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.
K2 Pinnacle 88 TI Review
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 these skis through such a rigorous testing process.
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 its top competitors.
Although it is similar in size and sidecut to the some of the skinnier skis in our testing line up, 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.
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 other narrow planks we tested, 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.
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 experienced in skis with similar profiles.
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 our top performers.
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 much wider skis. 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.
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.
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 deal, but it is hard to for ski manufacturers to find the balance between hard-charging and playful.
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.
The Pinnacle 88 TI is a great value. It retails for what we consider a fair price for a good all-mountain ski that is manufactured by a company known for its durability and overall high-quality products.
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