K2 Poacher Freestyle Ski 2021 – 2022 | Review

The K2 Poacher is the go-to freestyle ski for athletes and freestyle enthusiasts alike

Why we chose the K2 Poacher: Classic, powerful, gold medal winning

Lengths (cm): 163, 170, 177, 184
Sidecut (mm): 124 / 96 / 118 (184cm)
Radius: 19m (184 cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 2,152g (184cm)
Price: £435 / €500 / $500


K2 launched their first Poacher onto the scene in 2016 as their leading factory team men’s freestyle ski. By 2019, almost every guy in my local park crew donned a pair of Poachers. And to attest to their unwaveringly loyal fan base, in 2021 these same skiers still shred the Poachers, having simply retired their older models for the newer version of their tried-and-tested ski steed.

Now in its sixth generation, the Poacher remains pretty much unchanged thanks to a design that athletes and freestyle enthusiasts alike swear by. Only the consistently bold top sheet variations seem to cause controversy. From X-Games podiums to urban shoots and everything in between (including your local park crew), the Poacher leaves its mark loud and clear.

K2 Poacher Build

This is no flimsy park ski. Thanks to K2’s Twin Tech full sidewalls and reinforced topsheet, the Poacher withstands serious impact. Added to its impressive durability, an Aspen and Fir core construction, with additional carbon stringers woven throughout, makes for a stiff, energetic, and damp ski.

Plenty park skis attempt to minimise swing weight for ease of stunts, but the Poacher is unapologetically burly. The downside here is that spin to win, with 2kg of ski under each foot, isn’t necessarily easy; so the Poacher is certainly best suited to those who prefer a bit of beefiness underfoot. But the upsides of the Poacher’s robustness are its greatest strengths; sturdiness on large kickers and hefty landings, reliability at high-speeds, strong edge-hold, plentiful chatter-absorption, and near-indestructibility on rails and concrete.

K2 Poacher Shaping

The Poacher’s substantial weight does not prevent it from more creative riding thanks to its firmly freestyle-rooted shaping. The gradual tip and tail rocker will have you buttering and smearing away. Watch Colby Stevenson spin, tap, and ollie his way to X Games Aspen’s 2020 knuckle huck glory to see just how playful they are. (PS he also won the Slopestyle on his Poachers).

Carving up the mountain switch is encouraged by the Poacher’s near symmetrical sidecut (124mm at the tip and 118mm at the tail) and recommended centre mount point, which makes the Poacher equally dominant riding backwards as forwards. The Poacher’s 96 mm waist – on the wider side of park skis and sneaking into the realm of all-mountain widths – hands you a stable surface area underfoot to stomp landings, cruise rails, or bash through whatever the snow gods deliver (or don’t).

Who Is The K2 Poacher For?

There’s no doubt that K2 intended their Poacher to dominate freestyle podiums and gnarly street sessions. This is a freestyle ski that can take a beating and thrives when you pile on the pressure. The Poacher is your antidote to skis that feel close to snapping when you nose press or become a chattery mess on takeoffs. And whilst a certain level of strength and ability is required to manoeuvre the relatively heavy and stiff ski, the responsiveness and durability you get in return is worth it.

“There’s no doubt that K2 intended their Poacher to dominate freestyle podiums”

The Poacher’s dominance on the male freestyle scene means its all-mountain potential can be overlooked, but this ski isn’t solely for park rats or professionals. Its 96mm width, considerable 19m radius, full strength sidewalls, and sturdy flex mean the Poacher carves aggressively, ploughs through chop, and swivels smoothly through bumps. That’s why we agree with K2’s assessment of the Poacher as their “twin-tipped freak”. A solid build combined with playful shaping makes the Poacher aggressive in its freestyle performance and serious fun over the whole mountain.

What Is The K2 Poacher Good At?

Spins: 9/10
Power: 9/10
Looks: 10/10

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