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Follow up skis to K2 Apache Recon

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

For the last 4 years I have been skiing on the K2 Apache Recons and I'm thinking about getting a new pair of skis.  While I've been skiing mostly K2's for the last 25 years, I'm a bit concerned about K2's reputation for quality and the fact that there are so many other quality skis out there.  While I have been quite happy with the Recons, I want to find something that I truly can't live without (if that exists).  After reading countless reviews on skis on this website, I've come to the realization that there isn't a perfect ski, but maybe there's a perfect ski for me.  Depending on the conditions, type of skier, etc. we all have certain preferences that make one biased for certain skis.  Here's a profile of me:

Level 8 skier (out of 10)

44 years old, 6'1", 190 pounds, and in decent shape 

ski 20 days a year (5 days in Minnesota, 10 days out west)

When I ski out west, I'll spend 30% on double blacks (steeps), 40% on blacks, and 30% on blues (but definately love going fast and holding an edge here.  

Last spring when I spent a week out in Big Sky, I demo'd 4 different skis.  Here's what I tried, the conditions, and what I thought:


Blizzard Bonafide

Blizzard Bushwacker

Volkl RTM 84

K2 Aftershock


I skied the Bonafide and the Bushwacker after a night of snowing.  Both of them were great when the powder was fresh, but when it got thick and heavy and tracked all over, the Bonafide was a little more work.  I was a bit disappointed when I was skiing the frontside.  While they held edges fine, I was used to something that allowed me get aggressive on the hardback.  I had to hold back for concern about washing out.  


I was expecting to like the Aftershock much better than I did.  Maybe it was the width in the front of the ski, but that day, while skiing the frontside it was a bit "grabby".  I had to pay attention to it more than I was used to, which subsequently held me back.  


Lastly I skied the Volkl RTM 84 on the advice of a friend (on the frontside).  I liked the way my my turns felt the first 3/4, but the end of it , I didn't feel like I got the "pop" I get when pushing the ski.  


After the week in Big Sky, and reading some reviews, here are my observartions:

-I'm leaning towards a frontside ski (less than 90mm)

-I want a ski that when I really push it, it's going to reward me with something glorious

-I want a ski that is great in the crud

-I want a ski that at the end of a long day won't kick my butt

-I want a ski that does a real nice job of holding an edge, giving me confidence when I transition through a wide range of terrain

-I want a ski that when I do get blessed with some fresh powder, I have a chance to appreciate it.  


Considering the information above, and my baseline for judging my next ski, I'd love some recommendations as I shop around for my next pair!

post #2 of 8

the volkl rtm has a zero camber profile (flat in the middle) which is why you may feel you're not getting as much pop.



Take a look at Blizzard's comparo chart (2011) for the first 2 columns of comparison skis 



I think given you really want the front side performance you might want the "80" column and not 85.

The competitors would be:

Atomic blackeye

volkl rtm80

k2 rictor

enduro 800

outland 80

hot rod tempest

i.peak 84

motive 80

Note: I am not sure if the aboves were updated/replaced since this chart was made.

post #3 of 8

You should check out the Blizzard Magnum 8.1 or the Magnum 8.7


Good Luck!

post #4 of 8

lol, of course my brain froze up, and i quoted Blizzard's marketing materials but then neglected to include them.


the 8.1/8.7 are replaced by 8.0/8.5,  you may be able to get a good deal on the older models.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

This is good information.  I've definately been looking at the Blizzard Magnum Series, and it is my understanding that for 2012-13, they're adding the flipcore techology.  What I'd be curious to learn is of those listed in the "80" column, which will best 1.) bust through the crud, 2.) ease of turn initiation in the real steeps, and 3.) be most acceptable in about 5" of powder.  Maybe we're really talking about personal preference and I just have to get out on the slopes and see for myself!

post #6 of 8

They did add Flipcore to the Magnum 8.0 and 8.5 this year but without the IQ Max binding system and they are now flat. The Magnum 8.5 will be better in crud and any soft snow than the Magnum 8.0 and the 8.5 will still carve very well on the groomers.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

If you were to put the Recon's on one end of the spectrum, and the Blizzard Bushwhacker on the other side of the spectrum, would the Magnum 8.5's be right in the middle, or closer to one of those skis?  When I demo'd the Bushwhacker's last spring, I was expecting something more when skiing the frontside.

post #8 of 8

You could put the 8.5 in between the Recon and the Bushwacker. The Magnum 8.5 will perform better on the frontside than the Bushwacker but the Bushwacker will be better than the 8.5 in soft snow.

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