The Fast and the Ferrous: Skis with Metal Built for Speed!


Are you an advanced skier looking to take it to the next level? Are you looking for a ski to get you down the mountain with power and finesse? Then check out these two skis and figure out which would be best for you.   



K2 iKonic 80 Ti w/ Marker M3 12C


Volkl RTM 81 w/ Marker iPT WRXL 12.0 TCX D



k2 iKonic 80 Ti: $799.99

Volkl RTM 81: $899.99



At 80 or 81 millimeters wide in the waist, the differences here are virtually nonexistent. Both skis are available in a full size run for adult skiers of every height.


What Are the Bones of the Skis?

Both skis use wood cores with sheets of metal for added stiffness and power, a proprietary metal laminate in the K2 and steel in the Volkl.


K2 iKonic:

k2 ikonicWhat makes it rad?

  • Extremely quick, with agile turns

  • Lively personality makes any condition fun

  • Steady edge grip for confidence on ice

  • Clean graphics lend some class to the K2 ski

  • A bargain compared to some similar options

What do we wish was better?

  • Heavy, like all skis in this category

  • Maybe a little too lively for some skiers

  • An 80 mm waist might be a bit narrow in deeper snow

To sum it up:

The iKonic is a ski that makes the skier feel like a hero. It’s fast, stylish, and playful, lending to quick slashy turns linked together at amazing speed.However, it’s not as rock solid stable as the RTM, and on days with heavier snow it may not have the power to charge through the crud.

We give it:

A solid 8.0. A really refreshing all mountain offering to replace the outgoing AMP.


Volkl RTM 81:

voklWhat makes it rad?

  • Fast in the same vein as motorcycles, race cars and laser beams.

  • Very damp, very planted, very stable.

  • Camber comes back this year, so edge grip feels much better.

  • There is no pile of snow big enough to stop the RTM. A powerful charger.

  • Seriously, I cannot stress the speed thing enough.

What do we wish was better?

  • All that planted stability can feel a little dead at times, there’s no slide or bounce to be found.

  • Feels like they’re very heavy, even for this category.

  • All the performance doesn’t come cheap

  • The RTM doesn’t like to relax and just cruise, it wants to be skied hard full time.

To Sum it up:

If you’re in the market for a ski that does one thing better than anything else in its class, and you decided that a Saturn V rocket just doesn’t get up and go the way you want, the RTM is definitely the only ski for you. It’s not only fast, it feels so stable and planted you can easily forget that this kind of speed is supposed to be difficult to manage. The only shortcomings are its price and it’s utterly machinelike personality.

We give it:

For the right skier? An 8.5. It’s close to perfect. However, a skier who wants something more lively would find it frustrating.



These two skis, despite being roughly the same category, have very different personalities. This tester really enjoyed the playful nature of the iKonic 80, but there’s no denying that the RTM 81 is a really impressive ski. You can’t make a bad choice here, both skis are fantastic options for people who want speed, and you can pick whether you want rock solid stability or energetic pop.