2020 K2 Poacher

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.

Testers

Connor Gorham

Age: 29Height: 6'0"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Creative and inviting and always with a smile

Noah Labow

Age: 38Height: 5'10"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: Acroski wannabe, versatility supreme

Kelby J. Furrer

Age: 29Height: 6'0"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Awesome blend of speed and style

Matt McGinnis

Age: 29Height: 5'9"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Surfy freeride with a freestyle background

Evan Caha

Age: 30Height: 5'10"Weight: 140 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and adventurous with a love for high edge angles

17 Comments on the “2020 K2 Poacher”

    1. Hi Riccardo!
      Most of the all-mountain twin tips are setup at the factory standard mount point. For more park applications, we’d recommend moving forward a few centimeters, depending on how symmetrical you want your skis to feel, but for our test and all-mountain skiing, they’re at the standard position. Have fun!
      SE

    1. Hi Dave!
      They’re on the stiffer and heavier side for a park ski, but bigger or more powerful skiers will appreciate the heft. I’d say it’s a 7/10 for stiffness, with medium to strong butterability. The wood core and triaxial fiberglass laminate contribute to the weight. Fiberglass contains a lot of epoxy, and that can be a heavy material. Have fun!
      SE

  1. I’m 6″1 and 185lbs – would I be all good with a 177cm or should I be looking for 184cm? Can only seem to find 177 atm

    1. Hi Edward!
      I’d say 184 based on your stats but for a twin tip, they’re pretty burly, so I don’t think the 177 is going to feel too short/unsubstantial. Have fun!
      SE

  2. I’m 40 years old, 6′ tall and weigh 240 lbs. I have skied my whole life on gs skis. My daughter is 8 years old and has taken an interest in park skiing. She and I have been learning in the park together which has been an incredibly fun experience! I’ve been looking at differnent park skis and it seems the heaviest testers I can find are under 200lbs. My question is: will this ski be stiff enough to handle my weight? (I can sort of nose butter on my rossignol world cup 8gs skis, just to give you an idea of how much I throw my weight around) or should I be looking for something stiffer?

    1. Hi Sean!
      Definitely going to feel softer than what you’re on, but as far as twin tips go, it’s one of the stiffer/heavier ones thanks to the fibgerglass laminate. Also check out the Rossignol Black Ops 98 (comes in a longer, 192 size). Moving away from the “twin tip” sector, but still playful and park-oriented, check out the Blizzard Rustler 9 and Fischer Ranger 94 FR (or 102 FR coming in a 191). Have fun!
      SE

  3. Hey there, I am pretty keen on a pair of these. Current skis are 184 cm M5 Mantras but want to try some twin tips for all mountain and (maybe) some park. These would be my first pair of twin tips. I’m 6’2″, intermediate and the Mantras are a great length but wondering if you think these at 184 cm would be too short for me given they’re a twin tip?

    I figured I would probably mount them at -3cm from centre to still keep the twin tip feel but have a bit more in front of my feet…

    Thoughts?

    Cheers, Chris

    1. Hi Chris!
      If you’re good on the 184 Mantra, the Poacher will be fine too, and I suppose that’s a good thing because that’s as long as they come! I’m 6’2 as well and ski on the 185 Soul Rider 87. Wish they had a 188, but oh well. 2021 Rossignol Holyshred comes in a 192, so if you’re looking for a bigger twin, that’s probably the biggest one out there. Best of my recollection (I’m working from home these days so can’t get eyes on the skis), they have a traditional and an all-mountain mount point. Whichever one is further back is the one you want. Take care!
      SE

      1. Hi JC! Looks like they go from 260-388 mm, so pretty much all adult lug sizes from 21.5-34
        SE

  4. I’m getting back into skiing after years of snowboarding. I’ll mostly be skiing with my 8 and 9 year old sons who are going into year 2. How well does this ski do on blue to black New England groomers all day?

    1. Great choice, Eric!
      I ski on a Nordica Soul Rider 87 with my kids and these all-mountain twin tips make great skis for that application. On the iciest and steepest of terrain, they’re not going to hold like a ski with metal in it, but when you learn to slide and skid with confidence, it’s equally as effective I think. Take care!
      SE

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