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K2 PE Review w/ Video

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
It had been a while since I skied my PEs. We were getting storms twice a week for about 2 months, but now its calmed down, most of the soft snow is blown off or crusty and I am finally seeing some nice bump lines form at the beav. The last time I was on them I was still hurt and they left a sort of bad impression. I was able to get out on them today and had some fun.

The skis 06-07 179cm PE mounted on the midsole line with Rossi Axial2 12 DIN binders.

Me: 200 lbs. Not really sure my level. I ski pretty well most of the time.

Other skis I own, or have owned, or would like to have owned:
191cm Scott P4, 183 cm Head im103, 181cm K2 Axis, 172cm Atomic Metron B5, 186cm Head im88...

There are plenty of other reviews out there on the PE.

Over all: The ski is torsion box, wood core, vertical sidewalls, ptex top sheet, and nice thick edges. The top sheet is already getting scuffed up pretty badly on the edges, but it is easy to trim the fraying ptex. So far the rest of the ski seems really bomber. The flex is medium to stiff, not very damp. The feels really weird and overly stiff for it's weight at low speeds. But at higher speeds when you arc it the ski feels more natural. The tip shape is fairly long rise as well. I had said in another thread that I thoguht the PE should come in a longer size. I think the 179 is a great size for most of my front side skiing.

Groomers: It is fun and playful at speed. You can even make some nice short turns if you carve them with minimal rotation. There is a speed limit but its pretty high and I only notice it when I ski consecutive groomer runs between the PE and the im103. The ski doesn't really engage at low speeds so you have to let them run a bit before you start turning. Work well with a nice aggressive forward stance.

Soft Edging: If you stay centered, the PE has great soft edges. It doesn't really hook up on groomers right away you have to let the ski run before the edge hooks up. If you ski with a lot of rotation or blocking it will slide quite a bit and not carve. It is a great side slipper. It really slides on its edges well and predictably.

Bumps: Where the ski really shines. It is so easy to make nice short turns on this thing in bumps given the soft edging abilities. The cool thing is that you can make a few soft edge short bump turns, go into a few longer faster carves, slow down in one skid and go right back to short soft edge bump turns so easily. It really changes speeds well in the bumps. The ski is light and toss able in tight spots. The stiffness in bumps isn't too much.

video of a couple of low angle bump sections connected with some flatter cruddy sections. You can see how well the ski changes speed from the top to bottom.


By the end of the day I was able enjoy some much steeper bumps, including one trail with some nice jumps and a natural half pipe. Very fun stuff.

I changed my mind about the ski for landing. The ski really lands pretty well. Its not too soft a tail like many twin tips so you won't wheelie if you land back on hard pack. Its light in the air and feels pretty balanced at the mount point I have set up.

Crud: Works fine in smoother windblown and icier crud. Pretty stable 2D crud. Speed is your friend in crud. But when you stand on the ski and start to flex into it the feel really changes and it feels damper and more substantial. This is because you are getting more effective edge form that long rise tip now on the snow. Get forward and carve that crud. The ski really stinks in crusts however.

Here is some more video of small bumps at the top and 6" deep crud toward the bottom, note the rooster tail of soft crud in the last few turns.


Powder: The ski is good in untracked for it's width and stiffness. The long rise tip gives some nice float. The PE requires old school technique and even pressure on both skis for someone my size. Not that great in shallower snow since I tend to ride down into the base layer and not float enough for a cushy ride.

In deep or heavy chop the ski isn't that great. The tip is stiff but it also wants to float so you get some weird unpredictable when the tip doesn't quite plow through a denser layer. It really depends on the snow.

I think its a great front side ski. It rocks in bumps and is perfect for those fun natural terrain park type areas.
post #2 of 23
Hard not to like the value proposition the PE represents. Does alot of things very well, very versatile, and very affordable. Wish there we"re even more skis out there that could do alot of things well and we're also as affordable.
post #3 of 23
Great review, it's easy to understand why this ski is a winner for so many skiers.

Michael
post #4 of 23
Great review Tim. PEs are the best $200 ski I ever owned. I think crud performance is their weak spot, but they make up for it in almost all other scenarios. I love them in soft spring bumps.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
Great review Tim. PEs are the best $200 ski I ever owned. I think crud performance is their weak spot, but they make up for it in almost all other scenarios. I love them in soft spring bumps.
Crud performance interesting on this ski. I don't particularly like the ski in crud either. But its enough ski to get the job done in sunbaked refrozen mank, if I bring my 'A' game. But if I am havign an off day it isn't a ski that will really pick me up by my boot straps and make me feel like a hero in crud. <cue the head monsters>.
post #6 of 23
I love this ski in crud...in fact the only place I dont like this ski is icey groomers
post #7 of 23
I think it's a trade. The PE does OK in crud, but I found that it wants to ride over stuff that other skis can blast/cut through, so it ends up making crud skiing similar to mogul skiing for me. In other words, bumpy ride with lots of turns and lots of extension/compression. This can be fun, and if you want crud skiing to be fun, the PE is a great choice.

If I was skiing heavy crud all day long, I would definitely pick a ski that was more of a crud "buster" and allowed the option to chill out a bit. One thing I liked about my Wateas was that the transition from untracked snow to crud and back was very uneventful, and the skis allowed me to bomb through it all with almost no adjustment in technique. The PEs make that transition more distinctive and dramatic, and I think that makes them a bit more demanding to ski (for me). A stronger skier might prefer the character of the PEs instead.
post #8 of 23
Nice review, nice videos! What mountain did you take them at?
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Those are at my local hill: Beaver Mtn, UT
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
Those are at my local hill: Beaver Mtn, UT
What mounting point did you use? Im thinking 1.5" - 1.75"
post #11 of 23
OP said they were mounted on the line.

I mounted mine +1.5 using a Railflex binder so that I could go from +3 back to the line depending on conditions. Skied them most of the time at +1.5.

Mike
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiK24 View Post
What mounting point did you use? Im thinking 1.5" - 1.75"
Mine were on the line. I heard if you go forward 1-2cm they will be better for most conditions (except pow of course). I will be remounting mine at about 1.5-2 forward.
post #13 of 23
I have 179s mounted +1.5 and am pleased with them. They are great skis for most frontside conditions & terrain. Weakest in powder, where I have to pressure both skis carefully & avoid getting too far forward. All in all, though, a versatile ski and the price is right.
post #14 of 23
This video makes me impressed with the K2's Powder ability.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZggA1Rr9AMs
post #15 of 23
The PEs are suprisingly good in the pow for a 85 waist. I'm not sure what it is, because the tip is not that wide either, yet it floats way better than a lot of wider skis. At least that's how it skis when mounted at the boot midsole mark (zero).
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard View Post
The PEs are suprisingly good in the pow for a 85 waist. I'm not sure what it is, because the tip is not that wide either, yet it floats way better than a lot of wider skis. At least that's how it skis when mounted at the boot midsole mark (zero).
I think it's the slow, more gradual rise at the tip and tail. I read another review that compared the PE with the Mantra (TGR, I think?) where the PE had a far more gradual rise than the Mantra at the tip and tail, which allowed it to spread out more weight more evenly in deeper conditions.

I love my PE's too! They are simply great skis for the price, and I'm actually not tempted by any of the new skis that are out (yet) thanks to the versatility and great performance they provide. I need to get better so that I can upsize, though, because I get JONG'ed @ TGR because I ski a 159 (5' 8", 205lbs). I wish the topsheets were more durable, however, I've been chipping them pretty regularly at the sides. I'm going to try and do some park with them this season - they've been everywhere else on the mountains (Whistler Blackcomb) other than that - and I want to try doing that kind of stuf.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wife and I came home to DC for thanksgiving. And her sister "talked us into" skiing with them for a day at 7springs(like that was hard). I brought my PEs which were the skinniest ski in my quiver to carve up some turkey-week skiing. The base was mostly man made with some wet natural thrown in and had been groomed at one time. That was toppd with a mix of unconsolidated freshly blown manmade snow in push piles / small moguls which actually got petty big by days end and then also a bunch of scraped off ice.

The skis did surprisingly well and were alot of fun. I did recently tune them and it showed. I was very impressed with their edge hold on ice and carveability. I switched with Bushwacker for a few runs after lunch. He was skiing '08 Fischer Progressors which were in need of a tune. I thought my freshly tuned PE compared very favorably with the progressor in terms of grip on ice / hard snow. Doubt it would be as close if his edgs were in good shape, but it is sort of interesting. By the end of the day conditions were fairly soggy with big moguls and deep troughs almost all the way down to grass / rock. They continued to perform great in moguls and other weird variable conditions all day.

I definately see how a ski like the PE could be useful in the midatlntic where you can get hard groomers before noon and then variable ice, crud, soft bumps, and slush after lunch. Seem to be good enough to get by, if you keep up with the tuning.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
Wife and I came home to DC for thanksgiving. And her sister "talked us into" skiing with them for a day at 7springs(like that was hard). I brought my PEs which were the skinniest ski in my quiver to carve up some turkey-week skiing. The base was mostly man made with some wet natural thrown in and had been groomed at one time. That was toppd with a mix of unconsolidated freshly blown manmade snow in push piles / small moguls which actually got petty big by days end and then also a bunch of scraped off ice.

The skis did surprisingly well and were alot of fun. I did recently tune them and it showed. I was very impressed with their edge hold on ice and carveability. I switched with Bushwacker for a few runs after lunch. He was skiing '08 Fischer Progressors which were in need of a tune. I thought my freshly tuned PE compared very favorably with the progressor in terms of grip on ice / hard snow. Doubt it would be as close if his edgs were in good shape, but it is sort of interesting. By the end of the day conditions were fairly soggy with big moguls and deep troughs almost all the way down to grass / rock. They continued to perform great in moguls and other weird variable conditions all day.

I definately see how a ski like the PE could be useful in the midatlntic where you can get hard groomers before noon and then variable ice, crud, soft bumps, and slush after lunch. Seem to be good enough to get by, if you keep up with the tuning.
I thought youe PE were better than my Fishers but both of my skis needed a tune really bad. you need to mount those suckers alittle further forward then the tip fill awkward in bumps.
post #19 of 23
This may seem like a stupid question. If I installed my bindings with the mid point at +1.5 then when I put the boot in, the middle of the boot should line up with 1.5 right?
post #20 of 23
Nice review. I just bought some in the form of extremes. Love the graphics remind me of my TNC's from back in the day. I kept going back and forth on where to mount the bindings settled on +2. Hope
that works out .This is my first twin coming from a Axis . Picking em up tomorrow
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
I remounted mine +2 cm. I think it makes the skis more carvy.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
I love this ski in crud...in fact the only place I dont like this ski is icey groomers
I skied mine quite a bit last year in the NE but we had alot of snow then.

Last month gave us some truly scratchy conditions and the PEs just let me down. Same day comparisons with several other skis including 8ks led me to buy the 8ks.

I'm happy on PEs in any kind of edgeable non-hardpack snow. My favorite condition with them is slush; I was LOVING them last spring. Now I'm not sure if they'll give me a reason to set the 8ks aside and ski them again. I don't do park.
post #23 of 23
Ya it hates crusty ice cant connect to the snow, turning was pointless. Just straight line it!
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