2019-2020 K2 Catamaran

Mount Point

I started out with the Catamaran at the K2 recommended mark of -6 cm from center. The ski was a lot of fun at -6, but I found the tails washing out a lot on bigger landings, and just generally felt like the tails were too short. And since I wasn’t having any problems with the tips diving, I moved the bindings forward to -4 cm. That made a huge improvement for me.

The Catamaran’s tails still aren’t terribly supportive, but they’re a lot more stable on landings and wash out less. I haven’t noticed any ill effects on floatation or stability from this move, and would recommend most skiers to strongly consider mounting at -4 cm from center if you’re worried at all about the tails washing out. This also makes the ski a touch easier to spin, and it feels a little more balanced in the air.


While I never had any issues with the 184 cm Catamaran failing to provide enough flotation, I am very interested in skiing the 190 cm model of this ski. Given how easy and maneuverable the 184 cm version is, I think this may be a ski where upsizing could be a good idea for skiers looking for a little more stability.

Who’s It For?

If you’re looking for the most jibby, most playful ski in this waist range, the Catamaran is my top choice. If you’re looking for a pow ski that excels in tight spaces, the Catamaran is again my top choice. If you’re looking for a pow ski that forgives over and under rotations, and is easy to slash and pivot, again, I’d point you towards the Catamaran.

Cy Whitling reviews the K2 Catamaran for Blister Gear Review.
Cy Whitling on the K2 Catamaran, Grand Targhee, WY. (photo by: Julia Tellman)

And if you’re a less-experienced skier looking for an intuitive introduction to powder skis, the Catamaran is the easiest 110 mm + ski I’ve been on.

If you’re looking for a pow ski that you can use to go fast and take chances in variable snow, you’re reading the wrong review. Ditto for skiers looking for a heavy, damp, ski to rage in pow.

Bottom Line

Over the last four years, I feel like I’ve caught glimpses of the potential of various K2 pow skis, but I’ve never been a strong enough skier to pull off Mahre- and Fujas-inspired moves on skis like the Hellbent. The new K2 Catamaran is the best taste of that potential I’ve ever gotten. It floats, spins, jibs and slashes so easily and intuitively, I was seeing on new hits that I’d never considered.

No, the Catamaran does not do everything well, and that’s sort of the point. This is a really, really good jibby pow ski, and quite possibly the most playful on the market for the 17/18 season. It’s not a charger, and it’s not a variable-conditions slayer (at least in the 184 cm length, and if we get a chance to ski the 190 cm we’ll update this review). But it is a very fun, very intuitive ski that’s perfect for anyone skiing and jibbing deep snow in tight terrain.


Become a Blister member or Deep Dive subscriber to read how the Catamaran stacks up against a number of other playful powder skis, including the Armada ARV 116 JJ, Line Mordecai, ON3P Kartel 116, Moment Blister Pro, Atomic Bent Chetler, and more.

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10 comments on “2019-2020 K2 Catamaran”

  1. Hey Cy, can you describe your height/weight and skiing ability/style? I’m about 5’8″ and 175 and am not sure if I should size up from 179 to 184 on this ski or not? I have some 178 Bent-Chetlers and some 185 Opuses so would hate to make the wrong choice (either way too long OR too short). Having a little info about your height etc may help as a reference point. I looked through the article a few times looking for that info, my apologies if it is there and I somehow missed it. These skis sound amazing! Great review!

    • Hey Cody,

      You can find my info in my bio (http://blistergearreview.com/contributor-bios/cy-whitling) I’m 6′ 180-ish lbs.

      Given that you’re skiing both 179 Bent Chetlers and 185 Opuses I think you’d probably be fine on either size Catamaran. It’s a much less chargy ski than the Bent Chetler, so you could definitely get away with upsizing, especially if you’ve been enjoying your Opus.

      Really I’d say it depends on what you want out of the ski. The longer version is not going to be as quick / manoeuvrable for you, given your height, but I’d wager it’s as easy / playful as your 185 Opus, if not more so.

      But if you want to get really jibby (and if you’re skiing tighter terrain) the 179 should be great, it just won’t be as stable.

      • Hey, thanks for the quick reply! I had looked around for a bio but only found more articles! I go through Driggs sometimes on my way to Jackson or Grand Targhee. I’m in Bozeman, so it’s good to know that this review is also based off of similar terrain and conditions that I would encounter.

  2. Hi, thanks for the review. I’ve had for three seasons both the 179 (actual pull 180) and the 189 (191) Pettitor 120, love them, and am very interested finding out more with the longer 190 Catamaran. But it sounds like the Catamaran is softer in the middle than the stiff-in-the-middle Pettitor.

    If you’ve skied either of those much, I’d love your comparisons.

    The one drawback to the Pettitors, for me, is their weight. But there’s lots to like.

    I’m 145-150 lbs/5’10”, Schizo mount both – the 179, usually @ -1 1/2 (for directional fore/aft stability in variable/uneven) and the 189 usually @ +2 1/2 to +3 1/2 (more chargy) to +4 or even +4 1/2 (more turny).

    I find the shorter 179 ski to be more playful but chargeable, fun. More like your description of the 184 Catamaran, maybe, but stiffer?

    Even better, the longer 189 ski is for me a real crud buster/fast charger standout. In pow or on groomers. It holds a sharpened edge at speed, very well. The longer ski mounted so forward I find much more stable than the shorter, but both fun.

    I am a more directional skier, so only the longer one might fit me. Thanks for your great review!

    • Hmmm. I can’t really speak to the Pettitor but getting on a 190 Catamaran is a top priority for me next year. I’m a huge fan of the 184 but am really intrigued by the idea of an extra 6 cm on this ski…

      It sounds to me like replacing the 179 Pettitor with the 184 Catamaran might be a really good choice for you. It will probably be even more playful, and then you’ll still have the 189 Pettitor for when you want to ski fast in more variable snow.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Hi Cy, great review. How do you think this ski would go in Japan for an intermediate/advanced skier. I’m currently on the 188cm Rossi soul 7 and love it but want something a bit wider to take with me. Ive only ever skied in Aus and nz so have never had the chance to ski really deep light snow so I need a ski that will be very easy to ski and forgiving. I’m not looking to charge down the mountain and I enjoy more tight technical skiing off piste. I’m 6’2 185lbs, do you think the 190cm might be a better choice and still easy enough to ski. Other options Im considering are the 185cm bent chetler or the armada arv 116.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Given its superiority at certain things you listed does the Catamaran have a higher “minimum required amount of powder” before this superiority is realized? Or is this still super fun as long as there’s a few inches of fresh snow? My use for it will be to fit my style of hitting as many untouched resort lines as possible and then spend the rest of the day in the trees finding all the remaining ones

  5. I’m 5’6 and around 115 pounds and have never skied something above a 100 waist width ski
    Would skiing these skis make me adjust my feet like crazy or no?

  6. I have been skiing hellbents for the last 10(!!) years and they’re finally done done. I love em because of how wide, surfy, charging, blast though anything type of ski they are.

    Sounds like the catamarans are the progression of the hellbents but you mentioned they weren’t as great in chop pow. But then also mention they’re better than the hellbents. I personally think the hellbents are fantastic with that, and maybe because they’ve turned into an extension of my body. So wanted to get your take if I was interpreting that correctly, and if you think the catamarans are even better than the hellbents, I am sold, all in, and trying to find a pair since they’re discontinued. Let me know please? Thanks!!

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