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K2 Wayback or Backup for Euro backcountry?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

existing rig: 181 backlash. feels too long and heavy for the touring i do. my AT companions are on less beefy gear anyway. me: 6'2, 180.


so i want a dedicated AT rig. narrowed it down to either wayback or backup in 174. 


pro wayback: float, lightness, no new skin neccessary (my skin is from a mt baker), better in brekable?


pro backup: beefier ski, better on hard uphills, better on hardpack?


any more input on my choice, especially given the typical euro conditins (anything between a foot of fresh and packed snow or even worse?  ? how much apart are they on the occasional ralexed groomer? 


on the one hand i want the metal beef of the backup (mt baker being my favorite ski so far), on the other hand i do not ski very aggressively and could def. use the float of a wider ski. 


thanks for your input.


if anybody has a baker superlight for sale, let me know ;.-)


post #2 of 14

This may be a better question for the Euro Zone.  If you don't get any replies here, I can move it there for you.


post #3 of 14

Old q which you've prob. sorted but I've heard the Wayback is a bit noodly.  Comes from my tele instructor who is close to the top of that game here in Australia (where conditions vary a lot too though we are not often blessed with deep powder).

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
chose the wayback and it broke after an hour in a minor fall. my trust in k2 gear was severely disturbed by that. still waiting for k2 germany to decide whether to replace the ski.
in the meantime i went for a nordica steadfast, which feels rock solid in comparison. i am out of the lightweight ski game for a while i think...
in the k2 range , my pick would have been the sideshow, which i demoed and loved. great go anywhere ski. much overlooked, i think.
Edited by snowdan - 12/13/11 at 3:25am
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

k2 do replace the ski, so everything is fine.

post #7 of 14

Hey Snowdan,


I was a bit surprised by your comment that you thought the 181 Backlash was too heavy and long and you wanted to go with something shorter and lighter. You were considering the Backup (82 mm).  But then later you said your favorite ski is the Mt. Baker. You do realize that the Backlash, albeit a tad wider, was essentially the replacement for the Mt. Baker, and the Backup was the replacement for the Shuksan?  Or was it just the length of the Backlash that you didn't like?


Anyways, I am currently in a similar boat as you were. I am 6'2", 185 lbs butt-naked, Level III/III+ skier trying to set up an AT rig (AT quiver of one) for day trips, something that I can use now in the Pacific NW, but also for spring/summer skinning in the Cascades. I am using Titan boots and will probably set them up with the Dynafit Radicals if I am convinced that the bugs have been worked out. I am also toying with the idea of going to a wider ski so that I could use the setup for resort skiing in "champagne powder" smile.gif in those rare times I make it to Utah (a month from now) or Colorado. Naturally, the Coomback has crossed my mind as a potential candidate.


Tested couple of skies with Fritschi's on piste recently at Alpental. Snow was mixed, some hardpack, some mashed potatoes, a bit of heavy but thin powder. Unfortunately, didn't really get to try them in deep snow which is what I would have liked. On the front side skiing as I did, the Coombacks in 181 felt OK, but I felt like they bounced around alot. I do like a bit of more heft and metal in my skies, so I also tried the Sideshow in a 181 which I really liked. They were reminiscent of my 178 cm Legend 8000 but without the heft of the latter. Unfortunately, without trying them in the deeper snow it is hard to judge what the Sideshows would be like in the backcountry. Also, considering the Hardside, but haven't had a chance to try them. I really want to try out the Coombacks in the longer 188 cm length to see if that would stabilize them a bit, but no one has those for demo's here. In reality, lengths longer than 181 in K2 are impossible to demo here. The only longer length ski is the BD Verdict in 190, but that might be a bit much for me.


Did you get a chance to try the longer (>181) Hardsides, Sideshows, or Coomback's? For the ones that you did get to try (even shorter lengths), how do you feel they compare with the Steadfast, another ski that a shop recommended? What length did you go with in the Steadfast?




post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

hi nick!


well, i can in fact comment on most of your questions.


i bought 181 backlash after losing a 174 baker in the backcountry.


as you assumed, 181 backlash just felt too long when in my touring boots (dynafit zzero 4 pebax). that means, a little sluggish to turn in tight spots. might as well be my skill level ;-). but most important and relevant, they were too long in kick turns.


also, my legs are rather short, so i have short levers to turn a long ski.


i did demo 174 and 181 sideshow. same thing, sideshow 174 feeling spot on, 181slightly more stable but too long. i did also demo a 174 hardside. to be honest, they felt a bit like a pair of doors on he groomers. nice offpiste in long arcs, though, but too much work for short turns (read: euro wigggle turns). great float. quite a difference compared with sideshow. sideshow very close to baker in terms of feel.


for whatever reason, i bought a 178 steadfast then. no kidding. fitted them with dynafits. idea was to have something in the baker/backlash/sideshow ballpark from a different maker.


brief description: very stiff ski, even longitudionally. rocker s long but subtle and has a strange pattern, lessens again towards the tip...

steadfast live up to their name, very good stability, great for blasting through crud. edge hold is race ski like. no speed limit. hard to bend into tight turns in moguls/skied out offpiste for me, might be my lack of weight or lack of boot. float, well, not too great. in powder no issue, but in anything breakable or more dense i missed any rocker like feel.

summary, if you like the K2 feel, stay away. if you want a GS ski with added width and subtle rocker for some offpiste excursions, there it is.


next and current ski is a 174 coomback. note that 174 coomback is longer that other 174 k2 skis. i like them for their medium/soft flex and forgivingness. wants to be ridden smoothly, not pushed. skis well in most anything offpiste. okay on groomers. sideshow is much, much better for groomers. actually, sideshow is as much of a groomer ski as i will ever need. nontheless, i went for the coombacks for the better float and more forgiving ride. i might be adding a backup for spring touring/ski mountaineering and the occasional groomer day with friends at some point.




Edited by snowdan - 2/8/12 at 12:48pm
post #9 of 14

Thanks Snowdan.


Yeah, I am leaning towards the 188 cm Coomback; although I am also toying with the idea of the 186 cm Fischer Watea 94. Those Watea's are seemingly lighter than the Coomback's and seem equally torsionally stiff, maybe a bit less longitudinally. I really wish I could demo the 188 Coomb's; unfortunately no one has them in that size to demo. I can demo the Watea's in that size at a shop, but don't know if that will do much good without also trying the Coomb's.


 I did see a used pair of this year's 188 Coomb's for about $230. They are pretty beat up with a bit of a core shot in the base too. They would need a base weld, full grind, and full edge job, probably about <$90 of repair and tune in total. Whoever had them last looks like they had Dynafits on it so the holes would have to be filled too.


Still deciding what to do. Decisions, Decisions.



post #10 of 14

I read about your broken Wayback. Unfortunately I have similar problem: my Wayback broken during second day of usage. I noticed that at home, after returning from ski slope. I remeber that I fell down twice during skiing (at low speed, boots weren’t released from the bindings), but IMO skis sholud survive that.
Pictures: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/x8dgob9x876n1ql/EO-XQ-FMiN
I bought skis at http://www.sport-conrad.com (about 1 month ago). I have written copule e-mails do them, but currently they don’t want to replace my skis to new one.
You wrote that K2 Germany replaced your skis. Did you contact to them directly? Or via shop where your ski had been bought?

I will be grateful if you send me any information about your case. My e-mail: snieznyziomek@gmail.com

post #11 of 14
That is bizarre. Are you sure they arrived from the shop okay? Maybe they were broken in shipping?
post #12 of 14

I'm not 100% sure, but I think I would notice damage like that after unpacking, so probably shipping was ok

post #13 of 14

@update: I send skis to www.sport-conrad.com . Unfortunately guarantee was declined. I received explanations such as: "A ski doesn’t break like this without any external influences", "It’s just not a material defect that your ski is broken, it is your own fault." :(

post #14 of 14

Normally it's better to return them to the shop, but in this case I'd send them back to K2 Germany.  Some large online retailers just don't provide the service of a brick and mortar shop.

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