For a few years now, the K2 Marksman has been setting a high bar for playfulness and versatility in a fairly wide ski. This ski has all the tools necessary for superlative fun. From a twin-tip shape to asymmetric tip and tail shape, these skis are built to smear, carve, float, and slarve on any and all snow conditions and terrain aspects. With a right and left-specific ski, K2 has made the overall shape to be more like a snowboard. If you’ve ever seen a snowboard floating through powder, the Marksman’s shape makes it easy and fun to crush any and all fresh snow. At 106 mm underfoot, it’s no skinny ski by any stretch, but in softer groomers, it really carves a clean, round turn. As usual, our testers love the flexibility, playfulness, and overall fun level of the Marksman, with many skiers being surprised at the torsional stiffness for such a fun-loving ski.
James Stewart skied the 184 and loved the playfulness, with that category earning a 5 out of 5. His overall impression score, flotation, and maneuverability were all 4’s, indicating that this is a well-rounded and fun ski. James calls the Marksman a “playful all-mountain ripper. It’s hard not to grin on this one. It is a whole lot of fun.” Due to the unique shape and profile of the ski, it has a “short-ish effective edge and it definitely does not have the high-speed stability of some more directional skis, but if you’re into tight chutes and popping off every natural feature in sight, this is a must-try.” Agreed, James, this ski quite literally begs to be used as an all-mountain toy.
The Marksman is a perennial favorite of Matt McGinnis. he skied the 184 and notes that “the Marksman has been my favorite ski for three years in a row for a reason: they fit my style perfectly. They have a perfect balance of stability and playfulness as the K2 Marksman is the kind of ski you could have fun with on any given day.” In terms of a target audience, Matt says that they’re “ideal for surfy skiers, but not so ideal for those looking to push the speedometer.” Like James, Matt brings up the fact that they do have a speed limit, and are best used when seeking and searching and sniffing out hits and features all over the mountain.
Phil McGrory was a bit more succinct in his review of the 184. “Best Ski Ever!!” He also made up his own category, scoring the ski a 6 out of 5 for “Naughtiness.”
On the flip side of Phil was Harrison Gorham’s review of the 184. His scores were relatively high, and his 5’s for flotation and forgiveness fit in with K2’s intended purpose. He calls them “really weird. Loves to schralp. Kind of chatters.” Fair enough, Harrison, furthering our philosophy that there truly isn’t one perfect ski for everyone. To each their own.
Mike Aidala skied the 177 and loved it for its flotation, quickness, maneuverability, and playfulness. It’s great to hear that a 106 underfoot ski has some nimbleness to it. “The K2 Marksman skis shine in the soft snow conditions, taking the terrain park playfulness to the entire mountain.” In terms of how easy they are to ski due to their forgiving nature, “these skis enter and exit every turn with effortless fun.” These comments, combined with Mike’s high scores, are a great sign that the Marksman works really well for fun-loving skiers, just like Mike.
The interesting shape and design of the Marksman sets it apart in this ~105 mm underfoot grouping. It’s most likely the most fun-loving and playful of its competitors, and that’s a good thing. Skiers with a more freestyle/freeride oriented background will find a lot to like about the K2 Marksman, and it seems like an amazingly fun ski for pretty much all soft-snow conditions.