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The graphics on skis and snowboards have never been quite as forward thinking or creative as one might expect. On the other hand, skateboard graphics have always been (and continue to be) much cooler than those found on any other type of shred sled. Maybe it’s the impermanence of skateboard graphics themselves that give artists and brands greater liberty to experiment. Maybe it’s the wider demographic catch of skateboarding that brings in more diverse perspectives and less financial gatekeeping. Either way, ski graphics this season just got a little bit cooler thanks to the K2 x GM collection, a new partnership between Los Angeles-based designer and illustrator Geoff McFetridge and Vashon Island’s own K2 skis.
The K2 x GM capsule sees the bold and playful art McFetridge is increasingly known for displayed on two of K2’s most popular skis, a special edition Lockjaw Pole, and some softgoods to round out the collection. The all mountain, touring-inclined Wayback 96 ($700) offers the perfect ski for exploring the backcountry—or sidecountry—while the powder hungry Reckoner 112 ($700) delivers a slashy, surf ripper of a ride for deep days inbounds and off piste.
Born and raised in Calgary, McFetridge still manages to fit plenty of powder days in living in sunny Southern California while working with the likes of Nike, Apple, and The New York Times. And yes, McFetrridge has done skateboard graphics for Girl, Krooked, and Chocolate, too.
For the K2 collaboration McFetridge looked to his own backyard for inspiration and product testing opportunities, finding a range of alpine touring access in the Angeles National Forest, just under two hours from McFetridge’s Atwater Village studio. While the sunbaked snow may not be the waist deep powder one might find in the Wasatch or Jackson, McFetridge reminds us it’s not always about the gnarliest line or deepest day. Sometimes it’s about loading up the rig with your gear and taking the best of what the mountain gives you—even if that’s just two inches of dust on crust.
The K2 x GM collection is moving quick so if you're in the market for a pair of skis worthy of resort ripping, backcountry exploring, AND a spot on the wall during the off-season, don't delay. Here’s to hoping more ski (and snowboard) brands take note and up their graphic game for next season.