Two historic icons have come together to create a new ski called the K2 Rolling Stones SideStash Ski, this special edition ski is "50 years in the making" they say as it commemorates the birth of K2 in 1961 and the Rolling Stones in 1962. Marketing and top sheet design aside if you are not a fan of the Stones (not sure that is possible) you may very well still be a fan of these new skis. The top sheet design is a homage to the Rolling Stones and contains unique artifacts from the early days of the band including the original concert set list, lyrics and rare pictures of the band. Flip the ski over to the B side and you have the K2 logo and the classic Rolling Stones lips and tongue logo front and centre. The K2 Rolling Stones SideStash Skis is the second of four Rolling Stones tribute skis so there are lots to choose from should you decide you can't get no satisfaction. Enough about the graphic design though, lets talk ski design.
The K2 Rolling Stones SideStash Skis have ample dimensions for backcountry skiing at 139/108/127. They are based on the original Sidestash ski design sans Rolling Stones graphics. With "All-Terrain Rocker" and a generous 108mm underfoot the K2 Sidestash provides great float in deep powder and the ability to bust crud and tame the chop. The generous tip rise is a little longer this year and enables the ski to stay afloat on any snow condition. A little camber underfoot and progressive side cut translates into responsive energy transfer, and good edge-hold on the hardpack.
The K2 Sidestash top and side profile.
The K2 Sidestash haulin' up the skin track
The core of the K2 Rolling Stones SideStash Skis are a combo of Aspen and Paulownia woods. The Aspen is solid and dense while the Paulownia is an eco-friendly wood that is fast-growing and strong while still being lightweight. Add in some Metal TNC laminate which consists of 2 sheets of lightweight Titanal running the length of the ski with alternating layers of fibreglass sandwiching the wood core and you have some instant dampening. The 'Hybritech' Sidewalls as they are coined are a combination of traditional sidewall and cap constructions that combine the benefits of both methods of construction. The progressive sidecut is a combination of two different radii that gives the ski the versatility of wider-waist skis in pow and good turn initiation at the resort. To finish things off the flat tale with skin groove allows you to drive the ski into the snow for an anchor should you need it and easily accommodates a multitude of skins including the pre-cut Side Stash skins.
The K2 Sidestash front and back graphics.
The K2 Sidestash tip with skin hole.
The K2 Sidestash with tail detail for K2 skins and the hole for rescue shovel plus hardware.
The K2 Sidestash top sheet relief details.
We mounted the K2 Rolling Stones SideStash skis with the Fritschi Diamir Freeride Pro bindings which have a DIN range of 4-12 and weigh in at 2.2kg or 4lb 8oz. With four height adjustments at 0°, 3°, 9° or 13° of lift they provide lots of choice while climbing. The new wider base plates allow for better transmission of power more evenly across todays fatter skis. The Freeride incorporates 'Gliding Technology' which places the pivot point on the toe piece behind the toe of your boot and combined with the moving baseplate allows you to raise your foot until it is completely perpendicular to the ski which results in a more natural stride when skinning. The price point for the Fritschi Diamir Freeride Pro binding is $499.95 US.
The K2 Rolling Stones SideStash Skis are a fun ski and if you are a Stones fan you double your rock and roll. They ski all conditions with vigour and are a joy to pilot in the pow. The tip hole and tail groove are incorporated to accommodate custom cut K2 skins (which we did not have the opportunity to test - sorry) and will also facilitate the construction of a rescue sled. If you have the K2 Rescue Shovel Plus this task is a walk in the park, if you don't then it is still possible and a definite plus. The only strike against the K2 Rolling Stones SideStash Skis is their weight, they come in at just over 9lbs which can be a lot for the dedicated backcountry skier. If you are looking for a ski that can tame any snow condition and be your side-country go-to ski then this will fit the bill, if you are more into long days in the backcountry and ski traverses then you may find this bad boy a little too much in the weight department.
Price: $799.95 US
Weight: 4140g / 9.127lb
Turn Radius: 25m (@181cm)
A solid ski for all mountain use, shreddin' the pow and hitting the side-country. Nice integrated skin option and ability to use the tip and tail details for a rescue sled. If you are a Rolling Stones fan you'll be drooling.
A heavier ski better suited to slack-country than backcountry use.
Powder Performance 2/2
Groomer Performance 1/2
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.