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2017-2018 K2 Catamaran

Mount Point

I started out with the Catamaran at the K2 recommended mark of -6 cm from center. The ski was a lot of fun at -6, but I found the tails washing out a lot on bigger landings, and just generally felt like the tails were too short. And since I wasn’t having any problems with the tips diving, I moved the bindings forward to -4 cm. That made a huge improvement for me.

The Catamaran’s tails still aren’t terribly supportive, but they’re a lot more stable on landings and wash out less. I haven’t noticed any ill effects on floatation or stability from this move, and would recommend most skiers to strongly consider mounting at -4 cm from center if you’re worried at all about the tails washing out. This also makes the ski a touch easier to spin, and it feels a little more balanced in the air.

Length

While I never had any issues with the 184 cm Catamaran failing to provide enough flotation, I am very interested in skiing the 190 cm model of this ski. Given how easy and maneuverable the 184 cm version is, I think this may be a ski where upsizing could be a good idea for skiers looking for a little more stability.

Who’s It For?

If you’re looking for the most jibby, most playful ski in this waist range, the Catamaran is my top choice. If you’re looking for a pow ski that excels in tight spaces, the Catamaran is again my top choice. If you’re looking for a pow ski that forgives over and under rotations, and is easy to slash and pivot, again, I’d point you towards the Catamaran.

Cy Whitling reviews the K2 Catamaran for Blister Gear Review.

Cy Whitling on the K2 Catamaran, Grand Targhee, WY. (photo by: Julia Tellman)

And if you’re a less-experienced skier looking for an intuitive introduction to powder skis, the Catamaran is the easiest 110 mm + ski I’ve been on.

If you’re looking for a pow ski that you can use to go fast and take chances in variable snow, you’re reading the wrong review. Ditto for skiers looking for a heavy, damp, ski to rage in pow.

Bottom Line

Over the last four years, I feel like I’ve caught glimpses of the potential of various K2 pow skis, but I’ve never been a strong enough skier to pull off Mahre- and Fujas-inspired moves on skis like the Hellbent. The new K2 Catamaran is the best taste of that potential I’ve ever gotten. It floats, spins, jibs and slashes so easily and intuitively, I was seeing on new hits that I’d never considered.

No, the Catamaran does not do everything well, and that’s sort of the point. This is a really, really good jibby pow ski, and quite possibly the most playful on the market for the 17/18 season. It’s not a charger, and it’s not a variable-conditions slayer (at least in the 184 cm length, and if we get a chance to ski the 190 cm we’ll update this review). But it is a very fun, very intuitive ski that’s perfect for anyone skiing and jibbing deep snow in tight terrain.

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3 Comments

  1. Cody March 21, 2017 Reply

    Hey Cy, can you describe your height/weight and skiing ability/style? I’m about 5’8″ and 175 and am not sure if I should size up from 179 to 184 on this ski or not? I have some 178 Bent-Chetlers and some 185 Opuses so would hate to make the wrong choice (either way too long OR too short). Having a little info about your height etc may help as a reference point. I looked through the article a few times looking for that info, my apologies if it is there and I somehow missed it. These skis sound amazing! Great review!

    • Cy Whitling March 21, 2017 Reply

      Hey Cody,

      You can find my info in my bio (http://blistergearreview.com/contributor-bios/cy-whitling) I’m 6′ 180-ish lbs.

      Given that you’re skiing both 179 Bent Chetlers and 185 Opuses I think you’d probably be fine on either size Catamaran. It’s a much less chargy ski than the Bent Chetler, so you could definitely get away with upsizing, especially if you’ve been enjoying your Opus.

      Really I’d say it depends on what you want out of the ski. The longer version is not going to be as quick / manoeuvrable for you, given your height, but I’d wager it’s as easy / playful as your 185 Opus, if not more so.

      But if you want to get really jibby (and if you’re skiing tighter terrain) the 179 should be great, it just won’t be as stable.

      • Cody March 21, 2017 Reply

        Hey, thanks for the quick reply! I had looked around for a bio but only found more articles! I go through Driggs sometimes on my way to Jackson or Grand Targhee. I’m in Bozeman, so it’s good to know that this review is also based off of similar terrain and conditions that I would encounter.

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