2018-2019 K2 Super Charger

Ski: K2 Super Charger, 175 cm

Available Lengths: 161, 168, 175, 182 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 176.2 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2030 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2317 & 2323 grams (with binding plates)

Stated Dimensions: 126-76-105 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 125.7-75.8-104.6 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 17 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 42 mm / ~3 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3-4 mm

Core: aspen/paulownia + titanal (2-layer) + carbon & fiberglass laminate

Factory Recommended Mount Point: N/A (sold with binding plate)

Reviewers:

  • Sam Shaheen: 5’10”, 140 lbs
  • Jonathan Ellsworth: 5’10”, 175 lbs

Test Locations: Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO; Taos Ski Valley, NM

Days Skied: 8

[Note: Our review was conducted on the 17/18 Super Charger, which was not changed for 18/19, apart from graphics.]

Sam Shaheen and Jonathan Ellsworth review the K2 Super Charger for Blister
K2 Super Charger
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Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Full Review //  Bottom Line

Intro

The K2 Super Charger is one of the most intimidating-looking carvers we’ve tested. From a very stout flex pattern to its complete lack of taper and rocker — the Super Charger looks like a ski that wants to be pushed hard on edge. So what exactly does that translate to on snow, and how does it compare to some of the other carving skis out there?

Sam Shaheen and Jonathan Ellsworth review the K2 Super Charger for Blister
Sam Shaheen on the K2 Super Charger, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO.

What we said about the Super Charger in our 18/19 Winter Buyer’s Guide:

“The Super Charger is an aptly named ski. It remains composed at high speeds and when carving (or blasting) through piles of pushed-around snow on groomers. It is the second strongest, fastest, and most powerful ski in this section, bested only by the Head i.Speed Pro. But the Super Charger is a bit easier and more forgiving than the i.Speed Pro, making it the better choice for people who don’t need to go nuclear. (And for the record, we don’t recommend taking the Super Charger or the i.Speed Pro through mogul fields or off-piste.) Neither the Dynastar Speedzone 12 Ti nor the Fischer RC4 The Curv has the top-end stability of the Super Charger, but both feel more compliant and comfortable when you are slowing things down and making shorter turns at moderate speeds.”

Shape / Rocker Profile

Not much to say here. The Super Charger has a very traditional carving-oriented shape and rocker profile — essentially no tip or tail taper, and basically no rocker. Just a whole lot of effective edge and camber (we’ll post rocker pics next week).

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the longitudinal flex pattern of the Super Charger:

Tips: 8-8.5
Shovels: 9-9.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5
Underfoot: 9.5
Behind Heel Piece: 9-9.5
Tails: 10

The Super Charger has an interesting flex pattern, and one that we’ve been seeing in more frontside skis lately, where the tail is stiffer than the midsection. Overall though, besides the very tips of the Super Charger being in the “8” range, the rest of the ski is extremely stiff.

Compared to the Head Supershape i.Titan, the Super Charger is a touch stiffer all around — except for the first few inches of the ski.

The only frontside ski we’ve tested that is stiffer than the Super Charger is the Head World Cup Rebels i.Speed Pro — which is basically a non-FIS race ski.

Weight

For reference, here are a few of our measured weights (per ski, in grams) for some notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to keep things apples-to-apples.

1647 & 1708 Liberty V76, 179 cm (18/19)
1777 & 1792 Liberty V82, 179 cm (18/19)
1936 & 1942 Head Monster 83 Ti, 177 cm (18/19)
2077 & 2092 K2 Ikonic 84 Ti, 177 cm (17/18, 18/19)*
2166 & 2167 Dynastar Speedzone 12 Ti, 182 cm (17/18, 18/19)*
2279 & 2299 Head Supershape i.Rally, 177 cm (17/18, 18/19)*
2317 & 2323 K2 Super Charger, 175 cm (17/18, 18/19)*
2320 & 2359 Head Supershape i.Titan, 177 cm (17/18, 18/19)*
2336 & 2350 Fischer RC4 The Curv GT, 175 cm (17/18, 18/19)*
2414 & 2516 Head Worldcup Rebels i.Speed Pro, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)*
2489 & 2498 Fischer RC4 The Curv, 178 cm (17/18, 18/19)*

*includes weight of binding plates

Now, here is Jonathan Ellsworth’s and my take on the performance of the Super Charger:

FULL REVIEW

Groomers

Sam Shaheen (5’10”, 140 lbs): Considering the shape and flex pattern of the Super Charger, it’s no surprise that it feels like a very strong, game-on ski. The more I push the Super Charger, the more I like it. This ski feels at home when rallying at high speeds and hitting high edge angles.

What is surprising though, is that the Super Charger doesn’t feel as locked into a turn as I thought it would when high on edge. It offers very good edge hold and holds a line predictably in a variety of groomed snow conditions, but it also feels pretty comfortable feathering turns into tighter radii or to burn speed.

Sam Shaheen and Jonathan Ellsworth review the K2 Super Charger for Blister
Sam Shaheen on the K2 Super Charger, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO.

To be clear, I don’t mean that the Super Charger feels great when sliding turns at slow speeds. But at high speeds when I’m pushing the ski, it feels intuitive and comfortable to break the Super Charger’s tails free to slide or feather a turn.

Of all of the frontside skis we’ve been on, the Super Charger is the second most demanding and game-on. The first day I got on this ski, I got lazy on the exit of a hard turn, got back seat, and ended up taking a nasty spill. This is a ski that requires you to be focused and is not very forgiving of mistakes.

That said, when I got more time on the Super Charger, I found it to have a fairly large sweet spot and it felt quite manageable at high speeds. It is definitely demanding, but when I skied aggressively with power and confidence, the ski didn’t feel unreasonably strong at all. In fact, it was quite the opposite — it was a blast to rage on.

Jonathan Ellsworth (5’10”, 175 lbs): My time on the Super Charger is the most recent example of why we insist on getting multiple multiple days on a ski. After my first day on the Super Charger, it didn’t seem all that “game on” to me. Then later, Sam started talking about how he wasn’t totally sure whether the Super Charger or the HEAD i.Speed Pro was the stronger ski. I thought he was nuts; the answer was clearly the i.Speed Pro. But then…

I got on the Super Charger again last week on some perfect corduroy first thing in the morning on a pretty cold day — temps were around -10°F at 9 am, and that corduroy was rock hard. And on that morning, I had to admit that Sam was right. This ski is strong. And it will allow you to go scary fast.

And scary fast is where it really shines.

That said, Sam is right about this ski’s willingness to feather turns — which is actually something that I was a little scared of, especially after having witnessed Sam get suplexed by this ski onto his head last year. But the more laps I get on the Super Charger, the more ready I am to chalk that up to Sam’s fault (which, while I often like to declare things to be Sam’s fault, this time, it’s actually true). The Super Charger is strong, but it is not unpredictable.

That last morning I skied the Super Charger at Crested Butte before the groomers had softened up at all, a number of people in the lift lines commented that I was on the right ski for the conditions. I’m not sure they realized how right they were. Our own Luke Koppa, however, did know. He was out on the very good Nordica Enforcer 100, but that ski was not producing much edge hold on those fast, bulletproof groomers.

Stability at Speed

Sam: The Super Charger has a very high top end, but it isn’t the most stable ski in the category. The Super Charger feels more like a sports car where other skis in the category (like the Head i.Titan and Monster series) feel more like Cadillacs, with plush suspensions and comfy interiors.

The Super Charger feels purpose-built to be pushed hard. No frills or features to make it more comfortable. It isn’t quite a race ski, but it’s pretty damn close. At high speeds, the Super Charger feels composed, but lacks the incredible dampness of the i.Titan. However, the slightly harsher feel of the Super Charger also means that it has a lot more energy and feels more precise.

Sam Shaheen and Jonathan Ellsworth review the K2 Super Charger for Blister
Sam Shaheen on the K2 Super Charger, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO.

For someone looking to simply and literally go as fast as possible, I doubt the Super Charger is the right ski for you. But if you want to go fast while carving hard, then the Super Charger is a better option.

Jonathan: Hmmm, I mostly agree with Sam here, but let me try to clear up a point of potential confusion. I would personally rate the stability of the Super Charger very high (as would Sam, I think). But I think of stability first and foremost as a ski’s ability to ‘not fall apart at speed’ — to not become an undulating mess of materials beneath your feet. And at no point did I feel like I had to slow down on the Super Charger because the ski wasn’t holding up to high speeds. (Again, I think Sam would say the same.)

That said, Sam is right that the Super Charger doesn’t offer the most plush suspension. I typically dislike car / ski metaphors, but in the above example, I’d say that it’s a fairly decent way to think about a ski like the i.Titan vs. the Super Charger. And yet, on those rock-hard groomers, I was still quite happy with how well the Super Charger handled; it was not a jarring ride. So I guess the way I’d put this is: the suspension of the Super Charger is excellent, or at a minimum, very good. It’s just that the i.Titan is a very peculiar beast. Different rides.

Bumps / Trees / Off-Piste

Sam: No, just no.

Jonathan: Yeah no. Unless you are skiing off piste down perfectly smooth chalk or ice, aka, groomers made by mother nature. (And even then, don’t do it.)

Length

Jonathan: The 175 cm length seemed just right for Sam and me, and neither of us felt the need to bump up to the 182. But I also wouldn’t discourage heavier (say, 190+ lbs?) and stronger skiers from going longer if they wished. I imagine that even a lot of 220 and 230+ lbs skiers could still really enjoy the 175, but if you are a nuclear reactor of a human being, by all means check out the 182 and then please report back. We just don’t need a bigger missile in this case. (Ok, I’m going to stop using and mixing all of these metaphors now. Promise.)

Who’s It For?

Sam: Advanced to expert skiers who want to ski hard, hitting high edge angles and high speeds with a fairly active style. The appropriately named Super Charger isn’t for someone who just wants to tool around at moderate speeds. The more you want to ski hard all day long and have very strong skiing technique, the better you’ll get along with the Super Charger.

Jonathan: Yep. If you ski at a place that offers at least 1 or 2 longer, uncrowded groomers where you are really able to open things up, few skis that we’ve reviewed are more exhilarating or more purpose-built than the Super Charger.

Bottom Line

The K2 Super Charger is one of the strongest, most game-on carving skis we’ve been on. It is stiff, powerful, and can be pushed extremely hard. Ex-racers and lovers of GS turns take note — the Super Charger is an absolute joy at high speeds and high edge angles.

Deep Dive Comparisons

Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our Deep Dive of the Super Charger to see how it stacks up against the Head Worldcup Rebels i.Speed Pro, Head Supershape i.Rally & i.Titan, Fischer RC4 The Curv & RC4 The Curv GT, Liberty V76, Dynastar Speedzone 12 Ti, and DPS Alchemist Cassiar 79.

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3 comments on “2018-2019 K2 Super Charger”

  1. If you’re liking serious carving skis you should get on the Rossi Hero Master. Phenomenal piste ski and very popular over here in Europe.

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