K2 Speed Charger (2017)

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Rating: / 5
Price: $
Year: 2017
Level:
Gender: Female
Waist Width: 72
Tip/Tail/Waist: 120-72-100
Lengths: 168, 175, 182

The new 2017 K2 Speed Charger is the narrowest, knife-iest, and most expensive of the three new Piste collection skis-as racy a ski as K2 makes. It features the same construction and technologies as the wider (76-mm) Super Charger, but its slender 72-mm waist gives it added quickness and edge bite for expert-level precision carving. It's sold either flat or as a system, with a burly 14-DIN K2-branded, Marker-made MXCell binding. The K2 Piste collection gets a total overhaul for 2017, now comprising three new models of hard-snow carvers with waist widths of 72 mm (Speed Charger), and 76 mm (in both the flaghip Super Charger model and the value-priced Charger model). The top two models, Speed and Super, are built for maximum carving performance. Both are full wood cores, mixing lightweight paulownia for liveliness with denser aspen for strength, edge power, and durability. Metal reinforcement increases durability and edge power as well, while adding extra vibration dampening for high-speed stability. Full-length vertical sidewalls further buttress hard-snow edge-bite for tip-to-tail knifeiness. And K2's Full ROX reinforcement adds extra power and snap on top of it all with a grid of strategically angled carbon fiber that strengthens torsional rigidity (twist-resistance-good for edge grip) without affecting the way the ski flexes longitudinally to engage its sidecut. The value-priced model, the Charger, is a more forgiving and economical construction. All feature "cheater GS" style sidecuts, with radii in the 17- to 18-mm range. A touch of rocker in the tip-K2's Speed Rocker design-absorbs terrain shocks and loosens up the tip for drifted turn initiations. All are classic K2 torsion-box constructions (wood wrapped in fiberglass). All are sold only as systems with Marker bindings. The new Charger collection replaces the discontinued AMP series (Bolt, Charger, and Velocity) in the K2 line. K2 was founded in 1962 by the Kirschner brothers, who pioneered the use of fiberglass in ski construction at their Vashon Island, Wash., factory. The brand is now based in Seattle and builds its skis in China. It is owned by Newell Brands, a consumer products conglomerate. -J.C.

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