So we all heard about the buyout of K2 sports to the corporate supergiant rubbermaid, but what it seems that people are missing is what that entails.
As we all know, K2 has become a shitty brand as of late. Low quality products made in china, distancing themselves from freeskiing and whatnot, but what most people appear to be overlooking is what the K2 buyout actually means for most of the ski industry.
K2 Skis was a mega company of sorts within itself. Within the past 15 years K2 has acquired ownership of Line skis, Full Tilt boots, Volkl Skis, Marker Bindings, and this past year Dalbello Boots. When a giant company comes into play quality suffers. Rubbermaid will care more about mass output than overall quality of their products so expect even shitter skis. I think that all of these companies, most of which I respect, will start to lose their appreciation for their roots as we have already seen happen to K2. Which is a huge blow to the ski industry and how its run.
Fortunately there are tons of other great ski companies so we will always be able to find awesome skis, but what worries me the most for the realm of skiing, freeskiing especially, is the acquisition of both Full Tilt and Dalbello. While IMO Full Tilt Boots already aren't the best boots, Dalbello makes the best boots for me. I love everything about the company thus far great customer service, the best boots I've ever owned, the innovation each year, the company is awesome and I will hopefully Never get rid of my Lupo 130s.
What is upsetting to me is what I have heard from the boot experts in the shop I work at, and the mumblings of the reps that come to visit. If I am incorrect, please correct me because I want nothing more than for this to me wrong. I have heard that in the cases of both Dalbello and Full Tilt (more Dalbello though) our beloved 3 piece boot will be canceled as it costs more to make 3 different molds than just two and it would be more cost efficient to make regular old 2 piece boots. I have skied in all kinds of boots but the sweet sweet flex of my Dalbellos beats any other boot I've ridden. The fact that a major corporation will be taking away the only appeal of 2 great boot companies, which by the way are the only "good" companies that make 3 piece shells saddens me, and the pretty damn predictable quality shift towards shitty skis and other products of some of the most trusted and best brands in the industry is the same.
What does NS think of this? what do you think will happen in the near future to these brands?
tldr: the rubbermaid takeover likely means shitty products from, K2, Marker, Volkl, Dalbello, Line, Full Tilt, Ride, Adio, etc. As well as no more 3 piece boots.
P.S. if y'all have heard anything different please speak up I want nothing more than to be wrong.