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!