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K2 2004

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
As I type, I have in front of me a magazine with the images of the 2003-2004 K2 Mach GS race and Mach XR Comp.
With their stars and stripes on a white/light grey background they look beautiful!
I hope they ski as well as they look!!
P.S. when my wife heard this comment, said : "Don't tell me you're not after the Völkls this time!"
post #2 of 4
I hope in K2's attempt to become a sporting conglomerate, they don't forget that they were first and foremost a ski company. In an interview of their CEO I just read, it sounds like he wants the company to be big and cost-efficient over all else (like his last gig at US Filter)-I didn't hear quality or great products in the business plan anywhere. I just wasn't really happy with their line this season-they had a few excellent skis like the 5500 and some of the ladies T-nine's, but I wasn't a fan of the XP or X-those skis sell on marketing hype more than anything, it seems. It is too bad they have moved production to China with really no reduction in wholesale costs-they are still much more expensive than the equivalent Fischer. I am sure Austria has a higher prevailing wage than China.

I am not sure about their new race skis-haven't skied them. But, I do know that alot of the better racers consider the K2's dogs, at least last year's versions. Basically, from what I understand, they had really no development of their own-they would take a competitors race ski sidecut and try to duplicate it. I am sure it doesn't matter for a slower guy like me, but it just shows their commitment to making fast skis (or lack therof).

Sorry for the negative post, but it just seems to me that K2 has really "sold out", moreso now than ever with their diversification, and producing good skis has become secondary to producing profitable skis. Sure, companies need to make money, but ideally a ski company and it's employees are there because of a passion to produce the best skis possible while still making a profit, not the other way around. Unfortunately, if I take a look around our sport, I am about 15 years too late with my idealistic views.
post #3 of 4
K2 rocks! OK, I am on the program. But I must say, I could ski on what ever I want, and K2 is it. With skis like the Phat Luv, XP, Public Enemy, Spire, Seth Pistol and the old $375 Enemy, they have the goods in a big way. If sukotto did not like the XP, I bet it was because he skied it a bit long. The 174 is plenty for most average size guys, I like the 167. The race room skis are amazing. They are made in Vashon, if that is important. I am probably not the best judge of race stock skis, but I have skied on 181-ish race room skis from Rossi, K2, Volkl and Fischer this year. They are all insane, and actually quite similar. K2 is one of the few companies to actually put these skis into shops, although, they are not in the brochure/website. A number of the coaches here at Mammoth's RD think that in a few years K2 will have the best race skis around. Whatever, I live on the Seth Pistol. Has K2 sold out? No way! The PE ($450 list!) and SP are super core skis, with double thick edges and bases. The T Nines are perhaps the best women's skis out there. Check out the Phat Luv, a true women's fat that comes in a 153! It's about time! My girlfriend loves hers. How about the Spire? A true expert level women's ski with metal. The coaches of our K2 Women's Seminar were blown away by both of these skis, and most of them are reps for other companies. K2 rocks!
post #4 of 4
K2 race skis... I've been on k2 stuff for the past couple of years and I have to step up and support their race skis. I'm on the GS in a 186 this year and they can compete with any other race stock GS skis you can find. most stock GS skis are basically the same, anyway, and K2s are certainly not lagging behind. they're unbelievably stable at high speed and hold an edge as you would expect from a stock ski...

the slalom skis are, on the other hand, a little finicky. they hold as well as anything I've ever skied on, but they are a little experimental. they're super, super soft in the tips. Perhaps that's because I'm mounted the recommended 2.5cm forward, which, for a 155, seems a little much, but anyway, the skis take a really refined touch; too much pressure on the tip and they wash. if i flex forward into my boot standing still, the ski bends just in front of the plate... hmm... still, when I was out at Hood a year and a half ago, I tried about 5 different brands (admittedly not elan), and K2 destroyed them all except the rossis, which were a very very similar ski. I've had some bad experiences in the past with rossi durability, so I went with the k2s. they served me well last season 'til i bent them. my slaloms this year served me well... 'til i bent those too. so, I'll probably be on my 3rd pair of k2 slaloms in as many years next year. did i mention they replace hte skis with no trouble what-so-ever? first class company, I can't complain!

finally, the XPs... man, these skis absolutely rock the mountain. in a 174 they're agile enough for bumps and trees, and they're stable at GS speeds in crud and all over the rest of the mountain. they completely rip! I borrowed a pair of 181's the other day when I was at whiteface and took them up to the places where the downhill course had been salted to see how they'd hold on hard snow... while they aren't pure GS skis, they did exceptionally well for a non-race ski... so well, in fact, that i'm ordering some for next year.

k2 used to have a pretty wimpy line, but these days they can compete with any other skis on hte mountain for both performance and customer service....
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