Expert Review: 2024 K2 Gateway Pop Snowboard [with Video]

Published on 08/28/2023 · 7 min readSnowboarding Expert Matthew Kaminski tested the 2024 K2 Gateway Pop Snowboard in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Matthew Kaminski, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Matthew Kaminski

Curated Snowboarding Expert Matthew Kaminski got his hands on the 2024 K2 Gateway Pop Snowboard this spring. 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 Gateway Pop Snowboard or need recommendations on which board would be best for you, reach out to a Snowboarding 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 Snow claim about this board? K2 claims that this is an intermediate to advanced snowboard designed for all mountain riding, groomers and pretty much anything you can throw at it.

Overall Impressions

What is your overall impression of this board? Right off the bat, I noticed this board had a lot of pop and that's in the name: the Gateway Pop. It's got camber all throughout with the early rise rocker at the nose and tail. This really makes the dream board come to life. When I look for a snowboard, that's what I'm aiming for. Camber just seems to work.

This board really did impress me. It did exactly what I expected it to do. It wanted to ride fast, it wanted to ride hard, and that's kind of my riding style. I love to send it big, I love to take it into deep powder.

That being said, the board runs a little bit narrow. I was in size 11 boots, large bindings, and I wish I had a wide board, this thing is a little narrow in the regular 156. I definitely needed the 157 wide. This is a really narrow snowboard for what it is.

I do want to take a second to recognize these awesome graphics, such a cool base and top sheet. I really dig the simple colors and the chaotic base. White is always cool, it goes on most bindings, everything looks great with it. Really, really beautiful board.

Carving

How does it turn? Adding that early rise rocker in the nose and tail to this camber board makes the board turn a lot easier. It makes it more lively, more playful all around.

What is the edge hold like? I think the camber profile really gives it that extra edge hold and extra grab. I took off a pretty big area and had to put my heels in to get control instantly. My heel just dug into the snow. I started to drag a little bit, so if you are running a 10.5, even a 10 boot, you might want to consider a wide. I was running 11 boots, large bindings and definitely needed a wide snowboard.

How damp is the board? Do you feel any underfoot chatter? I did notice a little bit of chatter underfoot. Nothing too much to where I'm like, okay, this board is not what I want to be on.

Freestyle

Could you speak about playfulness and pop? This board had a lot of pop. It's going to have a lot of that playfulness. One thing that I noticed is the amount of taper, really thin up in the nose, and you have this really beefy section all throughout the core. That makes the board really lightweight, really playful and really snappy, if that makes sense. You're able to pop it, get on those tips and tail and be able to press and load off the board.

Is it good for riding switch? Riding switch, you definitely notice a bigger nose, shorter tail. It felt a little awkward riding switch, and I think as I got into the day, it got a little better, but right off the bat I just did not have the same confidence that I had on some other boards. I think a lot of it is just the directional shape. You have a 7.5-inch set back, so a little bit of area in the nose that really gives you a longer nose, shorter tail ideal for those powder days. You can really set this thing back as far as you want to go or wherever the bindings will let you go to. If you think you like to pop and switch here and there and then you're just getting right back to riding regular, go for it.

How is it on jumps? I took it through the park, was able to handle some jumps. I didn’t really want to get on rails because it's not really designed to be hitting rails, but there’s so much stability, everything that I'm looking for when I go big off a jump.

I felt like I needed to be on the right part of the board, not too far or not too far backwards, just really capable of doing a lot of those big airs and stopping with stability, riding out with confidence, and continuing to snowboard. It supports super stable landings off of jumps. I think the camber profile really gives it that extra edge hold and extra grab.

That's a huge thing I look for in a board, how it's going to do in the air. I like to fly. It's just part of my riding style. I'm constantly finding side hits and constantly finding things to go off of so to get on a board that's going to hold that edge and be stable when it lands on is huge.

How is it in the park? If you're a park rider who likes to hit the jumps, maybe a couple of flat boxes and mellow rails, this board is definitely cool with that. But if you're getting really tacky on the rails, if you’re 270-ing on, you're looking for something to press on, I wouldn't really want to ride this thing in the park.

Freeride

How is it in powder? Definitely powder-capable with its freeride-esque shape. I tried to get into some powder on this board. It was okay. I could tell the nose was doing its job, it stayed on top of the snow.

How is it riding in the trees? How is its maneuverability? I took it through some trees and into some really tight areas. Really maneuverable, really easy, really approachable for more technical terrain, which surprised me. Usually with a camber board, you're going to have a little bit more trouble being torsional, it’s really not going to be able to get into tight spots that you want to get into. But this board definitely did that.

How is it on moguls? I took it through some moguls. It did pretty well in that icier, technical terrain where you're doing really tight, quick turns. Lots of pop. If I wanted to go over and mogul here and there, I had enough of a boost to get myself to the next mogul down the road.

What terrain is this board good for? This board does well on some fresh snow and steep terrain. Maybe some moguls in the trees where you're bouncing off of pillows and whatnot. This thing's going to be at home on steeper trails where you can go fast, you can open up the snowboard and really bring it to life.

What kind of terrain should riders avoid with it? Beginner trails, anything where you don't have that speed underfoot. You want to be on vertical terrain.

Recommendations

Who would you recommend this board to? I think this board would be perfect for any intermediate to advanced rider looking to continue to grow their skills, and get on something that they might be used to, but that has newer tech and features.

Who should avoid this board, there are other better options out there for them? Anyone who's still just learning and figuring things out, you definitely don't want to get on the Gateway Pop. I wouldn't want to put any day one beginner on this snowboard, or even those who’ve been out a handful of times, who've been renting and they’re thinking about buying their first board.

We really want to have some of those intermediate level skills. You need to be able to control your edges. You want to be able to link turns, heel, side to side. If you can do all those things, I think you could definitely get on this snowboard. But anyone who's still just learning and figuring things out, we definitely don't want to get on the Gateway Pop here. Also, if you're spending more of your time riding switch, I think there are some better options out there for you.

Snowboards work differently for different types of riders. If you want help finding the right board for you, reach out to Matthew or any other Snowboarding Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations on the best board for you.

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Matthew Kaminski, Snowboarding Expert
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