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what, if anything is the story with K2 - Page 6

post #151 of 282
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
 

 

I remember when "Made in Japan" was an epithet.  

Yes your right. Forgotten about that. When I was a kid that certainly was a norm for a lot of things.

post #152 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollin View Post

Yes your right. Forgotten about that. When I was a kid that certainly was a norm for a lot of things.

... and by 1985, Japan thought 'made in USA' with equal disregard. Especially cars. Interestingly enough, K2 teley gear was modestly popular in Japan as were skis like the AK Launcher. Their piste skis have never been on the national radar.
post #153 of 282

Was just talking to @Matchstix  about ski video and where we've come from and this video came up. 

Dick Barrymore's The Performers with K2 Demo Team at Snowbird 1971

post #154 of 282
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

Was just talking to @Matchstix  about ski video and where we've come from and this video came up. 

Dick Barrymore's The Performers with K2 Demo Team at Snowbird 1971

That was awesome. I use to love watching those on TV as a kid. And yes "how far we've come" indeed.

I don't know if the same screen will come up but (if it does) after the vid ends check out the one on the very bottom left corner.  Also an awesome vid. Amazing how they skied on those oldies. That's a ton of hard work. Actually here it is.

 


Edited by rollin - 12/3/14 at 10:54am
post #155 of 282

I own the VHS of "The Performers."  It's great!!

post #156 of 282
Thread Starter 

and I am sorry but this one is just too funny and also awesome. For fun and entertainment what the heck, why not? here ya go

 

 

post #157 of 282

Did you notice the rocker on the skis at the start of the video.........?

post #158 of 282
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post
 

Did you notice the rocker on the skis at the start of the video.........?

You mean the very start with those long points  lol.

Not till you mentioned it did I go back and see. Yes Quite funny they look like long version of the the wicked witch shoes. But they probably broke off before the rocked. lol

Notice how release bindings didn't exist. Must of been a lot of injuries before that technology was implanted. 

post #159 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post
 

Obviously, trends are trends and a company must continually make adjustments; 5 point skis are a major factor in the powder market and K2 may have been slow in adopting the design. However, they were the first major manufacturer with rocker with the Pontoon (at that point Volant was "done") as well as incorporating rocker into their non-Powder lines. Old news but they were leading the pack with that trend; Not that long ago.

 

 

The Pontoon was a VERY niche ski. Kudos for K2 having the balls to release a ski unsuitable for 99% of resort days, and I have never heard somebody say it wasn't great for what it was, but its impact on the market vs. the S7's impact are totally different worlds. At best, the Pontoon was a Dodge Viper- a "Halo" product unsuitable for the mass market, but one that the manufacturer makes to generate buzz, gets people to think the company is cool, and to buy downline products. Maybe the Pontoons moved more Seth Pistols.

 

The S7 got sold and got on the feet of skiers, so much that there are now 10+ 7 series skis. Totally different than a ski that sells in such limited numbers it doesn't make sense to change the topsheet on a yearly basis.

 

K2 did incorporate rocker everywhere on their line early, which I already noted. It doesn't mean they didn't miss the bigger revolution that made rocker actually work in the way everybody wanted it to.  Adding rocker to the whole line, even distinctly hard-snow skis, was something else that was of questionable benefit, just like making skis with lots of rocker but no change in the tip and tail- putting the widest part of the ski off the snow ready to get grabby whenever it engages. I can't think of any design benefit for doing so in any snow condition, yet K2 kept doing it for years.  The implication is that K2 was more interested in what would market skis rather than what would make them perform, and at least in enthusiast circles, this has caught up with them.

 

Quote:

 

In addition, many top rated powder skis have not adopted the 5 point design, (ie; Volkl, Kastle, Blizzard, Nordica) and are selling a lot of skis (as is K2!)

So I guess the ultimate question to all of this discussion is,  "Are K2 skis sales numbers way off, or is this just the musings of the Epic "Bear population?"

If so, what is the cause; as usual, probably a combination of the various factors we have been discussing.

 It's probably not easy to run one of the largest ski manufacturers in the world!  Probably why Tim Petrick  makes a lot of money.

 

Err... No? I think you don't understand what I 5 point ski is.

 

1. Volkl and K2 have the same parent. Not surprising that Volkl was also slow in getting on the bandwagon, if they were. Their current line has 5 point designs, I am too lazy to really go back to see when they did as I haven't skied a powder-ski Volkl I liked since the 2009 era Gotama (love the Kendo).  Part of the same company being late to the party fails to prove anything, so I don't see the point in nailing it down.

 

2. Kastle- I invite you to take a look at Kastles BMX line off of their website. Do you notice how it says "Point of Contact-Widest Part" in both the tip and tail for the skis on this line? Yep, that's a 5 point design- just one with very little sidecut radius. http://www.kaestle-ski.com/en/products/bmx/bmx108-1968/

 

3. Blizzard doesn't seem to taper the tails much on any of their line (do they put much tail rocker on anything? If not, that would explain it), but all the tips on their non carving skis have taper and have had it for years- moving the widest part of the tip back to the base contact point. For skinnier skis that don't have much tip rise, this makes it subtle, but this is the key 5 point trait and it is there and has been there for years.

 

4 Nordica has tapered tips and tails on several of their powder oriented skis, and has had those designs for years. They are more subtle than the Rossi line, but well within parameter for a 5 point.

 

They don't have to look like clownshoes to be a 5 point- they just have to move the wide part of the tip and tails back, typically back to the base contact point. Other manufacturers understood this, while K2 kept on making powder skis with big tips that loved to hook the snow.


Edited by anachronism - 12/3/14 at 3:54pm
post #160 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post
 

Did you notice the rocker on the skis at the start of the video.........?

I think that is more of an "early rise" and those skis are probably 230+cm long;)

post #161 of 282

Quote:

Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
Err... No? I think you don't understand what I 5 point ski is.
 
 
 
You must be right, I don't understand what the "5 point" terminology refers to.

I foolishly thought it referred to the ski having 5 distinct "points" of width as opposed to the traditional 3 different points of width.

post #162 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post
 

You must be right, I don't understand what the "5 point" terminology refers to.

I foolishly thought it referred to the ski having 5 distinct "points" of width as opposed to the traditional 3 different points of width.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "5 distinct points of width." A 5 point has two parts where the ski is fattest and a waist in between, just like a conventional sidecut ski. The difference is where the fattest part of the ski is.

 

To understand the difference between a rockered ski with traditional sidecut and a 5 point ski, you have to consider the rocker profile in addition to the sidecut profile, and how they interact.

 

Lets start with a full camber shaped ski. The fattest part of ski is almost always at the base of the ski tip.

 

When manufacturers first decided to apply rocker to resort skiing, they tended to take their midfat ski lines and added rocker profile without changing the sidecut profile. K2 did this exact thing on the Kung Fujas- 2007-2008 it was a cambered ski, 2008-2009 it had tip and tail rocker with no change to the sidecut dimensions.

 

The problem is, the tip is off the snow surface, and because it is fatter than the part of the ski already in contact with the snow surface, when it does engage with the snow, it digs in and grabs- trying to change the turn shape in unpredictable ways.

 

The solution to this is to move the fattest part of the ski back to the new base contact area where the rocker profile transitions from rocker to camber.

 

Once you do this, you get "5 points" instead of 3 points of measurement- Width at the tip , Width at the front base contact, waist, rear base contact, tail.

 

They don't all need to look like clownshoes, they just have to have the widest point at the front and the back of the ski around the base contact point instead of at the point where the tip starts to roll up.

 

Overwhelmingly, this design has taken root, because as far as I can tell, there is no reason to do otherwise once you are adding early rise. Both hard snow performance and soft-snow predictability go up.

post #163 of 282
The big deal about K2 skis currently, for me, is the oddball fatties.  
 
Spindrift, I really appreciate your fat ski take on the one ski quiver, or several ski quiver (though I also love cheater gs racers and the like): Praxis GPO 116, in particular, is still very tempting to me.  It seems to be good on edge and in pow.  But I can't demo it, so don't really know. 
Similarly, I have interest in several "do it all" K2 fat skis for being good on edge and in pow: the Annex 118, the Shreditor 120 Pettitor, and, less fat, the Shreditor 112.  And I can demo them.  Can't wait to try them in 6"+ pow, rather than just chop/crud, tight tree pow, lighter snows and soft hardpack (where they both excel, for me, so far, in different ways--here in Colo).  
 
To me, these skis may be real sleepers; am mystified they don't get more love. ( I've demoed them both twice, so far - on a 5" powder/mixed snow day and on a groomer/hardpack day.)  
 
 One ski quivers each? :) 
 
(By the way,I think the K2 fatties, freerides & freestyles probably have graphics that are rider driven, done by or for Seth, Sean, etc., as part of their deal.)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post

I am demoing a pair of the Amp Rictor 82xti. What a mouthful and so far very meh. Only got a half day on it and it plain sucks on groomers. It was decent in the bumps but not inspiring. My blizzard the ones at 98 underfoot are better in the bumps. I'll give them another go tomorrow to see if my opinion changes.
^^^^^This about sums up my experiences of the narrower k2s, over the past 3-4 years or so. (Yawn.)   (for me)
 

In my limited experience  (as a consumer), the K2 line has seemed to have split personalities. There are the meh mid-sized "fleet" skis, and the interesting but confusing/horror flick fatties.  The mid-sized ones I've experienced as easy, "forgiving," at best.  I've stopped giving these a chance, pretty much (e.g., tried the Rictor 90something last year, found it better but.....blah).  

 

The fatties seem a completely different story, at core something special but lots not to like around the edges, in ways people have mostly mentioned, including: 

- Confusing names and changes (Obsethed, Sideseth, Sidestash, Sidetracked, Shreditor(s), Pettitor, Annex(es), Darkside, Hellbent, etc.)  

- Nightmare graphics, as if skiing were vividly in the lower circles of Hell instead of fun.  

 

 That said, people I really respect still ski the Obsetheds and love them.  I still part-crave a pair, even though mostly ignorant of these fatter skis.  

And, like I said, I have demoed the Annex 118 and the Shreditor 120 Pettitor, different from each other but both incredible, to me. (Versatile (near-)charger versus more crazy-manueverable (near-)charger, neither with a speed limit, both damp, stable, not twitchy, with an edge you can count on; and they both now like slower speeds too, especially the Pettitor).   I could give more detail about how these two fat k2s ski, but it seems out of place here.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

Agree with the general theme behind this thread, but I will say the Obsethed still consistently get a lot of love both online and in the magazines.  Problem is they're now called the Annex 118's... which is kind of a vanilla / boring name for Seth Morrison's pro model.  Petit's model also gets mentioned a fair amount.

.......

^^^^yes.  

 

By the way, Pettit's model,  the Shreditor 120 Pettitor, is apparently very close to the last Obsethed model, according to a k2 rep I spoke to and confirmed by another. 

 

Sean has been Seth's buddy and sidekick, and when Morrison began doing more trekking and wanted a different speck ski, I'm told, Sean took over the Obsethed and made it his own, the Pettitor, according to several ski shop Obsethed fans I've talked to. 

 It is apparently a bit stiffer underfoot (possibly to increase edgehold and eliminate slight "overturn"?) but otherwise unchanged, a ski industry friend told me. 

A ski shop salesman/tech, who also skis the '11/'12? Obsethed, told me he has demoed the '14/'15 Pettitor 120 and couldn't tell any difference between the two.  


Edited by ski otter - 12/3/14 at 5:25pm
post #164 of 282
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

 

Overwhelmingly, this design has taken root, because as far as I can tell, there is no reason to do otherwise once you are adding early rise. Both hard snow performance and soft-snow predictability go up.

Just an honest question. I understand the 5 point innovation.

You say its also better on hard snow. Being most all mountain frontside skis do incorporate rocker at some point, why am I not seeing the widest part (the 5 point logic) being applied if its also best for hard snow? Unless by harder you meant heavier deep snow vs softer snow and didn't mean frontside hardpack on piste. If you can clear that up for me I would appreciate it.

post #165 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollin View Post
 

Just an honest question. I understand the 5 point innovation.

You say its also better on hard snow. Being most all mountain frontside skis do incorporate rocker at some point, why am I not seeing the widest part (the 5 point logic) being applied if its also best for hard snow? Unless by harder you meant heavier deep snow vs softer snow and didn't mean frontside hardpack on piste. If you can clear that up for me I would appreciate it.

 

Well, what I mainly meant is having the widest part at base contact is preferable on hard snow and soft snow to having it in the air at turn initiation- comparing rockered powder skis without a 5 point design to those with.

 

Most frontside skis have very minimal early rise/rocker- commonly referred to as "marketing rocker."  In some cases, even decambering the ski, this purported rocker is not evident. In others, the early rise is so mild that effectively the tip is not really off the snow, and in still others (thinking of the Blizzard Black Pearl as one example here) do indeed move the widest part of the tip back to (or closer to) base contact. I think this idea is less important on a frontside ski- they aren't going to slarve in deep snow anyways, and on hard snow, just moving to pressure the cuff on turn initiation is probably enough to engage that tip.

 

On my Obsethed's and Kung Fujas, there was enough rocker that the tip would be 1-2 cm off the snow. Yep, the dreaded flapping tips. Turn initiation felt more vague on them than any 5 point ski I have skied, because you have progressive engagement of the tip.  This doesn't make performance automatically bad (I don't thing either of these skis were terrible on hard snow compared to their peers), but it was noticeable.

 

The hooky tips really came to play in crud- ESPECIALLY tree skiing in cut up snow.  With an S7, hitting the brakes in the trees in even heavy crud is a matter of throwing the ski sideways and steering away from the hazard. With both the Obsethed and Kung Fujas (far more prevalent on the King Fus) doing this same maneuver invited punishment the instant the direction of travel with the ski didn't match where the tips were pointed. 

 

Other people talk about liking the Obsethed line- I liked it (and still ski it), but rarely do so in tight trees now that I am aware much better options exist.

post #166 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

 

I just got the Labcoat 2.0 as well and so far I'm extremely impressed.  But c'mon, the ArcTeryx stuff is way over-priced.  $750 for a shell?  Made in China?  Get outta here.

 

Anyone know about Skea?  The shop just ordered one for my wife, $900 though, ouch.  Should we return it? Sounds ridiculously overpriced in the terms of this thread. 

post #167 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollin View Post
 

and I am sorry but this one is just too funny and also awesome. For fun and entertainment what the heck, why not? here ya go

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post
 

Did you notice the rocker on the skis at the start of the video.........?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollin View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post
 

Did you notice the rocker on the skis at the start of the video.........?

You mean the very start with those long points  lol.

Not till you mentioned it did I go back and see. Yes Quite funny they look like long version of the the wicked witch shoes. But they probably broke off before the rocked. lol

Notice how release bindings didn't exist. Must of been a lot of injuries before that technology was implanted. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by royal View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post
 

Did you notice the rocker on the skis at the start of the video.........?

I think that is more of an "early rise" and those skis are probably 230+cm long;)


My grandma used to tell stories about how they'd soak their wooden skis in a barrel of water over night and then bend the tips around the pot belly wood stove to (in her words) "make the tips turn up more so it was easier to ski" 

post #168 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

My grandma used to tell stories about how they'd soak their wooden skis in a barrel of water over night and then bend the tips around the pot belly wood stove to (in her words) "make the tips turn up more so it was easier to ski" 

 

On Thanksgiving, my mom was telling me about her first pair of skis (East Germany, 1940s) - her grandfather literally made them from barrel staves.

post #169 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

My grandma used to tell stories about how they'd soak their wooden skis in a barrel of water over night and then bend the tips around the pot belly wood stove to (in her words) "make the tips turn up more so it was easier to ski" 

 

On Thanksgiving, my mom was telling me about her first pair of skis (East Germany, 1940s) - her grandfather literally made them from barrel staves.

 

And they just cut a slit into the back of her normal walking boots so that they would work in the binding.

post #170 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

The Pontoon was a VERY niche ski. Kudos for K2 having the balls to release a ski unsuitable for 99% of resort days, and I have never heard somebody say it wasn't great for what it was, but its impact on the market vs. the S7's impact are totally different worlds. At best, the Pontoon was a Dodge Viper- a "Halo" product unsuitable for the mass market, but one that the manufacturer makes to generate buzz, gets people to think the company is cool, and to buy downline products. Maybe the Pontoons moved more Seth Pistols.


I have to disagree a bit here. The Pontoon was a brilliant ski. Especially for its day. While hardly in its zone on firm snow, it was certainly capable of getting you back to the lift. And more. However, it suffered from being on the bleeding edge and just plain wigging people out. Today nobody would look twice at a ski like the Pontoon or similarly proportioned Kuro in a lift line on a big day. But the reputation of it as a clown shoe still lingers. Yeah, things have evolved in the 7 or 8 years since, but it was a simply brilliant ski for its time.

The Pontoon would have been appropriate for way more than 1% of the folks out there. While not a "mass market" ski, it should have been a "much bigger market" ski. Anyone with a quiver doing any soft snow skiing would have done well to grab a pair. Given just a few inches of soft, or some slush - the Pontoon was a hoot and easy to ski. And it rocked in deeper snow.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the S7, or any number of other amazing designs that helped move the market along. But the Pontoon was, and remains, incredibly under-appreciated IMO. It was the first rockered ski I tried. It was literally life changing. And even today, I'd unhesitatingly ski it as a OSQ vs anything sub-100. Obviously I'd rather not, but...

Interestingly, the Pontoon even had early elements of 5-pointedness. Look at the tail half of the ski. Look at the fact it (like the ARG and Lotus 138) had a mm or two of sidecut. Yeah, it suffered somewhat from the hugely wide tip and the massively pintailed design. But... consider what a trailblazer it was. And that the fat tip was likely no accident. If you look at the relationship between the rate of rise and the width, you can think of that as creating "a virtual taper" of sorts - while putting huge surface area out front. I skied it in layered heavy conditions that had 100% of the folks on more conventional skis doing non-stop headers - and even in my mediocrity kept doing untracked laps with ease. As long as you were in consistent snow, or firmer snow that was even, it was surprisingly well behaved. Not so much in chop or crud - but that's part of why more shark nosed/tapered tip designs evolved….

It is a pity that K2 did not pick up on the trend toward early taper/5 point design sooner. But that does not diminish what an accomplishment the Pontoon was. The Spatula had a few other descendants in that timeframe. The DPS Lotus 138, Armada ARG, and Praxis Powder Board come to mind. But of the bigger players, K2 was the one that shook up the market and used their marketing muscle to make folks aware of rocker. They deserve a hat tip for sure.
post #171 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

I have to disagree a bit here. The Pontoon was a brilliant ski.
...

Interestingly, the Pontoon even had early elements of 5-pointedness. Look at the tail half of the ski. Look at the fact it (like the ARG and Lotus 138) had a mm or two of sidecut.

 

I think I agree with pretty much everything you said. In fact, I am keeping my eye out for a set of cheap Toons for the really deep days here.

 

I think my ideas of the utitlity of the ski are colored by more modern skis that float and smear as well as the pontoons yet are better in hard snow, but you are right, it isn't fair to compare them to what came out a decade ago.

 

I think we can agree that even if it didn't deserve to be, the Pontoon was a niche ski. I think just a bit more sidecut, and we would be talking about that ski instead of talking about the S7 as the ski that brought taper to the masses.

post #172 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

I think I agree with pretty much everything you said. In fact, I am keeping my eye out for a set of cheap Toons for the really deep days here.

 

I think my ideas of the utitlity of the ski are colored by more modern skis that float and smear as well as the pontoons yet are better in hard snow, but you are right, it isn't fair to compare them to what came out a decade ago.

 

I think we can agree that even if it didn't deserve to be, the Pontoon was a niche ski. I think just a bit more sidecut, and we would be talking about that ski instead of talking about the S7 as the ski that brought taper to the masses.

 

I agree with you regarding adoption. From what I understand a whole lot of the first year's reduction sat on shelves. And there was a reason the graphics did not change for a long time... Heck, if I had not seen someone ski them and then had them pitch me on them,  I never would have tried them. I still vividly remember my first run on Pontoons. So much better than what had come before.

 

And yeah - I certainly agree that design has evolved. And the newer designs by and large represent improvement. But considering how early out of the gate that ski was, I still tend to be impressed when I decide to take out a pair of Tributes (slightly stiffer than the originals, as are the Blue/White IIRC).

 

However, I don't see a Pontoon vs the S7comparison. The S7 was pretty darn all mountain and piste capable. While much of the channel denied it, the S7 was a perfectly excellent OSQ for a whole lot of folks. I think that was a big part of its success. The Pontoon would have needed a bit of a diet to really be there.  The S7 comparison belongs more to the Hell Bent (originally 122 waisted IIRC) - and then there are those even more monster tips again :D 

post #173 of 282

Am I mistaken in recalling that the entire Silverton guide crew still gets K2 Pontoons for the season, and stocks them for rentals?

post #174 of 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Am I mistaken in recalling that the entire Silverton guide crew still gets K2 Pontoons for the season, and stocks them for rentals?

No. Although I'm not sure what the guides are on now, haven't been down there in a bit. But they do rent K2s, including Pontoons.

post #175 of 282

Thread mentions K2 just changing up names over the years.

 

For the kid ski's looks like they are doing it again:

 

a) The Shreditor Jr 85 is basically the same K2 Bad Seed rebranded and more expensive that you can get a recent  yr K2 Bad Seed.

     Definitely one of the top kid all mountain ski for kids despite where it's made.

 

b) The Shreditor 100 Jr is basically the same K2 Bad Apple rebranded and also more expensive than a recent yr K2 Bad Apple.

 

My son being 10 y/o will be moving up to the 129 Bad Seed.  If you get your 9 y/o the Shreditor 100 Jr (shortest is 139) please post some video as I'd like to see that ski in action.   We've got a 139 Bad Seed already in storage for future use, and that's a lot of ski so that will be a few yrs off for us.  I don't think you'll see any video of the K2 grom park crew on the Shreditor 100 Jr  as it's probably too much ski for the park.

post #176 of 282

I am not feeling the Luv in this thread. 

post #177 of 282
Better do some Recon.
post #178 of 282
Makes me Piste Off.

(From their old Tele line)
post #179 of 282
Better to be Piste Off ...
post #180 of 282
.... than totally piste. Gotta go... Work stinx.
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