2018-2019 K2 Wayback 106

Blister reviews the K2 Wayback 106
K2 Wayback 106

Ski: 2018-2019 K2 Wayback 106, 179 cm

Available Lengths: 172, 179, 186 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 178.6 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 1550 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1476 & 1490 grams

Stated Dimensions: 136-106-124 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 136.0-105.4-123.4

Stated Sidecut Radius: 22 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 58 mm / 18 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~2 mm

Core: Paulownia + Partial Titanal Layer + Carbon Fiber Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Sintered

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -13.0 cm from center; 76.2 cm from tail

Intro

K2 says that its touring ski lineup — which consists of the men’s Wayback and women’s Talkback lines — is the best-selling line of touring skis in the world. And for 18/19, they’re overhauling the whole line, which will consist of the Wayback 80, 84, 88, 96, and 106, and the Talkback 84, 88, and 96.

We are currently reviewing a couple of the skis in the new line, and today we’re checking out the widest ski in the series, the Wayback 106.

Here’s what K2 says about the Wayback 106:

“The widest of the new Wayback family combines lightweight and freeride performance to take your mid-winter touring to new heights.”

This certainly isn’t the most detailed ski description we’ve seen, but place the Wayback 106 in the growing category of lightweight, freeride-oriented touring skis. So we are primarily interested to see how well the Wayback 106 performs on the downhill, given its impressively low weight.

Shape / Rocker Profile

As we discussed in this GEAR:30 podcast, one of the things we really like about the Wayback 106 is its shape. There is a very short tapered section at the tip of the ski, but it is short, and at the tail, the ski does not taper very much. For really lightweight skis, we think this is a good thing — especially when paired with a good rocker profile … like the Wayback 106’s.

The Wayback 106 has fairly deep tip and tail rocker lines, but not a ton of tip and tail splay. The shape and rocker profile of the Wayback 106 seem to suggest a preference for soft snow compared to skis that have more traditional camber underfoot (like the Scott Superguide 105). We’re curious to see how versatile the Wayback 106 feels when it comes to soft- vs. firm-snow performance, and especially interested in the Wayback 106’s potential as a 1-ski touring quiver for higher snow areas.

Flex Pattern

Hand flexing the Wayback 106, we’d characterize its flex pattern like this:

Tips: 7
Shovels: 7-8
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-9
Underfoot: 9.5
Behind Heel Piece: 9-8.5
Tails: 8.5-9

Overall, the flex pattern of the Wayback 106 feels pretty strong, but it’s not extraordinarily stiff. And we think this is a good thing. We say it all the time: skis that are both light and very stiff often produce a harsh ride when conditions aren’t ideal, whereas light skis that are slightly softer can be a bit more forgiving and offer better suspension. The Wayback 106 feels like it should be supportive without being overly demanding.

Weight

For a 179 cm, 106mm-underfoot ski, the Wayback 106 is quite light at around 1480 grams. For reference, here are our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some comparable skis. (As always, pay attention to the particular lengths of each ski):

1476 & 1490 K2 Wayback 106, 179 cm (18/19)
1477 & 1482 G3 FINDr 102, 184 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1547 & 1551 Black Diamond Helio 105 Carbon, 185 cm (17/18)
1562 & 1566 Scott Superguide 105, 183 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1706 & 1715 Volkl BMT 109, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1733 & 1735 Blizzard Zero G 108, 185 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1745 & 1747 4FRNT Raven, 184 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1755 & 1792 Line Sick Day 104, 179 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1825 & 1904 Black Crows Corvus Freebird, 183.3 cm (17/18, 18/19)

Bottom Line (For Now)

With a very low weight, versatile-looking shape, and strong-but-accessible flex pattern, the K2 Wayback 106 shares several characteristics with some of our favorite touring skis. We’ve spent a bit of time on the Wayback 106, and will be posting our Flash Review within the next day, so stay tuned for that, and let us know if you have anything you’d like to see addressed in our full review.

Flash Review: K2 Wayback 106

Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the Wayback 106, with our initial comparisons to the Scott Superguide 105, Salomon MTN Explore 95, and Dynastar Mythic 97.

(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)

NEXT: ROCKER PROFILE PICS

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