K2 Pinnacle 95 Review

K2 has spent years making some of the best skis in the business. The Pinnacle 95 is a worthy member of the brand’s lineup, offering versatile and effective freeride capabilities. It’s not quite wide enough to be a powder monster, but the ski still delivers as an all-terrain option.

Quick Summary

  • Where to buy: Amazon, EVO, Skis.com
  • Best for: A decent one-ski-quiver option that gives you all-mountain attributes in a fun freeride package.
  • Pros: Great option from a trusted brand name. Versatile by design and capable in all sorts of conditions. Surfy in powder and fun to ski on.
  • Cons: A little too narrow to stand out on big powder days, even if they are capable in deep snow. Has the shape of a wide powder ski even though it’s more in the realm of a freeride or all-mountain option.
  • Alternatives: Icelantic Nomad 95, K2 Poacher, Blizzard Zero G 95

Why Trust Me

Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I’ve skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. I skied on the K2 Pinnacle 95 a few times over the last several seasons and spoke with a few friends with experience on them as well. Below is my detailed review.

Detailed Review

The K2 Pinnacle 95 is a solid all-around ski. It’s more than capable in a variety of situations and meets all of the standard baselines you would expect out of an all-mountain option focused on freeriding. That said, these skis don’t really stand out in any way to me. That doesn’t mean they are a bad option,they just don’t offer any unique characteristics to distinguish themselves in a crowded market.

Speed Check

If there’s one area where the Pinnacle 95’s excel, it’s their speed. All-mountain skis tend to get a little unstable and chatty at high speeds because of rockered profiles that limit edge control in the tip and tail. The Pinnacle 95 holds up extremely well at high speeds, which was a pleasant surprise.

That’s largely due to their tapered tip shape, which helps the Pinnacle stay precise even when pushing them hard. The shape allows for a little extra edge control, and while you wouldn’t think it amounts to much, it actually does a great job of providing the extra grip you need when stepping on the throttle. I found the skis to be better than your average all-mountain option on groomers and hardpack conditions.

The skis hold up at speeds in a variety of other conditions as well. In fresh snow, they more than hold their own, and while they’re not a true powder ski, they were floaty and capable enough to keep me satisfied. I also liked how they responded in the bumps as well. The tapered tip and narrower width played a part in this and allowed for serious control when you want to make turns on a dime in a mogul field.

All-Mountain Attributes

The Pinnacle 95’s are fully intended to be all-mountain focused and live up to that designation. No matter where you want to take these skis, they will deliver reliable performance you can depend on. The 95mm waist makes them just large enough to handle bigger snow days and big-mountain situations while not weighing you down when you want to rip groomers or if conditions are less than ideal.

These skis have a tapered shape, which makes them a little less fun and playful than a true twin. However, unless you’re a park rat or a skier who has a need for twinnies, the Pinnacle shape will allow you to easily roam across the mountain. I didn’t find a single situation where the skis weren’t capable, and that makes me confident in their ability to be an all-mountain option you can ski in all season long.

My favorite type of skiing with these skis was in the trees with about six inches of powder. They were surfy and floaty without feeling loose. That allowed me to bomb fun lines while remaining in control and enjoying the bouncy feeling you get with all-mountain options that have a bit more rocker in the tail. In deep snow, I was left wanting a larger ski to take full advantage of the conditions, but that’s really the only time I wasn’t satisfied with these skis.

Construction and Style

The K2 Pinnacle 95 features a somewhat unique profile for the all-mountain category and utilizes some other nice construction elements to provide you with quality performance across the board. Key to their excellent versatility is an all-terrain rocker profile that allows for the skis to be used by skiers of all ability levels.

Within this profile shape, you get a rockered tip that’s similar to other all-mountain skis with a tail that’s less rockered for more grip and bite when you need it. That limits what they can do in the park or during other freestyle situations, but helps them tackle other mountain elements with ease. The 95mm waist sits right in the sweet spot for all-mountain performance and is capable without weighing you down.

Another nice construction element is the tapered tip. That helps you to utilize the underfoot camber of the skis and keeps your edges engaged along a longer stretch of ski than other all-mountain options. The Nanolite Konic Core keeps the skis light without sacrificing any strength and allows for smooth turns and carves. The metal laminate construction further enhances the strength and control.

From a style perspective, these skis are simple. They feature a prominent K2, as do all of the brand’s skis, and have a sleek look that’s timeless without being corny. They aren’t flashy, but just like the versatile capabilities of these skis, they blend in nicely.

Price and Value

The K2 Pinnacle is a fairly affordable all-mountain freestyle ski. They sit in the middle price range, but give you a lot of capability. That provides ample value. Being a larger brand, K2 has the luxury of keeping prices more affordable without sacrificing anything in the way of design or function. If you’re looking for a good one-ski option that you can ride on all winter, these meet and exceed that need.

What I Like

I’m a fan of K2 skis. I remember having a pair of the old straight K2’s that were probably 210 in length. While brand loyalty shouldn’t be blind, there’s a lot to say for something that’s been around for decades. Such is the case with K2, and I will give any of their skis a chance based on that. The Pinnacle 95 lives up to the brand recognition, but that’s not the only reason I like them.

The skis are also extremely versatile. They offer true all-mountain capabilities and can effectively get you all over the mountain. They are a lot of fun to ski in bumps, steeps, trees, and big mountain conditions. They hold their own in ample amounts of fresh snow as well. A lot of skis say they are a one-ski-quiver option, and I would beg to differ. However, the Pinnacle 95 can back that claim up.

Another thing I like about these skis is how they perform at high speeds. For an all-mountain option, that’s somewhat of a rare thing. In comparison to some of my other favorite all-mountain skis out there, the Pinnacle 95 does a better job at high speeds. This is especially true on groomers and hardpack conditions. I tried, but I couldn’t push these skis fast enough to notice any significant chatter that affected control.

What I Don’t Like

The Pinnacle 95 is a solid all-around ski, but it’s just not quite my style of ski. It doesn’t stand out to me in any particular way aside from the great performance at higher speeds on packed snow. While not standing out doesn’t make them a bad ski, I like a ski that makes me say, “wow, I love how these skis ski in [insert your favorite conditions here].”

I also don’t like how these skis act in deep powder. They are capable enough to get you through fresh snow with ease, but on big dumps that are over 10-inches or so, I want something wider than 95mm underfoot. If you’re a powder hound, you’ll probably feel similar in this regard. The Pinnacle 95 does a good job in around 6 inches of fresh snow, but anything more than that and you’ll wish you brought your powder skis along.

These skis also aren’t quite as playful as some of my favorite all-mountain options. That has a lot to do with a tail that isn’t quite as rockered. I noticed that in the park and when I was out jibbing or pursuing freestyle fun in the snow.

The Alternatives

If you’re looking for an alternative the K2 Pinnacle 95 that will give you the same high-quality all-mountain attributes with some other characteristics you might enjoy, check out these options:

  • Icelantic Nomad 95 – These are my favorite all-mountain ski currently available on today’s market. They are a little more playful than the Pinnacle 95 and utilize a fully rockered profile. That makes them fun to ski on and gives them extra durability.
  • K2 Poacher – If you want another option from K2 that gives you plenty of versatility and is a bit more focused on freestyle and park skiing, check out the Poacher. This is another fun ski that’s both lightweight and durable. It’s just not the best option for big mountain situations.
  • Blizzard Zero G 95 – For a ski that’s similar to the Pinnacle 95 in both form and function, check out the Blizzard Zero G 95. These are a great backcountry option that’s both versatile and lightweight.

FAQs

Can the K2 Pinnacle be used in the backcountry?

Yes. The Pinnacle’s versatility makes it a solid choice for the backcountry.

How does the Pinnacle 95 perform in powder conditions?

Pretty well. They are capable in a decent amount of fresh snow. They are not a dedicated powder ski, however, and are a little narrow in that regard.

Are these twin-tipped skis?

No. The K2 Pinnacle 95 is not a true twin tip profile ski. They have a rockered profile, but the tail doesn’t have as much rocker as a twin-tipped option.

Final Verdict

The K2 Pinnacle 95 is a solid all-mountain ski. They come from a trusted brand and are fairly affordable which gives them excellent value. They are also a good one ski option thanks to their versatile performance attributes. They aren’t my favorite all-mountain option, but that’s not because they are poor in any way. I simply prefer a slightly different profile and a wider ski. All things considered, the skis serve as a good all-mountain option for any skier at any level.

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