The K2 Pinnacle 88 is a new edition to the freeride Pinnacle series from K2 which already includes the Pinnacle 95, 105, and 118. The Pinnacle 88 is a front-side all mountain ski that still retains some of the playfulness and all-mountain versatility of the 95 and 105. The biggest thing that stood out for us was the smooth and knife-like precision of the Pinnacle 88. It wasn’t the most energetic or demanding ski of the category, but would probably do really well for the skier that has a bit more finesse style and wants a capable and smooth carver for cruising groomers. At the same time, the K2 Pinnacle 88 has enough of a freeride attitude to have some fun on semi-variable terrain off piste.
K2 Pinnacle 88 On-Mountain Video Ski Review
Jacket: Trew Cosmic Pants: The North Face Sickline Goggle: Smith Squad
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Marker Griffon
Riders: Brian and Matt
Conditions: Soft Chop, Groomed, Hard Pack, Bumps
Ski Personality: For us, the K2 Pinnacle 88 felt like a smooth, stable, and predictable carver that didn’t feel wildly out of place on variable terrain off piste.
On the Snow Feel: The K2 Pinnacle 88 has a semi-stable feel that worked well for smooth groomers and some variable terrain off piste.
Powder: The K2 Pinnacle 88 has some of the same features as its wider brothers, including a large shovel with a pretty decent amount of rocker. The tail is also slightly upturned and has slightly more rocker than most carver in the category. This gives the ski a somewhat loose and playful feel in deeper snow, but with an 88mm waist, it can get in over it’s head pretty quickly. For the most part the ski performed really well in the couple to several inches we skied in on test day, but anything deeper than 5 inches would probably have us longing for a bit ore float. Still, the Pinnacle 88 felt right at home with a touch of dust on crust, and if this is the only ski in your quiver, I feel like you could make it work well enough most of the days on the mountain.
Turn Initiation and Carving: I think the thing that kept creeping into our minds most often when on the Pinnacle 88 was just how smooth it felt. It is a moderately stiff ski, but we felt like it was actually decently forgiving. Tipping it on edge was relatively easy, and although response was decent, it didn’t necessarily pull you in any direction with a ton of force. Instead, initiation felt smooth, and predictable. We found a decent amount of power, and rebound energy was moderate. It actually was a really enjoyable ride, it just had a bit more relaxed feel than expected. Edge to edge transitions were so smooth, and the ski just felt intuitive. It didn’t feel nearly as quick from edge to edge as others in the category. We were a bit surprised given its 16m turn radius and 88mm waist. Still, this ski was a very capable carver. I loved the amount of response and rebound energy given how little input I felt I had to give to turn the ski. I feel like this could be a good fit for a skier with a bit more finesse. You like to carve turns, but don’t want a ski that is going to make you work hard for it. You still want some power, but like a bit of forgiveness. For me, this might be my hang-over ski. It felt smooth and predictable, without any surprises.
Speed: We felt like the K2 Pinnacle 88 could handle a decent amount of speed, but this isn’t a ski for chargers. The ski felt smooth and stable at moderate speeds, but it never felt like a ski that wanted to be pushed to the limit. It did feel more damp than the Pinnacle 95, but only slightly so.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: With it’s 88mm waist, the Pinnacle 88 seems geared more to on-piste skiing than off, and we didn’t find anything to really sway our initial thoughts on this. The 88 did well in shallow tracked out snow, but could get a bit over its head in deeper chop and variable terrain. I think if you’re willing to work harder it could handle some chopped up steep variable moderately well, but I feel like it would be a bit of a chore. Still, it was certainly capable in shallow chop off piste, and maybe even slightly better than most others in the category.
Edge Hold: The K2 Pinnacle 88 has a longer effective edge than the 95, and has decent edge hold on hard packed groomers. I probably still wouldn’t use it on days when there’s a lot of ice, but if this is your only ski you shouldn’t feel wildly out of place either.
Bottom Line: I think I would most describe the K2 Pinnacle 88 as a smooth and predictable all-mountain carver. It feels most at home on groomed terrain, but can explore some off piste. It does have a mildly playful side in fresh snow, but can get a bit out of place as the snow gets deep. The ride never overly exciting or energetic, but was certainly still a capable carver. It has moderate power, and yet still feels decently forgiving. Bottom line, this Pinnacle seems like a smooth and stable carver with a mellow and easy going feel. It could be a good ski for those who prefer finesse over power.
This review reflects the OPINION of our testers based on their personal experience with a particular product. We do not guarantee that you will have the same experience with, or opinion of, a product as our testers did. This review
should only be used as a general guide.