Skimo Co
SkyRun
K2

K2 Wayback 88 Ski

$649.95 $449.95

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K2’s entrance into the lightweight touring market certainly caught our attention (they previously made heavier touring skis). The Wayback 88 is a top contender for the title of Quiver-of-One. Factor in price, and it's a sure-fire winner. It’ll float in powder and pop while slashing corn laps, yet still flaunt relentless grip and stability on firm snow when laying ‘em down. Usually when skis present such an impressive level of downhill performance, the last thing you feel like doing is hauling them uphill for another lap. The Wayback weight is low enough that at first glance one might expect an uphill-focused touring ski with mediocre handling. If weight is out of the equation and downhill performance was the sole focus, the K2 Wayback 88 would still be impressive. As it is, the combination of superb weight, construction, and outstanding ski performance is enough to win us over. Go ahead, try it.

  • “Snophobic” Top Sheet isn’t a real word, but it sheds snow quickly.
  • Carbon Overdrive is a super-secret carbon fiber layup for increased performance.
  • Ti Spyne dampens the ski while increasing system stiffness.
  • All-Terrain Rocker is K2’s trademark profile for float and easy turn initiation.
  • Paulownia Tour Lite core is energetic and lightweight, perfect for a touring ski.
  • Skin Grommets are quick tip-attachments for matching precut skins.
  • Surprisingly low price for such a good ski.

Update 2020/21: The K2 Wayback 88 is coming back this season with a spiffy updated topsheet, sure to make you look stylish and glide faster!

Specifications
Lengths (cm) 160, 167, 174, 181
Weight
convert to ounces
1145g [160]
1220g [167]
1275g [174]
1360g [181]
Weight (pair) 2290g [160]
2440g [167]
2550g [174]
2720g [181]
Dimensions   121-88-109
Turn Radius   16m [160]
18m [167]
20m [174]
21.5m [181]
Skin Fix   Z-Clip tip and tail holes, flat notched tail
Specs Verified Yes
Design
Profile   Mild rocker, camber underfoot
Shape   Square-ish, tapered tip and friendly, medium radius
Construction   Titanal Ti-Spyne laminate with abs sidewall construction, and full metal edges
Core   Paulownia
Skimo Co Says
Usage Going anywhere and skiing anything in all but the deepest conditions
Notes Very nice lengths available
Bottom Line Supreme ski at a great price
Compare to other Mid-fat Skis

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Questions & Reviews

6/4/2022
Question from KIm
 
Hi, Do you think there is room to put a notch in the tip of these to take race type skins?
6/4/2022
Answer from Jeremy L
 
Hi Klm, thanks for the question. Because of the Z-Clip tip, you'd need to keep that notch slightly shallower than the 15mm we usually Dremel. I do think it would work fine with a race-style bungee but probably not a rubber tip attachment. I hope that helps.
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2/21/2022
Question from Tyson
 
I’m looking for a spring and steep ski mountaineering ski. Weight of ski is not a huge concern. I’m 175lbs 6-3 tall. Like to ski fast when the terrain allows it but I’m not a great skier technically speaking. Would like it for spring corn and summits and mid winter couloirs.

I was think this or maybe the black light 88. But I’m not sure it will be stiff enough and I like the price of the wayback.

What would you guys suggest? And what length?
2/22/2022
Answer from Ian C
 
Hey Tyson, thanks for asking-- happy to sound off on comparing these two. The Wayback 88 is a beloved spring-summer tool with a wide tip which broadens its versatility. The skis you are comparing are both fairly stiff, the biggest difference being maybe that the K2s have a bit more "juice" on the downhill due to their slightly beefier construction. In terms of length, the 174cm would be best for couloirs while 181cm would be preferable at speed. If you're a speed machine, go for the 181!
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1/28/2022
Question from TARNOKY SEBASTIAN
 
Hi, I am 174 cm, 67 kg, intermediate skier, I ski on moderate slopes, with a small pack, the 167 length is too long for me or is fine? Thank you
1/28/2022
Answer from Brett S
 
Thanks for reaching out, Tarnoky! The 167 would work well!
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1/21/2022
Question from Eric
 
Im 178cm tall and 72kg and debating whether on going with Wayback 88/96 or Salomon MTN explore 88/95 for my first touring ski/one quiver. I am an intermediate/advanced skiier.

I will ski in varied conditions (soft powder,crud,wind packed snow) and also sometimes in the piste. Would you recommend one over the other and at what length?
1/21/2022
Answer from Ian C
 
Hey Eric, great question, and great choice! In short, the MTN Explore will have somewhat better float and a softer flex while the Wayback will be a bit stiffer and carvier. If you encounter powder on a regular basis, the 95 waist width will be helpful to meet these conditions, though at this point we don't carry that width in the Wayback. Lastly, I would recommend the 167cm for length in this ski or 169cm in the Explore. Hope that helps!
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1/11/2022
Question from Taylor
 
I'm 5'8"/172cm and 150 lb going for steep, tight, and light. Think I can get away with the 160?
1/11/2022
Answer from Zak M
 
Hey Taylor I think the 160cm length would be totally fine. I am 184cm in height and have owned several ski mountaineering skis at the 169cm-172cm length and I find the height very versatile and easy for doing technical jump turns. Let us know if you have any more questions.
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12/14/2021
Question from Goran S
 
Looking for thoughts on Wayback 88 vs Backland UL 85. The intended use is spring corn, steeps, and volcanoes. They will be replacing a pair of old, de-cambered ZeroG 85's that I'm not quite sure I ever liked.
12/14/2021
Answer from Julieana
 
Hey Goran,
I think based on the intended use you described the Wayback 88 is going to be a perfect choice. That ski is both maneuverable and surfy, so it really shines in spring conditions!
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11/3/2021
Question from Jon S
 
6'3, 195, let's say "advanced intermediate" skill. Looking for a dedicated mountaineer setup for chasing PNW volcanos and some uphill resort conditioning.

Is 88 underfoot and 174 length going to be enough at my size for Spring/early Summer ascents in the Cascades? Should I be looking longer or at 96s instead?

Wondering if these would be too soft for me or just right? I’m 6’3” and 193 lbs. intermediate skier progressing towards expert. Also, what would be the best length? This ski would be my spring ski and uphill resort ski.
11/3/2021
Answer from Tristan M
 
Hi Jon,

88 underfoot should be totally sufficient for volcano chasing! In Firmer spring conditions or corn, a narrow waist width is far more manageable. Additionally, a narrow ski is grams saved.

Length is a more subjective matter. 174cm will be pretty short for someone of your stature. However, a lot of folks like to save grams with a shorter spring ski because it will save weight, and be a far more maneuverable ski. However, that will come at the expense of stability at speed. If you plan to ski very controlled, you will have no issues with this length. If you are a fan of faster more wide open turns, I would go 181cm.

Finally, on to ski characteristics. The Wayback 88 is an awesome all around performer. It is surprisingly damp for its weight, and has a turn radius that will suit a wide range of skiers. You will certainly be able to “grow” into this ski! If you have further questions, reach out to help@skimo.co.
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4/28/2021
Question from Kyle
 
Hi! I am in the market for skinny spring/volcano skis and I'm stuck between K2 Wayback 88s and Black Crows Orb Freebrids. I was wondering if you had any insight on how the two would compare with each other. Thank you!
4/28/2021
Answer from jbo
 
Hi Kyle, I've skied both. The Wayback is super versatile for all the conditions you'll find on a volcano, and I find it edges better than the Orbs which feel loose. The Orbs might be a bit easier in super cut up or variable snow as they are fairly soft & forgiving, but more scary on the steep and firm.
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3/19/2021
Question from Aren
 
I have been skiing the k2 Mt. Baker for over 10 years. I keep skiing it because it works so well for me mostly lift serve telemark. The skis are obviously getting old. Would the K2 wayback 88 be a good replacement?

Thanks
3/19/2021
Answer from Jeff
 
Aren, Good to hear from Tele skiers. The Wayback 88 comes in the same lengths and sidecut are very nearly the same as the Mt Bakers. Construction has some modern upgrades. This ski holds up well in firm and all manners of cut-up snow, so will ski in the resorts better than your old one. Mounting is always a concern for light AT skis, but K2 has a pretty generous toe mounting area, so it should hold a Tel binding well.
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2/19/2021
Question from Rick
 
Hi,
I'm an 60 yr old experienced intermediate telemark skier, 74 kg, 179 cm, looking for a ski for longer tours that can handle both powder and windblown conditions. Would the Wayback 88 in 174 cm be suitable? Also wondering about the Salomon Mtn Explore 88 in 169 cm (too short?) or 177.
2/20/2021
Answer from Patrick C
 
Rick,

The Wayback 88 will handle itself very well in all but the deepest powder. The slightly wider tip on the MTN Explore 88 will help with float, but for crudbusting and confident edge hold I will give the nod to the Wayback 88. If you do go for the MTN Explore 88 the 169cm length would be my choice for you. Hope this helps!
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2/6/2021
Question from anderson Cicotoste
 
Hi,

Would you recommend this ski for a heavier person, I'm 77 kg / 171 cm. Looking for a lighter ski which capable of my weight and is easy to handle in mixed conditions.
2/8/2021
Answer from Zak M
 
Hey Anderson, the Wayback 88 would be an excellent choice as a lightweight higher-performing ski throughout lots of different terrain choices. If you are looking for a ski that can handle a variety of conditions and a bit less of that "deflecting" feel that a lot of lighter skis seem to maintain the Wayback 88 would be a great choice.
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2/4/2021
Question from Henrik
 
Hi,

Would you recommend this ski for a heavier person, I'm 92 kg / 187 cm. Looking for a lighter ski which capable of my weight and is easy to handle in mixed conditions.
2/4/2021
Answer from Tristan M
 
Hi Henrik,

The K2 Wayback 88 is an awesome ski! It is definitely stout enough to handle a heavier skier, and is great in all conditions. What are you looking for in a ski? If you would like help narrowing your search, reach out to help@skimo.co, and we would be happy to point you towards some options!
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1/20/2021
Question from Scott
 
Wondering if these would be too soft for me or just right? I’m 6’3” and 193 lbs. intermediate skier progressing towards expert. Also, what would be the best length? This ski would be my spring ski and uphill resort ski.
1/20/2021
Answer from Brett S
 
Thanks for your question, Scott. I think this sounds like a great ski for what you've described. If you have mountaineering objectives in mind that will find you in steep couloirs, the 174cm might be the best length. If you are mainly cruising groomers and corn and value stability at speed rather than maneuverability, go with the 181cm. Let us know if you have any other questions!
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12/16/2020
Question from RandoSwede
 
Very curious about these, compared to the K2 Shuksan of bygone days. That was my favorite all around ski back when it was considered "wide" under foot. Powder, corn, groomers, steeps, Sierra traverses- that ski did it all. The dimensions are very similar. Whatcha think?
12/18/2020
Answer from Patrick C
 
RandoSwede,

Great question! The Wayback 88 will be a stiffer, more damp, more powerful ski and happier in variable conditions when compared to the Shuksan. Hope this helps!
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6/2/2020
Question from Timo
 
I was aiming to put some Fritschi Tectons on these in 181 length, but someone advised that this wouldn't create a good set up due to weight of the Tecton. Would you have advise on this?
6/3/2020
Answer from Cole P
 
Timo, thanks for reaching out. I agree that the Tectons are a little too heavy for that ski and recommend going with a lighter binding. If you were considering the Tectons, I think the Hagan Pure bindings, here will be a great option for you. The Pure's are our lightest fully-featured binding, meaning it comes with all the benefits of the Tecton without the added weight. The Pure's come with three different riser heights, fully adjustable release settings both vertically and horizontally, and a heel piece that is adjustable to different boot sole lengths. If you would like any more guidance email us at help@skimo.co.
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3/24/2020
Question from Nicole
 
5'6" and 125 lbs female here. I've been eyeing these and had a few questions. Is there any difference between the men's and women's (Talkback) version of this ski, aside from the topsheet? I'm also trying to decide between the 160 and 167 lengths, any advice?
3/24/2020
Answer from Jeff
 
Nicole, eye no longer. From all I can see there is no difference. Construction is the same, they may have soften the womans, but probably not. I would need more info to help with length. If you are looking for a light and fast Spring ski, go 160cm. If powder is in the future of this ski, I would go 167.
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11/14/2019
Question from jrh
 
Any concerns and recommendations for mounting tele bindings to these skis?
11/14/2019
Answer from Jeff
 
JRH, as far as we know, it should be OK to mount Tele bindings. It does have a slight hourglass mounting plate but looks like it should fit most if not all of the 6 screws most tele bindings have.
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3/12/2019
Question from Ray H
 
I’m 5’9” and 160 lbs. looking for a spring ski that excels in steep conditions. What size would you guys recommend? Thanks, Ray
3/12/2019
Answer from Jeff
 
Ray, If it is Steep and Tight, and you want it Light, you can do the 167 cm.
If it is Steep and Fast, I would lean towards the 174 cm.
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1/23/2019
Question from Anthony O
 
I ski the salomon mtn explore 88 alot in the pnw- i find they do most things well enough. Would you say this is a better all rounder, i am always on the quest for the best daily driver that is reliable in bad conditions, light enough, and easy to ski. Also saw your demo alp tracks 89. Saw your comment that this carves better and is stiffer. Does the rocker profile on this truly assist more in crud?
1/23/2019
Answer from Nate
 
Hi Anthony, the MTN Explore 88 is also a great ski, but it's pretty different from this ski so the comparison isn't apples to apples. Both skis are dependable on edge and very well versed in all around conditions. Where the MTN Explore 88 has a softer, round flex, the Wayback 88 has a medium to medium-stiff flex.

This ski is certainly good in crud. I can't say with certainty that it's only the rocker profile making up this skis performance as I believe the tip shape and balanced camber profile also contribute as importantly as the rocker. For my personal style of skiing, there isn't a better 85-90mm ski at this time.
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10/2/2018
Question from Phil
 
Will you be bringing in any of the other Waybacks? I was curious about the new 96... decent weight-width vs price. I haven't seen any reviews of it though...
10/2/2018
Answer from jbo
 
Hi Phil, we're sticking with just the star (88) this season. We skied the others and had mixed opinions. The 96 was in the "OK" category, but we really wanted to start K2 out on the right foot with a "wow" ski that everyone agreed on.
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Model: Wayback 88

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