2012-2013 K2 Pettitor

For the second run of the day, we decided to hike up Cerro Martin to ski a run called Tanga. After 45 minutes, we were standing on top peering down the steep, exposed chute. To enter Tanga you first ski the top rollover of the chute Banana, then head skiers right into a smaller chute that funnels to a tight choke before dumping out to the main face. The entire route is quite steep with no relief until the very bottom; taking a fall was out of the question.

Conditions in the chute were less than optimal, with a fairly stout wind affected layer on top of dense powder. I made my way to the choke with short-radius, controlled turns, which were by no means effortless. Pointing the skis through the choke and onto the main face, I quickly scrubbed speed with a couple of aggressive turns. As I became more comfortable with the snow, the skis, and the exposure, I made my way to the bottom, slowly gaining speed and lengthening out the radius of my turns. The longer the turn radius and higher the speed, the more manageable the skis became in the difficult snow.

2012-2013 K2 Pettitor, BLISTER
Jason Hutchins, Tanga, Las Leñas Ski Resort

Run three of the day turned out to be a repeat of the last one. (It was also a ski pole recovery mission after a tomahawk session by our editor-in-chief, but that’s another story….) I felt a little more comfortable this time around, though at slow speeds I still found the skis to be a bit of a chore. Again, opening it up on the lower half felt great. The Pettitors were very smooth and predictable at speed.

Given that my time on the Pettitor is obviously very limited, I am hesitant to make definitive claims about its characteristics. I still need time to experiment with mount positions and generally get more comfortable with the ski all over the hill. What I can do now is say a few things about the Pettitor in comparison to a few other, similar skis that I am very familiar with.

The Pettitor is not a reincarnation of that original, floppy Hellbent or the slightly stronger Obsethed. My initial impression is that this ski takes a little more effort than either of those skis to do make them do what you want. The upside is, I believe this ski is going to be much more capable around the resort, even when it’s not fresh and deep. I also believe the decrease in tip splay will help the Pettitor carry speed in deeper snow as well, and feel less like a tug boat. (One side note: K2 is still using a soft die-cut base on this ski. If you’re skiing a thin snow pack, load these babies up with wax.)

The Pettitor is also much more big mountain oriented than the Line Mr. Pollard’s Opus. While the Opus is one of my favorite skis and is virtually unmatched in terms of playfulness, my impression so far is that the Pettitor may be better suited at resorts like Snowbird and Jackson Hole where lines tend to be longer between airs.

The flex of the Pettitor also makes me believe K2’s claim that it is much better suited for stomping airs. I can’t wait to test that claim. Hopefully the monster wheelies that some people complained about with the Hellbent and Obsethed will be a thing of the past.

There will be a lot more time spent on this ski once the snow starts to fly in North America. Stay tuned for a full, more detailed Update.


4 comments on “2012-2013 K2 Pettitor”

  1. Is there going to be a more in-depth review or a 2nd look for the Pettitor? Really interested how does it compare to the obsethed it replaces…

  2. I am currently in the market for a new pair of skis, I am 5’10” and about 150-160, skiing pow and big mountain primarily in the PNW. I have ridden on a pair of 169 ’09 K2 obsethed for the past couple of years. This year, I’ve grown a bit and as I’ve started to ski more big mountain type lines i’ve felt like I need more ski.

    I was able to spend one day this year on my cousin’s old Line Motherships (185) and loved them. That being said, the snow conditions that day were soft corn snow so I have no idea about how those float. I’m looking for something thats kinda similar to the motherships but maybe with a little bit more rocker. I had no issues with the 185 length or the stiffness through moguls and I’d love a ski that I can really push like that. i thought that the Pettitor might be a good place to start or maybe the line influence 115, I’ve also found some old motherships for sale online and am open to more suggestions so I was just wondering what ski do you think would be the best for me?

  3. Hi. Will you ever do a follow up or a new review on the K2 Pettitor 120 in more conditions, with a better sense of mounting point?
    (and also the Seth K2 Pinnacle 118, which to me works great at zero?)

    I’ve owned the Pettitor 120 for over a year now, really charge it in all conditions, could use it as a 1 ski quiver, and feel you really missed the boat on this ski. But maybe it’s just me.

    I’m only ~150 lbs, 5’10”, but for me the 189 is much better than you described. One key is the mounting point. I have Marker Schizo bindings on mine and have been able to experiment extensively in most conditions. I would never mount at +5 myself, unless switch, flips and tricks are your main objective. It has less stability than at other mount points.

    At O the ski is a burly charger, more for a heavier skier than I. At ~+2, the ski switches to manageable drive-the-tips charger; for me this quality gets better and easier at +2 1/2 to +3, for me optimal at ~+3 to +3 1/2 (with my lighter weight, probably).
    At +3 1/2, the ski changes again, to a much easier turning ski that can still be tip driven. At +4, the ski becomes even easier to turn, with mix of tip drive and pure sideways lean turns optimal: a more switch-possible ski, and better in steep major crud or rough crust, etc.
    At +4 1/2, the change is complete: it feels like the skier is at the center of the turn radius, just carving or swinging around that radius incredibly easily. But the advantage of tip drive has been mostly lost.
    Beyond that, you have passed the turn radius center a bit, and the ski is more unstable; maybe good for tricks and spins, but not optimal for more directional skiing and jumps, in my experience.
    Both these fat K2s are incredible, to me; especially the Pettitor; and I wish you would review them.
    (Note: I’m a member, but I couldn’t seem to get back to this review page once I signed in as a member.)

  4. P.S. The Pettitor skis I own are the ’14/’15 blue antler versions (both the 179 cm that Sean Pettit uses, and the 189 that former K2 Obsethed people tend to use). The models may have changed, gotten better, perhaps accounting for at least some of why I liked it more.

    Also, you guys are the best, and you clearly have much more perspective and experience on what skis are like relative to one another. In that sense, I could be off by a lot, maybe. I’d really love to get your take on these two pro model, fat, K2 skis!

    This year I’ve demoed 23 skis, and, besides the 189 Pettitor, my favorites were the 185 Enforcer, the 184 V-Werks Katana (which I bought, thanks to you), and the K2 [Seth] Pinnacle 118. Not bad company.

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