Model: Wayback 88
Versatility Myth: No self-respecting skier buys skis narrower than 100 mm at the waist. Truth: Plenty do, because deep snow isn’t always available. For those days—or if you love to tour, ski-mountaineer, or hut-trip in variable conditions—the Waybacks, with their comparatively skinny 88 mm waist, are the ticket. One tester, who in the course of one day hit icy groomers, windblown crust, and pockets of brittle snow that she was certain she’d break through, called the Waybacks “so light and nimble that I could point them where I wanted—and ride confidently through it all.”
Float “While it doesn’t compare to a true powder ski in deep fluff, I was surprised at how well this narrow ski skimmed the top of most snowpacks,” one tester says. Credit its light weight and medium camber (the underfoot arch that helps with turn initiation), which facilitates low-spring, buttery turns.
Touring At 2 pounds, 15 ounces per ski, the Waybacks are light and thin enough to wear over the long haul, but strong and wide enough to steady a ski-tourer hauling a 40-pound pack through frozen crust, gullies, and glades.
$780; 5 lbs. 14 oz. (174); 160, 167, 174, 181 (126-88-113); k2skis.com