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K2 XP On & Off Piste

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
First of all, I want to thank the Epic Ski group, Rick Reiter, and K2 for getting these skis into my hands via the raffle at the Eastern Ski Tune-up. It is a ski I would have been unlikely to purchase, and I would have been missing out on a ski that really suits my type of skiing. Now on to the review...
180 lbs, 6', lots of years skiing - but only about 7 years of serious dedication (lessons, camps, trips, equipment experimentation, etc.), 30-40 ski days per season (gotta move west!).
Skis used regularly over the past few years:
K2 Mod X (181cm), Bandit XX (177cm), Atomic SX:11 (170cm), Fischer Race SC (170cm), Volkl V-Pro (180cm), K2 Axis XP (174cm).
I ski primarily in New Hampshire and some in Vermont and Maine (Loon, Cannon, Jay Peak and Sunday River for those of you who know the area). I get out west about twice per year.
In terms of terrain preferences, I generally find no joy on blue groomers or in icy, deeply carved out bumps; the best are steep tree runs or open bowls in deep snow.

I started skiing the K2 XP this winter on icy runs at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire and slightly better conditions at Sunday River in Maine. I was truly amazed at the terrific edge hold on ice (especially for such a fat ski: 115-78-105). It inspired my confidence so much that I am getting rid of my Atomics (which I have been my 'go to' skis for hardpack conditions for 2 years now). I have also found the XPs to be very stable at speed and terrific at big high speed carved turns. More importantly (to me), the skis carve smaller turns and slip and slide through tight spaces really well. This is one very smooth pair of skis.

I just got back from 7 days in Salt Lake City where we were lucky enough to get 3 full-on powder days (we're talking from a foot to knee deep). I was planning on demoing some fat skis, but the K2 XPs performed so well and were such fun that I just stayed on 'em. In the 'Little Cloud' bowl at Snowbird - could barely see because it was snowing so hard - the K2s were just floating me from turn to turn in knee deep powder. In the creamy deep snow in the steep under the Gad 2 lift and in the trees to the left of the lift they wove and soft carved so smoothly. I had been using Volkl V-Pros for this type of skiing, but the K2s were so much easier to ski (so I'm getting rid of the V-Pros too). In the deep crud which we skied for 2 days, the XPs were very stable (like Peter Keelty says: "Smooth, smooth, smooth"). The combination of metal, wood, and rubber in these skis gives them just the right amount of stiffness vs. flex and bounciness for me. There are a lot of good skis, and everyone has their own tastes and styles, but for my style and the conditions described, the K2 XP is a real winner. I'm headed back to SLC next week; I had considered just bringing my boots and demoing some fat skis, but instead I am bringing the K2 XPs.

[ March 15, 2004, 05:03 PM: Message edited by: Bearberry ]
post #2 of 6
Good News Bearberry: Next year's XP, which has a new name (Something like Apache Recon, if I remember correctly) and a new cosmetic (mostly white) skis just like this year's wonderful piece of machinery. I jumped on the demos at the midwest reps show last week at the same length as my XP's and found they skied exactly the same. Best do-everything, go-everywhere (except maybe in big hard bumps) ski I've ever been on. Mine came as a result of the first ESA raffle. I tried a number of skis and nothing performed as well with as much ease.
post #3 of 6
I have a pair of the XP'S and I believe its truly a great versatile ski. Good groomed ski caver and excellent powder and crud ski. It really a fun ski.

Maybe some other models have more snap but the XP will do just about anything in a very wide range of conditions. I think K2 hit a homerun with this ski. I plan on keeping mine for a long while.
post #4 of 6
What about length on these? The 174 do it for 5'10" 200+ seasoned Vet?
post #5 of 6
DaveV- Yes.

Skied it @ Okemo demo day, sold.
post #6 of 6
I'm 6'3" and 210lbs and have had no problem with the 174's. I've skied in all conditions except for powder.
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