Ski Review 2020
SKI REVIEWS 2020
Click on the name of a model to view a full review
K2 Konic 76 [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
For a few years now, K2's Konic series skis have been reviewed and appreciated by the Proskilab reviewers.
Last year, the Konic 78 won the "Accessibility/Performance" medal; this year, the Konic 76 wins the "Best Ski" medal, which is well deserved.
The very best quality of the Konic 76 is its very high accessibility. The ski is very "easy to get to grips with", intuitive. You're immediately on it and no instructions are necessary. The first few descents give confidence: the ski's behaviour is remarkably stable, making it easier in all types of ski handling and all types of snow. You can gradually increase the pace until you can take turns at good speed, keeping the ski sound and solid on its supports.
Our reviewers (professionals for the most part) had a lot of fun with this ski. It is playful, reactive, especially thanks to its nose, which spontaneously starts the turn. The Konic 76 is a model on which you don't get bored and that conveys a good dose of sensations.
In this "Accessible Piste" category, we select skis that are particularly comfortable in pivoting, skid handling with rear pressure but nevertheless able to advance skiers towards cut handling, more towards the front.
This is the case of the Konic 76, an accessible ski at the lowest levels and able to take the skier on cut riding or even carving at sustained speed.
The potential for technical development at the beginner level is simply amazing. According to the reviewers, the ski allows for "nice progress" from the beginner to the skier who master cut handling.
The only downside is that when the rhythm is increased, the nose, which is a little flexible, floats and vibrates at high speed.
Playful, "nice and safe", able to advance technically, the Konic 76 is the initiation/improvement ski par excellence. We recommend it to all skiers who wish to progress technically, from the perfect beginner to those who already master parallel curves.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: Easy to get to grips with, accessibility
Playful, reactive ski
Allows for great technical progress of the skier, skills in ...
Disliked: A slightly light nose that floats and hits at high speed...
K2 Wayback 96 [click]
Type of ski :
Well known to the Proskilab reviewers, the Wayback 96 at K2 remains at the best level and is confirmed as a reference in the market.
The ski was unanimously appreciated for its accessibility. "Easy to handle", the Wayback 96 is particularly docile on all types of terrain and "turns in all conditions". It is also a ski on which you can enjoy yourself quickly and easily without having to deploy a monumental technique.
It is also a ski that is gripping, responsive, playful, and that has character.
It is a light ski on the shoulder (1.4 kg ski alone). This feeling of lightness is also present underfoot and contributes to the fun had.
The general accessibility of the ski and its playful side make it a source of a lot of sensations.
On the other hand, it is "less calm" at high speed while "remaining correct".
The Wayback 96 from K2 offers a very interesting weight/accessibility/pleasure compromise and will suit a very wide segment of the market. We recommend it especially to freeride touring skiers who want to expand their playing area and to classic backcountry skiers who want a solid ski downhill. It is also a very active ski that will allow beginners to progress in backcountry or off-piste.
Liked: Light, easy, fluid ski
Quite a lively and fun ski
Transition to choppy snow
Progressive ski with a wide margin f...
Disliked: Ski limited at high speeds...
K2 Mindbender 88 Ti Alliance [click]
Type of ski :
The Mindbender series is the new all-mountain and freeride range from K2.
The 88Ti in its dedicated women's version ("Alliance") is a stiffer model, reinforced by a Y-shaped Titanal plate - which K2 call the 'Titanal Y-Beam' - which brings it a little extra 'oomph' which the testers enjoyed.
"Quite stiff", "lively but not overly", the K2 plays on the compromise between performance and accessibility. Overall performance is good, particularly on piste. The grip, the solidity and the versatility were noted in the test. It's a responsive ski which experienced skiers will enjoy.
Off-piste, the K2 Mindbender 88Ti holds its own. The testers found it noticeably "easy to manoeuvre" and at ease in the powder.
It's a ski which ticks all the boxes for "all mountain 70% piste: 30% freeride". It will suit skiers looking for a versatile model for riding all types of terrain. Very good skiers will find it lively.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: Overall performance
Grippy and solid
Responsive, lively ski
K2 Speed Charger [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end
Already tested last year, the Speed Charger from K2 does not seem to have changed much.
The Speed Charger's behaviour is sound, with a very progressive flex. It is particularly effective in large curves with the DNA of a giant ski.
The ski is incisive, gripping, and solid in curves; it loops very well the ends of curves. The boost is correct without being destabilising. You feel confident, even at high speed. This is a ski that is progressive and docile in its programme.
It is a sporty ski, resolutely aimed towards speed and large curves. It is less comfortable in small curves where it requires commitment.
A little too technical and physical for this category, the Speed Charger from K2 would have been more comfortable in Proskilab's "performance piste" category. It is nevertheless a good choice for good to excellent skiers, who want a typical "giant" ski to fly down the slopes in big curves.
Liked: Likes speed
Excellent behaviour in wide turns
Stability and grip
Disliked: Sporty ski that requires a certain technical and physical level
More demanding in small curves...
K2 Mindbender 90C [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
The Mindbender series replaces the excellent Pinnacle series from K2, well known to the Proskilab reviewers.
We have tested the red "C" (carbon) version, which has "Carbon Spectral Braid" technology, a carbon weaving with a variable density and orientation depending on the desired characteristics. There is a higher-end "Ti" version (sold for an extra $100 in the USA) that incorporates a Y-shaped Titanal plate along the length of the ski. More rigid, this second version is also heavier by 200 g per ski.
The reviewers found the "C" version very flexible for this category, especially in the tail. The ski is light underfoot, homogeneous, easily deformed, easy to handle and docile as long as it is not pushed to its limits. It only takes a little angle to make it carve and it's a treat on soft snow. The Mindbender 90C is a smooth and pleasant ski up to intermediate speeds.
Off-piste behaviour was good and the reviewers particularly appreciated its good buoyancy in powder.
A flexible and accessible ski, the Mindbender 90C shows its limits at high speeds on hard snow. In large, fast turns, the handling becomes more imprecise, the supports are less reliable and the ski tends to give out. In choppy snow, it can be deformed by large lumps of compacted snow.
The K2 Mindbender 90C is a good ski that has the advantages and disadvantages of a flexible ski. In this "carbon" version, it will be perfect for light to medium sizes for "cool" handling. Others will turn to the more rigid Ti version that we want to review next season.
Liked: Light ski
Accessibility, undemanding ski
Manoeuvrable, comfortable ski, pleasant up to intermediate speeds
Good behaviour in powde...
Disliked: Flexible ski
Lack of precision and grip at high speed
Transition into choppy snow...
K2 Anthem 80 [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end
The Anthem is a new series of women's all round/piste skis from K2. The Anthem 80 is the second widest ski in the range.
It's a soft ski, which has its advantages and inconveniences.
As it is easy to flex, it's a very accessible ski which is easy to turn and at ease in skid turns. The lightness is also an advantage.
The lack of rigidity becomes more apparent when the rhythm picks up. The lack of grip on hard-pack means it doesn't hold so well at higher speeds. There's not a great deal of pop.
The K2 Anthem 80 is a very accessible ski which therefore means it lacks the performance to score well in this category. It would be more suited to a "Women's Accessible Ski" category which unfortunately no longer exists here at Proskilab).
It's a ski that we would recommend for skiers looking for an easy, gentle ride which is enjoyable at intermediate speeds.
Liked: Widely accessible
Not very demanding
Enjoyable up to medium speeds
Gentle performance level
Disliked: Limited on the performance front
Feels restrained at speed
Not much rebound/pop
Less at ease when carving
Grip could be improved