2018 K2 Marksman 2018 K2 Marksman

2018 K2 Marksman Skis

The K2 Marksman is a relatively unique ski thanks to its asymmetrical sidecut profile. The Marksman’s design borrows elements from surfboard design as K2 has discovered a ski’s performance in deep powder actually mimics a surfboard’s performance in water. Makes sense. Essentially the outside edge of the Marksman has more early taper in the tips and the tails. The idea is that in soft snow the turn radii of the outer and inner edges actually match, whereas they wouldn’t on a symmetrical sidecut ski. It’s somewhat complicated, and if you want to read more about the design concept there is a more in-depth article on our Chairlift Chat blog. The key, however, is performance. The Marksman is designed to deliver playful, surfy performance in soft snow and around the entire mountain to boot. Each of the following four testers skied the 184 cm length.

Matt McGinnis says, “I’m a firm believer that there’s a perfect ski for everyone. For 2018, the K2 Marksman is the ski for me.” Matt has a terrain park background and a very playful ski style, so one could argue he’s the exact target market for this ski. “Now let’s get to what I loved. These skis were so (insert expletive)-ing playful! Despite the conditions (variable snow, low visibility) I couldn’t help but continuously pop back and forth from switch to regular.” In Matt’s opinion, “these are for former park skiers who find themselves taking their park abilities to the rest of the mountain,” but we (and the rest of the testers on the Marksman) don’t necessarily think you have to be a former park skier.

Mike Anglin, for example, has an alpine racing background and continues to coach at a high level for the Mountain Mansfield Ski Club. His first comment on the Marksman was “this twin tip, all wood ski surprised me. It’s so much fun and very playful.” He felt the Marksman had “a lot of life”. Mike scored the ski 5 out of 5 for flotation, quickness, and playfulness and also added that they “do it all and rock whirlybirds like no other.” See? He used the terms “whirlybirds.” We told you he’s not a park skier.

Bob St. Pierre is another skier that doesn’t have a terrain park background, although he’s a rippin’ mogul skier. According to Bob, “this new shape is very interesting. It turns easily and loves softer snow. It feels light to the tip and tail rocker and would be great in fresh snow.” Bob did feel that the Marksman skied a little short even though he was skiing the 184 cm length. If you’re concerned about choosing the right length, don’t hesitate to size up, the Marksman has quite a lot of rocker in the tip and tail.

Mike Thomas is another non-park skier that really enjoyed the Marksman. He scored it 5 out of 5 for flotation, quickness, playfulness, and overall impression (see, you don’t have to be a former park skier, it’s just a fun ski!). According to Mike the Marksman felt “quick, nimble, playful, more stable than I expected, but REALLY playful!” Mike thinks they are “best for lighter skiers or someone who values short turns in tight places.” Mike used east coast trees as an example of terrain in which the Marksman would excel. It truly could be a dedicated east coast powder ski thanks to the 106 mm waist width, tip and tail rocker, and excellent soft snow feel.

Overall the Marksman is what it set out to be: a playful, versatile, buttery ski. It really does shine in soft snow and while we didn’t have outrageous amounts of powder on our test days, we have been able to ski it in the deep stuff since then and it’s a whole lot of fun. Slash, smear, and pivot turns in deep snow all with a distinctly playful feel. Thanks Pep Fujas for inspiring an incredible ski!

2018 K2 Marksman Ski Review on Chairlift Chat


Steve Sulin Ski Tester Profile Photo

Steve Sulin

Age: 42Height: 5'10"Weight: 235 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth, precise GS turns

Mike Anglin Ski Tester Headshot Image

Mike Anglin

Age: 39Height: 6'"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: All mountain freeride with a racing background

Matt McGinnis Ski Tester Headshot Image

Matt McGinnis

Age: 27Height: 5'7"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Surfy Freeride with a Freestyle Background

Kris DeMello Ski Tester Headshot Image

Kris DeMello

Age: 28Height: 6'2"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive, fast, fearless

Marcus Shakun Ski Tester Headshot Image

Marcus Shakun

Age: 37Height: 6'5"Weight: 210 lbs.

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

Bob St. Pierre Ski Tester Headshot Image

Bob St. Pierre

Age: 39Height: 6'2"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Adaptable, versatile, ex-competitive mogul skier.

Mike Thomas Ski Tester Headshot Image

Mike Thomas

Age: 48Height: 6'3"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid nimble, powerful

16 Comments on the “2018 K2 Marksman Skis”

    1. Hi Jonathan!
      Good luck! That was a very popular ski/graphic for 2018. You’ll have to shop around to find that model, I believe.

  1. Not sure if this is chats still available, but I was wondering on your guys thoughts on differences between the K2 Marksman and the Atomic Backland fr 107. There isn’t a review for 2018 for the backland that I could find. I primarily do downhill skiings but would like the option of putting marker baron AT bindings on for use in hills where I live. Wasn’t sure if either of these would be alright for AT even though they are twin tip and free ride style. Also didn’t know if there was a different type of freeride ski that you recommend that is still twin tip but could still maybe use for alpine touring.

    1. Hi Gavin!

      Both those skis are super fun, but if you’re going to slap a touring binding on there I’d probably prefer the Backland FR 107. The Marksman would be an interesting touring ski with its asymmetrical sidecut. It would work, but would be a little bit scary if you were, say, traversing across a sketchy ridge line. Just don’t have the edge contact I’d want. In soft snow they’d be a lot of fun, but you often encounter wind scoured or other firm terrain when touring. The Backland FR 107 should work really well for you. Light enough for the ascent, stable enough for the descent. A great candidate for the new Shift binding too if you have a compatible boot?

      Hope that helps!


  2. Hello, is this thread still active ?

    I am super curious about binding mounting position with an AT binding for this ski.

    Can you offer any advice ?


    1. Hi Stefan!
      If you’re doing some freeride backcountry stuff, it would be helpful to be more centered. It’ll make a bit of a difference on the up, due to slight imbalance, but if you like the playful nature of the backcountry scene, then it might be worth it to you. Maybe see how it feels to stand on the ski with just a boot, and get a sense for how it looks to your eyes. If you put your boot on standard, then center, then split the difference, the answer may become clear to you. Have fun!

  3. How do you feel the marksman stacks up to the new bentchetler?
    Which one more playfull?


    1. Hey Andy! Ultimately, the playfulness of a ski is up to you and what you do with it. From a design/build standpoint, the Marksman is a bit softer, especially in the tips and tails than the Bent Chetler, so in soft snow, you’ll get a bit more forgiveness with the K2. The Atomic has HRZN tips and tails which act as a boat hull in powder, while the Marksman has asymmetrical tips and tails that make the skis silky smooth in soft snow by reducing the effective edge length on the outside edges. As such, the Marksman does have a right and a left ski while the Atomic does not. Being 106 mm underfoot, the K2 has a decent width advantage over the Atomic in fresh snow, but if you’re more 50/50 with your on/off trail skiing, the Atomic might be more suitable. Both are super-playful skis and are a ton of fun. I’d give the Atomic the edge for more on-piste activities while the K2 gets the benefit in soft and fresh snow. Hope that helps, have fun!

  4. Hello guys,
    I’m thinking about buying a pair of K2 Marksman as a all mountain ski or as an addition to my K2 AMP Chargers. But I’m not sure which length, binding and mounting point I should take.
    I’m weighing 77kg and I’m 178 cm “tall”. I’m skiing for 13 years and in every weather and snow condition in Austria or Italy.
    I like to do big and fast carving turns on groomers (but this won’t be the main field of application for the Marksman, because I have the AMP Chargers). When the conditions are getting worse I normally switch to small, but still fast turns. Aswell I really enjoy it to go on moguls and I sometimes do tricks all over the mountain and not only in a park. Off-piste I only do short turns and often go through the forest.
    So all in all I’m looking for a versatile all mountain ski (but mostly for off-piste) with a width from 97mm up to 108mm with which I can do almost everything. And I think the K2 Marksman is the right pair. But maybe someone knows better skis for this range of application (e.g. the Black Crows Atris, maybe someone has experience with it and can tell me about it).
    So the next question would be, which length should I buy?
    And then I’m not sure if I should take the Marker Griffon 13 or the Tyrolia Attack3 13. And where should I mount it (I thought about -1,5cm/-2cm from the true centre)?
    Thank you for helping:)

    1. Hi Lucas!

      Sounds like you’d love the Marksman! Your description of your skiing, “I really enjoy it to go on moguls and I sometimes do tricks all over the mountain and not only in a park. Off-piste I only do short turns and often go through the forest,” is a perfect application for the Marksman. Doing tricks all over the mountain is kind of what the Marksman is all about! I also think it’s a great compliment to your existing skis. Are there other skis in this category? Of course. Is there any reason not to get the Marksman? Not really. It’s a blast.

      For length I think you could actually ski the 184 cm length just fine. The Marksman uses a lot of rocker in both the tip and tail, so skis a little bit short. It’s also relatively lightweight and relatively forgiving. That length is taller than you, but it shouldn’t feel too long I don’t think. Also, if you’re mounting relatively close to center, you want to retain a good length in your tip, and the 177 cm might feel a bit small with a close-to-center mount.

      I think -2 cm is an appropriate mount point. That will give you nice performance directionally, but will also be balanced for spinning, butters, skiing switch, etc. 1.5 cm could work too, but I’d go the full 2 cm if I were you.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Hello,
        At first thank you for the fast response.
        I have two more questions. Do you have any recommodations for the bindings? And did K2 change anything on the 18/19 model in comparison to the model from 17/18 except of the colours?

      2. Hi Lucas!

        I would go with a binding with a relatively low stand height. You’ll want to have a low center of gravity on a ski like the Marksman. The Tyrolia Attack 13 would work really well, and the Marker Griffon is another popular choice.

        No change structurally to the Marksman for the new season, just a graphic update.


  5. Hey guys,

    Looking at picking up a pair of these, stuck between 177 and 184 sizing. I’m 5’10″ish and 160lbs. Looking to use these as an all mountain freestyle daily driver. I want to be able to stomp booters in the resort bowls but also keep some playfulness and versatility for the groomers/sidehits (I go for shifts, 3s, 1s and butters when ever possible)

    1. Hey Ryker!

      Are you pretty aggressive? I am 5’10 and 150 lbs, pretty darn aggressive, like to jump off of stuff and go fast. When I tested the Marksman I skied the 177 and 184 cm and I preferred the 184 cm overall. The 177 cm is super maneuverable, but I found the 184 cm was plenty easy to handle and I preferred the float and stability it had over the 177 cm.

      Hope that helps!


  6. I bought these recently after doing some research, what are your thought about binding placement some say -2cm from center is best other say center, I’m a former men’s National freestyle skier from the old days never did park skiing lol. I’m going to be installing some solomon mnc 13 on these.

    1. Hey Thomas!

      Unless you plan on spending a lot of your time in the terrain park or a lot of your time skiing switch I would go with the -2 cm point. That will give you better all mountain performance, better powder performance, but isn’t so far back that the ski will feel unbalanced. Still centered enough to spin, slide rails, butter, etc etc.

      Hope that helps!


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