ski history

Thank You K2

For nearly two decades, I’ve been afforded the incredible opportunity to represent K2 Skis.  The past 17 years with K2 have been some of the happiest and best years of my life.  I am grateful for the integral role that the company has played in my professional and personal life, and admire the unparalleled influence the company continues to have in the ski industry.  

K2 has been a loyal partner to me so it has been a real challenge to say farewell to a company that has been like family and whose employees and athletes have become longterm friends.  The goodbye is certainly bittersweet, but I am forever grateful for the wonderful relationships that I have developed over the years.  

I am very excited for the next chapter of my career and look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks. Thanks for the wild ride K2!  In the meantime, I’d like to pay tribute to a brand that has given me so much. Here is a flashback to 2002 when I first signed with the brand…

Copyright @ Damian Cromwell for MSP

Copyright @ Damian Cromwell for MSP

When I signed with K2 in 2002, I had just moved to Mammoth, CA. I was in pursuit of big, perfectly sculpted park jumps, big mountain lines and deep powder. The Mammoth Unbound Park was unrivaled at that time and everyone who was part of the freeski scene, both domestic and international, wanted to be a part of it. It was exactly where I needed to be.

At the time, K2 was stacked with a roster of American Idols including, Seth Morrison, Shane Szocs, Mike Hattrup, Johnny Moseley, Rory Silva and Peter Mehrhoff (spelling?). The team represented a true American Renegade Brand, persistently devoted to the rebellious side of skiing. During the fall, as I was settling into my new environment, I received a cold call (thanks to Rory Silva) from Mike Gutt. For $8K, unlimited skis, travel budget, and contest incentives, I signed up. I couldn’t believe my luck, my foot was in the door and skis started showing up. After de-laminating a number of the old red and black Enemies, the team pushed for something new, something indestructible, and K2 jumped at the opportunity. The result: The Public Enemy. Outfitted with a controversial top sheet, rivets in the tip and tail, full ABS sidewalls and reinforced thick edges, this ski made waves.

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In Poorboyz Production Happy Dayz, you can see the progression from the Enemy (The red and black ski with winged bases) to the prototype Public Enemies (white top-sheets) when I’m skiing on the Horstman Glacier at High North summer ski camp.

Happy Dayz was my first big time video segment afforded to me from my relationship with K2…

Along with the Seth Pistol, the Public Enemy paved the way to my success. Here’s a photo from 2004, putting them to the test in Chamonix, France.

Copyright @ Chris O’Connell - Circa 2004

For more nostalgia, check back in a few days…