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K2 Ski Review

K2 Ski Review

One of the stalwarts of the freeriding scene, K2 has a top-notch team with riders who contribute to the company’s R&D, killer artists who create high impact graphics and some of the best prices in the
industry. With the amount of time and research K2 puts into its product, it’s no wonder the company makes some of the best skis available today.

Pontoon

Length: 179, 189
Dimensions: 160-130-120
MSRP: $1,000 Stoke: 8.5

When the Pontoon debuted in 2007, it wowed testers with its phenomenal powder performance. The unchanged 2008 version is “unbelievable in the soft stuff!” On the Pontoon, “no matter how deep, any powder line is effortless” and “dropping airs in the fluff is like being on autopilot.” But make no mistake: while the ski rules in powder it’s horrid once you’re on the hardpack. The Pontoon is definitely an addition to the quiver and not something to use every day.

Hellbent

Length: 169, 179, 189
Dimensions: 150-122-141
MSRP: $800 Stoke: 7

Another innovative, new-shape ski, the Hellbent is a reverse camber twin that performs best in soft snow. The camber “makes the ski float turns,” and it’s “easy to smear off speed on the steep stuff.” On the flip side, some testers found the Hellbent to be “clumsy.” There’s no doubt that new shapes like those of the Hellbent and Pontoon aren’t for everyone and the performance of these skis can be limited to specific snow conditions. But if you already own a pair of skis for general use and want to try a new shaped tool, the Hellbent could be the way to go.

Seth

Length: 169, 179, 189
Dimensions: 130-98-118
MSRP: $775 Stoke: 9

Easily K2’s top big-mountain ski for 2008, the Seth is “great in the crud and powder,” where it “busts through chop at high speeds without deflecting.” The high-speed stability of the Seth isn’t compromised by a lack of quickness. Testers found them to be “very responsive” and the ski was easily one of the top big-mountain rides tested in Solitude.

Phat Luv

Length: 146, 153, 160, 167, 174
Dimensions: 135-102-121
MSRP: $750 Stoke: 8

One of the top women-specific freeride skis according to testers, the Phat Luv is “floaty and easy to turn in the powder” and can “handle aggressive skiing without wimping out.” The Phat Luv will most definitely allow the expert and advanced women out there to be comfortable in the performance of her ski anywhere on the mountain.

Nancy

Length: 159, 169, 179
Dimensions: 128-95-118
MSRP: $750 Stoke: 7

Another solid women’s offering from K2, the Nancy “holds a solid edge on groomers” and “easily powers through broken up snow.” However, true experts may find the Nancy a bit soft. “It’s almost too soft, but that makes it easy to turn,” commented one tester, who much preferred the Phat Luv. If you’re still figuring out how to straightline couloirs, the Nancy is a good ski. If you’ve been there, done that, go with the Phat Luv.

PE

Length: 159, 164, 169, 174, 179
Dimensions: 118-85-109
MSRP: $550 Stoke: 7
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 7
Playfulness: 6 All-Mtn: 8

Remaining a staple in the industry as a solid park ski that can transition to all-mountain, the PE didn’t disappoint this season. “It still holds on to anything and butters like crazy,” was a common theme
amongst our testers’ reactions. It was reported to have a smooth flex and was “big and ballin’” according to one enthusiastic tester.

Fujative

Length: 159, 169, 179
Dimensions: 113-85-104
MSRP: $435 Stoke: 7
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 8
Playfulness: 8 All-Mtn: 6

The Fujative, as always, is a solid player in the K2 line. One tester said, “The swing weight is great with a center-mount or a half centimeter back. Weight is light and lively, flex is soft and even.” With a slightly straighter sidecut than the PE, it cruised switch well and was “buttery, yet stable at speed.”

Silencer

Length: 159, 169, 179
Dimensions: 113-80-104
MSRP: $375 Stoke: 7.5
Jumps: 9 Pipe: 7
Playfulness: 7 All-Mtn: 7

“This ski silences everyone with its epicness,” was heard echoing throughout Keystone’s A51 while this ski was making the rounds. Testers found these skis to be amazingly lively and playful. Being a specific jib-specific ski from K2, the all-mountain performance was light but the dedication this ski shows to the park more than made up for what it lacks elsewhere.

Missdemeanor

Length: 154, 159, 164, 169
Dimensions: 113-80-104
MSRP: $535 Stoke: 7
Jumps: 6 Pipe: 7
Playfulness: 6 All-Mtn: 8

This women-specific little sister of the PE felt heavy and clunky to our female testers. “The swing weight was incredibly unbalanced and I had a hard time locking onto rails,” said one tester. “The ski was definitely more at home on the groomers and on other parts of the mountain aside from the park,” said another. It’s a good-looking ski and possibly, with a lighter binding mounted further forward, it would have seen better results.

Missconduct

Length: 159, 169, 179
Dimensions: 113-80-104
MSRP: $375 Stoke: 8
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 9
Playfulness: 6 All-Mtn: 7

Similar to the Silencer in its dimensions and performance, the Missconduct appears to be the ski to ride from K2 if you’re a jibtastic chick. “The weight in the air felt fairly even. It turns well and jumps well,” said an enthusiastic tester. The all white graphics with hot pink bases are sure to be a hit on the women’s market.

Next Review > >

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