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K2 Coomback Review

K2’s Coombacks have been through a few iterations over the years and have gained almost legendary status amongst backcountry skiers.  Named after Doug Coombs, an alpine skier and mountaineer who pioneered extreme skiing , a portion of the profits from the original ski (the Coomba) went to Doug Coombs’ family after his tragic death in La Grave.

The Coomback is a lightweight, wood core, mid fat ski with 102mm waists, designed for big mountain skiing.  It is at its most comfortable in powder with powder specific tips to make the ski float in the deep stuff.  However it can also cope in mixed conditions, as a big mountain ski should do, with K2’s All Terrain Rocker and Progressive Sidecut features.  It has holes in the tips to locate K2’s touring skins and a little notch in the tails to help hold them in place.  The tails are completely flat so that the ski can be dug in to the snow to use as an anchor.  K2 claim that the topsheet is hydrophobic to help to stop snow sticking to them, but I can’t honestly say I’ve noticed my skis any freer of snow than those of my companions.

I’ve skied these on a huge variety of snow types and they cope well in the conditions they’re designed for.  They’re a little chattery on the hard packed crud and ice – early morning refreeze is challenging – but apart from that they’re a real all-rounder, and are even fun on the piste.  As you’d expect for skis this fat, moguls aren’t really a strong point.

You’ll see these with a variety of bindings, alpine and touring.  I’ve done multi-day tours on them, and whilst they don’t claim to be a pure touring ski (too fat, too heavy) they are worth the effort for that one fresh powder day when you can really power through the deep stuff whilst your friends are skating around on their thin touring skis.

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  • Light for their size and capability
  • Excellent in powder
  • Very good in multiple snow types
  • Specifically designed for the backcountry
  • Very good on piste for those days when you can’t get to the backcountry
  • Named after a truly legendary pioneer of the sport


  • Too flexible and light to cope with hard crud and ice
  • A little too heavy for a comfortable multi-day tour





Here is K2’s video on the ski:

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