2023 K2 Disruption 81Ti W Review
A ski that likes to stay on-piste for skiers who like to do the same
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.11/10
- Rank: #9
- Hard-Snow Integrity: 7.33
- Stability at Speed: 7.67
- Carving: 7.5
- Quickness: 6.67
- Responsiveness: 6.5
- Playfulness: 5.67
- Forgiveness: 7
- Crud Performance: 5.83
- Versatility: 5.67
- Price: $950
- Lengths: 146, 153, 160, 167
- Dimensions: 124-81-110
- Radius: 14.8 (160cm)
- Level: Intermediate, Advanced
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Stability at Speed, Carving
- Cons: Playfulness, Crud Performance
In just its second season, K2 put down another Top 10 frontside ski with its Disruption 81Ti W—a fun and stable carving ski that looks the part.
The ski lays turns over nicely and crushes small, medium, and large-sized turns from the top to the bottom of the mountain all day long. “Easy to ski and a true carver,” commented tester Courtney Harkins. “It did any turn shape I wanted. A great answer to East Coast groomers.”
While it happily gets up on edge, the ski is also pleasantly stable while cruising the resort thanks to K2’s Dark Matter Damping technology, which reduces vibrations and increases edge grip at high speeds, and its Titanal I-Beam construction—a line of Titanium from tip to tail along the center line of the ski that gives it more stability. And testers noticed, giving it good marks in the Carving and Stability at Speed categories. “It’s easy to turn and easy to ski,” said tester Abby Ghent, a former ski racer. “Sturdy and nice on groomers.”
However, while many of the skis in the groomer category enjoyed slashing bumps and crud, this ski did not like going off-piste. Testers were disappointed that it didn’t play well in bumps and crud, and nearly all advised skiers to keep this ski exclusively on the hardpack in their feedback.
Testers also criticized the Disruption 81Ti’s lack of energy out of turns. The ski easily launches into a turn and stands high up on its edge, but it feels a little dead going into the next turn—the usual point when many other skis’ energy transfer would build. However, this K2’s easy-going nature could help many a beginner/intermediate skier gain skills and confidence on harder snow and learn where that pop should come in the future. And expert skiers won’t be bored, given its intrinsic desire to continue turning.
“I thought it was going to be more bouncy and playful given the tip shape, but it was a great ski for gaining confidence on the hardpack,” said tester and Outside gear editor Kelly Klein. “It felt pretty stable and solid all around, but definitely takes effort to get going fast.”
Another downside for some: The longest available length of this ski is 167cm, which is quite short compared to other skis in this category, and there’s a bit of a speed limit because of it—though a couple of testers noted that the Disruption 81Ti skied longer than advertised. Women who prefer shorter skis will be pleased that they can get this one down to 147cm.
Overall, this K2 would be a great groomer addition for skiers up and down the eastern seaboard and for those who are working on improving their carving ability.
Courtney Harkins grew up ski racing, starting on the icy slopes of New England and finishing at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She now lives in Park City, Utah and works as the Director of Marketing & Communications at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team. She also freelance writes and consults in the skiing and Olympic industry. When she’s not traveling with the team, her home mountain is Deer Valley Resort, where she loves to arc turns on groomers, but also knows all of the secret spots for days-old powder. Harkins has been testing skis since 2016 and has been a SKI gear tester for three seasons.