K2 Skis 2001-02
K2 reduced its SKUs by about 25 percent last year and is reducing them again for 2001-2002, this time putting nearly all of its eggs in the very successful MOD basket (see SKI Magazine's "Ski of the Year" in the January 2001 issue). For 2001-2002, all skis except the Factory Team series will feature the three-dimensional MOD construction, albeit in new MOD iterations that range from 4 mm to 12 mm in height.
With the advent of the MOD structure, which is essentially two cores in one ski, K2 designer Anthony DeRocco discovered that the piezoelectric device that was a K2 technology staple for the last six years was redundant. MOD construction by itself dampens vibrations as well as the old wired ceramic chip, DeRocco says.
The Mod X Pro is back, but with a different name and new graphics-it's now the ice-blue Axis X Pro-along with a couple of slightly less muscular brethren-the Axis X (which was the Mod X) and the Axis (which was the Mod 7/8).
Also new: the shorter-is-better Mach series, which is for hard-snow carving and racing.
Another new arrival: The Escape Series, which hits the meat of the market. The top of this group is the Escape 5500, which reprises the classic 5500 name of yesteryear and comes with the proven TNC construction. K2 expects it to be a winner.
K2 has also addressed its strong female customer base and its long-time commitment to women's programs with its aptly named T:Nine series (referring to the Title IX initiatives for women's sports). The Factory Team series has been reduced to three models.
Graphically, the entire line has a distinctive look this year, each segment divided into clearly defined "families with the same mother but different fathers," as K2 vice-president Tim Petrick describes it.
This series of versatile skis is based on the MOD platform used in last year's MOD X and MOD X Pro. The Axis X Pro, Axis X and Axis all feature MOD technology, but only the X Pro has a titanium metal laminate for dampness at very high speeds. All have 70-mm waist sections for float in softer and rougher snow, and none will be made longer than 188 cm.
New: Axis X Pro, Axis X, Axis.
Designed for hard-snow carving, the Mach G, Mach S, and Mach all have a 16-mm sidecut. The GS-tuned G and the slalom-focused S both have a titanium layer for high-speed stability, while the Mach has none.
New: Mach G, Mach.
Modified: Mach S.
The famous go-anywhere, do-anything 5500 moniker has returned, and now it has a series of its own. The 5500 is a performance all-mountain ski with a titanium layer, while the, 4500 3500, and 2500 are for intermediate and advanced all-mountain skiing and have a triaxially-braided wood core.
New: Escape 5500, Escape 4500, Escape 3500, Escape 2500.
Three skis are designed specifically for women, and all feature K2's MOD construction. The T:Nine X, with a 70-mm waist and a deep 18-mm sidecut, has the most off-piste capability; it uses a special women's version of the Axis construction and chassis. The T:Nine Flight features the versatile TNC construction with titanium. The T:Nine Reflex, with a less aggressive 16-mm sidecut and a triaxially braided torsion box construction, is the value ski in the group.
New: T:Nine X, T:Nine Flight, T:Nine Reflex.
Factory Team Series
K2's freeride collection has been tweaked this year with new graphics. These skis are designed to handle pipe, park, or big-mountain hi-jinks.
Modified: AK Launcher (powder), Enemy twin tip), AK Enemy (big mountain twin tip).
Ski Board Series
The Fatty is back with new graphics.
Modified: Fatty (88-cm length only).