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Expert Review: 2023 K2 Antidote Snowboard [with Video]

Published on 08/31/2023 · 14 min readSnowboard Experts Everett Pelkey and Mike Leighton tested the 2023 K2 Antidote snowboard on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
By Curated Experts Everett Pelkey and Mike Leighton

Curated Snowboard Experts Everett Pelkey and Mike Leighton got their hands on the 2023 K2 Antidote this spring and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every rider is different; if you have any questions about the Antidote or need recommendations on which board would be best for you, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated.

Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.

Brand Claims

What does K2 claim about this board? [Everett] K2 had this new design built by one of their top riders, Sage Kotsenburg, to really blend the boundary between freeride and freestyle.

[Mike] K2 advertises this board as an all-mountain freeride with a heavy dose of freestyle. K2 designed this board for the freerider who’s looking to take all the tricks they're learning in the park and take it into fresh snow, side hits, and all over the mountain. Basically, this is the board that's designed for the park rider.

Overall Impressions

What is your overall impression of this board? [Everett] My overall impression of this board is that, wow, it just blew my mind. It's one of the best boards I've ridden in a long time that really finds a sweet spot that pushes the limits between freeride and freestyle. It's not every day you find a board that excels at that. And really, I did not find a section where I could not have fun with this thing.

[Mike] This board is really fun. It's really lightweight, it's a medium-stiff flex, and it's a twin shape, but it has three-quarters of an inch of setback. It also has a little bit of bevel in the nose. You can kind of see it in this outline. What this means is that it's really quick edge to edge — it's really nimble. It’s a great board for those fresh days. I mean, this board's really fun. It was fun all over the mountain. We rode through some rollers and some bank turns, and we were in the trees for a bit. It was also great with the groomed terrain carving. So this board really excels pretty much everywhere.

Anything else about board shape? [Everett] This board is directional, but with the camber going all the way through, it felt like you could ride it either way, no matter what. And I did not think twice about that.

[Mike] There's a little bit of a difference in the nose and the tail, but you don't notice that when you're riding on groomed terrain. But it's a twin shape overall, with a slight setback. It is designed to excel in that softer snow, but you're not going to feel uncomfortable riding it switch.

Anything else on flex? [Mike] I'd say it's got a medium-stiff flex. It is stiff enough that it is stable at speed, but it's still very lively and poppy.

[Everett] This board is on the stiffer side of riding. I would give it more of a responsive side to that, but it did not feel like I really had to initiate everything to make sure it's really pushing down and bringing in that flex to that spot to fight me back on it. It was a solid blend and mix of comfort while really being the top dog out there of just pushing the limits of what the terrain throws at you.


How is carving on this board? [Everett] Surprisingly, the carving on a board like this was way better than I had expected. This is really where the webbing in this really comes to stand out to push that torsional flex to really rail in those carves as you're just cruising through groomers or even in the backcountry. It does it all for that.

How does it turn? [Everett] This board was super stable while turning. I felt super locked in with everything I initiated, from small little turns to wide dynamic ones. Really, I could lay out as far as I needed into this board, and I did not have a single issue.

How about edge hold? [Everett] The edge hold on this board is extremely good. I was surprised by the contour edging in the right contact spots. It made it feel super edge-free. So, I really could push the limits of this board comfortably. For only first trying this out, I felt at home way too fast on this board.

[Mike] This board is very quick edge to edge. It also has reinforced carbon throughout it, so it adds a little bit of liveliness to it. Once you get it up on edge, it holds a really solid edge. It is predominantly camber, so as a result, you're getting all that energy of a cambered snowboard. And once you get it on edge, it will just lock in, and high speed or low speed, it does it all. I'd say it's pretty impeccable. It holds a really clean edge.

Is it stable? [Everett] I'd say this board is incredibly stable. The only part where I kind of found it a little bit less stable was once we got into some of the kind of chunky, chundery conditions where things were a little bit softer. That was really the only place that it didn't feel as confidence-inspiring. But on groomed terrain, and when it was in that slushy stuff, it was awesome.

What about dampness? Any chatter in the board? [Mike] Because it's so lightweight, the tip and the tail have reduced glass in it, so there is a little bit of chatter in the nose and the tail. But when you are riding it and you're in a turn, it's not that noticeable.

How does it perform at speed? [Everett] This board was super hard-charging at higher speeds. It was able to be super soft, no matter where I needed it just in the comfort factor, but the way it was just super stiff in the right spots made me feel that I could really open up as this terrain got super steep. But as it mellowed out and got maybe a little more chundery, I didn't really have to hold back too much, which is super nice and really shows why this technology is pushing the limits on this board.

This board at high speeds is also super stable. This is a bigger size than I would normally ride, but it actually felt super comfortable for me that I could push it where I needed to, even on the steepest of hills.

[Mike]** **I would say that this board is very easy to control at high speed. Again, it's a medium-stiff flex. It has the carbon array in it, which really adds to the liveliness and springiness while also contributing to how damp it is. It is really fun at high speeds, to just send rollers and arc big turns on. The only place that I wouldn't want to be going super high-speed through is a mogul field.

And how about its performance at low speeds? [Mike] At low speeds with how light it is, the camber profile, and with the bevel and the nose and the tail, it's really smooth edge to edge. So even at low speeds, it is still a very easy board to ride.

Would you say that the liveliness and springiness give this board energy and acceleration? [Mike] Yeah, I definitely would. You can kind of see that they have these stringers through here, and then there's also a weave through here. What that does is, as you're loading into a turn, it will help build that energy coming out of it, so it almost pushes you into your next turn. And that also applies when you're playing around in the air, jumping off stuff, as it has a lot of rebound there. As you can see, it's springing back. It's one of the best features of this board.


Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Everett] This board is definitely playful. It made me come up with new ideas on the fly that I didn't even know that I wanted to do. For something that I just first strapped under my feet, I felt like I'd been riding this for weeks to really figure out where it needed to lay back or really push and open up. When it comes to the freestyle aspect, this thing is super poppy without feeling heavy and slowing you down. So you felt nimble when you really wanted to get around and throw in some bigger things than expected. This totally can handle it.

This board is super poppy with a little bit of a blunt on the end of this board, making it so you really could load up the power as you needed to on it, but it's not like you have to. You could really maximize your pop as you're going on it, but you really didn't have to force it out of it.

[Mike] I'd say it's pretty playful. I wouldn't necessarily want to be hitting a lot of rails on this board, even though it is a twin shape. But I would say, if you're playing around, buttering around, jumping, and pressing, it is definitely a very playful and fun board. It's very poppy. Especially for how light it is, you get a lot of rebound and response. So if you're not paying attention, you can send some rollers pretty deep.

What about riding switch? [Everett] This board can handle some switch riding, especially if you're experienced in riding switch. I wouldn't recommend a beginner to try out learning switch on this thing. But if you are experienced and you know what you're doing, you can get on to either edge of this board in either direction and be able to ride.

[Mike] It's equally at home riding switch or regular, so you can take off switch, land switch. And with that bevel in the nose and the tail, it really helps with that float.

How is it for buttering? [Everett] I wouldn't necessarily say that this board is meant for pressing and buttering, but when you try to mess around on something like that, it still would open up surprisingly enough. Not something you would find out of a freeride board, more really a park example, but this thing handled it super well.

[Mike] This board's a lot of fun to play around and butter on. It's not the softest board, so if you're really looking to wheelie things out and spin them around, it might not be your board. But if you're playing around on the side of the trail in side hits, or when things open up, this board is a lot of fun to just switch, regular, spinning. You can do it all.

How is it on jumps? [Everett] This board's a lot of fun on jumps. It's great to really just pop off on literally anything when it comes to rollers or a side hit. This thing was phenomenal when hitting jumps. That's really where I watch the shine. I feel like I could lock in on some of the biggest park features without having to second-guess that. This board is a lot of fun, even on small terrain features you can find anywhere. You see a cliff? Go for it. This thing will handle it.

[Mike] If you have seen Natural Selection, Sage Kotsenburg won Natural Selection in Jackson Hole on this board. So it jumps really well for the pro. For the regular rider, this board is also just as fun at jumping. With that extra bit of pop you're getting, you can spin in any direction with the shape.


How would it be in powder? [Everett] This board would feel a lot more fun than a lot of people would expect on a powder day. I know it's not the most ideal powder board, but if you want to blend the worlds of powder and then try to do more freestyle, this thing shines. That's really where it opens up. And really, the blend is the name of the game on this board, bringing the two worlds together and really making it excel as hard as possible.

In powder, I would say this board is a little more chargey, but I wouldn't say it's too overbearing and really just wants the hard steep chutes or anything like that. That's not really where this board is meant to go. Again, surfy is not the other way I want to push in that direction here. It really sits right in the middle of the sweet spot of “Where do you want to push that board and take those turns?” It's able to go there. You can soften it up or really rail into it. This thing can do it all.

How is it in the trees? This board in trees is a lot more maneuverable without it being super surfy. It kind of hits that sweet spot of being able to make quicker dynamic turns without it trying to overcharge you and make you go faster when you don't want to.

How is it on uneven terrain? [Everett] If I get off on uneven terrain and chunder, this thing can still handle it. The dampening in this is super solid that I did not feel like there was a condition that wouldn't feel like there's nothing there. It's almost like having a suspension in the car, built into this board. This thing shines in those conditions.

What kind of terrain would it perform well on? [Everett] This board for being a more backcountry-styled charger was super lively in all conditions. Normally this type of board would lack when it comes to resort riding, as you're doing more mellow groomed terrain. But whenever you found a spot to really just snap off, pop, and really just use the flexibility or advantage, it responded super well. It made it super fun to ride without it being just a really overpowering board.

It is a tough one when it comes to finding the terrain this board is good for because it's pretty much everywhere. There's really not a bad spot for this, but its true sweet spot is going for that freestyle aspect on the freeride terrain. That's where it really wants to push the limits, so you can see how much you can do.

If I could ride this board anywhere, it's really somewhere that has some steep, deep, fresh powder, but you see wind lip, cliff drop, anything that will get you airtime. That's where you want to be. So think of your favorite powder spot and maybe a feature you've always wanted to hit. This will get you over it. This is the board that's going to make sure you finally do it and walk away being like, "Man, that was cool."

What kind of terrain would it not perform well on? [Everett] If you end up in things more mellow on a resort, a little flat stuff, or moguls, it's not really meant for that, but it can do it. It surprisingly will be able to handle that with confidence, and it's not going to buck you out of those situations if you get a little in and over your head.

I wouldn't find myself riding this board in icier conditions. Like it does work there, but that's not really where it's meant for. So, if you have a rougher day and really off-season kind of conditions, that's not really where this thing wants to go. I really wouldn't push it in those kinds of conditions.


Who would you recommend this board to? [Everett] I would recommend this board to someone who really wants to push their freestyle limits in freeriding conditions. This board just is phenomenal when it comes to that. Probably, as you get a little bit more mature in your snowboarding career, parks are fun. And some people, like me, don't want to get away from them. You can bring that as you get older and just take it to the max in the backcountry all day.

Snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you have any questions about the K2 Antidote or want help finding the right board for you, reach out to Everett, Mike, or any other Snowboard Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations. Note that the 2024 version of the K2 Antidote is linked below - same tech, just different graphic:

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Everett Pelkey
Snowboarding Expert
Mike Leighton
Snowboarding Expert
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Written by:
Everett Pelkey, Snowboarding Expert
Everett Pelkey
Snowboarding Expert
Hi, my name is Everett and I am a professional photographer who specializes in extreme sports and landscape photography. I love adventuring around the world with my dog. Whether its surfing and sailing the Great Lakes or hiking peaks in Montana, I'm always looking for the next big adventure. I spent time living off the land in the bush of Australia to move back to the U.S. to Colorado where I coached snowboarding for 10 years. I have extensive experience in the outdoors; camping, rocking climbing, snowboarding, skiing and anything that involves me to be active.
Mike Leighton, Snowboarding Expert
Mike Leighton
Snowboarding Expert
After earning First Team All-America Honors in Snowboardcross in 2008 & 2009 at the University of Virginia, I started competing professionally in 2009. From 2009-2016, I competed at the NorAm and Grand Prix levels (finishing 12th at NorAm Finals in 2016), and I competed in the Rahlves' Banzai Tour, as well, in Lake Tahoe. My career took me all over North America and to Japan. ​ I was a Snowboard Professional for Breckenridge Resort from 2010-2017. During that time I earned an AASI Level 2 Snowboard Certification and an AASI Level 2 Snowboard Freestyle Certification. I also coached for Method Snowboard Academy from 2016-2018 in Snowboardcross and Big Mountain, qualifying two of my athletes for USASA Nationals, as well as, multiple podiums and wins in both disciplines. ​ I enjoy riding all over the mountain with an ideal run starting off with steep, fresh snow and ending with a run through the park with friends. I also love skinning to and accessing big lines in the backcountry, when the conditions are right, and have my AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Certification. ​ One of my favorite questions for my students when teaching was, "Who is the best snowboarder on the mountain?" Someone would inevitably ask, "You?" I would respond, "No, it's the snowboarder who is having the most fun!" That's my goal. I want to help each person be the "best snowboarder on the mountain" by helping them find the best equipment for their goals.

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