The K2 Pinnacle 95 is a versatile all mountain ski that was first introduced for the 2016 season. It uses K2’s Konic technology, which sees light materials used in the center of the ski with stiffer, denser materials and metal laminates along the edges. The Pinnacle 95 has tip and tail rocker with subtle early taper as well. Since its introduction a couple years ago it’s become known as a relatively easy-going, forgiving all mountain ski that can really handle a wide range of conditions. For 2018 K2 has updated their Konic technology to include more metal, which in turn should give the ski a little bit more power. Luckily most of our testers who skied the Pinnacle 95 had skied the previous version and were able to compare and contrast. All four of the following testers skied the 184 cm length.
Joe Cutts is one of those people. He scored the Pinnacle 95 5 out of 5 for quickness, playfulness, and forgiveness, but did comment on the new strength of the updated ski. “This year’s Pinnacle 95 feels like it has exactly the extra oomph that it needs. It’s still supremely easy and fun-loving. It will never overpower you or get locked on edge, but it has a new gutsiness underfoot that gives it confidence-inspiring, speed-loving feel without sacrificing forgiveness.” Joe thinks it’s still overall a relatively “relaxed” ski and thinks it still “smears turns in soft snow” well, but really appreciated the extra stability and power that comes along with this new Konic construction.
The conditions during our ski test were somewhat variable from top to bottom with firmer, somewhat icy terrain at the top and softer, spring-like snow at the bottom. Mike Thomas thought the Pinnacle 95 did great. “Perfect ski for the conditions today. It didn’t mind being skidded when visibility was challenging and I wanted speed control, but made short/mid radius carving turns through the corn and felt great arcing GS turns down low.” Mike gave the ski similar scores to Joe and it’s clear the ski has retained its forgiveness, however Mike also commented that it “can be skied hard or relax and take it easy.”
Bob St. Pierre referred to the Pinnacle 95 as a “higher end” ski and gave it the highest scored for playfulness and versatility, again going back to the fact that the Pinnacle 95 is relatively easy to ski (Bob also gave it 4 out of 5 for forgiveness). He described it as having “lots of rocker in the tip, but still hooks up well and edge to edge quickness is very good.” Bob commented that the Pinnacle 95 “seems well suited for an eastern every day ski. It’s very forgiving for such a high end ski.”
Mike Anglin, although still giving the ski high scores for playfulness and forgiveness, was impressed by the new construction of the Pinnacle 95 and the power it has. He commented that in his opinion the Pinnacle 95 is “truly top of the list.” He thought it “played well in all the snow conditions it faced.” While Mike thinks the new Pinnacle 95 “may be a bit much for intermediates,” he did say that it’s a “great balanced ski” that “loves all turn shapes.”
While K2 certainly made the Pinnacle 95 a little stiffer, a little more powerful, and a little burlier in general, we think it’s still a very accessible ski. Only Mike Anglin commented that it might be a little much for intermediates. We generally agree with Mike on everything, but we do think an athletic intermediate skier would have no trouble on the Pinnacle 95 and would appreciate its forgiveness and ease-of-use and its ability to make more aggressive turns when you want to.