K2 Darkside & Me: A gear review relationship

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on November 4, 2009 3:54 pm

Review of skis are simultaneously worthless and worthy.  Worthless in that there’s no one skier out there who skis exactly like you do.  Factor in skill level, underneath and intertwined with style, and combine it with the innumerable preferences in terrain.  Bumps, groomers, rails, chutes — what decorates your fantasy run?  We’ll go under the assumption that everyone loves powder.

Worthy in that after consuming everything the internet has to say, a portrait does appear.  Skiers who do ski like you talk about skiing the same way you do.  Skiing is the language and similar skiers speak a similar sub dialect in talking about their love of skiing.

I’ve been on the Volkl Gotamas since version 1.0.  Those skis infused my love of skiing miles beyond my lifetime high.  Stability at insane speeds.  The ability to dictate line to the terrain, a dirt biker skipping over the tops of swallowed skinny skis.  Super G turns, above tree line, tail riding, backseat turning off both heels.  That’s my dialect.  And that’s what the Gotamas did for me.  An amazing ski.  Simply look down in the lift lines and you’ll know its disciples continue to multiply.

I’ve never been the most financially responsible fellow, and correspondingly, I don’t have a quiver of skis.  I’ve been a one ski man, re-upping every third year.  But, the Gotamas ability to kill every type of terrain (minus rock hard ice, when the bar is a better choice) have allowed me to expand my quiver to two.

I’m going to join the Shane McConkey rocker revolution.  Late to the party, I know.   My internet journey stopped at a few places along the way: K2 Pontoons, Armada JJ, both the Volkl Katana and Kuro.  I was tempted by all, but the ones that my co-dialect-speaking faceless internet friends* lead me to: K2 Darkside.

The skis arrived today.  To give Darkside a nice once-over, I thought we’d go to lunch at my favorite taco stand, La Playita in Venice.  Great ceviche, buck fifty (plus 25 cents for the avocado).

The first impressions?  These skis look cartoonishly large.  So did the Gotamas when I first got those.  The results will be the same.  Faster lines and even more stability.  I see it.

Snapped a photo with my Commodore 64 phone, fat ski evolutionary Darwinism with Darkside standing next to my version 1.0 Gotamas (bottom right). 

On the way back to the lift, I do like G force turns on the groomers.  Something I was willing to give up in joining the rocker revolution, but the mostly traditional camber on Darkside speaks otherwise.  Only the tip is rockered.  It’s really subtle.  K2 calls it the 10-20 shovel rocker.  They say it better than I can, and it’s a fun read, check it here.

The McConkey turn, slarving the end of my turns, both heels sliding out — a normal cambered tail is what I was looking for in a ski.  Whew, oh wow Darkside, that’s a lot of tail!  And Darkside feels firm through the tail, capable of handling the demands I place on my skis.

Expectations were blown away with this first encounter.  And thus, our relationship begins.

Up next: It becomes a binding relationship with K2 Darkside & me.

*faceless except for Cody Townsend, who was gracious with his knowledge and time

photos by Angelique Bianca

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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