It starts with a shop. A garage. A barn. An island. It starts with an idea. It starts with belief. It starts with madness and mistakes. Victories and transcendence. Performers and Cheeseburgers and Winter Heat. Strong women and aerial artists and jesters in a chaotic and beautiful circus of serious fun.
K2 was founded by iconic individuals who believed North Americans could build a great ski at a time when Europe owned the ski world. In 1962, consummate inventor and serial engineer Bill Kirschner applied the fiberglass technology from his family’s veterinary splint and kennel manufacturingbusiness to the world’s first modern ski featuring a fiberglass wrapped torsion box. In essence, he invented the modern snow ski as we know it.
From the early days on Vashon Island, the energy and creativity from the garage, the shop, the barn—and continuing to this day in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle, Wash.—have evolved skiing and snowboarding culture for the better. From a garage brand to a garage brand gone global, K2 has provided a family of true believers 50 years of joy backed by blood, sweat and beers.
From Olympic gold to personal moments of mountain solitude, K2 has been there from drop-in to final turn—in cowboy outfits, neon stretchpants, leather jackets, official Team USA uniforms and, at times, in nothing at all. All remarkable moments backed by a commitment to doing it well and enjoying the day. It is, as “serious fun.”
From this vantage, looking back at 50 years of icons—from Bill Kirschner to Spider Sabich to Dan Donnelly to Doug Coombs to Shawn Farmer to Gretchen Bleiler to Seth Morrison to Travis Parker to Shane McConkey to Sean Pettit—the only thing that looks better is the next 50 years.