Depending on which generation you are talking about, you will hear vastly different and contrasting opinions on these skis -- so much that I am not quite sure where to start. But hey, lets give it a go. The all-new iKonic 84Ti and the revised RTM 84 UVO are reputation-building models that K2 and Völkl count on for volume sales, but through the years, both companies had skis in this vital frontside all-mountain collection that were polarizing and alienated some consumers one way or another. Fast forward to 2017-18, and K2 and Völkl are offering the best skis they ever have in this segment.
K2 Recon? Forget it. Forget every incarnation of the ski from when it started off at 78mm underfoot. Forget when the sizing said it was a 160/167/174 but really it was 163/170/177. Forget when it had one of the heaviest system bindings. Forget when they renamed it the Amp Rictor. And finally, but most importantly, forget when it was called the iKonic 84 last year. Why do I want you to forget all that? Not because those skis weren’t any good; on the contrary, they were so easy to ski that we didn’t realize how good they really were. I want you to forget all that because the new iKonic 84Ti is a whole 'nother ski. It is strong and powerful, two words you aren't accustomed to hearing about K2 skis. First was the all-new Charger collection and now these new iKonics -- it’s a brand new world.
There is also a lot to forget when talking about the new Völkls. AC50s and the first-generation RTMs, yep, forget them. These 3D Ridge Völkls are not those skis. The AC50 was an uncompromising I-beam; the first RTM was a zero-camber lifeless ski. These, however, ski with the precision and balance that should come from a ski that says "German engineered." They are what you expect a Völkl to be: strong, powerful, and precise (just like the K2). Surprisingly enough, the Völkl is easier to ski than the K2, the way a BMW is more refined than, say, a Cadillac -- but have you seen some of the horsepower numbers coming from Cadillac?
- Why choose the iKonic 84Ti? This is best Völkl K2 has ever made. You want the big-block American feel from a ski. This is dropping the biggest motor in an American sedan and saying “We’re back” to the rest of the ski world.
- Why choose the RTM 84 UVO? This is the best K2 Völkl has ever made. A friendly Völkl? You got it. This has the precision you expect from a ski with the Völkl logo but, as with the K2, it isn't what you expect. The power is there when you want it but does not demand that you use it all the time.