2013 and below K2 Slayblade Review
Size 158 and 161
Riders: James and Peter
Bindings: Union Force SL’s
Boots: Burton SLX, Nike Kaiju, Burton Ion
Conditions: Hard Snow with a little lite groomed powder here and there but mostly hard. Peter rode this once and I rode it 3 times but never had any luck with better conditions.
The 2011 K2 Slayblade has added a faster base but almost everything else is the same. We are big fans of the dense foam near the binding inserts. Anything the industry can do to make the ride easier on the body is aok with us! The 2012 K2 Slayblade model has changed very little. The 2012 and 2011 felt like the same board and if we did a blinfold test we’d crash. However before the crash we would not notice a difference.
The K2 Slayblade is pretty much exactly what we expected when we rode this board. Fast, damp and aggressive. Here is our breakdown. We aren’t the biggest fans of an all mountain to mostly mountain flat camber snowboard (flatline) but K2 made a good arguement for it with the Slayblade. If speed and straightlining is the most important part of your day the K2 Slayblade is one of the better choices out there.
On Snow Feel: The Slayblade is fast, damp and made for doing one thing with all others being a very distant second. It’s made to straightline and it does that incredibly well. The rest of the boards qualities aren’t going to blow minds but the rider who buys this board only wants to bomb everything he can.
Powder: We had no powder but based on the flat camber boards I have rode over the years the Slayblade will take more work in the powder than rocker and hybrid shapes but less than camber. It planes very well when you pick up speed but it just doesn’t have that effortless float that many rocker or hybrid shapes offer.
Turn Initiation and Carving- Even though the Slayblade is a medium/stiff board the turn initiation is pretty easy. It takes more work than some but the rider looking for a board of this style will prefer this work. It was fun to make short radius turns but it took a bit more work. When it came to bigger radius turns it was really fun. We did find a bit of a weird thing going on when it came to carving out an aggressive turn. The board didn’t seem to respond like other hybrid shapes did. It seemed to miss the spring and linear turn that many boards we have tried. It felt like it skipped the last part of the aggressive carve that usually makes it really fun and just felt flat. There was also no real spring at the end of the turn. Maybe it’s the flat camber because we felt the same thing with the K2 0.
Speed: Very fast and stable. It was just what we expected and one of the finer points when it comes to this board. There was no chatter at any speed we brought it up to. We didn’t get much past 50mph but felt like it would be stable at higher speeds as well.
Uneven Terrain: Almost poor here but that is the price you pay for speed. The EVA foam in the bindings make it better than it should be and absorb slower speed shock as well as high speed shock. The Slayblade is best when conditions are good and somewhat unforgiving when conditions are bad.
Weight– Not very heavy at all. The K2 Slayblade seems to be a good balance of strength and weight.
Edge Hold: The Slayblade will hold an edge in just about anything you want to ride in but still is missing something when it comes to gripping really hard snow or icy conditions. Still it did a good job in the hard snow that had a little soft stuff here and there. It was a good day to test out edge hold. The Magnetraction boards will do far better than the Slayblade but it still did a good job.
Switch: This is a directional twin but there was a slight difference riding switch. Still it does a great job riding switch.
Jibbing– Because it’s very stiff it’s no fun here. A truly great rider can do anything with any board but most of us prefer a much more mellow ride.
Pipe: The Slayblade should be a good pipe board but like its missing something with carving we felt the same for pipe play. It’s got speed and decent edge hold but it just didn’t have that fun drive from wall to wall.
Jumps: Not the best for creating your own air on the mountain but pretty good for lapping the park if you like a very stiff aggressive board.
All in all the K2 Slayblade would be a great board for someone who likes to speed around groomed runs and likes to make turns but not aggressively carve. It will be fun most places on the mountain the average rider will want to go. It might not be the best all mountain board out there but we can see why it has a good following and won a few awards.