Clicker bindings and boots comprise 60 percent of K2’s total snowboard-related sales, and Team Manager David Billinghurst wants the team to reflect that fact.
“Moving into the future, if a new rider comes up to us and says he wants to ride for K2 but isn’t riding Clickers, it’s not advantageous to us to give that rider a salary,” says Billinghurst.
He says no riders have been cut because of their unwillingness to ride the step-in system, and the team still has three pros who primarily use strap bindings: Rob Kingwill, Marius Sommer, and Marcus Hurme. However, it’s been made clear that these riders will make more money if they ride on the Clicker system.
“We’ve told them, ‘This is what I can pay you if you’re on strap bindings, but if you ride Clicker I can pay you this much more,'” Billinghurst explains. “To have those guys on the Clicker is simply more valuable to us. For us, strap bindings have almost become a novelty and the only reason people buy them is the price-not because of team riders. That’s definitely not the case with Clickers.”
Billinghurst says that much of the Clicker growth has come from older riders who are looking for convenience. However, he says that since the Clicker offers performance advantages as well as convenience, he sees the freestyle market as a huge area for growth: “The use of step-in bindings is the direction we’re going as a company and the direction the entire industry is going. However, the groms are so image conscious that it really makes a difference when they see the pros on Clickers. It’s almost a peer-pressure kind of thing. The halfpipe riders are really the last big group that hasn’t been sold on the advantages of step-ins, but this summer we’re really going to have a big impact. I think the HB K2’s external highback Clicker system is what that group has really been waiting for.”
Billinghurst says that the remaining strap-binding riders will be on Clickers for at least part of the summer: “What we’ve heard from guys like Kingwell is that they want to ride Clickers and are super eager to work with us to get the system dialed into exactly what they want. They really want to ride the system and we’re going to do everything we can to dial it exactly to their needs.”