Twin-tip skis have come a long way since their inception nearly twenty years ago. Whereas they used to be fully cambered and pretty strictly reserved for terrain park skiing, they’re now all sorts of different shapes and builds with varying rocker profiles and uses. As all-mountain skis, they’re highly under-utilized, as most skiers see them as toys rather than tools. But toys are fun, and so is skiing, so to have a ski that’s built for fun is a remarkably good thing. The K2 Poacher carries through to this year relatively unchanged except for graphics, and again, that is a remarkably good thing. At 96 mm underfoot, the skis are wide enough for all-mountain conditions, while remaining nimble and light enough thanks to the construction for bumps, trees, and oh, yes, park and pipe. These skis certainly do an amazing job at blurring lines. It’s pretty stable for a ski without metal, as it mostly relies on wood and carbon for stiffness and snap. Our testers loved the versatility and playfulness of this fun ski toy.
Evan Caha skied the 184 and found it to be the right length. Evan’s highest score was a 5 out of 5 for quickness and maneuverability, which is a good sign that K2 is still on the right track. Forgiveness and playfulness both earned 4’s while the rest of the categories all got 3’s. Evan does note that on the hard groomers, at high speeds, the Poacher can be “chatty,” but that in all other scenarios, the skis are “playful. They like tight turns and are a blast in the trees and bumps. The tips and tails engage the turn nicely.” And even though the ski has no metal, Evan “can feel the tails a lot.” It’s great getting solid rebound and edge control out of a ski like this.
Matt McGinnis’ biggest takeaway was that his 184 cm test length “can hold an edge.” Matt sounds surprised, and his high mark of 4.5 out of 5 for torsional stiffness and edge hold can hardly be called a fluke. In that light, Matt notes, “also, they have incredible pop. Super responsive and stable and quick edge to edge. These are excellent park skis for those who go fast and big. With a mid-stiff flex for a ski without metal, these skis are highly capable of going fast anywhere on the mountain.” Good stuff here from Matt!
Kelby Furrer felt the lack of metal in his 184. “Fun ski but not comfortable at high speeds, but initiating turns is as simple as can be. Good for intermediate and above skiers.” Kelby’s scores ranged from mostly 3’s to a few 4’s in quickness, maneuverability, and versatility. Sounds like Kelby was right on target with what K2 sets out to do with their all-mountain twin tips.
Bringing his extensive freestyle background to the test, Noah Labow skied the 177 and loved pretty much all of it. Mostly 5’s from Noah, with a lowly 3 for flotation. “I loved this ski. I felt totally at home. Easy turning with good pop. Plenty stable at speeds.” It’s always interesting when we get back to back testers with opposing views of how the ski handles speed.
Twin tips are fun. You don’t have to ski backwards, but if you do choose to do so, you’ll be glad you have a turned-up tail. In the woods, it helps with maneuverability, and even more so in the tight woods here in Stowe. Moguls are a breeze, and the entire mountain can be your playground with the K2 Poacher. Skier ability can range greatly, with a little something for everyone with this versatile winter stick.