Every powder day has a flip side.
K2 made the Hardside Ski to bust crud and hold a hard, fast line through anything you encounter in the backcountry. A blended wood core gives this ski a smooth and consistent flex, All-Terrain Rocker keeps your tip from hooking at speed, and metal laminate construction encourages precise control. This ski inspires confidence whether you're hiking a steep, icy chute that's accessible from the tram or bagging soul turns through the corn off a skin track far beyond the resort.
- All-Terrain Rocker tip gives this ski a 30/70 rocker-to-camber balance in order to ease edge transition, lift the tip above soft and choppy snow, and aid overall ski maneuverability
- Camber along the rest of the ski provides precise and steadfast power and edge hold on hard, groomed surfaces
- An energetic combination of aspen, paulownia, and maple wood core materials makes this ski nimble, lightening fast edge-to-edge, and consistently snappy from tip to tail
- Metal Laminate is K2’s most complex construction, and it creates a high-performance platform that’s stiff, damp, and stable at speed
- TNC metal laminate construction consists of a full-length sheet of Titanal metal above the wood core designed specifically for Backside series skis
- TNC metal laminate construction is the lighter-weight version of K2's traditional metal laminate construction
- Hybritech Sidewalls blend sidewall and cap construction to give this ski both the power and edging accuracy of sidewall construction and the lightweight feel and smooth turn initiation of cap construction
- 98mm waist provides a stable platform for busting crud at speed and just enough flotation to keep you near the top of deep powder, and you can still make quick edge changes as needed
- Progressive sidecut is more aggressively shaped from the tip to the waist than it is from the waist to the tail
- This progressive shape allows you to drive the front of the ski deep into the turn and lengthen and relax the end of the turn for more speed control or maneuverability in tight terrain
- Flat tail allows for easier attachment of a climbing skin and provides utility by allowing you to plunge the tail into the snow to form an anchor with your ski
- Screw out the Tip and Tail hardware rivets and attach a K2 climbing skin to the ski using the integrated attachments that eliminate the ever-clumsy tip clip
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Share your thoughts
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This is a stuff ski in a great width. With the little bit of rocker it is great. I ski last years but not much has changed.
Torn between the 184 Mantras and the 181...
Torn between the 184 Mantras and the 181 Hardsides myself for a 1 ski quiver for big mountain trips that are still a usable option on the hard crust and ice that we call "snow" on my home hill.
Skied a set of the 2011 Mantras in 184 in Whistler for a week last year and was really impressed by their versatility and over all feel. Never tried the Hardsides but from what I'm hearing they sound like they could be just as versatile and potentially a bit more interesting to ski.
Would the Hardsides be overly floppy for a kind of aggressive, high advanced-expert level skier at 6'2" hovering between 185-190 lbs?
i was a volkl guy for YEARS. then got on the DPS skis. while in AK i got a pair of the pon2ooon because i lost a ski on my 4th trurn outa the hei, faliing over a rock i didnt see, until it was too late... anyhow i got the pon2oon they are awesome. the hardside is based on the same platform, only skinnier and shorter, which, for me, makes an essier tranistion from boards. thinkin of gettin the sidestash too..... i like that ski that much!!! be in utah most of march, although im flyin into jackson then we leave for a road trip to whereever there is snow then we will end up at a ski house i share wish some guys, in sandy utah. (terrible town dont go.....) sike love it there. the hardside on day one threw me back a bit, which is rare for me, but by day 2 i was droppin 20 footers thru trees at jay peak here on the east coast and just love the ski. its a mini pon2oon in y opinion. please someon tell me if i am wrong si i know thanks all and think snow. the pic below is with the hardside 181 salomon gaurduan 16 bidindings and me skiing them, like i said, after i got my legs back, the ski NEVERthew me back again and really engages and chatges thru turns. and they are stiff enough to do whatever you want. i def roccomend. K2 is comin around. with hattrup headin this line of ski, i have faith that mike will not let a bad ski hit the market. k2 is coming back in a big way!!!! i loe em
I would go hardside. Great ski for the charging folk.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
These are going to be my new 50/50, / daily driver, and less than epic conditions touring ski. I had a pair of Black Diamond Havocs in the 185cm which I had been using to fill this roll, but they finally succumbed to the wear and tear of being a daily driver, so I took the excuse to buy something with a modern geometry. I went with the 181cm as a compromise for tree skiing and touring weight. You should note that the radius increases to 25m at 192. Were it not for the weight savings, I think I'd have preferred the big radius.
(Full review here: http://www.briangerardsweeney.com/2012/12/winter-readiness-daily-driver.html)
I am trying to decide between...
I am trying to decide between a few skis and it is proving quite difficult; if I had more time I would demo them all, but I do not.
First, I cannot seem to decide between a 88-90 mm waist, and a 98-ish waist. I live on the West Coast of British Columbia, and love to rip in the glades. I am 6'2" and 175 lbs, and a confident skier. I currently have 181 Salomon Ten Eighties (http://www.backcountry.com/salomon-teneighty-ski). I find them a bit too narrow for the snow out here. I still like to be able to carve hard on piste, but comfortably enjoy the wonderful off-piste conditions we have here.
Enough back story. I am looking at (in the 88-90 mm range): K2 Sideshow, Volkl Kendo and Rossi Experience 88. And in the 98mm range, the K2 Hardside, Volkl Mantra, and Rossi Experience 98.
I would appreciate any thoughts you might have. I am worried about making too big of a jump from my Ten Eighties in the waist, but as long as it is controllable, particularly in the trees, I will be happy.
If you are looking to ski both on and off piste, the Blizzard Bonafide (98mm) is the best choice. It has just the right amount of rocker/camber mix, a great flex profile, is very stable at speed, and rails on the groomers for a ski that wide. The mantra and Rossi E98 are both stiffer, more frontside oriented skis. The Bonafide is also much more nimble than you would expect from a 98mm waisted ski. I wouldn't definitely recommend going with the 98mm range, you will get increased float in soft snow and stability in crud, without sacrifices much on hard snow. You won't regret it.
My friend and I just concluded our searches for a good 50/50 ski. I ended up with the Hardsides, he ended up with the Bonafides. Both are more than competent on hardpack. I like the 23 m radius of the hardside. Bonafide is shorter i believe. Managed to find some light pow and the K2s performed well but i've yet to really push them into anything truly deep. They manage bumps well too. Havent hit the woods yet, not enough snow out here.
on top of the bonafide, I'd recommend you look into the Nordica Hell and Back, they are fairly light, yet incredibly strong on the hardpack, and super fun in the steep, bumps, and 1 foot to 1.5 foot of pow (recently skied week old stashes of powder around Alta, and they managed really well). I have them in a 185 size.
I had the opportunity to try both the Blizzard and the Nordica last year on the same day, and found the Bonafide too heavy for me, and i couldn't quite find the right way of using them. On the contrary, the Hell and Back seemed more "natural" to me, and I instantaneously felt at ease with them, thus my choice!
sideshow. K2 is coming back in a good big way.
alllll on K2 and i think the company realized there mistakes and learned and improved the procuct. great ski get the volkl, only cause thats less people with the hardside:)
i dont like a tail rocker, i ski forwards, i like stif stifff stiff stiff tails and super stiff skis overall. the hardsides are that. my boards in pic below