K2 Skis' Build Your Own Boards (BYOB) contest saw more than 150 designs flood in from around the globe. The original batch was judged by K2 personnel as well as the staff here at Freeskier. Ultimately, 32 finalists were selected. The finalists' designs were pitted head-to-head in a series of public voting rounds. 32 became 16—16 became eight—eight became four—four became two—and two became one. Today we're pleased to announce that the lucky one is 24-year-old Noah Wetzel of Salt Lake City, UT.
Noah defeated finalist Gavin Rudy by a margin of 54% — 46%. As his prize, Noah will be flown to K2 headquarters in Seattle, WA, hang with a K2 pro for a day and hand-build a K2 ski of his choice with his one-off topsheet. We caught up with Noah to pick his brains about life at the top:
2011-12 K2 BYOB WINNER: NOAH WETZEL — AGE 24 — SLC, UT
"Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so thankful to all of you who took the time out of your day with each round to vote for my ski design. This whole contest was a surprise to me. From almost not entering the contest—thanks to my friend Johnny for convincing me—to making the final 32, I never thought I'd make it this far. When I designed the skis, I was just hoping that I could come up with something decent. After I finished the design I was super stoked on how everything came together, and really excited to see how my design would match up to the other skis that were designed in the contest.
Regardless of the outcome it has been a great experience. More than anything, I think it's super funny how something small—or at least you think is small—can open a multitude of doors when you least expect it. Thanks to K2 and Freeskier for putting this contest together. I think contests like these in the future could lead to some great art on your skis, whether or not it's a limited edition ski, or a full production run.
Like most people, I don't have many opportunities to travel, so heading out to the K2 headquarters will be a lot of fun, not to mention it will give me a good excuse to visit a few friends along the way. The past three seasons I have wanted to purchase a pair of OBSETHED skis, and what could be better than owning your own pair with your own graphics? These skis will certainly help me reach the next level of my skiing progression, and I am extremely excited to bust them out of their plastic wrapping and cruise around ALTA and Steamboat.
Thanks again to all of you who voted for my ski design, I couldn't be more proud of the results. Let's think snow and make the rest of this winter season one to remember. Cheers!"
And with that, on behalf of K2 and the gang here at Freeskier we'd like to thank each and every one of you who submitted designs and/or partook in the voting process. And a special congratulations goes out to Noah. We'll be joining you on the trip to Seattle, and we look forward to seeing your design come to life.