List Price US $699
K2 Alchemist 2023 Snowboard Review

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Riding Style Freeride
Riding Level Advanced - Expert
Fits Boot size (US) 8-10, 10-12
Manufactured in China
Shape Tapered Directional
Camber Profile Directional Camber
Stance Setback -20mm
Approx. Weight Feels Light
Split
Powder Good
Base Glide Good
Carving Great
Speed Great
Uneven Terrain Great
Switch Average
Jumps Great
Jibbing Poor
Pipe Good
On Snow Feel

Stable

Turn Initiation

Medium/Fast

Skidded Turns

Moderate

Flex

Medium/Stiff

Buttering

Moderate

Edge Hold

Hard Snow

K2 Alchemist 2023 Review by The Good Ride

Turn Ons/Swipe Right: Fast, Damp & Surprisingly Easy to turn.
Turn Offs/Swipe Left: Not ideal in hard micro-bumpy snow.

Summary

The K2 Alchemist is an excellent big mountain bomber that also accommodate a mellow mood when you don’t want to charge.

Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews and this is our unfiltered opinion. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.

K2 Alchemist 2023 Snowboard Review- How it rides and who it is for

K2 Alchemist Review

How This Review Happened:

Borrowed this for an extended demo and sent it back.
Size: 157
Days: 6+
Conditions: Lots of varied spring snow and even some excellent late spring powder along with some slackountry time with Drift Boards
Riders:
 James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs), Davey (Size 12, 240lbs, 6’4”)
Boots: Burton Kendo, Burton Ion
Insoles: F.I.T. Gamechangers
Bindings: Union Atlas, Union Force
Jacket: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Tusk Jacket, Volcom Guide Jacket, Burton Gore-Tex 3L Treeline Jacket, Jones Peak Bagger Jacket. Burton AK Helitak Gore-Tex Jacket
Pant: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Hover Pant, Burton AK Gore-Tex 2L Swash Pant, Burton Gore-Tex Ballast Pant
Helmet: Smith Maze
Goggle: Smith 4D Mag
Gloves: Burton AK Clutch Mitt, Burton AK Clutch Glove, Burton AK Tech Leather Glove, CG Habitats Work Glove, Drop Tahoma Mitt,

Similar Boards (but not the same): YES PYL Uninc, Burton Flight Attendant, Jones Flagship, Rossignol XV, Lib Tech BRD, Weston Backwoods, Cardiff Bonsai, Never Summer Hammer

James’s Set Up: 21.5” Wide. Sance Angles +18/-3. Close to Reference.
Davey’s Set Up: 23” Wide. Sance Angles +18/-3, +18/+3. Close to Reference and Set all the way back.

How It Was Tested

I rode this solo a few times but often compared it to the K2 Passport, K2 Insturment, my Weston Backwoods and Yes PYL Uninc to see how it sits on the spectrum. There is nothing better than using the same bindings, boots, stance width, stance angles on several boards on the same day to see how they all ride.

Approximate Weight

The K2 Alchemist feels pretty light but not ultra light. (We don’t put in the exact weight because with wood cores there is no consistency in a boards weight)

Sizing

 

 

 

 

 

The K2 Alchemist 157 felt great for my specs and I was glad I didn’t get the 160. I didn’t need any bigger for my size 9 boots and 185lbs. The 164w was really good for Davey at size 12 and 240lbs.

Here are some ideal US boot sizes for the K2 Alchemist. You can of course go bigger or smaller but these work best for not turning the board slower than it should be and not having the dreaded Toe & Heel Drag.
157: 8-9
160: 8.5-9.5
163: 9-10
159w: 10-11
164w: 11-12

For weight I would stay close to K2’s recommended weight ranges. If it comes down to boot size or weight, I would make sure it fits your boot first and then your weight a close second.

Shape/Camber/On Snow Feel/Ability Level

 

 

 

 

 

The K2 Alchemist has a pretty standard tapered directional freeride shape on sidecut with a unique look to it in the tip tail. 6mm of taper is something you can feel but it isn’t a lot compared to many other tapered directional boards out there. It likes back foot weight on groomers but it isn’t necessary. You can drive off the front foot as well with a posi stance and it won’t feel washy.

 

 

 

 

The K2 Alchemist camber profile is not super jacked up but it extends pretty much from the tail to a little before the nose. It skids a turn pretty easy for this flex but it isn’t an ideal beginner/intermediate ride.

Flex Personality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a pretty stiff flex between the feet, a medium/stiff tail and an almost medium flex in the nose. It wasn’t super easy to butter off the tail but it’s doable. You can butter the nose a little bit easier. The pop factor is high but it takes some effort to load it up.

Uneven Terrain

So, the first time I tried this at a demo a few years ago. It was on snow over 1 month old that was really hard and uneven. It looks all nice with the snow falling in the vid but it was nasty. The K2 Alchemist wasn’t bad but had the most feedback of all the boards we tested that day. It wasn’t a great first impression so I decided not to do a review until I could test it in other snow. This time I got it in all kinds of snow but a lot of uneven softer wetter snow. It just killed it in everything I rode in and felt more damp than a lot of boards I tried. So this does well in everything but hard microbumpy snow.

Edge Hold

 

 

 

 

Pretty competent grip for a more normal sidecut. I felt comfortable with the K2 Alchemist in everything but pretty hard to icy snow.

Speed/Base Glide

 

 

 

 

 

The K2 Alchemist can bomb and it’s happiest going straight. It is very damp for being on the border of being an ultra-light board. That is what you get this for. The K2 Alchemist could keep your edge quiet at higher speeds and you could commit to a fast turn where many other boards couldn’t.

The base glide is upper tier but not the fastest I’ve tried. For this price point I would like to have a faster base but it isn’t a slouch by any means.

Turning Experience/Carving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the K2 Alchemist is a straight liner for sure and that is what it’s best at. That being said I could make some pretty fun across the groomer carves and even get a circle carve. I wasn’t totally at home but I was surprised how doable it was for being such a straight liner. It’s bets at longer high speed narrow radius S-turns that are just a little shy of a straight line.

Powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got this in some really good late spring powder that felt more mid-winter. It wasn’t ultra-light but far from that thick wet stuff we can see late spring if it snows. The Alchemist did a good job in the low angle pow we rode for being a better board for steeper big mountain terrain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can get a decent set back on board with -3.5” all the way back at a 21.75” stance width. That is right there with most good Freeride boards. The little bit of taper and the bigger nose help this somewhat narrow board float pretty well.

Conclusion

So this isn’t normally my style of board but I had a lot of fun on it. Like the Jones Flagship, it’s a very recommendable ride for those that like to straight line. However, they both can make some fun turns and won’t get cranky on you if you want to mellow out.

 
K2 Alchemist Specs

 
K2 Alchemist Images

We try to get as many images of the K2 Alchemist, but forgive us if they're not all there.

2023

 
K2 Company Information

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