K2 Obsethed ($875)
Seth Morrison's first pro model ski was 204 centimeters, stiff as a board, and had a little blinking light in the topsheet. Since then, all of his K2 pro-model skis over the last 12 years -- with their hangover-inducing graphics, twin-tips on a big-mountain ski, and some of the first rockered technology -- have always been on the cutting edge of ski design. The 2011 K2 Obsethed is no different.
WHAT IT IS:
Retaining only the name from last season, this year's Obsethed gets completely overhauled from last season. "The ski is much wider now, 12 millimeters more underfoot," says Morrison. It's now 117 millimeters underfoot and it comes in 189, 179 and 169-centimeter lengths. Deeply involved in the R&D process for his ski, Morrison also chose to tinker significantly with the rocker profile from last year's model. "Tail rocker has stayed the same," he says, "but tip rocker has moved more in the direction of the K2 Hellbent." The tip rocker in last year's Obsethed was barely there, but this year's generous tip rocker has moved the ski into the deep powder category. But that's not to say you can't take them out days after a storm. "We stayed with a progressive sidecut, so they arc on the hardpack and groomers," Morrison says.
WHY IT RULES:
"The design process to get the current Obsethed is a result of roughly 20 unique prototypes and years of testing," says K2 ski engineer Matt O'Laughlin, who worked with Morrison on the new ski. But perhaps the biggest innovation for the Obsethed is K2's inclusion of their integrated skin attachment system, introduced last year in K2's Backside line. K2 offers precut skins for the Obsethed ($190) that have holes in the tips and tails to securely fasten the skins to the ski, eliminating the annoying foldover found in most skin tips. Pair them with some AT bindings and now the only thing standing between you and countless powder lines is your stamina.