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.
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?
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.
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.
Hey Greg! This is a new ski for us so unfortunately we haven't been able to ski any of the older models so I can't vouch for how they compare. That being said, it's an entirely new ski overall which dropped a ton of weight and we've been thrilled with how it performed at on-snow demos and in our personal quivers. We've enjoyed it so much that we started working with K2 just for this ski. It has a bit longer turn shape, better carving chops, and is a bit stiffer than the MTN 88.