The K2 Marksman is a successful play on two sensibilities: The Marksman’s vintage graphic appeals to the 56-year legacy of the brand, while the asymmetrical shape and modern personality is directed toward today’s skier. I’m more of an inbetweener. I came of age in the heyday of the TNC’s and Extremes made famous by Scot Schmidt and Glen Plake, but, like many of us, I have long since graduated to more maneuverable, poppy skis.
Which is where the Marksman hits the spot: a surfy powder ski where individual style, as Schmidt and Plake taught us, is in the eye of the beholder, not any regimented clinic. While many of the skis favored during Powder Week are a reflection of Big Sky’s steep, challenging terrain and variable snow--that is, skis that are stiff and directional--I found a nice reprieve in the Marksman, whose asymmetrical cut and forgiving flex pattern allowed for some less aggressive skiing. Which is to say, fun skiing through bumps and trees on the low-angle terrain of Andesite Mountain.
A ‘Double Barrel’ core of aspen and fir keeps the ski lightweight but sturdy on the edges for torsional stiffness. The asymmetrical (and rockered) tip and tail is unique, providing a design that exaggerates the taper on the outside intended to give a surfy, playful feel. The longer effective inner edge enhances edge control on hard snow, so you can survive on less than ideal conditions. But railing an edge on ice is not what the Marksman is for. Picture someone who grew up skiing terrain parks and bumps who now wants to expand their boundaries to throwing tricks in powder. That’s what the Marksman does best. --Matt Hansen