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Ski show-down: K2 Rictor vs K2 Xplorer vs K2 Crossfire vs Head Monster iM 82

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 


Hey guys,


before I introduce myself, please excuse any rule violates - I'm a noob biggrin.gif




I'm a 30 year old and 180 cm tall skier from Europe and have skied a lot of place in Europe including Austria, France, Germany and Italy. I've skied since I was little and only had a few gaps within my skiing career (longest was approx. 5 years). My on-piste skills are (according to ski instructors) very good. Depending on the conditions off-piste my style can get quite sloppy (I start making some stupid mistakes).   


My situation & Requirements


Currently I'm looking to buy my first pair of skis from a previous season, as I don't believe in shelling out large amounts of cash to get the latest and greatest of the season, because the small improvements aren't really worth it to me. To date I've always rented my skis - mostly premium or VIP category. As I'm venturing more and more into off-piste and "all-condition" skiing, I'm looking for a ski that does well in the following:


- Handles off-piste well 

- good handling in deep powder snow

- good speeds on-piste, no a race carver speeds (I'm never the fastest on-piste, nor do I try to be, but I do want to "push it" if necessary)
- good stability and control on-piste including grip on ice patches

- good at short and middle turns, also I sometimes ski more aggressive - so it should handle that as well

- good reaction times when turning 

- don't care to much about it's carving capability


As a rough guide the on-piste/off-piste % would be between 50% / 50% -- 60% / 40% and sometimes 30% / 70%. That proably doesn't help, huh? frown.gif


I was able to single out 3-4 skis for me: K2 Rictor, K2 Xplorer, K2 Crossfire, Head Monster iM 82


My research and knowledge so far

Basic differences:
Rictor (2010): 80mm underfoot, All terrain rocker.
Xplorer: 84mm underfoot, traditional camber.
Crossfire: 74mm underfoot, traditional camber

So, from what I understand the main differences in them is the width of the skis. Thus:


  • Crossfire is a trail specific ski for carving on groomed terrain.
  • The Rictor is more of an all mountain mix of groomed and ungroomed terrain. The Rictor does have some early rise or slight rocker to the tip to help with turn initiation and float in soft snow.
  • The Xplorer even more for soft and variable snow conditions but still will work on groomed terrain as well. Traditional camber.
  • Haven't had any experience with the Head Monster iM 82, but I'll definitely consider, if someone has had experience with them or could even compare them to the three ski from above.


Those are the "facts".


Expierience with some of these models:


K2 Rictor

I've skied the current Rictor model in St. Anton (Arlberg), Austria, which is world-renowed for it's off-piste skiing and hard slopes. Unfortunately I don't remember which size I rented (stupid me!). So I would take my experience with these skis with a grain of salt as I wasn't skiing for the past 2 year and had to warm up my skiing skills again the first 2 days. Plus, I was skiing quite some hard ski routes (which were very! challenging. Anybody that has been to St. Anton knows what I'm talking about smile.gif) and off-piste and the snow wasn't the best either.


K2 Crossfire 

In Damüls, Austria I tried out the 2009 Crossfire (size: 176/177 cm) and really liked the skis, though I wished they would have had a little more grip on ice, but no biggy. I found the slopes in Damüls too easy for my liking so that could! explain why the skis handled so well. Here I was mostly on-piste because this resort didn't have much off-piste skiing, but good snow over all.

So what's your experience with these skis? Any comparisons or suggestions for me? I've read some threads on these forums comparing the Crossfire with the Explorer, but still couldn't make my mind up I need to buy a pair before I go skiing in Les 3 Vallées yahoo.gif


Thanks guys!

post #2 of 5

Welcome. FWIW, over here we use skis in the 80-90 mm waist range for most of what you describe, and powder skis are usually over 100 m. 70 - 80 mm skis are for groomers or off piste when it hasn't snowed in a while. Handling well in deep powder and the skis you list are oxymorons. But OK, you Euros love your narrow sticks. So:


In my experience, K2's are not ice skates. Wider ones can be nice off-piste, if you like a quiet damp feel but the ones you list are pretty narrow. The iM82 is a beefier ski with a bigger upside as you get better, much loved here, that will be especially smooth in crud and chop, good grip on ice, decent in bumps, but not as forgiving as the K2's, and can be a handful at a slow pace. Not bad in broken or rough powder, but not a floater. I owned a pair. If you're heavier, you'd like it better than the K2's over the long haul.


If you're lighter, would suggest trying skis like the Fischer Motive 84, Salomon Enduro or Tornado Ti, Atomic Blackeye Ti,  Blizzard 8.1 Magnum, Dynastar Sultan 85. If soft snow is more important to you than carving hardpack, suggest moving into the 84-88 range at a minimum, for instance the Atomic Crimson instead of the Blackeye, or the Blizzard 8.7 Magnum if you're heavier.  

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice. Will also take a look at the skis you recommended

post #4 of 5

No; Hell no; god no; heck yeah!

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Very insightful comment.



Originally Posted by davluri View Post

No; Hell no; god no; heck yeah!


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