2018-2019 K2 Sight

Joey Teahan reviews the K2 Sight for Blister

K2 Sight

Ski: 2018-2019 K2 Sight, 179 cm

Available Lengths: 149, 159, 169, 179 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 179.4 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1947 & 1983 grams

Stated Dimensions: 116-88-110 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 115.9-87.5-110.2

Stated Sidecut Radius: 19.5 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 64 mm / 60 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5-6 mm

Core: Aspen + Carbon Fiber + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Sintered

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -4.1 cm from center; 85.6 cm from tail

Mount Tested: -2 cm from center

Boots / Bindings: Full Tilt First Chair 8 / Marker Jester Pro

Test Locations: Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin, & Loveland Pass, CO

Days Skied: 15

Intro

K2 has always had a pretty strong presence in the freestyle ski market. From the classic Hellbent to the more recent Marksman and Catamaran, they’ve made some unique skis for people who like to spin, flip, and make the whole mountain their playground.

The Sight is part of K2’s 18/19 freestyle lineup, situated between the park-specific K2 Press, and the wider, more all-mountain-oriented Poacher. (All three of these skis are returning unchanged for 18/19, apart from graphics.)

While the Sight is definitely designed with the park skier in mind, K2 is also emphasizing its all-mountain performance. So my main question coming into this review was whether the Sight — like many traditional park skis — would feel out of place outside of the terrain park, or if it could truly handle a bit of everything.

So in this review I’ll cover the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Sight, compare it to a few other skis in this class, and explain who I think would most appreciate it.

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Sight reportedly features K2’s “All-Terrain Rocker” which is a rocker-camber-rocker profile. But similar to the Line Honey Badger and Line Tom Wallisch Pro, the Sight’s rocker lines are very conservative, with most of the ski having a good deal of traditional camber.

While its general shape is pretty traditional for a park ski, the Sight does feature a bit of tip and tail taper. I really loved the tapered tips and tails of the Line Tom Wallisch Pro, and found that they seemed to make that ski less hooky in heavy snow and when landing incomplete spins. I found that the Sight offered a similarly hook-free experience, which I’ll say more about below.

Flex Pattern and Butters / Presses

I think the Sight’s flex pattern strikes a nice balance — it is strong enough to provide a stable platform in the middle, but maintains softer, butterable tips and tails. I’d say the Line Tom Wallisch Pro and Line Honey Badger both feel a bit softer throughout compared to the Sight. But both the Tom Wallisch Pro and Honey Badger also have snappier flex patterns than the Sight, which makes it more difficult to hold an extended butter / press on the Tom Wallisch Pro and Honey Badger. It’s very easy to initiate butters and presses on the Sight, and it feels like the ski has a specific point in the shovels and tails where the ski will flex easily. The Sight is not the best ski for really deep butters, as it seemed that I would hit a rebound point if I tried to flex really far into the ski. But I found that it was very easy to ride a controlled butter for a long time on the Sight, so long as the ski’s tips or tails were only a few inches off the ground.

Jumps

The Sight feels pretty stable while hitting bigger jumps, and it also provides plenty of pop to get me that extra bit of distance or rotational energy on a takeoff. Its flex pattern feels supportive enough to return me to a centered stance when I would land too far back or forward, but it wouldn’t be my personal first choice for Extra-Large jumps, since compared to the Tom Wallisch Pro, the Sight felt a bit less forgiving when landing too far forward or back.

The Tom Wallisch Pro, while a bit softer than the Sight, feels like it has a more consistent, gradual flex pattern that feels more predictable when landing off balance. The Sight, while being stiffer than the Tom Wallisch Pro, feels like it has a bit a hinge point (that I mentioned above). While this feature is a positive for butters, it made the Sight feel less forgiving and a bit less confidence-inspiring on jumps compared to the Tom Wallisch Pro. It wasn’t that the Sight’s tails were washing out on landings, but that the ski’s fairly stiff midsection and fairly soft tips and tails made it less intuitive to try and get back to a centered stance on landings.

Joey Teahan reviews the K2 Sight for Blister

Joey Teahan on the K2 Sight.

But while I personally prefer the Tom Wallisch Pro on big jumps (due to its softer but more progressive flex pattern), you may prefer the stiffer midsection of the Sight. Some of this definitely comes down to personal preference.

The major drawback I felt with the Sight in the air was its weight. This is not a light ski, and its swing weight is definitely noticeable. While I sometimes like a little bit of heft during spins or when reaching for grabs (to help “feel” the location of the skis in the air), the Sight felt surprisingly hefty for a ski that’s only 88mm-wide. Compared to the 178 cm Tom Wallisch Pro (which has dimensions that are extremely similar to the 179 cm Sight), the Sight is around 200 grams heavier per ski.

Jibs, Rails, and Other Features

Increasingly, I’ve become a huge fan of park skis that have tapered tips and tails, and the K2 Sight is no exception. Having the contact point closer to my feet makes the ski feel shorter than it is, and it seems like the taper can really save me from edge catches (and the hard slams that follow) when “landing” incomplete spins or skiing fast in grabby snow.

The Sight’s flex pattern isn’t quite soft enough to bend it super far like on the Line Blend or Vishnu Wet, but the Sight does have a nice sweet spot that lets me press and spin onto a pipe or box while still remaining upright and centered for the feature itself. The Sight has lots of energy once I bend it past that specific hinge point, and feels sturdy when slamming hard (intentionally or otherwise) onto pipes or coping.

On jibs and rails I again noticed the heavier swingweight of the Sight. Quick spins and swaps took more energy to initiate than on a ski like the Tom Wallisch Pro, and trying to pretzel rails (spin on one direction and out the opposite) was significantly harder and sloppier as I was forced to really lock in / pedal on the rail to negate all of the Sight’s extra rotational energy / weight.

Outside the Park

I really enjoyed riding the Sight all around the mountain. It handled slush and chop rather well, and had lots of pop when boosting off of obstacles and rollers. So while the Sight’s extra weight isn’t ideal for quick, techy park tricks, it’s hardly noticeable while just cruising groomers, and that extra weight seemed quite beneficial when charging through chop. The Sight’s extra weight and stiffer flex pattern made it feel noticeably more comfortable in choppy snow than lighter (and slightly softer) skis like the Tom Wallisch Pro or Honey Badger. But if you ski with a very active style and like to be able to easily pop off of every little pile of snow, you might prefer the lighter and snappier feel of the Tom Wallisch Pro or Honey Badger.

The Sight’s bit of tip and tail rocker did help it rise over soft slush and a bit of fresh snow, though I’d certainly want a wider and / or more rockered ski for deep days. The Sight’s tapered tips and tails made it easy to break the ski free for slashes and stops, and I never felt the ski hooking up unexpectedly or getting really badly knocked off course in choppier snow.

Something that I really noticed about the Sight was how well it carved despite its close-to-center mount position (I skied the Sight with the bindings at -2 cm from center). On smooth groomers — both hard and soft — the Sight felt extremely responsive edge to edge, provided good edgehold, and I could drive its shovels with the front of my boots more so than some other skis with similarly centered mount points.

Durability

Due to the substantial weight, I had high expectations for the durability of this ski. But during my first day on the Sight, I managed to snap the core, topsheet, and sidewall of one of the skis by undershooting a double backflip into slush. Now, I am a pretty tall and heavy skier (6’3, ~200 lbs), and my DINs are generally set to 15 or 16 on the Marker Jester Pro’s I had mounted on the Sight. So it’s hard to say if any ski would have survived this particular incident (as is often the case with many durability issues with park skis).

After the ski broke, we contacted K2 who told us that during their testing process, they subject their skis to all sorts of forces to get a better idea of their durability. They reported that their lab test data shows that it takes 3850 Newtons (865.5 Pounds of force) to break the 179 cm Sight, which is a lot. So, yeah, it was a pretty hard fall. But K2 let us know that this damage would be covered under their warranty, so they sent out a new ski, and I continued my testing on the new pair.

Other than that one catastrophic incident, the replacement pair I continued to test have held up rather well to the everyday rail and rock abuse I subjected them to over the course of about 14 days. I did a pretty heavy detune underfoot (as I do with all my park skis) and the Sight’s edges don’t have any major signs of damage or cracks. The Sight’s bases also seem to be in relatively good shape, despite spending a lot of days skiing at A-Basin late in the season where there were plenty of rocks to run over.

Who’s It For?

I would recommend the K2 Sight to an intermediate-to-advanced all-mountain skier who is either already spending some time in the park, or who is looking to transition into more freestyle and park riding. This ski is versatile and fun all over the hill, and I don’t think the extra weight will be a dealbreaker, unless you’re trying to spin-to-win or dial in really techy, quick swaps in the park.

I also think that the Sight could be a good crossover ski for someone who dabbles in the park but doesn’t want to dedicate their whole setup to park riding. The Sight performs pretty well both inside and outside the park, and it can be driven a bit harder than some other skis with mounts that are very close to center (in part because of its additional weight).

I would also add that I think the Sight is better for bigger and / or stronger park skiers due to its higher swingweight, and also because the Sight might feel less buttery and flexy for shorter and / or lighter skiers.

Bottom Line

The K2 Sight carves very well on groomers, feels predictable in soft or fresh snow (for its narrow waist), and is capable enough in the park to handle a good variety features, tricks, etc. It’s also substantial enough to provide decent stability on bigger jumps, and to slice through chop without being deflected. But its fairly high swing weight is noticeable on big and small spins alike, so if you don’t really need the additional stability and weight of the Sight for all-mountain skiing, then I might go with a more dedicated park ski.

So, overall, the Sight wouldn’t be my first choice for a day spent solely lapping the terrain park. But I really enjoyed riding the Sight in just about every condition, and that is exactly what the Sight was designed to do.

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pictures

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