There are so many new boards coming up for the 2023 season but the K2 Afterblack is one to stay. The K2 Afterblack 2023 is the perfect board for anyone who is looking to push the boundaries of freestyle.
While the K2 Afterblack may be seen as an All-Mountain Ripper due to the hybrid Camber profile, the Afterblack dominates in the park. The extra stability and pop of Camber and the pressable benefits of Rocker make this board a beast in the park.
K2 Afterblack 2023 Board Type
The board is advertised as an All-Mountain Freestyle board but its adequate place is the park. The K2 Afterblack 2023 is Camber dominantly in between the bindings with a slight rocker profile on the nose and tail to make it float better in powder.
The Flex of a snowboard can be defined as how stiff the board is on a scale of one to ten. The K2 Afterblack 2023 scores a 6 on this scale, meaning that it has medium stiffness. This stiffness is perfect to still be able to do things like butters on the mountain but is stiff enough to land big kickers.
There are 3 types of shapes for snowboards. Twin-shaped boards, Directional boards, and Tapered boards. Twin-shaped snowboards are made for freestyle to be able to do rotations, whereas Directional and Tapered boards are predominantly made for powder conditions.
The K2 Afterblack 2023 is made out of renewable timber that is made to get a balance between weight and strength, while also adding a dampening feel to the board.
K2 Chose a Carbon DarkWeb, which is carbon that extends from your bindings to the contact points thus allowing for a more responsive, and more stable ride. Additionally, they chose Triax Fiberglass. This glass laminate has diagonal layers that add torsional stiffness, edge hold, and quick response.
Carving and Turning
This board is very lively. The longitudinal stiffness and torsional stiffness allow this board to be very decent at carving. The Edge hold on this board is phenomenal, meaning that carving should be a piece of cake for everyone.
The less torsional stiffness a board has, the less power it requires for turns. The K2 Afterblack 2023 scores right in the middle regarding torsional stiffness, which means it does require some power input to turn but feels stable while doing so.
If you would ask me how stable this board feels at high speeds, I would say yes. Its stiffness is enough for charging down the mountain while ignoring everything you were told not to do by your snowboard teachers.
Catching an edge on this board is something you would have to try really hard for due to its very stable edge hold. Speed is your friend on the K2 Afterblack 2023. I would advise against buying the Afterblack if you don’t like going fast.
As mentioned earlier, the Afterblack is a park-dominant board. It’s not afraid of hitting side hits or hitting the biggest kickers in the park. The Afterblack is flexible enough to be creative with it but is stiff enough for landing your jumps.
Although the Afterblack is a park-dominant board – it still performs really well when riding backcountry or powder in general. The Rocker on the Nose and Tail allows the board to float on top of the snow and not sink in it, so you are good to go if you occasionally ride powder with this board but if you are mainly a backcountry rider, I would suggest you look into other powder-dominant boards.
I personally ride the K2 Afterblack 2022 Edition as my main board and recently got to try out the 2023 version. I had a lot of fun playing with it and didn’t really notice a difference between the 2022 and 2023 versions but my take on the difference would be that the 2023 version of course has a different design (I personally like the 2022 design better but alright), as well as the choice for better materials. So it may not be something you really notice from the outside but rather something that has changed on the inside of the board.
Should you buy it?
Whether you should buy the K2 Afterblack 2023 really depends on your riding style. Are you more of a freestyle enthusiast or do you like riding backcountry? If the latter, then you might want to consider boards like the K2 Excavator, which are made for riding powder and are Directional or Tapered shaped.
If you are a park rat but you also like things like carving and occasionally riding backcountry then the K2 Afterblack is something you might want to look into. If you go Afterblack, you don’t want to go back.