Are these four me?
November 28, 2006 1:40 PM   Subscribe

What do people know about the K2 Four R ski? It's not made anymore (I think 2003 was the last year it was in production). Is it a decent ski for an intermediate/advanced skier who usually stays on trails?
posted by rbs to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Mr. Do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do here. It's usually a bad idea to buy skis without demoing them.

Okay, having gotten that out of the way, I haven't skiied the K2 Four R but I seem to recall they were really aimed more at the entry-to-intermediate-level market. This link confirms that, and also suggests that you shouldn't pay a heck of a lot for 'em.

Again, I haven't skiied 'em, so dangerous generalizations follow. Typically, recreational-level skis (of which these are an example) are pretty stable and easy to turn. The tradeoff is they're probably pretty dead, and slow down the hill and edge to edge. They also probably wash out pretty easily on ice (if that's a concern where you ski.)

If you ski more than three or four times a year, and are reasonably committed to improving your skiing, you'll probably outgrow them pretty quickly. If they're dirt cheap, with bindings included and a reasonable amount of edge left (these are used, no?) they might be worth it as a pair of rock skis. Otherwise, consider getting into a demo program at a ski shop close to where you ride -- these usually let you put all or part of what you spend on rentals into the price of a new pair of skis.
posted by Opposite George at 3:49 PM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: Opposite George: What if they're brand new and with bindings for $200?
posted by rbs at 5:21 PM on November 28, 2006

Best answer: That sounds like a lot to me. I did a quick Google search right now and considering you can get a package like this, including poles and boots (not that I'd recommend doing that online either) for $299, $200 for just the skis sounds pricey.

If you're really an advanced intermediate skier, these are probably not enough ski for you. If you look at the Google links, especially the ones where the Four Rs are used as a rental ski, almost all of them slot the skis into a novice or "sport" category -- using the overblown industry terminology you should probably be looking for "performance" or even a forgiving "expert" ski.*

All this is assuming you're still improving and doing mostly conventional groomed skiing. There might be a special circumstance where these would be the right skis for you but I'm hard pressed to come up with one.

Look, I don't want to be a wet blanket. I know how strong the urge to pick up a new set of sticks can be. Lord knows, my favorite pair of skis right now is a pair I picked up off a Sports Authority bargain rack last year for $50 (Volant Machete Sins -- hadn't even heard of them much less skiied 'em before.) But, I have several pairs of skis I use and am happy with, and I mounted a pair of bindings I already had myself, so basically the worst that would've happened if I hated them would have been that I'd be out fifty bucks. I get the impression (maybe wrong) that these are going to be your first or main pair of skis. If that's the case, you definitely want something you'll know you'll be happy with. And you won't know unless you've skiied 'em.

If you're really really set on buying skis without trying 'em out, I can't stop you. But these seem a bit pricey and maybe not good enough for you. Please consider demoing -- 200 bucks can go a long way towards rentals, especially if you work with a shop that's close enough to the slopes that you can demo several pairs each trip. You can also probably get a pretty good rental package for 200 bucks for the season, and maybe with the understanding if you don't like them they'll let you trade up later in the season (or if you like 'em enough, they'll give you a big discount on the purchase.)

I know we've gotten far off the original question here, but do you own your own boots, and do they fit well (that is, they don't hurt?) Getting the boot thing taken care of first is the most important thing -- I'd even go so far as to say that the boards are of secondary importance to having a set of boots you're happy with.

*Since nobody wants to admit to being a novice skiier, the industry tends to categorize their product using terms that overstate the abilities of the buyer they're shooting for. Nothing wrong with that if you know the code, but for people like me (and probably you) who might be more honest about their abilities not knowing the code means you can end up with a ski that you'll overpower.
posted by Opposite George at 6:03 PM on November 28, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, George. I went to my local shop and tried on a million pairs of boots, eventually finding one that works for me. It kinda sucks living in the midwest, cause my ski opportunities are way too far apart. It makes the demoing option unfeasible.

Anyway, I'll look elsewhere.
posted by rbs at 6:07 PM on November 28, 2006

Oh, and for full disclosure, early in my skiing career (probably before you were walking) I let my love of new, shiny things get in the way of critical thought and let a salesperson talk me into buying skis that I quickly outgrew. It wasn't until several years later when friends let me try theirs that I realized how much those original boards were holding me back, and how much more enjoyable skiing was on equipment appropriate to my abilities.
posted by Opposite George at 6:08 PM on November 28, 2006

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