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K2 Pontoon vs K2 Hellbent, Northwest (Baker/Stevens/Crystal)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Guys, aside from obvious $ difference, whats the main difference between the 2.  Need an upgrade to my '04 Seth Pistols :)


Performance on NorthWest snow? (Baker/Stevens/Crystal)


Choppy days?


The Pistols you can pretty much take anywhere.  What can you guys say about these 2?




Oh, suggestions on touring bindings? :)  


post #2 of 7

I own a pair of Hellbents in 169 and they are great. They are kinda heavy and very soft but they are really stable. And they work great on groomed. They handle just fine in tight trees. I have no experience with the Pontoons but I would definitely recommend the Hellbents

post #3 of 7

I also would like to hear more about comparing the two.... I am on the market for a powder dedicated ski, something that I would only use on 5in + days. 


From what I gather so far, pontoons don't seem to turn well because of the narrow tail and smaller side cut, hellbent's on the other hand have some more side cut. However, the graphics on the hellbent's is bothering me a lot... to the point where I want to repaint the ski if I get them. 

post #4 of 7

I will share my experiences with the hellbent.


I own the 189 from several seasons ago.  These are the skull and eyeball graphic that are 122 underfoot.  Mounted +6


The ski is undeniably excellent in soft, deep snow (even tracked as long as it's soft). Performance is unbelievable. 


However, if I had to nit pick and change the ski:


1. I would flatten the tail, or reduce the rocker altogether.  Frankly it seems the floatation is a function of the length, width, and soft flex rather than the radical rocker.


2.  Possibly stiffen the entire ski ever so slightly.


I have noticed if you do end up in the back seat, it is harder to recover because there isn't any tail on the ski.  Also, in late afternoon chop, you as the skier gets all of the snow feedback and then some which can be teeth rattling (no metal, soft flex).  Something you just have to put up with if you are still getting after it.


Sorta off topic, but something I have noticed over the last few years since skis have gotten disproportionately wider:


I have found a point of diminishing returns on the powder performance capability of skis.  Case in point.  The 189 hellbents are 122 underfoot and don't float a whole heck of lot better than my 191 Scott P4 which is traditional camber, 2 sheets of metal, medium flex, 108 underfoot.  But the P4 is a whole lot quicker edge to edge, more stable, more versatile.  Furthermore though, the P4 is light years better in soft snow than my 186 LP's that are 97 underfoot.  Again, ski design is often the limiting factor in how a ski performs in soft snow, not just the waist width.

Will I continue to ski my hellbents? Sure i will on really deep days only. But to me a 105-110 underfoot, long (187-195), medium flex ski is the ideal ski for me on most soft ski days here in central colorado.

post #5 of 7

Thanks for sharing Townicus ! I myself have two seasons old Gotama, 106 under the foot. It does good in most conditions, however, last year I took them to 24 inches of fresh, heavy snow and found out that they are not willing to float, instead they would just get stuck in the snow. Even when I finally made it to the steep terrain, the skis seemed to be digging and grabbing.. I am 6 foot 2 and weight 230 lb, so I figured a bigger and wider ski would be a good thing to have for super deep snow.. The width of K2 powder skis seems to be very attractive. 



I hope someone with pontoons jumps on this forum.... 

post #6 of 7

Nothing busts crud better then the volkl Katanas


I use it as my current Crystal powder ski and could not be happier

post #7 of 7

I have put in a decent number of days on original Pontoons and Hellbents. And a few runs at Stevens on Pon2oons. Hellbents and Pontoons are very different skis. Don't let the fact both are "fat and rockered" fool you. Hellbents are meant to be mounted pretty centered and are bidirectional - as well as buttery - by design. Pontoons and Pon2oons are more unidirectional. All play well in the Cascades. If you want a stiffer driver variation on the rockered + tapered theme, the Kuro is an able performer. And I'd imagine the ON3P Pillow Fight would be quite nice (saw a proto to at Stevens a while back and it seemed to ski very nicely).


For fresh snow and slush days in the Cascades, these are excellent skis. I would not go any "smaller" than these. My personal choices for these conditions these days are Praxis Protests and Powder Boards (obviously I am a huge fan of both).  But I would not cry to use Pon2oons. And now and again I still break out the Pontoons for sentimental reasons.


If you choose to go the Hellbent route, do not mount "traditional". For my.02, if that's how you want to drive the ski, get something more unidirectional.

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