K2 Dispatch 101 Touring Ski 2022 – 2023 | Review

The Dispatch range from K2 bring titanal power at a low weight to create a highly predictable ski that can take on a range of conditions

Why we chose the K2 Dispatch 101: Powerful, lightweight, versatile

Lengths (cm): 161, 168, 175, 182 & 189
Sidecut (mm): 123 / 101 / 112 (175 cm)
Radius: 24m (175 cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1,590g
Price: £735

More Info

New for the 22/23 winter season, the Dispatch range from K2 has been designed for skiers who want to wring every ounce of performance from their touring skis. Don’t see this as yet another touring ski that feels like it’s been built from wet cardboard though, K2 has managed to pack in 14 different materials to build this ski – the most important of these being metal.

While this burly material has been used, K2 has managed to keep the weights down to a very respectable level. This 101 mm waisted Dispatch sits at the narrow end of the range, with 110 and 120 models built with bigger terrain and deeper snow in mind.

K2 Dispatch 101 Construction

So there’s quite a bit going on in the insides of these skis. As we mentioned in the intro, the skis have been built from 14 different materials. The first, and perhaps most importantly, of these is Hex Beam. As K2 does so well, Hex Beam is a contoured bit of titanal (kind of like the Y-Beam tech found on the Mindbender range). This technology provides power and stability towards the edges, by moving mass away from the binding mount point, yet still saves some weight thanks to the cutout sections.

“A great balance between power and weight while keeping the skis stable when you do put the throttle down”

In an effort to save weight, Hex Beam doesn’t have as much coverage as its bigger brother Y-Beam. Instead, Hex Beam features, you guessed it, two hex shapes towards the midsection of the ski, before slimming down at the tips and tails. What this gives is a great balance between power and weight while keeping the skis stable when you do put the throttle down.

Sitting below this hex beam sheet is another metal laminate that sits on top of the lightweight paulownia wood core. Then, directly under the binding location, you’ve got ‘Vibradeck’,  K2’s sheet of vibration absorbing material (essentially rubber), that works to eliminate any unwanted chatter and vibrations as best as possible, particularly when skiing on hard snow.

One final note in terms of construction, the Dispatch 101 also features a ‘unidirectional flax’, which is a blend of flax and carbon fibre. There’s no fibreglass used in this ski. Flax is a natural fibre with some great dampening properties, while carbon upholds great levels of responsiveness at a very low weight range.

This whole construction comes together to produce a ski that comes in an extremely low weight of around 1,600 grams per ski. While this isn’t cutting-edge levels of ski touring ski weights, it’s impressive when you consider that K2 has managed to pack in two titanal layers and various other dampening materials into this ski.

K2 Dispatch 101 Shaping

K2 says they’ve designed the Dispatch 101 in a way so that the ski will never surprise you. K2 aren’t saying that some skis are going to jump out from behind a tree and scare you, what they mean is that these skis are going to remain predictable and consistent through a wide range of terrain and conditions – this can be seen with the shaping of the Dispatch 101.

First of all, the Dispatch 101 features very little tapering, which produces a long sidecut radius (26.3 metres for the 182 cm length we tested). This longer radius will help to keep the skis stable at speed, while also not making them feel like they’re going to hook up into a turn as soon as you lay them on edge.

The tip and tail rocker profile is also very gradual and long, too. This rocker travels deep into the ski, which allows the ski to remain pivotable when required, yet won’t be too chattery when you bring the skis up to speed.

Who Is The K2 Dispatch 101 For?

In bringing over everything they know about producing titanal laminate skis, from their extremely successful Mindbender range, K2 has managed to produce yet another titanal ski that’s able to hold its own through a range of conditions and speeds, yet still comes in at a pretty respectable weight limit. 

The Dispatch 101 is going to suit strong advanced – expert skiers who are looking for a touring ski that can still perform on the downhill. Mount these with a downhill-focused touring binding, like the Shift or Kingpu and you’ve got yourself a confidence-inspiring setup for big days in the backcountry.

What Is The K2 Dispatch 101 Good At?

Versatility: 9/10
Power: 8/10
Weight: 8/10

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