The K2 Turbo Charger is a brand new ski for 2018 and is part of their Charger Series that’s made up of a slew of high performance carving skis. The Turbo Charger uses an aspen/paulownia wood core with full metal laminates. This creates a very stable platform that’s lighter than it would be without the paulownia (race skis, for example, would have a denser, heavier wood core). Perhaps the highlight of the Turbo Charger on paper is the ski’s relatively short, slalom inspired turning radius of 13 m at the 165 cm length. Not to focus too much on graphics, but the Turbo Charger has an awesome black top sheet with subtle neon green accents that looks like it means business. In theory the Turbo Charger should be able to lay down about a thousand perfect carving turns in a single run, but what did our testers think?
Joe Cutts had a blast on the Turbo Charger and commented that “any eastern carving skier should have something like this in their quiver.” He tested the 172 cm and described the ski as “a fun high speed flat snow arc machine that will make groomer days almost as fun as powder days.” That’s quite a compliment because let’s be honest, powder days are amazing. We know what Joe is getting at, however. The Turbo Charger is so responsive and really keeps you busy and entertained with its small turn radius. Joe’s response to the ski is that it “begs to be bent and carved. Doesn’t love to skid, and would be exhausting if that’s how you like to ski. Best suited for speed-loving experts who like to drag hip.” If you’ve never had the feeling of your hip brushing against the snow, Joe thinks the Turbo Charger might not be for you.
Benny Wax found the short turning radius of the Turbo Charger to be very playful and fun. He tested the 165 cm and gave the ski 5 out of 5 for quickness, playfulness, and overall impression, with stability and torsional stiffness also receiving relatively high scores. Benny described the ski as “quick, responsive, fast, precise and happy.” We love all those adjectives to describe the Turbo Charger, especially happy. While it’s relatively easy to assume it’s going to be quick, responsive, precise, etc. just by looking at the construction and the ski’s specs, but it’s a lot harder to communicate this “happy” feeling without skiing it. It’s a fun ski. You don’t need to feel intimidated by it, even though Joe Cutts did make it sound like it requires incredibly aggressive skiing.
Carly Monahan also tested the 165 cm and seemed to agree with this sentiment as she thought the Turbo Charger would be a great choice for a skier that hasn’t ever skied true race skis, but wants to experience what that feeling is like. “Super fun carver for someone without a race background who wants to get the feeling of laying down quick slalom turns. It’s easy to trust the stability and edge hold of the ski.” While Carly thought it was pretty approachable for someone without a strong race background, she did say that it would be a tiring all day ski for this type of skier. “For the skier without a race background it might not be a great all-day-long ski, but if you want to rip it up on firm groomers for a few hours this might be perfect.”
We think that’s a good way to describe the ski. It’s relatively forgiving for a carving ski with metal laminates, but it’s still a pretty aggressive ski. If you’re not comfortable linking a series of carving turns it might be a handful for you, and there are certainly better “cruising” skis if you want to just relax and ski groomers all day, but the Turbo Charger delivers responsive, energetic performance and as we mentioned feels like it can link about a thousand turns in a single run.