K2 Sports
Company typePrivate
IndustrySporting goods
Founded1962; 62 years ago (1962)
FounderBill Kirschner
Don Kirschner
Area served
Key people
John Colonna (CEO)
ProductsSkis, Snowboards, Ski Boots, Ski Bindings, Snowboard Boots, Snowboard bindings, Apparel, Inline skates, Ice skates, Snowshoes, Backcountry Safety Accessories
BrandsK2 Skis, K2 Snowboards, K2 Skates, Backcountry Access, Ride Snowboards, Tubbs Snowshoes, Atlas Snow-Shoe Company, LINE Skis, Full Tilt Boots, Madshus
ParentKohlberg & Company

K2 Sports, LLC (K2 Sports) is an American winter sports company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. K2 Sports operates the K2 Skis, K2 Snowboarding, K2 Skates, Backcountry Access, Ride Snowboards, Tubbs Snowshoes, Atlas Snow-Shoe Company, LINE Skis, Full Tilt Boots, and Madshus brands.[1] Famous users of K2 Skis include pro champion Spider Sabich, World Cup and Olympic champion Phil Mahre, and his twin brother Steve Mahre, World Champion and Olympic silver medalist.



Founded in 1962 by brothers Bill and Don Kirschner on Vashon Island, Washington, K2 is known for pioneering fiberglass ski technology, which made skis significantly lighter and more lively than their wood and metal contemporaries. In 1967, Bill Kirschner named the company K2 (for the world's second-largest mountain and for the two Kirschner brothers, Bill and Don).

Growth and acquisitions

In late 1969, the company's rapid growth required new capital and Bill Kirschner decided a well-financed partner was necessary. The company was acquired by the Cummins Engine Company of Columbus, Indiana. Then in November 1976, the company was acquired by a private group of Northwest investors. The group, called Sitca, purchased K2 and its subsidiary, Jansport.

In 1982, company management purchased all outstanding shares of Sitca Corporation from the group of Northwest investors. Management decided to concentrate all resources on the alpine ski market.

In September 1985, Anthony Industries, Inc. acquired 100 percent of the stock of Sitca Corporation. Anthony, an NYSE listed company, develops and manufactures products for leisure and recreational markets under many brand names.[2]

In 1995, Anthony Industries sold off its Anthony Pools division to its rival, Sylvan Pools, and changed its name to K2, Inc. By 2000, board member Richard Heckmann had assumed control and embarked on a vigorous growth program. In order to remain financially competitive, in 2001 K2 moved its manufacturing from Vashon Island to Guangdong, China, and its offices to Seattle.[3]

Thereafter, the company acquired Rawlings Sporting Goods and Worth, a manufacturer of baseball bats; Brass Eagle and Viewloader in the paintball business; Volkl, Marker, and Marmot. On June 22, 2006, K2 announced it was moving its business office from Vashon Island to Seattle's Industrial District.[4]

On April 25, 2007 Jarden Corporation announced a definitive agreement to acquire K2, Inc. for a cash and stock value per share of $15.50. Jarden is controlled by Martin Franklin, a British investor and triathlete.[5] Jarden was later acquired by Newell Brands, who then sold K2 to private equity firm Kohlberg & Company in 2017.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "K2 Sports | Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing and Inline Skating". K2 Sports. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  2. ^ Luhn, Andy (July 23, 2002), K2 Corporation (K2 Sports) -- a History, retrieved 2008-03-12
  3. ^ Virgin, Bill (June 23, 2006), "K2 Sports will move offices to S. Seattle", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, retrieved 2007-10-25
  4. ^ "Business & Technology - K2 Sports optimistic about upcoming winter - Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Rye Country Day: Martin e. Franklin". Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Newell Brands Announces Agreement to Sell Winter Sports Business". ir.newellbrands.com. Archived from the original on 2017-05-30. Retrieved 2017-06-11.

47°33′50″N 122°19′39″W / 47.564025°N 122.327487°W / 47.564025; -122.327487