The K2 Marksman has an asymmetrical shape that isn’t necessarily unique to the ski world, but this ski is definitely interesting. The Marksman is basically replacing the Shreditor, but looks more like a blend of two different skis. The outer edge is more tapered and shorter than the inner edge. The idea with asymmetrical skis is a playful ski that has solid edge hold when tipped on a high edge angle. It definitely takes a bit of time to get used to. The first few times you’re going to put them on the wrong feet. We’re just so used to not having to pay attention that it’s bound to happen. The other thing that takes some time to get used to is the feel of the trailing ski. Getting you’re uphill and downhill skis to do the same thing takes a bit of work. Once you get a feel for it, it’s not really all that difficult. But what about performance? I didn’t think the ski felt overly different than symmetrical skis, but at the same time this ski doesn’t feel quite like anything else I’ve been on. I think my biggest takeaway was just how playful this ski felt, while still providing some stability.
K2 Marksman On-Mountain Video Ski Review (Darn Wind!)
Jacket: Trew Cosmic Pants: The North Face Sickline Goggle: Smith I/O
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Marker Griffon
Conditions: Soft Chop, Groomed, Hard Pack
Ski Personality: The K2 Marksman is a playful and energetic ski that feels smooth, buttery, and smeary.
On the Snow Feel: It’s different for sure. The ski doesn’t feel very similar to anything else I’ve been on, but I think overall it’s probably still quite playful. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s overly loose, but it leans more that direction than it does stable or locked in.
Powder: I don’t know if I would buy the K2 Marksman specifically for deep powder days, but for soft snow, this ski is a ton of fun. It’s easy to pivot and maneuver this ski, slashing and smearing turns of any shape. The Rocker line is pretty steep, so I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t plane quite as smooth as I’d like. But it did plane well, and the steep rocker line makes it easier to pivot and turn at slower speeds in deeper snow. Float isn’t fantastic, but it is solid. So will this be a go-to powder ski, probably not. But for smaller storms, or in-between days, this ski will be a ton of fun. I feel like the wheelhouse would really be between 4″-8″ of snow.
Turn Initiation and Carving: I think it’s definitely important to say that initiation and edge to edge transitions are unique. At slower speeds, this ski is easy to pivot. Playful skiers will probably love how easy it is to smear and slide turns. At the same time getting it on edge isn’t overly difficult, and yet there’s solid edge hold when you get it high enough. I think the biggest challenge is just making sure both skis follow the same line. Putting more pressure on your downhill leg creates a longer radius and more stability. More pressure on the uphill leg creates a shorter radius and less stability. It makes initiation a challenge, as I always felt like my downhill leg would lag behind. But it really didn’t. The shorter radius in the uphill leg meant I didn’t have to pressure it as much to get it to turn the same shape as my downhill leg. Still, it did take some effort to get it to follow the same arc. I still wouldn’t say this is necessarily a super fun or capable carver. It’s definitely more at home on soft snow, but there is some energy and life in this ski, and getting it from edge to edge. What it does allow is for easily changing turn shape and skiing with more a more playful approach while ensuring you’ll have some edge hold if you need it. I must admit, that as a more traditional skier, I didn’t love the feel, but I think a lot of people will. Especially those who have a more playful style, and are going to spend a lot of time in soft snow.
Speed: Because the K2 Marksman was so playful, I found myself going slower and smearing and sliding more turns than I normally would. I never really feel like I wanted to open it up and ski really fast. Still, when I did open it up I found the ski to be moderately stable. I really didn’t like the feel on harder groomed, but more smooth and soft groomed terrain, the ski held up well. This wouldn’t be the ski for hard chargers that want to ski fast everywhere, but for skiers that are going to slow down and butter, jib, jump, and play on everything in sight, it could be a really fun ski.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: This ski felt very much at home in soft snow. I really enjoyed taking it off piste, in soft tracked out chop and crud. I didn’t love it in harder, bumped up steeps, but I don’t feel l like that’s really where this ski is at home. I think so many people will love the feel in soft chop. It’s not going to blast through, or bust up anything in your way, but it did feel very capable staying on top and smoothing things out. The playful skier will enjoy how much pop and energy you have underfoot, and how easy it is to butter and smear any type of turn.
Bottom Line: The K2 Marksman doesn’t feel very similar to anything else I have been on. It really does seem like a combination of two very different skis, but leans very much towards a buttery, surfy, and playful feel. It felt so much at home on soft snow off piste, and was so much fun smearing a variety of turn shapes. It does take some time to get used to initiation and edge to edge transitions, but isn’t super difficult once you do. For me, I really wanted to keep it at lower edge angles and smear turns, but on edge there is some stability. It reminds me a bit of the Soul 7. Obviously there are some big differences, but it just feels like that easy going, buttery, soft snow ski that makes playing off piste fun and easy. I don’t think this ski will get a lot of love from more traditional skiers, but from new schoolers with a playful style, this ski will probably be one of the favorites for 2017.
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.