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The K2 Backdrops Skis & Skins - Teton Tested

Check out the K2 Backdrop skis at today!

K2's Backdrop skis and Backdrop skins are the Seattle mogul's contenders to the fat touring skis category. I paired the skis and skins with a Dynafit Beast and Dynafit Vulcan combination for a fairly aggressive setup. I had 22 days on the gear skiing pure inbounds pow days, on some slackcountry days (couple of inbounds runs then off to tour) and some pure touring days. As context for this review, I weigh 160 pounds and ski mainly in the Coast and Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia. My skiing is usually in high moisture-content snow and accordingly, my preference is for bigger skis and relatively stiff boots. 


  • Style: Fat touring
  • Available Lengths: 167, 174, 181 (tested)
  • Dimensions: 142-112-131 [181 cm] (23m turning radius at 174 length)
  • Weight: 1820g (174); 1870g (181 - measured actual)

The list price is $750 (skis) and $200 (skins). However because this review has happily taken so long to be published, you can now get this ski for $424.90 at


At 112mm underfoot, the Backdrop doesn't pretend to be a one-piece rando racer's stick of choice. To state the obvious, this is a fairly versatile ski intended for soft snow. One look at the specs will show that K2 has paid some attention to the design and construction features expected of contemporary fatter skis intended for touring. Under this umbrella are early rise (K2 calls it All-Terrain rocker); fiberglass wrap around a wood core; and a carbon weave around the core all bundled in a "cap" construction.

Lee Lau charges like a TGR lawyer, not a TGR dentist, on Roger's Pass, BC.

Generally speaking, the Backdrop tends to the softer side of ski stiffness. It's easy turning and exceptional in tight trees. It's not a ski for straightlining or winding up to mach-looney speeds on AK spines (the way all TGR dentists ski, of course). You can get it up to speed but don't expect it to have the stability of something longer and stiffer. Having said that, it's not a noodle, but seems to find a happy medium. Think of the Backdrop as being a user-friendly, well-mannered predictable touring ski that doesn't require you to charge all the time. A lot of users compare the Backdrop to the popular Coomba, except wider with more float.


It's pretty hard to screw up skins. The all-important traits are 1) glue; 2) glide; and 3) tip/tail attachments. Considering these three aspects, K2's Backdrop skins are good. Nothing earth-shattering, but they do their job reliably.

The Backdrop skins are made up of a Mohair/synthetic blend (70/30). They glide reasonably well, are pre-cut to fit the Backdrop skis, and the glue has held up even in cold temps. I'm not completely crazy about the proprietary "freeride" tip and tail attachments. The tip requires a hole in the ski tip to work (the K2 Backdrop and many of their touring skis in their line have ski tip holes) and the tail could use some elastic to accommodate skin stretch. If you want to use these skins on other skis, it would be pretty simple to drop in G3's tip/tail attachment onto the K2 skins (I view the G3 system as being the best). On the whole, a good effort by K2 to making a decent offer to pair with their backcountry-minded skis.

Check out evo's full line of backcountry touring skis here!

From The Column: TGR Tested

About The Author

stash member Lee Lau

Professional Recreationalist. I ski mainly in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia in the Whistler/Pemberton area. I often travel to the Selkirks, the Monashees and to other touring destinations.