The 2014 K2 Rictor 82 XTi: A Responsive and Powerful Ride // Ski Reviews
Updated and upgraded from K2 this season is the 2014 K2 AMP Rictor 82XTi ski. Previously measuring in at 80mm at the waistline, the new K2 AMP Rictor 82 has an additional 2mm underfoot, giving it just a little more versatility while maintaining it's performance on groomers. I had the chance to ski the Rictor 82 last spring up at Stowe, and despite the conditions, I have to say I was quite impressed.
This particular kind of day at Stowe happens maybe once or twice a season. Early in the morning, the sun was out and the temperature was a moderate 20 degrees Fahrenheit. By about 11 am though, the clouds rolled in and brought heavy snowfall with it. While days like this are always a blast to ski in, it did make it fairly difficult to give K2's line up of groomer skis a fair test. Fortunately a few of us had read the weather predictions for the day, so we were all riding the new K2 AMP lineup first thing in the morning before the snow started piling up.
The 2014 K2 AMP Rictor 82XTi skis were the first pair I clicked into that morning. My day to day skis are fairly wide and soft, so I was a bit nervous to be steering such a powerful ski on my first run of the day. Fortunately we decided to take "Gondolier" which starts with a long intermediate pitch that's perfect for feeling out skis. To my surprise, the AMP Rictor 82's were surprisingly lively and transitioned quickly from edge to edge. While I didn't have enough speed or space to really lay these into a hard carve yet, I knew that I'd have the opportunity on the second half of the trail.
Sure enough, these skis handled the steeper second half with absolute ease. Like just about any ski of this caliber, the K2 AMP Rictor 82XTi skis take a second to get up to speed. Once they're there though, they lay into the mountain harder than any ski I've been on. Between the ski's All Terrain Rocker and Carbon Web (an "X" made of carbon stringers in front of each binding), these skis have incredible turn initiation and edge hold. Have you ever been on a pair of skis, and felt like you could almost "bounce" between hard carves? You know, been able to completely switch your edges with what seemed like almost no effort on your part? Well that's the exact feeling I was able to instantly obtain with these skis.
By the end of the first run, I was grinning stupidly, unable to refrain from showing how much fun I'd just had laying down smooth, hard carves. The next few runs were largely the same, until the snow started to roll in. When that happened, I decided to take another run on the Rictor 82 XTi's, just to see how they'd handle a bit of loose snow. After all, I assumed that K2 had added 2mm to the ski for a reason. Much to my delight, but little to my surprise, they were able to handle this fresh layer of snow without a problem. With the metal laminate construction, MOD Suspension, and slight tip rocker, the K2 Rictor 82 XTi's were stable and able to overcome the snow on the trail. As the snow continued to pile up though, I decided to switch over to another K2 ski that was a bit more appropriate for the new conditions.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the 2014 K2 Rictor 82 XTi's. As I mentioned earlier, my regular daily drivers are much softer and wider (102mm) than the Rictor's, so it was a nice change of pace to ride a ski that just wanted to carve hard. I think the standout characteristic of these skis was the edge to edge control. Sure they were stable, and sure the tip rocker made them easier to initiate a turn with, but honestly those are traits of most skis of this caliber. What makes the Rictor 82 XTi's special, is the Rox Tech/MOD X system that's responsible for dampening the ride and getting your power to the edges of the ski. It's this system that, when combined with K2's All Terrain Rocker and metal laminate core, makes these skis an absolute blast when it comes to carving up the groomers at high speeds.
My final thoughts: If you're looking to pick up a ski specifically for railing groomers this winter, then the 2014 K2 Rictor 82 XTi's should be at the top of your list.