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K2 Pinnacle 88 TI Review

The K2 Pinnacle 88 TI is on the narrower end of our all mountain category, but still delivers in soft snow.
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Price:  $600 List | $599.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Fast, consistent, surprising amount of float
Cons:  Unforgiving
Manufacturer:   K2
By Andrew Pierce ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 9, 2019
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 13
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 9
  • Carving - 20% 9
  • Crud - 20% 7
  • Powder - 20% 7
  • Playfulness - 15% 6
  • Bumps - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The K2 Pinnacle 88 TI is a ripping groomer ski that scored surprisingly well in most of our testing categories. Initially, we categorized the Pinnacle 88 TI as more of an East Coast ski, but our West Coast testers soon fell in love. This ski delivers a surprising amount of float for relatively narrow ski, 88mm underfoot, but it really shines on the hardpack and in variable conditions. If most of your resort adventures are centered around groomer skiing, the Pinnacle will not disappoint. It has a generous amount of tip rocker combined with camber underfoot, which K2 calls their all terrain rocker profile. With lots of metal (TI = titanal + fiberglass) and a short turn radius, this is an incredibly fun carving ski. But even though it shines brightest on-piste, it can handle the whole mountain efficiently.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
K2 Pinnacle 88 TI
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $599.00 at Amazon$675.00 at Amazon$499.99 at Amazon
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$559.93 at REI
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$449.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Fast, consistent, surprising amount of floatFast, solid, consistent, large sweet spotHard charging, fun, easy to skiGreat all around ski, great pop, easy to swingLightweight, snappy, fun
Cons UnforgivingMinor chatterSlight chatter at high-end speedSometimes feels soft, skis shortSome chatter
Bottom Line The K2 Pinnacle 88 TI is on the narrower end of our all mountain category, but still delivers in soft snow.The new Mantra, now called the M5, is more user friendly than previous versions but is still a powerful and consistently fun ski.The Daemon is a hard charging ski that can be tamed.Fantastic all around ski that will for perform for skiers of all abilities.The Kore 93 is a solid all mountain ski at a reasonable price.
Rating Categories K2 Pinnacle 88 TI Volkl M5 Mantra Black Crows Daemon Blizzard Rustler 10 Head Kore 93
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Carving (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Crud (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Powder (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
Playfulness (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
Bumps (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs K2 Pinnacle 88 TI Volkl M5 Mantra Black Crows Daemon Blizzard Rustler 10 Head Kore 93
Intended Purpose All Mountain/East Coast All Mountain All Mountain All Mountain/Soft Snow All Mountain
Ability Level Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Beginner-Expert
Available Lengths 163, 170, 177, 184 170,177,184,191 170, 177, 183, 188 164, 172, 180, 188 153,162,171,180,189
Waist Width 88 96 99 102 93
Radius 15m 21.2m 20m 14.5m, 16m, 17.5m, 19m 16.4m
Rocker All-terrain rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Full rocker, reverse camber Rocker/Camber/Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker
Weight Per Pair 3904 4252 5265 4126 3780
Core Material Fir, aspen Beech, poplar Poplar wood Multi-layer wood Karuba wood
Tested length 184 184 183.6 188 189

Our Analysis and Test Results

We tested the Pinnacle 88 TI in a 184cm length, and it skied pretty true to size. It has some capabilities that were made evident through our testing process that we certainly did not expect, and that is precisely why we put all of our skis through such a rigorous testing process.

Performance Comparison


Fast and consistent with tons of pop  the Pinnacle 88 TI is a dream when laying the skis over on edge. Our tester is loving them in this photo.
Fast and consistent with tons of pop, the Pinnacle 88 TI is a dream when laying the skis over on edge. Our tester is loving them in this photo.

Stability at Speed


K2 built the Pinnacle 88 TI with speed in mind. These skis sport a metal laminate with alternating layers of titanal and fiberglass, which creates an incredibly damp and smooth ride even when cruising at Mach 5. Expert skiers will feel comfortable pushing themselves to their speed limits on this ski, and the consistency and dampness rival the Volkl M5 Mantra.


Although it is similar in size and sidecut to the Rossignol Experience 88 TI, the Pinnacle 88 TI has a shorter effective edge due to its pronounced tip rocker. Because of this, if you like to go fast, think about sizing up a bit to get a longer Pinnacle.

Despite being a long ski  the Pinnacle 88 TI has aggressive sidecut that helps the skis make short turns super fun. Easy turn initiation and release are also crucial aspects to this ski's performance.
Despite being a long ski, the Pinnacle 88 TI has aggressive sidecut that helps the skis make short turns super fun. Easy turn initiation and release are also crucial aspects to this ski's performance.

Carving


Carving is another category where the Pinnacle 88 TI absolutely crushed. K2 has made it incredibly easy to initiate turns on this ski by adding partially capped sidewalls and creating an enjoyable turn shape with a generous sidecut. Like the Rossignol 88 TI, this ski shines brightest when making quick and short turns but also easily adapts to railing GS-style turns on open groomers.


The tapered tip and tail also make it easy to release one turn and quickly pop into the next. In short, this ski is an absolute blast on all groomers. Steep, flat, wide-open, closed-in, soft, icy — you name the groomer, and the Pinnacle 88 ti will slay it.

The Pinnacle 88 TI eating up all the terrain Kirkwood has to offer. This is a surprisingly good all mountain ski  no matter what coast you recreate on.
The Pinnacle 88 TI eating up all the terrain Kirkwood has to offer. This is a surprisingly good all mountain ski, no matter what coast you recreate on.

Crud


Although the Pinnacle 88 TI has a sheet of titanal in it, it is not the crud-busting machine we expected. While the ski did feel fairly damp in most conditions, the aggressive tip rocker led to some tip flap, which is a similar problem we experience with the Rossignol Soul 7 HD.


Also, despite the tapered tip shape, the ski deflected in refrozen conditions. All that said, the Pinnacle 88 TI scored fairly well in this category due to the burly nature of the ski. As mentioned above, the ski is quite damp, due to its layered core construction, and handled most of the worst conditions well — it just isn't in the same realm as the Volkl M5 Mantra.

The Pinnacle 88 TI is not known for its powder performance  but it surprised all of our testers with its float. The large tip and rocker in the front help it plane well  as seen in this photo of one of our testers after a storm.
The Pinnacle 88 TI is not known for its powder performance, but it surprised all of our testers with its float. The large tip and rocker in the front help it plane well, as seen in this photo of one of our testers after a storm.

Powder


The OutdoorGearLab team did not pick the Pinnacle 88 TI because we envisioned being a dreamy pow ski. Once our testers got to ride them in some surprise Tahoe storms, that preconception quickly changed. This ski handled most powder days better than expected.


Our testers attribute this ski's unexpected powder ability to the early rise combined with the wide tapered tip. This allowed the ski to plane on top of the fresh similarly to the Rossignol Soul 7 HD. It did not score as well overall due to the lack of width underfoot. While the 88mm underfoot never really bogged our testers down in less than one foot of powder, when two feet of fresh rolls in, you'll want to reach for a fatter ski.

Taking to the skies on the Pinnacle 88 TI. Make sure you have a soft landing below and stay balanced because this ski can be unforgiving on the landing.
Taking to the skies on the Pinnacle 88 TI. Make sure you have a soft landing below and stay balanced because this ski can be unforgiving on the landing.

Playfulness


This ski is not exceptionally playful. The same attributes that make the Pinnacle 88 TI a hard-charging groomer ripper (plenty of metal, generally stiff flex, etc.) detract from it being super fun when bouncing around between features.


Getting shifty on the Pinnacle 88 TI. The soft landing below was key in deciding to air it out with this stiff ski under our feet.
Getting shifty on the Pinnacle 88 TI. The soft landing below was key in deciding to air it out with this stiff ski under our feet.

Low swing weight and a poppy wood core are some features that allowed our testers to have plenty of fun on these skis. Jump landings tended to be unforgiving. The Pinnacles didn't feel dead, like the Blizzard Bonafide, but it is hard to for ski manufacturers to find the balance between hard-charging and playful as well as Volkl managed to do with the M5 managed to do.

Our other competition bump skier turned ski-tester seen here on the Pinnacle 88 TI. Just for you  we took all of our skis  including the Pinnacle 88 TI  down all types of moguled terrain.
Our other competition bump skier turned ski-tester seen here on the Pinnacle 88 TI. Just for you, we took all of our skis, including the Pinnacle 88 TI, down all types of moguled terrain.

Bumps


As stated above, we tested this ski in a 184cm length, and it was not the ideal length for most of our testers to mash bumps. But one of our lead testers was a competition mogul skier early in his career, and he fell in love with the Pinnacle 88 TI.


While most of our testers found this ski to be a bit unwieldy in huge man-eating bumps, they did agree that the ski-to-snow contact point is close to the middle of the ski, which helps when trying to quickly navigate troughs between bumps. The lightweight design also helped in moguled terrain.

Here  the Pinnacle 88 TI's wide tips can be seen rising above the crud. This is not the best ski in bad snow  but it handled most conditions with grace.
Here, the Pinnacle 88 TI's wide tips can be seen rising above the crud. This is not the best ski in bad snow, but it handled most conditions with grace.

Best Application


This ski is best for an advanced-expert level skier who spends most of their days ripping groomers on the front side and occasionally ventures off-piste to find the soft goods. It is a great ski for either coast, as long as you like to go fast.

Value


The Pinnacle 88 TI is a great value. It retails for $600, which is a fair price for a good all-mountain ski that is manufactured by a company known for its durability and overall high-quality products.

Grabbing some style-y air on the Pinnacle 88 TI. It is not the most playful ski we tested  but we continuously took to the skies with them.
Grabbing some style-y air on the Pinnacle 88 TI. It is not the most playful ski we tested, but we continuously took to the skies with them.

Conclusion


The Pinnacle 88 TI may be an average ski in our reviews, but that doesn't mean it isn't the right all-mountain ski for you. All of the skis in our men's all-mountain category are high-quality, and the Pinnacle 88 TI is no exception. If you like to ski fast, love groomers, and are a little shell-shocked by the $1,200 price tag on some of the skis produced today, look no further than the Pinnacle 88 TI. It may even surprise you in conditions when you least expecting it.


Andrew Pierce