W started developing the Kom ski early on at Altai Skis, originally as a one size (162 cm) all purpose backcountry ski. It’s a dedicated backcountry ski without many of the usual compromises.
There are a lot of great skis that are labeled backcountry skis, but they tend to fall into several distinct categories. Either they are full on downhill skis to be used with skins and big boot/binding systems, or they are more from the nordic end of the spectrum, often nowax with a wider platform then true xc skis but still with a lot of nordic DNA in their dimensions, flex, and overall design. At Karhu, Francois and I have worked on many of the nordic XCD style skis Karhu was known for. The XCD skis were light and excellent for touring in moderate terrain, but tended to fall short when the downhills get more challenging. and the snow got deeper. We wanted the Kōm to be free of these constraints, so rather then start from a nordic or alpine perspective we would start from a purely backcountry point of view. The ski needed to tour as well as it turned, and we have incorporated a lot of features into the Kōm that are very specific to skiing in the backcountry. Many of these stray from the norm and make the Kōm a very unique ski.
Notable features in the Kōm –
We made a tall tip on the Kōm, out of fashion these days, but very useful in breaking trail.
The ski shape is designed to slightly forward mount the binding (from the current norm in skis), making a more balanced ski and – along with reduced sidecut in the tip – avoiding the “Body Builder” shape skis have been trending towards – lots of girth and heft in the tip and a skinny little tail. This creates the dreaded pintail effect when touring in deep snow, a nice floaty tip and a tail that sinks deep, leaving the skier chronically climbing steeper then the actual slope.
The edges do not wrap around tip and tail which (combined with our more forward mounting recommendation) give the Kōms an excellent swing weight for turning as well as maneuvers like kick turns.
The nowax base is grippier then most nowax skis, making it a bit slower on a groomed trail, but very functional in the backcountry and climbing in soft snow.
The reduced sidecut in the tip makes for a more predictable and stable ski when crusty or thick snow becomes less then friendly.
The Kōms are comfortable with either telemark or parallel turns.
The Kōm is light and supple, with dimensions that make it very skiable with two buckle plastic boots and even sturdy leather. This keeps the system light and flexible for more adventurous touring.
Our focus has always been the backcountry, and the Kōm is designed for skiers looking for a versatile ski that will rise to the challenge of all terrain. It is the next step from the Hok in terms of skiability and more traditional backcountry or XCD style touring.
– Length -150cm; 162cm; 174cm
– 174cm – 124/98/120 approximate wt. – 7 lb. 4 oz. (3250 gm.)New weight 6 lb. 3 oz. (2807 gm.)
– 162cm – 124/98/120 approximate wt. – 6 lb. 8 oz. (2960 gm.)New weight 5 lb. 12 oz.(2608 gm.)
– 150cm – 124/98/120 approximate wt. – 5 lb. 12 oz. (2630 gm.)New weight 5 lb. 4 oz. (2382 gm.)
– Base – positive grip nowax base
– Slightly rockered tip as well as early taper
– Wood core.
– Binding retention plate – no inserts.
You can look at more detailed Kōm information (including mounting information) here KŌM SKI INFORMATION