skins are stamped with K2 logo, and the bright green color is aesthetically entertaining and goes well with the boards look. The board set up is tedious, but it’s worth the time to get it right. You don’t want to be trying to fix things when you’re on the mountain. The board looks great off the snow, the graphics and base are entertaining to look at. The top sheet is a different type of material, that we wish didn’t attract snow so easily.
When comparing the splitboard with others board weight, it seem to come out on top as the lighter winner each time. This is a huge selling point to us, when realizing every extra lbs you are caring on your foot, your dragging to the top of the mountain. The flex of the board seems a little bit soft, but this is hard to compare to a traditional snowboard as splitboards are know for their lack in tensional stability. Additionally, being a factory splitboard it’s very nice to have the piece of mind that you have a fully wrapped metal edge on both sides of the ski. With the rocker shape, the board turns very well, and the directional set back stance allows getting from edge to edge effortlessly. If a complaint of other splitboards using the Voile kit is that it set your feet too far of the snow, the low profile of the board is very nice, and seems to keep the rider closer to the snow, allowing for maximum feel much like the skate feeling so many people search for in a snowboard. We rode the 158, and with the lighter flex the board felt very springy, had more of a fun feel to the board as opposed to fighting it around. In fact the board rides very well even switch stance.
We did notice some issues when hiking through a thick layer of crust.. The nose of the board’s skis didn’t raise enough to get us on top of the snow. This led to us breaking through the crust with the toe of our boot. I felt if there were a little more rise in the tip, this could have been avoided. The voile kit has been at the front of the industry for years and years, and isn’t perfect. Even with the use of brackets to align the pucks on the board, and the binding tracks, we still took a considerable amount of time to match our normal riding stance. Also, it can be very difficult to change from hiking mode to snowboarding mode on a steep incline or in a cramped area. Overall the kit works well, but it would be nice to see it improved upon. In fact there are companies out there trying to do just that. On one occasion we noticed that the tail clip had com undone making the board feel very loose under foot.
The skins that the Panoramic comes with are awesome; we love the green color and the fact that they are factory cut to match the exact side cut of the ski. Also, with the eyelet holes in the tip and tail the skins stay perfectly aligned all the time. I’m not sure why more boards aren’t doing this? The skins are super easy to attach and remove. Didn’t collect any snow on the bottoms or slip at all. When trekking, the board performed flawlessly, it was perfectly balanced which makes kick turns an ease.
Overall the board handled very well for a splitboard, almost felt like you could take it in the park and have just as much fun on it as you could out of boundaries. The All terrain rocker provides float and stability. And you can’t beat the price. There are some end of season deals on the board that are bringing it down in price. For someone getting started in splitboarding, this would be one of our top recommendations. It has all the full features of your resort shred stick with the added benefits of accessing the backcountry. Very durable, even after taking it off a few drops and at high speeds reduced and almost non existent chatter that some splitboards suffer from. We hope to keep riding this splitboard and see how the durability holds up over time. We will keep this post up to date as we do.
“I loved how low profile the board is, and how extremely light weight it is under foot.”
Just add bindings and some collapsible poles and you are ready to go. I’m sure in the future we will start seeing more of these types of splitboard kits down the road as splitboarding gains more popularity.