Just a quick take for you ladies out there. I’ve been using my K2 Gotbacks for almost all my backcountry skiing this winter. This women specific ski is so agile that that I have had a breakthrough year. Effortless in powder and they do incredibly well in everything else. The progressive 14/12 side cut provides versatility– from powder turns to crud. Width and tip rocker keep the tips out from under crust, so even I was able to carve thru wind slab without too many face plants (and those will not make it into the published photos, as I have power over the photographer).
My ski gurus tell me that sometimes just changing skis can help with improving ski technique, as beyond performance from the ski’s construction, your body is forced to adjust and get out of rut. I think that’s partially what happened to me. Yet in terms of this ski’s construction, I can say it all in one word, “rocker.” Tip rocker on my planks goes about 15 centimeters back from contact point. That kind of rocker is noticeable, and really helps with easy turn initiation as well as forgiving your mistakes.
Gotbacks have more nice features for backcountry skiing, such as tip and tail holes and a skin notch in the back. They’re reasonably light for a ski of that width, but don’t compromise performance for weight (it took me a while to get that, as I’d been on my superlight carbon skis for a couple of seasons and was spoiled for the uphill, but what am I uphilling for anyway?). We had terrific snow conditions this year in Colorado, and many times one lap up our favorite peak was just not enough. With the Gotbacks, I was able to fully enjoy both the up and down — every minute — of these long days in our heavenly backcountry.
One issue that always comes up with women-specific skis is are they really special for females, or just a re-badge? Said by some of my ski friends to be the “women’s version of the Coomback,” perhaps these are mostly a re-badge, but they seem to be a bit more tuned to a lower center of gravity, and perhaps the binding mount position is tweaked as well. Whatever the case, they work.
Sizes: 146, 153, 160, 167, 174
Construction: Torsion Box Cap
Weight: 1690g @160 cm
14/12 Progressive Side cut, Powder tip, Tip and Tail attachment Holes, Flat /notched tail
Skis reviewed here are 2011/12 model.
K2 women’s backcountry skis available here.
WildSnow Girl, Lisa Dawson, is the luckiest girl in the world. Also known as Mrs. WildSnow.com, she tests whatever gear she wants. She gives the WildSnow family of websites the feminine voice.