The AT highback on the Company binding features K2’s Airlock technology, which utilizes the highback’s two connection points with the baseplate to control forward lean. Said by K2 to reduce weight, this technology also reduces the number of parts to the highback—which means that there are fewer parts to snap off in extremely cold temperatures.
Highback adjustment is also tool free, which I always regard as a plus. I found it simple to add forward lean and to rotate highbacks, and I haven’t experienced any slippage.
The highback is on the stiffer side of the spectrum, but not by much. It’s stiffer than the K2 Formula, and maybe a touch softer than the 2012 Burton Cartel. It’s a normal height, and has good rotational flex for grab tweakage.
The baseplate is stiff, almost disproportionately so compared to the highback, but overall it is responsive to the level I would expect from an all-mountain binding. K2’s proprietary “harshmellow” dampening material is present in the heel, but I didn’t notice a damper ride when compared with B3 gel heel pads or any other option.
Canted footbeds are a reemerging trend in snowboard bindings, in which the footbeds are angled towards the midpoint of the board, allowing for more natural knee position. The Company’s footbeds are canted 3 degrees, and were very comfortable in that regard.
Initially, I tested the Company on my Rossignol Experience 164, a take-no-prisoners, big- mountain gun, and I felt like it wasn’t enough binding for such a burly board; I didn’t get quite the response I was looking for when riding uneven terrain and when making quicker turns in steep chutes.
There’s zero standard forward lean, and I used three clicks (I usually go two clicks) to try to gain some additional heelside responsiveness. Throughout my time with the Company bindings mounted on the Experience, it became clear to me that the Company doesn’t have the stiffness required for charging steep, variable terrain on a big, directional board.
I then paired the Company with the Rossignol Jibsaw, and was much more comfortable. I turned down the forward lean to my normal two clicks, and found that it was a much better fit.
So after mounting the Company on two boards that are on opposite ends of the spectrum, I think that the Company would be best paired with an all-mountain board (K2 Slayblade, Rossignol Angus) or a stiffer park board (Burton Easy Livin).
The K2 Company binding is a light, simple, all-mountain binding that gets the job done. It’s very easily to adjust on-the-fly without tools, and the low number of parts in the highback is a plus. However, the issues I had with the ladders and strap adjustability are worth noting.