K2’s new Talkback Skis are the women’s equivalent to the men’s Wayback skis which we recently reviewed. While the Wayback’s are 106mm underfoot, the Talkback’s come in an 84, 88, and 96 widths, for this review I’ll focus on the widest version, the 96’s. Like the Wayback ski’s, the Talkbacks are a lightweight touring ski designed to carry you far and wide. Weighing only 2.5kg for the pair they are exceptionally light, but what does this mean for their ability to tackle challenging terrain and variable snow conditions? Continue reading to find out what the verdict is.
Like the K2 Wayback skis only more svelte and little more feminine.
Since the K2 Talkback Skis are built on the same chassis as the men’s Wayback skis I won’t go into depth on those details as they can be found in that review here. The Talkback 96’s feature dimensions of 128/96/115, combining this with their All-Terrain Rocker (rocker in the tips and tails and camber underfoot) enables the Talkbacks to float in pow and carve on groomers. Given that they only weigh 2.5lbs they make fast work of any skin track and the built-in grommet at the tips and notch in the tails ensure your skins will never fall off. The secret to their light weight is the use of titanal and paulownia wood in their construction which K2 calls this “Ti-Spyne”.
To help keep snow from accumulating on the top sheet K2 uses a technology they call their ‘Snophobic Topsheet’. Although I’m not sure exactly what that is, I can say that it works on all but the warmest days when the snow goes to isothermal schmoo.
Since the Talkbacks are ladies skis they come in shorter lengths of 156, 163, and 170cm and but are priced the same as the Wayback’s at $750CAN / $699.95US.
Tips and tails.
Like K2’s Wayback Skis the Talkback’s are aimed at your weight-conscious backcountry skier who wants to put in big days in the backcountry and may not necessarily want to rail groomers in bounds. Give the Talkback’s weight, it’s no surprise that they don’t hold an edge particularly well on hard pack snow. In soft fluffy pow they are heaps of fun even though they are slightly narrower than what I am used to. At lower speeds in bounds, it’s easy to initiate a turn and transition from edge to edge effectively. When you ramp up the RPM’s however and get the speedometer cranked they tend to chatter side to side and become more skittish and harder to rail. Keep the Talkbacks in the backcountry or on soft snow and you’ll be fine and if you like to crank out turns and not rail them too much then you’ve found your ski.
Price: $749.99CAN $699.95US
Lengths: 156, 163, 170
Weight: 1250g / 2.75lb (163cm ski)
Turn Radius: 18m
Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in below and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation. You'll need to login or register before you can comment but it only takes a few seconds, then you're good to go.
We built this backcountry skiing community for you, the passionate skier, and hope you enjoy the hard work we put into all the reviews, routes, videos and posts we create. It’s been free from day one but that doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable resource. If you enjoy this web site and value the content we create for you, then please support Backountry Skiing Canada by donating today. Thank you!