K2’s all new all mountain directional twin: is this finally the manifestation of the ultimate quiver-killer?
New for 2019, the K2 Manifest is the latest contender in the “one board to rule them all” category. Granted, if you believe all the marketing blurbs, every board ever made is awesome everywhere, so how does this one do?
To start, the name itself is a tribute to K2 pro Aaron Robinson, who passed away too soon in Chile while filming for what became the movie, Manifest. The word is, this is a board A-rob would have been stoked to ride.
At first the distinctive coffin-shaped nose caught our eye, followed quickly by the amount of rocker in the nose and tail. Those tip profiles promised to cover powder float and resort jib fun adequately, while the medium-stiff flex, long effective edge, and camber underfoot rounded out the quiver-killer billing.
The K2 Manifest has Directional Combination camber, which is a setback camber sandwiched by rockered sections in the nose and tail. K2 categorize the flex as more precise than playful, which is accurate. You can have a lot of fun on it but it’s far from a dork-around noodle.
There is a new tech called Carbon Darkweb, which while invoking images of black market kidney brokers, stands for carbon stringers in an X pattern under the outside ends of each insert pack. They “said in energy transfer and stability”.
A new BAP core which enhances dampening without the addition of extra materials, tweekend tips, Hybritech sidewalls, and a fast sintered 4000 base round out the major tech features. It’s a high end board and graphics wise, the mix of matte and glossy finish looks great.
How does it ride?
“Good sidecut, responsive flex…It will never let you down!”
K2 were out of the 162 so I had to settle for the 159, and in hindsight, it proved to be quite fortunate. While the 162 would have given me more float and more oomph for big lines, the 159 turned out to be excellent in all conditions, and as a bonus, floated quite well. First days on the Manifest were spring park days at the end of last season and I was happy to find that it was poppy on kickers and carved up the slush like nobody’s business. I had expected a more classic big mountain type board, that would be too sluggish for park days, but I was proved wrong. I didn’t need to size down to the 156cm sized boards that I normally use for park and spring riding.
You often hear the expression, “jack of all trades, but master of none” thrown about when referring to quiver killer boards, but in my opinion, that criticism doesn’t apply here. After riding the K2 Manifest in all types of conditions this season, I find it really is solid everywhere. In critical terrain or when carving up groomers, it feels on point, and yet the Manifest is equally at home with general resort sidehit tomfoolery – not every day has to be serious! The rockered tips soften up the board just enough to lay down presses, without being all flappy at high speeds. It’s now my go to for banked slaloms – the 252mm waist makes for quick edge changes, the camber powers through turns, and the raised nose gives clearance over the chop of a bumpy course.
On regular powder days, I’d have a powder board in the car, fully expecting to switch out after a couple of runs, but the K2 Manifest floated fine and just ripped. The rocker tips helped keep the board up and overall, just like on hardpack it’s nimble, quick edge to edge and snappy. When I took it out on a classic Japanese ridiculously deep powder day, I was surprised that it held its own. It still charged, however on the longer runs I did start to get rear leg burn at the end of the day. It was after three long days of hard riding though so that was probably on me.
A perfect quiver-killer will not only render your quiver obsolete, but also kill any interest in riding other boards. For me, the K2 Manifest comes pretty close to matching that definition. I’m still interested in new shapes and tech (who isn’t?), but when I stop to think about when I would actually choose a different board over the Manifest, I realize I probably wouldn’t. I will keep my specialized pow boards, but nowadays, for everything from regular pow to carving to park, the Manifest is my first choice. If I get caught out with just the Manifest on a stupid deep day, then no problem, it will still handle it. While I’d recommend something a touch softer for a beginner, intermediate riders and up, who appreciate a poppy board that can handle everything in resort and out in the backcountry should be stoked with the K2 Manifest. Consider my quiver killed.
Get more information on K2 Snowboarding at their official site.
Disclosure: The K2 Manifest was provided by K2 Snowboarding.