K2 Annex 108 (2014)
The new Annex 108 comes from a line of three flat-tailed, directional skis that runs the gamut from all-mountain to powder. With the Annex 108, K2 nails the traditional, edgy feel. Pressure the front of your boot and this easy-initiator makes beautiful GS turns. The right dose of rocker provides ample float and a smidge of smeariness, while camber underfoot shoots you from turn to turn. “Grippy, stable, and trustworthy,” said one tester. It’s an ideal Eastern powder board or Western one-ski quiver.
The 108 is a new model that K2 says picks up where the discontinued SideStash left off, with a powder-ready waist that isn't so wide it feels ponderous in mixed snow. Its aspen/paulownia/maple combination core is reinforced with metal for extra integrity and dampness at high speed. (Compare to the 118, which gets no metal because it would make a ski that wide too heavy.) K2's Powder Rocker combines 50 percent traditional camber (underfoot) with 50 percent rocker (tip and tail) for ultimate deep-powder surfiness and enough hard-snow carvability to get you back to the lift. Tapering beyond the widest points of the sidecut make the tip and tail loose and smeary in deep snow, for quick direction changes and speed control. K2 splits its six-model Freeride collection into two groups: Directional (the new Annex models) and Bi-Directional (the new Shreditor models). The Annex models are more traditionally powerful. With flat tails and conventional sidecut waisting, they're not meant for backward skiing, like the Shreditors. They range in width from 98 mm up to 118. All are K2 Hybritech constructions (sturdy vertical sidewall underfoot for edge grip, lightweight cap fore and aft for supple flex). All come equipped with tip and tail grommets that accept K2 climbing skins for backcountry touring.
|Level||Advanced, Expert, Hi-Expert|
|Lengths||170, 177, 184, 191|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.28 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.07 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||2.73 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.42 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.43 / 5|
|Rating: Energy/Liveliness||2.94 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||3.03 / 5|
|Rating: Versatility||3.07 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.11 / 5|