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K2 iKonic 84 TI Review

K2 iKonic 84 TI
Price:   $1,100 List | $899.95 at REI
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Pros:  Fast, stable, hard charging
Cons:  Long, stiff
Bottom line:  These are burly skis, but if you're a confident skier who likes to go fast on the groomers, these are a great option.
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   K2

Our Verdict

The K2 iKonic is at home charging hard and ripping groomers at high velocity. K2's Konic technology is a staple of the ski that's carried through the seasons, despite other modifications. It basically consists of a lightweight wood core down the center, with a more dense wood and metal laminates on the edges. This design is used to make a stiff, hard-charging ski that is also lightweight, and the iKonic is just that. Although it may not have the same flare, shape, or style as many of the other skis we tested in the men's all-mountain ski category, it performed well in a variety of our testing metrics.

Product Update
The K2 iKonic 84 TI, pictured above, replaces the K2 iKonic 85 TI for the upcoming winter season. Stay with us as we elaborate upon the ins and outs of this update in the paragraphs below.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Men's All-Mountain Skis of 2017-2018


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Andrew Pierce

Last Updated:
Thursday
September 28, 2017

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The K2 iKonic 84 TI vs. the K2 iKonic 85 TI


K2 takes the iKonic 85 TI, switches up a few details, and spits out the new K2 iKonic 84 TI, featuring a larger radius and fresh graphics. K2 also dropped the flat ski option for 2018, and the price increased by two hundred bucks. All other specifications remain the same. Take a look at the side-by-side comparison photos below, with the iKonic 84 TI on the left and its predecessor on the right.
K2 iKonic 84 TI
iKonic 85 TI
 

Here's a summary of the updates:
  • New Radius — The radius is now 17.5 cm (compared with 17 cm).
  • Increased Cost — The price jumps from $900 to $1100.
  • New Graphics — The iKonic 84 TI flaunts a similar color scheme as its predecessor with updated graphics for 2018.
  • No Flat Ski Option — There is no longer a flat ski option being offered for the 2018 season.

The iKonic 84 TI's just entered the market, so we haven't had a chance to give them a test run. Since the modifications are minor, we doubt the overall performance is altered too much. For now, the review below reflects the iKonic 85 TI skis.

Hands-On Review of the K2 iKonic 85 TI


The iKonic TI doesn't tend to stand out when placed alongside a pile of other skis on a ski rack. Its top sheet is a little bland and outdated, and they even come with metal tip protectors you see on nearly every set of rental skis. Don't be too quick to (mis)judge these skis though, there is a reason the saying, "looks can be deceiving" exists. This ski is a burly, fast, groomer ripping machine, and our testers were pleasantly surprised by its performance.

K2 iKonic 85ti
K2 iKonic 85ti

Stability at Speed


It can be said of many expert-oriented skis, but the iKonic 85 ti REALLY likes to go fast. We tested it in the 185cm length, and most testers agreed that it felt like a much longer ski. This ski performed similarly to the Nordica Enforcer 93s at speed, but with slightly less chatter in the tip when pushing it to its limit.

Zoom!
Zoom!

It was easy to get the iKonics up to top speed, and they felt more reliable than the Armada Invictus 99 ti when our testers encountered less than ideal snow at high speeds. When you pick the skis up, you'll be surprised at just how light they are, but don't be fooled, this ski still handles well at nearly any speed you push it to.

Hello  iKonics!
Hello, iKonics!

Carving Performance


This is what the iKonic 85 TI was built for. With an 85mm waist, it is our narrowest ski we tested and our quickest edge to edge. The only ski that comes close to the iKonic's quickness was the Nordica Enforcer 93.

Laying into turns is fun on the iKonics.
Laying into turns is fun on the iKonics.

The ski also holds an edge incredibly well, and once set, our testers felt supreme confidence in the hold throughout powerful arcing turns. Short and medium radius turns could be made by a strong skier, but the iKonics clearly preferred a much longer turn similar to the Volkl Mantra. There is some pop and energy felt when carving, but other skis we tested, like the Nordica Enforcer 93, were a bit more lively.

Crud


As with most all-mountain skis now produced, the iKonic 85 TI have a bit of rocker in the tip, which helps the ski get on top of any crud encountered. Skis with comparable stiffness and a fell metal laminate (IE Volkl Mantra), tended to feel marginally more damp in all types of crud.

A little crud to be busted.
A little crud to be busted.

Although K2 designed the iKonic 85 TI with a slightly tapered tail, the back of the skis often got caught up in the crud. A slightly more aggressive taper combined with a bit of rocker might alleviate the problem. Overall, this ski handled most types of crud in an average fashion…and who WANTS to ski crud anyways?!

Powder


Unfortunately, the iKonic 85 TI was our lowest scoring ski in the powder category (only 5 out of 10). In all but the shallowest of pow days, we were wishing for more ski underfoot, more ski in the tail, more tip rocker…

Seeking some powder  even if it is a bit chopped up.
Seeking some powder, even if it is a bit chopped up.

Other all-mountain skis with more aggressive rocker profiles or wide waists, ie Volkl Mantra, outperformed the iKonic with ease by floating better and just being generally easier to maneuver in the soft stuff. Not to say that this ski can't handle any fresh snow, but if you're looking to enjoy a big fresh dump from Mother Nature, these may not be the sticks you reach for.

Playfulness


To say that these skis were not playful is accurate; they feel all business, whereas a ski like the Atomic Vantage 100 cti felt more like a mullet (business upfront, party in the back).

Attempting to bounce through the chopped up snow on the iKonics.
Attempting to bounce through the chopped up snow on the iKonics.

The skis are surprisingly light, thanks to their lightweight interior wood core and quick edge to edge, but we would not call them nimble. A softer ski comes with more energy and pop, and is more forgiving on the landing than the stiff and burly iKonic 85 TI. You cannot blame K2, they already have a line of playful skis, and the iKonic means business.

Bumps


Although it did not score incredibly well in our mogul metric testing category (6 out of 10), a similarly stiff ski, the Armada Invictus 99 ti scored even lower. The light swing weight and quickness edge to edge allow the power of this ski to be harnessed in the bumps by an already confident mogul skiers, but because of its unforgiving nature, the iKonic 85 ti may be too much to handle for the beginner.

Best Application


The iKonic 85 TI is best suited for wide open groomed terrain. While it can handle variable conditions, and even some powder, it shines brighter when it has some space and a skier willing to hammer down the throttle. Because of its great edgehold and on-piste performance, this could be a great ski for a mountain that tends to be on the firm side.

Value


K2 is not known for cheap skis, and the iKonic line is no different. K2 makes quality gear that lasts forever, and as a result, their skis tend to be a bit pricier. The iKonic 85 TI comes in at $900 and is one of the more expensive skis we reviewed.

Conclusion


The K2 iKonic 85 TI is not for the faint of heart. It is designed for the advanced/expert skier to charge hard and rip groomers at high speed. While its performance in some categories is lackluster compared to similar skis, it can handle most conditions and should still be considered an all mountain ski…especially if that mountain tends to be firm.

Try to keep up with the K2 iKonic ti.
Try to keep up with the K2 iKonic ti.
Andrew Pierce

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Most recent review: September 28, 2017
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