2011-2012 K2 Obsethed, 189cm

Ski: 2011-2012 K2 Obsethed, 189cm

2011-2012 K2 Obsethed, 189cm, BLISTER
2011-2012 K2 Obsethed

Dimensions (mm): 146/117/134

Turn Radius: 26m @ 189cm

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 189.23 cm

Boots / Bindings: 2012 Dalbello Il Moro T Comp (28) / Look P14 / Din (9)

Mount Location: On the line, “Traditional mount”

Test Location: Alta Ski Area / Alta Sidecountry / LCC Backcountry

Days Skied: 25+

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 10/11 Obsethed, which is unchanged for 11/12, except for the graphics.]

Seth Morrison’s film segments are some of the most popular and most talked about season after season. The same can be said for Seth’s pro model K2 skis, starting with the Seth Pistol back in the early 2000’s, right on up to K2’s current version of the Obsethed – which remains the same (except for a new topsheet) for the 2011-2012 season.

Seth’s pro model skis have slowly been gaining more width and more rocker over the years, with the previous model of the Obsethed (08/09-09/10) featuring a 105mm waist and a10mm rise / 20cm run tip and tail rocker.

For 2010-2011, the Obsethed received a complete redesign, and I must say: K2 and Seth hit one out of the park with this new ski. It’s as if the current, 132mm waist, K2 Hellbent had a love child with the last version of the Obsethed, and that child managed to pick up the best genes from each. Or if that image is a little too weird for you, try this: the new K2 Obsethed is like a more directional, snappier, more versatile version of the original K2 Hellbent.

Let’s start with the details. K2 finally updated its topsheet and topsheet/sidewall junction. Everyone knows that the pre-2011 K2’s with a vertical sidewall (non-cap) were very prone to chipping. What I mean by “very prone” is that, within a couple weeks of regular skiing, your new skis looked worse than an east coast ski hill’s 10 year old rental fleet.

The new “Twin Tech” construction rolls the topsheet down to meet the sidewall at a more obtuse angle, instead of having a 90 degree junction where the topsheet meets the sidewall. This new design is significantly better, and after thrashing these skis for weeks on end, there isn’t a single chip on my pair of Obsetheds. The new topsheet also appears to be less susceptible to scratching as well – another bonus.

Every new version of Seth’s pro model has seen an increase in width and rocker, but this year’s received a much greater increase. The previous version had dimensions of 138/105/125, while the 10/11-11/12 Obsethed has jumped up to 146/117/134.

The skis rocker/camber profile has also changed dramatically. Gone is the 10/20 (mm rise / cm run) “All-Terrain Rocker” in both the tip and tail. The new Obsethed features K2’s 20/40 “Powder Rocker” in the tip, while keeping the “All-Terrain Rocker” in the tail.  Take these changes and couple them with a slight reduction in the amount of camber underfoot, and no one will be surprised to learn that the Obsethed’s deep snow prowess has significantly increased.

The flex pattern of the ski has also been changed on the new model. Instead of a full Fir core of years past, the new Obsethed is a mix of both Fir and Aspen. The ski hand flexes quite a bit softer than the previous models, but what it feels like it loses in stiffness it definitely gains in snappiness. (One side note on hand flexing: don’t let this be your sole guide when you’re running through skis at your local ski shop. The Obsethed is a perfect example of a ski that feels insanely soft in your hands but skis much different.)

A few small but important changes have to do with overall length and backcountry usage.  I’m not exactly sure why there isn’t a standard or why this seems to be so hard for some companies, but advertised length versus actual length can vary greatly from company to company. K2’s have been notoriously long over the years. In 2009-10, the 189cm Obsethed measured in at 195cm, and the179 cm came in at about 183cm. But now – and finally – K2 skis measure their advertised length. This year’s 189cm Obsethed is 189cm long with a straight pull tape (Gasp! Shocking!) Maybe other erroneously measured brands will follow K2’s suite here.

2011-2012 K2 Obsethed, 189cm, BLISTER
Jason, sending it on Gunsight, Alta Ski Area.

For those who venture out of bounds, K2 has added their replaceable tip and tail rivets to the Obsethed. With the purchase of K2’s pre-cut climbing skins, life has never been easier. The skins are already fit to the ski (no trimming necessary) and all you need to do is pop out the rivet at both ends of the ski and place the hook of the skin through at each end. If you’re tired of touring with twin tips because of the hassle of a slipping tail attachment, K2 has the answer for you with this new system.

A note on those little “pop-out” rivets: keep an eye on them to make sure they are tight while skiing resort, or they might disappear. Both of the tail rivets on my pair of Obsetheds have been donated to Alta…maybe I’ll find them this summer.

Ok, enough with the details. What really matters is how the new Obsethed skis. After being on and off the ski for about 3 months, I can say these skis are great. If you read my bio you will see that the original K2 Hellbent was (and still is) one of my favorite skis. That being said, I don’t believe the original Hellbent is perfect; I wish they were (1) a little stiffer and snappier (2) had a little camber for hardpack and slow-speed, technical areas (3) came in a measured length between 185 and 196.

I also owned the previous version of the Obsethed (08/09-09/10), and to be honest, I was not its biggest fan. The 179 seemed too short for charging, yet too stiff and dead-feeling for playing. The 189 Seth measured in at 195cm, was not nimble enough for tight spots, and was close to impossible for my skinny self to throw around in the air.

2011-2012 K2 Obsethed, 189cm, BLISTER
Jason goes mute on Eddie’s High Nowhere, Alta.

The 2011 Obsethed takes all the qualities I loved about the original K2 Hellbents and fills in all of the attributes I had wished for. The new Obsethed floats in powder much better than the previous model. It basically feels just like the older Hellbent in the deep stuff, offering a very “surfy” feel in all depths of pow. We have been very, very fortunate this year at Alta (thank you mother nature and the snow gods) and the new Obsethed has had more than its fair share of powder day testing.

Not only does the new Obsethed rule the pow, but once the snow gets cut up, it floats you across the crud like it doesn’t even exist. This is where the hand flexing is most misleading: the new ski definitely feels like it has a soft shovel, but while skiing, you feel its progressively stiffer flex in the mid section that keeps the ski calm in the rough stuff.

The best part about the Obsethed in these conditions is that it still has a very large sweet spot. You can press into the tips and charge the pow and chop, or you can choose to stay in a more balanced, upright position. The ski is fantastic both ways. (Take note here that I am a pretty light guy – 160 lbs. – so those significantly heavier may need to stay more balanced to not overpower the ski in chop.)

In 3-4 day old packed snow, the skis are great for smearing medium to large radius turns down open faces like Alta’s Eddie’s High Nowhere, or through the more open trees of Westward Ho and Eagle’s Nest.

And if you really want to open things up, the ski is plenty stable at speed, and railing 50mph carves down West Rustler was a total blast. The skis are definitely snappier then the older Obsethed, but not so much that the skis buck you off of every little bump in your path. Instead, the skis loft you nicely into the air off anything you choose to pop, but stay settled down otherwise. On groomers, the ski is comfortable laying into long radius arcs at high speed, and have a nice release from turn to turn.

2011-2012 K2 Obsethed, 189cm, BLISTER
Getting first dibs on Eddie’s, Alta Ski Area.

Swing weight in the air felt pretty average – maybe even below average for how big of a ski it is. I would, however, like to have been a few centimeters forward if I were tricking this ski a bunch.

For those interested in using the Obsethed as a backcountry ski, I believe it is a very worthy tool. While it’s certainly not for the super weight conscious, it’s not overly heavy. And it excels in the highly variable snow you find in the backcountry. With this ski there is no need to worry about hitting any depth of wind crust, sun crust, inverted snow, or even avy debris. The big-rockered tip and stable flex keeps the ride smooth and consistent, no matter what you encounter on your descent.

2011-2012 K2 Obsethed, 189cm, BLISTER
Jason, popping off again on Gunsight, Alta.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to try the K2 pre-cut skins so I can’t vouch for that system. What I can say is that I loved that rockered tip when setting a new skin track in deep snow. The Obsethed’s rockered tail obviously doesn’t offer as much grip as a flat-tailed ski while skinning up a frozen skin track, but there were only a couple instances where I had a slip on the way up with my Black Diamond Ascensions.

2011-2012 K2 Obsethed, 189cm, BLISTER
2011-2012 Obsethed bases.

The area where the Obsethed didn’t impress me was traveling at medium speeds and trying to execute quick, short radius turns in bumped up terrain. It’s not that the skis wouldn’t do what I asked them to, it’s just that it took more concentration and a lot of effort to make it happen. I believe this had a lot to do with how far back the bindings were mounted. Moving the bindings forward will quicken up the skis, and I will update this once I spend some time on the ski mounted farther forward.

A fix for this little hiccup in the skis performance was just to let the skis run a little more, smear a slightly larger radius turn, and skip over the tops of moguls rather then shred the troughs. (Remember that this is a ski that is 117mm underfoot and has only a tiny bit of camber, so quick and snappy turns are a lot to ask for out of a ski this size.)

While we’re being critical, I have to add that, while K2’s Die-cut base looks great, it is very soft. If you ski in areas with lots of sharks, get ready to do some base repairs. The good news, however, is that K2’s oversized edge is robust, so base damage shouldn’t be catastrophic.

The most frequent question I get asked about the new Obsethed is: “Is it as versatile as the old?” It’s a tough one to answer. For west coast skiers who live in high snowfall areas, I believe this ski is more versatile than its predecessor, and could surely be your one ski quiver. This is especially true for the younger “jibby” crowd that likes to play around, but also likes to charge a few high-speed runs. Those in locations with less snowfall will probably prefer something with narrower dimensions as an every day ski, but would find the Obsethed as a great pow day and day-after board for their quiver.

At the moment, the K2 Obsethed is my go to powder board; the ski I grab to go session kickers in the backcountry; and the ski I slap Alpine Trekkers on for all but the longest backcountry laps. I would use it as my everyday ski here at Alta (and I did for awhile) if I didn’t have a garage full of skis to test.

Overall, the ski offers up no huge surprises – you probably aren’t going to say, “Holy Crap! This feels different than anything I’ve ever skied!” – it simply does almost everything really well.

The K2 Obsethed is playful, but it can also charge. It is comfortable in and able to conquer a broad range of conditions and terrain, much like the guy it’s named after.

58 comments on “2011-2012 K2 Obsethed, 189cm”

  1. Great review! I put about 50 days on the 2009-2010 Seth last season and definitely want to upgrade to these guys – a poppier, fatter version sounds awesome. How would you compare the 2011-2012 Seth to the Moment Bibby Pro as far as float, stability at speed, and maneuverability go? Me: ski ~50-100 days in the NW, 6’5″, 210 lb, expert skier.

  2. Hi Oscar,
    Unfortunately I personally have not ridden the new Bibby Pro, but I am surrounded by people that rip and swear up and down it is one of the best skis they have ever ridden. My simple advice would be this, if you want a jibby/playful feeling ski that will require you to ski quite balanced (do to your size) then I would recommend the Seth. Remember, the new version of the Seth skis more like the old Hellbent then the old Seth. If that is what you are looking for then the new model will fit you very well. If you are more of the charging/attacking type that doesn’t spend lots of time playing around, popping off of everything and throwing tricks I would steer you towards the Bibby. The Bibby definitely allows you to ski with more power and seems to prefer blowing through crud rather then skipping over the top of it like the Obsethed.

    So, if you want more playful, go with the new Obsethed; more fall-line terrain charging, Bibby.

    I’ll try to get a couple people that are very familiar w/ the Bibby to weigh in here for you. Hope this helps!

  3. Right on Jason, thanks for getting back to me, this helps a lot. I’m a pretty aggressive skier – more charging, less jibbing – and a big guy. I definitely prefer a stiffer ski that can rip the fall-line and hold up at high speeds. From what I’ve read/heard, the Bibby is also really light and nimble for how bomber it is – I think it’s a better choice for me than the ’11 seth. Thanks again, great website you guys have put together…really well written, thorough reviews

  4. hey mate awesome review, really enjoyed it
    i currently live in Australia but ski New Zealand a bit. i will be in Niesko Japan for the 2011/12 season and am considering getting this ski.
    I am 20 years old, 110lb (super light) and 5’5″, an advanced agressive skier. would you recomend this ski for me as a pure powder ski?

  5. Absolutely!! I would go with the 179 and you’ll be able to mount pretty far forward to balance the swing weight and also retain the float these skis offer. Enjoy!!

  6. I am wondering how well this ski would fit me? I am 187, weigh about 87-88kg. Strong legs and body. Kind of an agressive skier. I like to jump alot, play around but would also like to charge sometimes and ski quite fast. Not that familiar to ski powder. I used to snowboard before season 10/11. Have only been skiing pist and park. Mostly park. Have been using a couple of Völkl Wall 185.

    Now I am looking for a couple of powder skis to use in Whistler this coming season. Would this ski be a good choice for me or am I too tall and heavy for it? Im thinking of using a marker Schizo binding on it so i can change weather I am going for a BC jib day or a just cruising down in powder.

    Would be awesome to hear your opinion, Jason.


  7. Sorry for the delay Benny. I think you would be o.k. with the 189 Obsethed, especially if you have the schizo’s on them. I feel like they offer a great balance for playing around, spinning, flipping, buttering, hand dragging and mach’ing a few runs now and then. Coming off of a snowboard I would think you would really like their surfy feel in the soft stuff and how playful they can be for a ski of their size. If you want more of a burly ski, maybe the Bibby Pro would be better for you.

  8. damn, just jizzed my pants. I’m sitting looking at the pair of ’10-’11 obsetheds I got this summer mounted at +5.5 (K2 scale). literally all I want to do is ride them after reading this. goddamn, dope review buddy.

  9. Excellent review and website! You’ve convinced me to buy a pair of 179cm. I was wondering if you have been able to try them with the mounting point forward yet? I’m an expert 150lb, 6ft skier with a 318mm boot and like skiing the mountain similarly to yourself (just not as fast or big). I do not land airs backwards and have only skiied switch on trails, but I’ll try to do more of it on the Seths. Having said that, I do not want any compromise on the ski’s ability to ski forwards. From my research, I believe the best mounting point for me will be +2 from traditional. What do you think?

    • I would say you are pretty spot on going with +2. I wouldn’t be scared to go 189 either if you’re skiing somewhere it snows a ton, otherwise 179 is probably wise. If you went 189 route you could probably go +3 on the mount.

  10. Thanks for the speedy reply Jason! I live in Australia, so it doesn’t snow a lot here…But i’m skiing for 5 weeks in Canada over xmas and plan to return to Japan for holidays. Deciding on the length was hard, but I settled on the 179 because most of my powder skiing is done in the trees and not in open bowls.

  11. Awesome review! it’s really helping me out! Im stuck though, in between the Line Sir francis bacon and the Obsethed. I really want a ski that can stomp landings solid, be super responsive and a solid ski. I do like to play around with my skis, jumping, jibbing etc. Im 160lbs, experience skier and fairly aggressive. Is this ski any good for trees as well? I ski on Pep Fujas Kung-Fujas but looking for a step up from them. What do you think? Thanks!


    • Shane,
      Unfortunately I still haven’t been able to ride the new SFB, as I keep saying in all my posts, it is at the TOP of my list of skis to get on, I just haven’t been able to yet. With that being said I can really only weigh in on what I have ridden.

      The Obsethed is definitely not a bad choice, it will offer tons of float, it can stomp landings with ease, is playful, and shreds the whole mountain pretty well. I don’t know how tall you are but we are almost the same weight, and as I said in my review shorter/quick turns are not what the Obsethed does best, at least in the 189 length that I rode for most of the season. I would say if you are looking for responsiveness the 108 underfoot SFB might be a little better given its narrower dimensions, shorter turning radius, and the fact it has less rocker.

      Honestly if you ski anything like me, and given we are roughly the same size, I do believe there is a ski you need to seriously consider that is not on your list, and that is the Rossignol Sickle. Check out my review on it and let me know if you have any other questions.

  12. Any update on mounting the Obsethed’s a little more forward? I skied the 2012’s in 189 this weekend and really loved them. The snow in CO hasn’t been great, but they performed fairly well on the hardpack. I figure that if they were fun on pretty much the worst conditions we have, then they’ll be a blast when it gets good.

    I had wished that they were a little quicker in the short to mid turns and am curious if a +2 or +3 mount would get them to do that a little better. I’m 6’2″ 215lbs. Where should I mount some Marker Dukes with a 320 BSL?


    • With your size I wouldn’t go to far forward in fear of jeopardizing pow and crud performance. I think you will be o.k. at +2 or 2.5 and that would get what you are looking for in slightly improved short-med turn performance yet still be o.k. in the chopped up pow.

      Dukes aren’t going to help with quickness as they; a)Are heavy b)Have a tall stack height c)Take a bit of energy away from the ski.

      • Mounted them at +2 and they turn a little easier. Really fun ski! I was also able to find some of the 11″ that Vail got last weekend and wow! These skis have made powder skiing so much better. I think I’ve found my daily driver.

  13. Jason,

    I am struggling between getting the 179’s and the 189’s…. I am a 6′-0″ expert skier, 182 lbs. in the northwest, mostly skiing at Alpental. (back country when it’s open) I skied on the 179’s once w/the bindins mounted +4 and I loved them but at times on the cut up wind blown powder I felt like I could go over the bars a bit and then cranking GS turns on the hard pack at the botttom, the tips chattered a little too. My question is: Will the 189’s feel more stable at high speeds? Have you skied the 179’s? If so, how different did they ski?

    • I’d go with the 189’s. I skied some wind blown powder in the high bowls at Breck on Sunday and the Seth’s (+2) charged through without any hesitation.

      The tips chatter a little on bumpy hardpack, but I still feel like they have a solid grip

    • Hi Brock,
      Sorry for the delay. I think at your size you can go with the 189. I’m 6′ and 160-165 and never wished for the smaller 179 Obsethed. Mount them a bit forward (+3ish) to keep them quick and balanced feeling on the snow and in the air.

      Have fun!

  14. Jason

    Thank you, great review.
    Up until now I been riding the old Seth Vicious “helicopter graffics” the few pow days we have i norhtern europe. I am an expert skier – 77kg – 177cm tall. I like riding fast with big turs in the backcountry, but not jumping of every cliff I see, but hitting the occational 360. Would you recommend the 11/12 Obsethed 179? Or even another ski?

    Best regards, Martin Scandinavia

    • Martin,
      Are you riding the 179 Vicious? If so, it measures long and is probably close to 184cm with an actual straight tape pull. The 11/12 Obsethed will measure a true to length unlike the old K2’s. At your size, and if you really do like skiing fast, I think you could go with the 189cm Obsethed and mount it up around +2.5 to +3.

      There are definitely a lot of skis out there right now that rip. The Moment Bibby Pro is a favorite of a lot of our testers. I just spent time on the new Rossignol Squad 7 and was really impressed. Both are less “jibby” feeling than the new Obsethed, but may meet the needs you stated slightly better.

  15. Jason
    Two weeks ago I rented and skied 2009 Hellbent 179 In Big Sky with 14 inches of new powder and fell in love.The next day after the runs were skied off and groomed they felt a little shaky. This week I rented a pair of 2012 Obsethed 169 with not much powder but still soft.They felt great in the trees and handled the hard pack well. My question is do I stay with the 169 or go up to 179? I’m 5 11 weigh 160 and 55 years old (and not as strong as I used to be) and classify myself as intermediate to advanced, but I found with the new fat skis I handle powder, single black, bumps and trees with confidence.I do like the versatility of the Obsethed and think it is the ski for me.

    Thanks for your input
    Bob North Idaho

    • Bob,
      One thing here to clarify first for you. If you skied on the 09′ Hellbent (Red w/ black & white drawing) then the 179’s you were on were actually close to 185 with a straight tape pull. If you were to go with the 2012 Obsethed, the 179 is actually 179 with a straight tape (go figure).

      Both skis “ski” short, I don’t feel uncomfortable at all saying go with the 179 Obsethed and mount them just a little bit forward (+2.5 to +3), unless you spend most of your time in tight trees with challenging snow conditions. If that is the case go ahead with the 169.

  16. Hi Jason!
    I am new to the ski world- just started this year- but getting better by the day. Im in need of some powder skiis, here in montana we have some snow up past our knees and my all mountain skis are getting hard to control up top! Being that i’m new, charging straight down isnt quite my thing yet, I like an easy turn and some stability would be nice too. Im tall 5’9” and looking into the 169’s. What do you think, can I handle these baby’s?

    • Julia, my girlfriend is 5’7 and about 135-140 and ability wise is exactly where you have described yourself. She got the 169’s this year and was absolutely blown away. Immediately she began skiing faster with much more control through even the slightest bit of fresh snow and through the chop. I say go for it!

  17. Hi Great site. Looking for advice. I am: from the Midwest, male, 51yrs, 190#, 6ft., Adv Intermediate, skied as a kid skiing again for the past 6 years…groomed runs (fast controled carving), GS course, but skiing more off trail than on when out west when possible. 21 days out west this year and with many snow/powder days in northern Idaho, Wash & Montana, and will be moving out there this fall. I have a quiver to cover most conditions, but have been mostly skiing the Rossi S3 186cm on most snow days 12″-24+” and trees. Currently I ski mostly medium pitch (blue) in the deeper snow and trees at moderate speeds developing skills, technique & confidence. The S3 is fun and I really like it. I am looking to pick up another, wider ski for the deeper days and want this ski to be fun in the glades (not tight trees), bowls, big turns, smear, cut up snow, crud etc. and a ski that I can grow into as I get faster and more aggressive. Would Obseth fit this and what length 179 or 189? DPSRp112, not waiting or paying that much, and I prefer not to go much wider. I considered the S7 but after reading the review on it, I have discounted it, one of the characteristics that I dislike the most in a ski is a small sweet spot. Thanks Doug.

    • Doug,
      If you were considering the S7 because of everything they appear to be, I’m going to go ahead and skip the Obsethed and say get the Squad 7. Mount them a little forward (I loved +1.5) and they will be nice and quick for you in the trees, but still have the nice med/long radius smear or carve available for you. If you don’t want to go that wide consider the Sickle (which is amazing), but I really don’t believe you need to be afraid of the width or length. The Squad is not demanding what-so-ever. The Wailer 112 would indeed be a great one for you, consider the hybrid to save some coin if that’s what is holding you back. 2 other great options would be the Moment Bibby Pro in 184cm and the 12/13 Line Influence 115.
      You can’t go wrong with ANY of these options!

      • Hi Jason,
        Thank you for your reply. Based on reviews, other responses, great spring/summer PRICING etc…… I went ahead a couple of weeks back and pulled the trigger on a couple pairs to add to the quiver before moving out west, once I’m out there I will not the cash to purchase..lol. I purchased the Rossignol Sickles 2011/2012 in 186 and also the K2 Obsethed 2011/2012 in 189 both at great prices. Mounted the Rossis Sickles with Griffon Demos at boot sole zero mark (killer deal on the bindings new), and today will be mounting K2 Obsethed with another pair of Griffon Demos also at boot sole zero mark. The setups should give myself and brother plenty of adjustment to play with…..I should have a good 2cm+ to go foreward with this mounting
        Again thanks for the reply and this great review site.


  18. I am 220 pounds 5,8!! Just bought the 1,79 lenght to have a ski for sharp turns and fun in powder. But after reading the comments here I wonder if the length is wrong?

    Have a 189 white dot preacher which is great for deep powder long turns but lack playfullness.

    Did I buy wrong size?


    • I would only say so because of your weight, but with that said the 179 should be very playful for you. The 189 just would have allowed for a more centered mount without sacrificing pow performance. You’ll be o.k.

  19. Jason, thanks for all the intel.
    I’m looking for a new ski that will handle all the conditions and terrain in and around the mammoth area. I’m 6′ 190 and a fairly aggressive skier when it comes to steep bowls, chutes, and in the trees. I’m not going to be boosting huge airs, launching off cliffs or spending any time in the park. I want something i can use at the resort as well as skin up into the back country. The 189’s sound like a pretty good fit to me, but i’m wondering if there is something else i should be considering?

    thank you


  20. Hello! I want to buy Obsethed 11/12 but I dont know if it is a good idea… I have 197cm high and 84kg… but the longest obsethed is only in 189cm, will be that length of ski good for me? I heard that in reality 189cm obsethed is 195cm, is it true?

    • Matus,
      Actually, the latest model of the Obsethed is true to length. If you are looking for one in that 195cm-ish length you’ll have to go back to the 09/10 model year which is a completely different ski.
      Now, will the current 189cm work for you given your size? It depends on what you are expecting out of the ski in terms of your ability, your style of skiing, and what you are skiing. The latest Obsethed isn’t a burly big mountain ski by any means. It’s generally more of a surfy, playful, powder ski. As I state in the review, for someone my size (6′, 160lb), I can get away using it in pretty much any setting or condition. If you are a powerful skier looking to push the speed limit in adverse conditions, you may want something with a stronger flex and with less tip rocker. If you are more of a flowy/playful skier, skiing in softer snow, the 189 should work well for you.

      • thank for your reply, so… yes I want to ride in powder,dropping from rocks, jumping, maybe some tricks,skiing in the woods, and skiing down the big mountain, mount touring binding and do alpine skiing, and there is another question:In our situation is not always powder, sometimes freezing snow, hard, and sometimes we ride on the slopes, will not mind so big rocker and the fact that the ski is too soft?
        and in reality how long is that 189cm (approximately.talking about obsethed 11/12). Thanx

  21. Hi Jason, Can’t believe how good this site is for reviews… I’ve spent hours on here over the last week or so. Great job! I live in New Zealand where the snow is usually hard pack, but am heading to Jackson Hole on vacation in January and am having a hard time deciding on a single pair of skis for the trip. I’m 155lbs, 5’8″ and 39 years old. I’m obviously looking for something for varying snow conditions, will be fun to jump but that won’t get over powered when skiing steeps aggressively. I’m tossing up bewteen the Line SFB @184, Obsethed @179 and the Sickle, given all the great things you’ve said about that ski (just freaked out by the full rocker!) I’ve skied Colorado resorts but have never been to JH, but am expecting it to have much more steep technical tree lines. The SFB really spins my wheels – love the graphics, sounds super fun, and I think would be great for learning to riding switch more etc (which I only do slowly, but would love to get better at) just worried it might get a bit over powered skiing steeper, firmer conditions….? I realise there are probably better skis specifically for hard charging, like the influence etc, but as long as the SFB wasn’t totally useless when skied hard, I think I would choose that for this trip. Any advice for this Jackson hole virgin would be really appreciated!

    • Liam,
      Well, I’d definitely say it’s between the SFB and the Sickle. Honestly I know you are favoring the SFB, but I have to say I think you would love the Sickle. I know you are worried about the continuos rocker on hardpack, and all I have to say is you shouldn’t be. I took the Sickle out on absolute bulletproof days and they performed exceptionally well. They are also much more damp feeling than the SFB, which will give you added confidence in steeper, firm conditions. Although the Sickle is slightly heavier and a little less playful than the SFB, it is super easy to ski and you will have just as much fun playing around learning to ski switch.

      Of course, I now have to add the caveat that the 12/13 Sickle is different than the Sickle that I rode two winters ago. So if you want to play it safe, go with the 11/12 Sickle if you can find it.

      • Thanks very much Jason, I must confess I did bit the bullet a couple of months ago and got a great deal on some 2013 Bacons, and I am absolutely loving them. In saying that though, I’m dead keen to try out the Sickles now, so will make sure I locate some at a demo day this winter! You can never have too many pairs of skis, right????? Thanks again, and congratulations on an awesome website.

  22. Hey I’m having some dilemmas making my decision on these skis. I’m 5’11” 170lbs and I’m leaning towards the 189s as I’ve been skiing 185 JJ’s, but it sounds like the 179s are also a solid option maybe too short through? I will be using them for touring as well as tree skiing.
    As for mounting what would be your suggestion with the Salomon Guardians or Dukes based on ski size?

    • Ben,
      At your size I wouldn’t be afraid to go with the 189 as long as you are a strong skier. They will definitely feel longer and less nimble than your JJ’s however, so keep that in mind. I’d mount at +3.5/+4 with the 189 to quicken them up a little. As I stated in the review, these skis like medium radius turns rather than short and quick. If you are concerned about that more than float then go ahead and size down to 179 and mount around +2.

  23. Hi,

    I am 5’7” and weight around 160. Got the Obsethed in 189 as they where extremely cheap.

    Except for 3-4 times per season when I ski at the resort, I am touring everywhere and have to go through all conditions: powder, ice, groomers, big lines, trees and sometimes couloirs.

    Are 189s too long for me, specially when skiing through trees and narrow couloirs? Should I sell them and eventually get the 179s? Or moving the binding to +3 or +4 solve the problems for me?

    Currrently I have the Griffon, but want to mount the Barons for touring.
    As a note, I am from Europe and we don’t have the big pow you got in the west :(

    • Boby,
      If you are a super strong skier you will get away with the 189, but honestly with your size and intended use I believe you would like the 179 much better. Every aspect of touring will be more enjoyable on the 179, excpept for high-speed, wide open runs and super deep pow.

  24. Hey Jason,
    Great review! I am looking to get the obsethed, and need some assurance from an expert. I am 5’10” and 210 lbs, mostly muscle due to my other hobby. I like to ski very aggressive and drop cliffs. Am I correct to look at a 189cm? Also, should I mount forward 2+ like you recommend, even with my weight?


    • Steve,
      Yes, if you are skiing aggressively at bigger mountains definitely go with the 189. I would say mount ahead of the “traditional” line, around +2 or 3, so the flex feels balanced tip to tail.

  25. Jason, just pulled the trigger on a pair of NOS 11/12 ObSethed’s in 189 per your info. Got em for $300 delivered from 02 outlet site. They have 9 more pairs if anyone is listening ! My first real POW ski as my other daily drivers are a pair of Line Prophet 100’s in 186cm. Great all over ski but with no rocker not so great in deeper pow. Im 6’1″ 210 advanced skier that skis the whole mtn. I ski primarily at Brundage Mtn. in Idaho where I live and these will be my goto’s on deeper,12″+, pow days. From your recomendations I was thinking +2cm on mounting point. Have not decided on binders yet, and am considering a demo or Schizo so this point may be mute. However if I went with a standard binding does +2 seem to be the schiz? Bob

    • Bob,
      Nice find!
      For what you are going to be using the ski for +2 to +3 sounds like a safe bet. Marker Schizo’s and demo tracks are great options as well.

  26. Hi Jason,

    First of all, a big UP! for this awesome review!!…
    I have a ‘difficult’ choice to make and I kindly ask your advised opinion… I am a fairly strong intermediate/advanced skier (5’10” / 186 lb / 43 yo) and I want to get a powder ski to be playful and to help me ride both pow & crud, (relaxed) tree lines, small drops, as well as to handle fairly some packed and short backcountry tours (half a day, max.)…
    The ‘fattest’ I’ve skied so far is a Prophet 100 (http://www.backcountry.com/line-prophet-100-alpine-ski) @172cm, but at the moderate speed I hit the snow the flotation was quite difficult to handle w/out any rocker/early rise…
    Now I have to choose between an Obsethed 179 and a Coreupt Slasher 186 (reviewed by Garret A. here http://www.backcountry.com/line-prophet-100-alpine-ski), and I find it pretty difficult considering my relatively low knowledge on skis (3 seasons vs. 15 of snowboarding…)
    Could you please give me a hint on why would you prefer one or another, having in mind my level of expertise, my physicals and my ski preferences… Since I strongly feel the need of a good “pow & more…” ski in my quiver, I got to make this decision quite quick…

    On the other hand… would you consider the Obsethed 189 as an “acceptable” alternative from “maneuverability” p.o.v. given the above details, or simply stick to the option of 179?

    I would really appreciate your opinion!
    Thanks a lot in advance!

    • I am 5.8 and 200 pounds and ski the 179 and float easily and can do sharp playful turns. Really happy. Also have 190 white dot “the preacher” but they are not sharp and playfull, float amazingly but I prefer the K2 for allmountain and also som hill/course with thwe kids.


    • Mario,
      I haven’t ridden the Slasher, so I can’t compare the two. From what you described I think the 179 Obsethed will work well for you. However, I feel there are offerings available that ski pow and especially crud better than the Obsethed, yet remain very playful. My top choices at this point would be the Moment Bibby Pro and the Atomic Bentchetler.

  27. Jason, thanks for the info. I, actaully, got the skis this week and found that 02gear had sent me the 10/11’s, which they also had listed for more $$$ ??? Is there a difference between the two except for topsheet? I like the totem/ trees better than the totem/skull graphics anyway.Im 54 yrs old! Called 02 and they refunded me $50 cause the 11/12’s had sold out. So I ended up gettin em for $252.09 delivered. Not bad for a guy with no factory/shop connects. Got the Griffon demos comming. Gonna mount em wider than the 315mm template so my 345 BSL boot is at mid adjustment for toe and heel.then at +2cm from traditional @ mid boot on the ski. That will alow me at least 2cm for/aft , maybe more as I dont know the length of the plates, adjustment so I can run traditional to +4.I think this will work and give me lots of options! Thanks again for all the info. Bob

    • Bob,
      Looks like it worked out perfectly! The 10/11 graphic is one of the best graphics of all time in my opinion, and yes they are the same ski.
      Great choice on the Griffon demo, perfect set-up!

  28. My buddy is thinking about getting the K2 Petittor, I’m currently skiing the Rossi Squad 7’s (awesome skis btw). Although the underfoot is much stiffer, when I hand flexed it in the shop it really felt super soft because of the mega soft ends. There’s very little information or reviews about that ski, but based on almost absolutely nothing ;) I think the Petittor might be one of the most playful and fun skis in virgin powder, with the big downside of bad chop and slope performance and especially bad performance on icy, steep, technical routes. Thats where i suspect tose tips and tails to be flapping like crazy!
    But this is just speculation, and I might be completely wrong. So please can anybody with some experience or who knows somebody with experience with these skies give some information?!?!!
    That would be very helpful!


  29. Hey,

    i own 189 of this skis. My idea is to mount Marker Duke at +4.5.
    I want to use them as everyday skis. Maybe 75% freeride , 25% freestyle. What’s your advice about the mounting center ? I am 182 cm. 75 kg.
    Thank you !

  30. Jason…. reviving a slightly older thread, hoping you’re still reading….
    Just got a pair of the 11/12 Obsethed 179 for a steal. Putting a tourer on it (Fritschi Freeride Pro). Had the previous Obsetheds, loved them, but can’t **** remember where I mounted ’em. I’m 5-7 (…just), 154 pounds, fairly aggressive. No park, no switch, powder, chutes but also a bit of tree.. about to head to Gulmarg for 10 days of famed powder… Inevitably end up on a trail here and there, so wouldn’t mind cracking a passing nod at some bite & edge swing but I also have other skis in the quiver for non-powder days. Thinking of mounting +3… or +4… cant decide. Any views please? Nick

  31. Hey jason, Im looking to replace my 189 obsethed with a new ski. I loved this ski, it literally could do anything and everything. It skis moguls and hardpack as easy as my pbjs, even ice. I haven’t found anything like it yet, and am worried there’s nothing like it. Looking at 190 Moment Deathwish, hoping it will be just as fun all mountain… What do you think?

    You guys should seriously set up a premium blog on the side, and charge like 5.99$ to answer all premium member questions.

  32. Hey jason
    ! Great review and thread on a great ski … bought these in a 189cm length in spring of 2013 just in time for 14 inches new and fresh tracks down far east @at copper… loved the ride down a powder filled mogul field..later in jan of this year had them for 4 days at monashee powder only one on the ski and they were terrific in all conditions. Especially the tight monashee tree lines… very playful ski..lots of float.. pretty quick and forgiving.. like to be skied with a bit of up and down un weighting… easily the best all around pow ski I have been on to date….like my darksides too..but these are quicker in the trees.. thanks.

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