K2’s Mindbender Powder Skis Review
Starting from the ground up, K2 designers had one ultimate goal when designing their newest lineup of skis: create a ski that is stable enough to charge through hardpack and crud conditions while still offering agility to get ’em sideways to maneuver and shut down speed, or just to earn some style points. Previous skis, however, could only excel at one or the other.
That was until the team at K2 redefined their freeride ethos with what they are calling “Torsion Control Design.” Through both their new Titanal Y Beam technology (metal over the edges along the tip, edge-to-edge metal underfoot, with metal tapering off the edge in the tail) as well as their patent-pending Carbon Spectral Braid, K2 was able to independently tune the longitudinal and torsional flexes of the ski, creating the construction for a do-it-all freeride ski.
The biggest discovery in the process was what K2’s calling Torsion Control Design. With both the Y Beam technology as well as the Carbon Spectral Braiding K2 was able to independently tune the longitudinal flex from the torsional flex. TCD is one of the major drivers in how they were able to get skis that feel so stiff and responsive in the forebody of the ski without having to give up responsiveness while turning.
Just jump on the skis and you’ll feel the difference. With both the Y Beam and the Carbon was able able to create a ski that is strong, stable and confident at high speeds, but that still has the ability to get sideways and dump speed.
The all-wood core Mindbender series includes models with a modified Titanal laminate or a proprietary Carbon Spectral Braid, indicated by either a “Ti” or “C” in the name of the ski. The skis with Titanal include a full sheet of metal below the core, and what the brand is calling a “Titanal Y-Beam” on top of the core. The Mindbender Y-Beam is exactly what it sounds like: a fork in the shovel of the ski, putting more material over the edges and damping the forebody; a full plate of Titanal underfoot for binding retention and stability; and an edge taper in the tail, putting metal over the center of the ski but making the rear edges easier to release from the turn.
Powder skiers have two skis to consider depending on where you ski, one of the Mindbenders will be the goto option!
The biggest and floatiest, the Mindbender 116C, is a burly beast of a ski that will replace the Pinnacle 118 for 2019-2020. With a maple/paulownia core, the Carbon Spectral Braid, and 22.9m turn radius in the 186cm. In Fernie a day in steep crud and blower pow, the Mindbender 116C didn’t even bat an eye. Add in a hot orange top sheet with camo details, and this ski will certainly stand out on the shop rack next season, if there’s any left past early season.
Lengths: 179cm, 186cm, 193cm
Radius: 22.9m at 186cm
My most versatile powder ski in the Mindbender series is the 108Ti. This ski is designed to “wow” the skier seeking an all-mountain wide ski that can handle powder and groomers with delight. With a near-perfect rocker profile, Titanal Y-Beam, and a 22.9m turn radius in the 186cm length, I didn’t want to return this demo to Fernie’s Gearhub Sports. From the ridges to the bowls, I felt this ski was as stable as any all-mountain ski made in Europe.
Lengths: 172cm, 179cm, 186cm, 193cm
Radius: 22.9m at 186cm
The accolades have started to roll in for K2 and this is only the beginning. Adjust your powder reality this season with a K2 Mindbender!