The K2 Slayblade Snowboard is a very aggressive all mountain ride. The addition of micro camber in the 2014 model makes it the call over the old Flat models from 2013 below. It really changes up the ride in a good way taking it from a bomber only kind of board to a bomber board that can also carve. Aside from a few minor tweaks the 2015 K2 Slayblade is the same ultra aggressive bomber board as the 2014.
2015-2014 K2 Slayblade Review
Conditions: Pretty perfect snow just about anywhere. It took a bit to find some spot’s that were harder
Riders: James, Peter and Jimbo
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Nike Kaiju
Bindings: K2 Company IPO
Set Up: 15 front -3 back, set back a bit 23″ wide
On Snow Feel: It feels like the same really aggressive stiff ride that the old flat profile K2 Slayblade but there is one difference. It has a little bit more of a lively feeling in the turns and also feels a little bit more catchy. It’s not going to be a huge bump from the flat profile but it’s going to be noticeable. This is for those that like to bomb first but also like to occasionally slow down and carve.
Powder: We had no powder but only really had some soft thick snow between the trees to play around in. The older flat models actually do a little bit better here but neither are that great. The set back helps and the board planes pretty well compared to traditional camber boards but it doesn’t have that effortless float like some hybrid shapes out there.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The flat K2 Slayblade was just off when it came to turning but now that the little bit of camber was added the ride has a much different feel. Short radius turns can be quick if you know what you are doing but you feel a bit of a spring out of the turn where before it was lifeless. It restores normalcy to turning. There are better carving boards but the 2014 K2 Slayblade is much better than the previous flat models.
Speed: This board fucking bombs! The little preview of Peter riding in the beginning of the run was the steepest groomed run at Mammoth Mountain and Peter straight lined almost the whole thing even though it wasn’t perfect.
Uneven Terrain: There are consequences that come with such a fast damp board. This comes into play when you have to slow down and deal with uneven bumpy terrain. It doesn’t punish you like some boards but it’s no picnic. The K2 Slayblade is best used with the snow is smooth and clean. It can handle some messy snow but the more uneven it gets the less fun it is.
Edge Hold: Pretty good grip here. The added camber helps the board grab a little bit more in harder conditions. Combine that with the stiff flex you have great edge hold. Still it’s not an ice specialist and I would not recommend buying this for an east coast rider unless you ride when it’s only good.
Flex: Incredibly stiff and not very easy to butter. It’s all about bombing with the K2 Slayblade
Switch: You would think it would be worse for a board that most people ride one direction on but this is a directional twin. If you center up the stance it works really well even though there is a bit of a difference.
Jibbing: This is a bad idea in the jib park.
Pipe: The K2 Slayblade’s new camber has a solid new feel in the pipe like it does when it comes to turn initiation and carving. The old flat Slayblade use to feel weird in the pipe but the new Slayblade with micro camber drives well from wall to wall. It’s pretty stiff and unforgiving so a technical aggressive rider will really like this but someone who wants something mellow.
Jumps: The Slayblade doesn’t pop well unless you are strong but if you are you will like it. It’s very stable for approaching kickers.
All in all the new Slayblade is a huge improvement and could make a rider who is all about speed happy. The 2014 is for sure the call because it turns much better when you aren’t straight lining. It’s not for everyone but the right kind of rider might feel like every run is a high speed X-Mas.
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.