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Reviewed by our Gear Geeks:

BEST K2 SKIS OF 2021

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Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:

Test 22 different K2 Skis  and write reviews of the best.

The result is 15 of the best K2 Skis on the market today.

hunter bierce

Hunter Bierce

PSIA Ski Instructor
Hunter Bierce is a PSIA Ski Instructor and multidisciplinary outdoor professional.

Bradley Axmith boating & sailing editor

Bradley Axmith

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Vikingship building gear enthusiast and waterworld fanatic.

K2 is no stranger to innovation, since their mad scientist inception in a Vashon island garage these hometown heros have pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in ski design.

The last few seasons have seen a whirlwind of exciting new releases- from the versatile Mindbender series to lightning fast piste skis in the Disruption collection. This season the stream has tapered off with a few new sizes and styles within the rec race and all-mountain categories.

Below we’ll explore K2’s 2022 releases, and returning favorites from their lineup worthy of a second look. For a little more on K2 as a brand, and a deeper look at the technologies that make their skis the best in the world.

Top 10 K2 SKIS

See our quick top 10, or go further down and read our in-depth reviews.

This winter sees the newest addition to K2’s very serviceable all-mountain twin tip lineup, it’s a refreshing example of the ski industry’s shifting emphasis toward accessibility.

The Reckoner 92 delivers a playful, predictable ride, while being among the most affordable all-mountain models on the market. Coupled with it’s availability in a slough of sizes, expect to see plenty of them on the resort this winter.

 

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • All-Terrain Twin Tip Rocker
  • Aspen Veneer Core
  • Triaxial Braid Fiberglass Reinforcement
  • Rocker/Camber/Rocker Profile
  • Also available in 102, 112, and 122mm variations
  • Sizes range from 149-179cm
What we like:
  • Great choice for younger skiers looking for an all-mountain ski
  • Reasonable applicability in the park
  • Impressively affordable
What we don’t like:
  • There’s a performance limit that comes with its accessibility
  • Feel like a junior ski, even in the longer sizes

There are plenty of higher-performing skis out there, but you have to appreciate how much the Reckoner 92 can do given its cost and ridability. There really aren’t many places on the mountain you can’t take advantage of, whether you’re interested in groomers, exploring bumped-out tree runs, or honing your park skills.

The K2’s Women’s Alliance puts in work collaborating with their ski design team to make some of the more impressive women’s models on the market. When the release of a new Reckoner model targeted towards younger skiers was announced, it’s only natural that they release a girl’s version in tandem.

The Reckoner 92 Alliance toes the line between freeride and freestyle performance, and offers a rewarding and energetic ride anywhere you want to explore.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • All-Terrain Twin Tip Rocker
  • Aspen Veneer Core
  • Triaxial Braid Fiberglass Reinforcement
  • Rocker/Camber/Rocker Profile
  • Alliance models also available in the Mindbender and Disruption series
  • Sizes range from 149-169cm
What we like:
  • Quality performance based around girls growing into great skiers
  • Balanced park, piste, and ungroomed performance
  • Affordable and available in a wide range of sizes
What we don’t like:
  • Expert skiers will want something more aggressive
  • Not the best deep snow ski given the moderate waist
  • Feels a little short regardless of length

The Reckoner 92 Alliance shows all the best faces of an all-mountain twin tip- it’s playful, versatile, and heavily inclined towards fun. More importantly it’s affordable and available in a wide range of sizes that will fit younger skiers looking for their first pair of twin tips as well as adults looking for something lively and serviceable to bop around the mountain.

The K2 Missconduct has been a favorite choice for women dedicated to ripping up the park, and have managed to net a couple of podium appearances over the course of their history. This year, K2 is keeping the same proven design but rebranded the series as the Midnight.

The change in name comes with updated topsheets, but all of the things that previously made the Missconduct a favorite inside the rope line remain.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • All Terrain Twin Rocker
  • Aspen Core
  • Carbon Boost Brain Reinforcement
  • TwinTech Sidewalls (increased impact resistance)
  • Rocker/Camber/Rocker
  • Sizes range from 149-169cm
What we like:
  • Proven park ski that handles jumps and rails as well as anything else
  • Solid frontside performance and energetic carving capabilities
What we don’t like:
  • More of a frontside and park ski than an all-mountain

The Midnight is sitting at 88mm underfoot, with a good amount of camber and a rockered twintip build. There’s nothing crazy about the design but it does make the ski more than capable of sliding rails and stomping landings consistently and predictably.

Given the shape, it’s no slouch when it comes to hooking your edges into groomers either.

The only thing holding the Midnight back is it’s limited application on the rest of the mountain, if that’s a dealbreaker then you should take a look at the Reckoner Alliance 92 for something a bit less specialized.

K2’s Disruption series, the Disruption Ti in particular, garnered attention for delivering a race feel with a touch more versatility and considerably less punishment than something more staunchly constructed.

The “Ti2”, new for the 2022 Season, offers a sizable step up in terms of the performance and aggression previously seen in the series. This shift in attitude matches the change in design, with a total of two titanal beams this ski is in an entirely different weight class.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Dark Matter Dampening
  • Titanal I-Beam
  • Powerwall sidewall construction
  • 165cm, 170cm, 175cm, 180cm variations
What we like:
  • A very fast and powerful ski
  • An excellent option for recreational skiers who want a race style
  • Damp and heavy, built to fly downhill
What we don’t like:
  • High barrier of entry in terms of skill level
  • Not a versatile ski in any way

While it lacks the rocker and extra space underfoot of its predecessors, the Ti2 remains a fairly well-rounded ski for what it is. By no means is it an all-mountain ski, but you won’t be unduly punished for slipping off groomed runs for a few turns.

What you get in return is frontside performance unmatched by anything else in the K2 lineup, and a serious foil to the Racetiger and Blizzard’s recreational racers.

K2’s ski lineup was relatively stable this year, with the big exception being the Disruption series. In addition to the Ti2 listed above, K2 released four distinct women’s carving skis- and the 78C Alliance is the most interesting among them.

Sitting at a middling waist and an impressively low weight for a recreational race ski, the 78C excels making short, sprightly turns in a variety of front-side environments.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Aspen Veneer Core
  • Powerwall Sidewall Construction
  • Dark Matter Dampening
  • Carbon I-Beam
  • Speed Rocker
  • Sizes range from 146-167cm
What we like:
  • Light, fast, and fun frontside carver
  • Reasonable performance once you get off the groomers
  • Reasonably priced for a highly engineered ski
What we don’t like:
  • Heavy snow will kick you around a little bit
  • Has a lower speed limit than a lot of race skis

This would make an excellent ski for an aggressive intermediate to advanced skier who spends most of their time on the frontside of the mountain, but wants a little bit of freedom to explore terrain beyond the groomers.

As far as carving skis go, this is one of the more versatile options currently available.

The Mindbender 108Ti truly deserves its quiver-killing reputation. It’s punchy practicality with a healthy helping of panache. As far as all-rounders go, the Mindbender series as a whole is very competitive, none more so than the 108Ti.

If you want a ski that can rip up the hill but still has some play and maneuverability, the Mindbender 108 Ti is a great place to start your search.

 

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • All-Mountain Rocker
  • Powerwall Sidewall
  • Titanal Y-Beam
  • Aspen and fir blended core
  • Sizes range from 172-193cm
What we like:
  • The best Mindbender ski for tearing up the mountain
  • Strong enough to blast through any snow conditions
  • Most versatile of the Mindbender line
What we don’t like:
  • A little bit heavier than the rest of the line
  • There are more "fun" skis out there

Though the 108 Ti is marketed as a hard-charging freeride ski, it can do so much more than just blast down variable pitches like they were groomers. It rails turns, skis switch, floats on deep snow and is a reliable set of landing gear to boot. You’d be missing out if you didn’t take a more exploratory approach to riding.

If the Midnight is the best K2 has to offer in the women’s freestyle department, the Poacher is its men’s equivalent. They nailed down the design around 6 years ago, and have kept true to form since.

A stiffer-than-usual freestyle twin tip, the Poachers are made to be trashed. When you aren’t blowing out your edges at the park, their generous camber and rigidity also afford a pretty reasonable alpine ride.

 

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Gradual "All-Mountain" Rocker
  • Blended fir and aspen core
  • Carbon stringer reinforcement for pop and rebound
  • Twintech Sidewall Construction
  • Sizes range from 163-184cm
What we like:
  • Durable, practical, and versatile park ski
  • Stiffer option than a lot of comparable models
  • Super affordable for a high-quality ski
What we don’t like:
  • Heavier swing weight than most of the competition

The Poacher hits on a lot of the same points as the Midnight, including of course having some of our favorite mass market topsheets. Hearty and affordable, and the design has been this popular for so long for good reason.

If you’re narrowing down your selection for park skis, make sure that you don’t discount the Poacher as an option.

The Mindbender 90 Ti may be less assuming than other skis in the series, but don’t discount it because of its modest waist. It’s a super versatile ski, and it allows savvy skiers to approach off-piste crushing from a totally different angle.

It’s not often you’ll see a comparatively narrow all-mountain ski that’s this much fun to ride. Whether you’re a beginner looking for an all-mountain option that doesn’t take a ton of finesse or an expert who favors the versatility of a narrow ski, the 90 Ti is worth spending a couple of seasons on.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • All-Mountain Rocker
  • Titanal Y-Beam
  • Powerwall to add strength and durability
  • Sizes range from 163-184cm
What we like:
  • Nimble, quick, and playful directional ski
  • Titanium reinforcement keeps the ski light but adds support where needed
  • Packs a lot of power into a small package
What we don’t like:
  • Can't charge through variable snow despite the metal sheet
  • Does much better on groomed snow than off-piste

Like all K2 skis with the Ti moniker, the Mindbender 90’s have a titanal fork that adds a little more oomph to specific parts of the ski. In the 90 TI case, the shovel has a bit more give to absorb chunks, clumps, and the occasional root.

In contrast, the tail has more of a single titanal beam to give you some serious driving power. To this end, it has a long rocker, but not a very pronounced one to try and maximize performance while still keeping choppy snow in play.

The Reckoner 122 is one of our favorites, taking a freeride approach to a powder ski. In the park or jibbing off of natural features, any season park riders will appreciate the intuitive, twin tipped feel they favor.

But the highlight is definitely the powder performance. 122cm underfoot is nothing to balk at, and they’ll naturally pull to the surface for a loose, forgiving ride that is best appreciated on deerper days

 

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Twin Tipped Powder Rocker
  • Spectral Braid
  • Twintech Sidewall
  • Sizes range from 177-191cm
What we like:
  • Lightweight given its considerable width
  • Peak powder performance
  • A playful approach to a deep snow ski
What we don’t like:
  • Limited by design, not great when there's no fresh snow

These are the perfect skis for clean lines but don’t handle the as well as moderate waist Reckoners when it comes to ripping variable snow. They can feel a little squirrely when you start to pick up speed in lumped-up sluff but shouldn’t be too much trouble if you take it turn by turn.

Overall, they’re a great powder ski that deserves a place on your ski rack when a storm cycle rolls into town.

In the backcountry you spend far more time going uphill on your skis than you do going down. The Wayback 80 is in an uncommon weight class that favors vertical gains and holds up reasonably well on the downhill, despite the trappings of its style.

In terms of uphill performance and stacking up vert, few skis can keep up with the Wayback 80.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Balsa Wood Core
  • "TI Spyne" for edge to edge stability
  • Carbon fiber construction to keep the ski super light
  • Hydrophobic Topsheet
  • Sizes range from 163-177cm
What we like:
  • Unmatched uphill performance
  • Performs reasonably well given its weight on the descent
What we don’t like:
  • Downhill performance is limited by its weight; very much rides like a skimo model

With an ultralight balsa wood touring core, reinforced with titanal this feather-weight ski walks the line between efficient climbing and fun skiing.

Wayback skis also feature a hydrophobic topsheet to prevent ice buildup. They perform as expected on hard surfaces and perform reasonably well in powder. You have to look out for the kind of snow that you wouldn’t want to ski anyway.

It’s hard to know where to start with the K2 Mindbender ski series, so we figured we should start out fun with the playful powder option. But don’t be fooled, the entire Mindbender line takes a freeride-oriented approach to their respective specialties, and the 116C is more than just a powder ski. 

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Long powder rocker for unmatched float and a surfy feel
  • Carbon "Spectral Braid" for stability and maneuverability
  • Additional carbon stringers along the top to add pop and play
  • 179cm, 186cm, 193cm variations
What we like:
  • Lightweight, powerful, and fun ski
  • A wide waisted powder ski that can still ride the whole mountain
  • One of our favorite topsheets of the year
What we don’t like:
  • It's not as stable as other all-mountain options out there
  • It can ride hard, but you'll be limited by snow conditions in some way

It has a very standard all-mountain rocker/camber profile. The 116 waist is generous enough to give you some float, but not so much that you can’t take these out when conditions are variable. You might have to do a bit of feathering on bulletproof mornings, but they’ll be fun to ride again by the time things soften up in the sun. 

The most fascinating thing about this ski is the “Spectral Braid.” Besides having an admittedly cool name, it’s a means of adding some intentional stiffness or play to the ski without throwing in the weight of a metal sheet. That means that the 116 Cs are uncommonly floaty and light for a powder ski with a comparatively modest waist width. 

Do you like to go fast? Are you not satisfied until all of your friends are mere specks on the hill behind you? Do you revel in comments like “Dude, maybe you should slow it down a little bit?” 

If you’re an advanced skier who refuses to let a ski control you, the Disruption MTI’s are your ticket to the bottom of the hill. They are absolute groomer nukers, sure to leave twin tracks of burning snow in perfect s-turns all the way down the mountain. 

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Dark Matter Dampening
  • Titanal I-Beam
  • Powerwall sidewall construction
  • 165cm, 170cm, 175cm, 180cm variations
What we like:
  • A very fast and powerful ski
  • An excellent option for recreational skiers who want a race style
  • Damp and heavy, built to fly downhill
What we don’t like:
  • High barrier of entry in terms of skill level
  • Not a versatile ski in any way

At its heart, it’s a pretty standard carving ski. Still, the intricacies of the MTI’s construction is what sets it apart from the competition. K2 runs a single titanal beam along most of the ski’s length, which lends the MTI some serious umph. It’s further dampened by a ring of polymer sandwiched between two carbon layers, which circles the perimeter of the ski. 

The Disruption is a well-engineered carver that feels eager to roll from edge to edge. It’s not the right ski for everyone. But Given how well it performs within the confines of its design, it certainly holds appeal for a vast number of ex-racers and ski pros who favor big, charging turns.

Everyone has their preferences, but you shouldn’t be limited by them. The Disruption 82 Ti is an all-mountain take on a modern K2 race ski. They’re not built to float on top of powder or fly off of kickers, but they can hold their own when the terrain gets variable. The one caveat is that you need to be a pretty strong skier to keep these beasts in line. 

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Dark Matter Dampening
  • Titanal-I Beam
  • Powerwall sidewall technology
  • 163cm, 170cm, 177cm, 184cm
What we like:
  • A more versatile option for skiers who want race-inspired gear
  • Really fast while allowing for multiple turn shapes
What we don’t like:
  • A pretty limited ski unless you spend most of your time on groomed terrain

They have the full run of K2’s race features- the single titanal I-beam, Dark Matter Dampening, and a full ABS sidewall. They’re also as stiff as you’d expect a dedicated racer to be and have a recognizable profile of a frontside ripper. But the difference is that they can still manage smaller turns and do so even when you get off the groomed snow. 

It’s not particularly heavy and not particularly light. But it does offer a reasonable compromise for skiers who favor a traditional downhill ski and might venture off-piste more than occasionally. But as mentioned, skiers might be limited by the good form and power it takes to steer this boat. If you’re not paying attention, it can really get away from you.

K2’s Wayback 106 is one of the lightest skis in its category. It’s probably one of the more practical backcountry options currently on the market. It’s a medium-width ski with an eye-catching low weight and reasonable performance when the snow isn’t too crazy. It’s easy and intuitive to ride and is catered more toward people who favor intermediate missions on consistent terrain.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • All-Mountain Rocker
  • "TI Spyne" gives the ski more edge stability
  • Carbon fiber construction saves on weight
  • Hydrophobic Topsheet
  • 172cm, 179cm, 186cm variations
What we like:
  • A lightweight touring ski that can still make fun powder turns
  • Dependable downhill performance despite the weight
What we don’t like:
  • Other touring skis will be better when conditions aren't soft and deep
  • Can't charge downhill like a heavier ski could

Despite its low weight, it still has a fair amount of stiffness in the tail. You can tip it on edge and get a reliable result in pretty much any conditions. That being said, the Wayback doesn’t handle chopped up or blocky snow very well. If you find yourself in a debris field or switching rapidly from slab to drift, it can feel pretty sketchy. 

The Wayback is for someone who’s not exactly sure what they’re looking for in a backcountry setup. It’s lightweight and does just about everything well enough to justify taking it out for a spin, regardless of the weather. There are several other versions of the Wayback with a little less width for those who are more prone to skiing corn than powder.

Not every day on the mountain is about charging or going as big as you possibly can. The K2 Fatty Ski Blades are a great way to spend a casual spring afternoon or to get some attention in the base area. They also offer a pretty unique perspective on your home mountain. Those jibby runs will feel a lot different with so little underfoot. 

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • "Duracap" fused core and topsheet
  • Included binding system compatible with almost any boot
What we like:
  • Pure, unadulterated fun
  • Bindings allow you to swap them out with your friends quickly
What we don’t like:
  • This product is beyond reproach

Ski blades are definitely a gimmick, but they’re a good one. The influence of Line’s early “skiboards” is undeniable. If you’ve never had the gratifying experience of ripping around sunny slopes on a pair, you’re definitely missing out. K2’s ski blades are great for two reasons. The first is K2’s reputation as a manufacturer of performance inline skates, in addition to their ski catalog. The second is the Fatty’s compatibility with pretty much any alpine toe binding.

The Fatty’s aren’t going to be your only pair of skis or even your second pair of skis. But if you want something fun that you can easily trade with your friends on an easy-riding day, then you’d be missing out not to give these a try. 

Note that these are ski blades, not conventional skis. But they provide unconventional fun too. Check out this 80s themed montage:

The Quick History of K2 Skis

Two brothers with a last name that started with “K” disrupted the ski market and changed skiing forever. When skis were made of metal or wood, Bill and Don Kirshner built fiberglass splints and made cages for animals in Washington state. 

Skis were dominated by European brands at the time. Still, within a decade, K2’s revolutionary fiberglass skis were being worn by giant slalom medalists and recreational skiers alike. 

Today, K2 is a large American company that makes snowboards, snowshoes, nordic skis, in-line skates and clothing. Redubbed K2 Sports in 2003 to reflect its portfolio of brands and products outside of skiing, the Seattle-based firm has been as steadfast with its sustainability values as it has with its innovation.

About K2 Ski Technology

The spectral braid technology is a patent-pending method that uses a specific weaving of carbon fibers from tip to tail to make certain parts of the ski flexible while keeping others stiffer in order to change the profile. The variable interweaving or braiding makes the ski specialized to both conditions and ski style.

Found on the Mindbender and Rechoner series of K2 skis, spectral braid technology will make holding edges and pivoting into turns and out again feel more lightweight, empowering the skier. 

Check out this video by K2 explaining how it works:

 

Titanal Y-Beam

K2’s proprietary Titanial Y Beam technology gives their skis a solid freeriding experience. Increased maneuverability comes because of more power underfoot, a flexible tip area with a very stable tail for charging.

Here is the earlier video explaining the Titanal Y-Beam build and how it works:

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about K2 Skis

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    Are K2 Skis any good?

    To put it bluntly- yes, K2 skis are great. K2 is known for their competition winning, boundary pushing innovations throughout since their inception in the early 60’s. From being the first fiberglass ski, to bringing shaped and twin-tip skis into the mainstream of the ski industry, K2 isn’t afraid to take chances to the benefit of skiers everywhere. To this day their skis top best of lists across the industry.

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    Who owns K2 Skis?

    K2 has traded hands many times since the Kishner brothers sold it just before the start of the 70’s. Currently K2 is owned by the Kohlberg & Company private equity group. But the company itself is still based out of and managed in the Seattle Industrial District, only a stone’s throw from its founding place on Vashon Island.

    They continue to improve and produce ski blade skis, slalom skis, alpine skis, racer skis, backcountry skis, etc. Read a curated list of the best new K2 skis here.

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    Where are K2 Skis made?

    K2 skis were manufactured on Vashon Island until the turn of the century. In 2001 their offices moved to the Industrial District of Seattle and their manufacturing went overseas to China.

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    What are the best K2 Skis?

    K2 makes a number of great skis across different disciplines, as well as a few pretty killer snowboards too. For more on the best K2 has to offer, check out our best of the brand article here. Here are a few of our favorite models from their most recent lineup:

    Best K2 Skis

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    What are the best ski brands?

    It’s hard to tell you exactly what the best brands are because the kinds of skis being produced change so much from season to season. To see what our favorites are across the industry, be sure to check out our top ten all mountain skis list. Otherwise, here are some brands that have built a name for themselves in the modern ski industry.

    Best Ski Brands

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    How much are K2 skis?

    The price of your K2 skis is going to vary depending on the model that you choose and the materials that go into making it. For example, the carbon-reinforced Mindbender 90C is a full $150 USD cheaper than the similarly shaped Mindbender 90TI.

    That being said, K2 skis as a whole are very much in the middle of the pack when it comes to general price when compared to the rest of the industry. For more on K2 skis specifically, be sure to check out our K2 brand best-of. To see How K2 stacks up against the rest of the competition take a look at our 10 best all-mountain skis from this year.

If you already have an a K2 ski or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

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